This article is the first in a two-part series. Read the manager's response in part two.
Subject: My technology wish list
It took me a long time to get the courage to write this email, but I want to express my views on our current sales-enablement tools and technology. I have been using technology in some form or another for my entire 15-year career, and I have never felt its objective was to help me sell. Sure, we’ve been through a few different kinds of tools, and honestly, although some systems are less painful to deal with than others, none really help me do my job — which is to sell to customers — better.
What I yearn for is a solution that supports how I work and sell, provides me with advice as well as greater insight into opportunities, and enables me to quicken my response to customer questions. I’d also like to be able to use it wherever I am, not just when I can find time to open my laptop. So I decided to share my top-10 list of things that will help me do my job better, and ultimately help us hit our numbers.
1. Tools that help me sell versus just collect data — Data entry seems to take up a large portion of my time. Rather than being in front of a laptop acting like a clerk, I could spend that time selling.
2. Leads that are qualified and have some recommended actions to accelerate through the sales process — It seems like our marketing department gets compensated based on the number of leads it sends rather than their quality or the value of accompanied selling advice or content.
3. Tools that help me determine which opportunities I should focus on or what is the next best activity I should do — We have hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities and lessons learned, and yet there is no way to share what works with the entire team other than through word of mouth. I have to believe there is a better way, especially with all this hype around intelligence and analytics.
4. Tools that work with our email to analyze its content, notify me if needs attention, log it for me and then update my opportunity — This would save me tons of time. I know I’m asking for a lot, but any of our salespeople will tell you this is something we do over and over and over again, every day.
5. Better communication tools and processes to get support from extended team members in the company — In many cases, I have to chase around all over to get answers for my prospects. I have to send out tons of emails that go unanswered. I could close 10% more business simply by getting back to the customer more quickly.
6. Sales-related tools to support the context of how I work — Very few of our tools specifically support how I sell. I should not be forced to change the way I sell to use a tool.
7. A more complete view of customers so if they have an issue with our products or customer service before I meet with them, I am not blindsided — It is not fun going into a customer meeting not knowing if he or she is angry.
8. The ability to use my smartphone all the time — I always find myself having to go to my laptop to enter or get information. I know exactly what my dream mobile app would be like, and am more than willing to sketch it out. I have no idea how long it will take to build, but if we know what the killer app would be like, maybe we can get IT to build it.
9. No longer needing these spreadsheets and manual processes to generate a quote — It would be awesome to be able to generate a quote and leverage information that already exists rather than go back and forth and making errors. If I can generate a quote quicker than the competition, I know my win rates can increase by at least 15%.
10. Voice technology that interacts with sales apps on my smartphone — You know how hard it is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) app while driving for four hours a day. I would love to hear meeting-note readouts and update opportunities, or document a meeting while on my way to my next appointment.
I just know that with better tools, we can grow the business to the next level.
Thanks for your consideration,