Digital transformation in sales is promising to revolutionise relationships, sales tools, and tactics. Modern analytics are providing us with deep insights into the customer, and algorithms are telling us when they’ll be most receptive to a call. AI is automating routine tasks and surfacing the best leads.
The Salesforce Platform is enabling anyone to create game-changing apps, even with zero experience. In other words, the sales landscape is changing quickly, and today’s sales professionals need to be equipped with the tools and tactics to keep up.
But what new sales tactics and sales processes are truly working, and what sales tools are taking customers to new and better places?
To find out, Salesforce surveyed over 6,000 sales professionals from around the world for the annual State of Sales report.
Here’s what we’ve learned.
Selling in a new world: 5 sales tactics transforming the sales process
The traditional sales process has been transformed by the new climate. Digital options like video conferencing, AI mobile sales apps, CRM systems, and insight selling have replaced face-to-face interactions. These new methods require new tactics.
Here are some of the sales tactics used to boost conversion rates in the new normal and beyond:
1. The 80/20 rule
As we’ll see in many of these trends, the customer is the captain of today’s ship. The days of the hard sell are over. We are now in the days of the hard listen. Many sales teams have adopted the 80/20 rule. This means that they spend 80% listening to their customers and only 20% talking.
2. Positivity personified
Many of today’s sales strategies are driven by psychology, like the use of positive reinforcement. By identifying genuine, admirable traits in customers, sales teams can develop more authentic connections.
3. Good attitudes transcend tough times
Using positive language and reinforcing positive thinking can often create a positive mindset in customers. This is especially important in times of crisis when doubt and uncertainty are prevalent. Many customers are looking for compassionate communication and more meaningful relationships. Even if they don’t consciously realise it.
4. Data-driven persistence
Digital transformation in sales has led to a wealth of data. Sales teams use this data to create a holistic view of their customers. Some teams are even leveraging data to understand how many times they should contact a specific lead, what channel they should contact them on, and when is the best time to follow up (within a minute after the first engagement is ideal!).
5. Cater to the introvert
Not every customer is up for a quick chat. Sales teams are bound to run into their share of introverts. Luckily, digital transformation in sales has led to an array of new ways to contact customers. Whether it’s through email campaigns, targeted ads, or chat, there are a variety of channels you can use to follow up with a customer. For instance, using email to go after introverted prospects is leading some businesses to big wins.
Digital transformation in sales: 8 sales tools that are changing the game
The sales process is being transformed by new ways of selling and is being shaped by technologies such as AI. According to our trends report, 65% of top performers are using automated sales tools for quotes and proposals, as opposed to only 30% of underperformers. It’s clear that top sales teams will continue to leverage technology to thrive, while underperformers must try to close the technology gap.
Here are some of the top tools for sales professionals today:
- Salesforce CPQ: Sales teams can now configure quotes, control pricing, manage subscription billing, and close deals, all in one place.
- Pardot: Pardot is revolutionising B2B by enabling organisations to offer a B2C-like customer experience, close more deals, and generate more pipelines.
- Salesforce Inbox: Sales professionals can turbo-charge their email and sell smarter with Salesforce Inbox.
- Partner Communities: Partner Communities connects businesses with like-minded partners, allowing them to share goals and build networks.
- Einstein Sales Analytics: Sales teams can turn to Einstein Sales Analytics to discover hidden growth opportunities, get better visibility of their pipeline, and track the performance of their team members.
- Sales Cloud Einstein: Einstein AI offers sales teams a way to automate repetitive tasks and free reps to concentrate on more important things — like their customers. Turn data into deals with Sales Cloud and Einstein.
- AppExchange: The AppExchange lets users search through pre-made, easily customisable apps to find the one that’s right for them.
- Salesforce Engage: Salesforce Engage gives reps the ability to build personalised campaigns, track active leads, leverage sales tactics, and understand their prospects better.
Despite the rise of digital transformation in sales, the future is still human
Building trust is more important than ever. The 4th State of Sales report reveals:
- 86% of reps say that current conditions have increased the importance of long-term customer relationships.
- 83% of reps report that they’ve increased the importance of building trust before a sale.
- 80% of reps claim they’ve increased the importance of building trust after a sale.
In an era when digital transformation in sales is reshaping the business landscape, new sales tools and tactics are bound to grow. Although virtual tools and follow-up tactics are not replacements for human contact, they can still prove useful for engaging with customers.
Here are a few examples of how to quickly follow up with a prospect and/or lead online:
- Email: use their name in the subject line. It’s attention-grabbing and more personable than a generic sentence.
- Online chat: try using an automated chatbot on your website to quickly address your visitor’s questions and/or concerns. If you rather respond yourself (or use an employee), then make sure to greet a visitor as soon as they enter your site.
- Social media: since a majority of information is consumed through mobile devices, it’s a good idea to set up a few social media accounts to connect with your customers. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter remain some of the most widely used social media platforms.
As we look towards the future, it’s clear how we utilise digital transformation in sales. We must nurture trust, create more meaningful relationships, and build a better tomorrow.
To see more trends from sales professionals around the world, download the State of Sales report.