Are your reps equipped for success? According to our 2015 State of Sales Report, companies with high-performing sales teams are nearly eight times more likely to be heavy tech adopters than their under-performing competitors.

The report, which draws on the insights of over 2,300 global sales leaders, clearly shows technology - we’re talking key sales tools such as CRM, sales analytics etc. - to be a growing differentiator between sales teams that are winning and those that are losing out.

The latest sales software gives adopters a crucial edge in a host of key areas – from improving efficiencies, to strengthening customer relationships, and enhancing customer insights.

Tech-charging sales processes

Members of high-performing sales teams are three times more likely to have processes accelerated by technology than those in less future-savvy organisations.

Westfield, one of the world’s leading shopping centre companies, provides an excellent example of just what seizing the tech initiative can help achieve. The company’s leasing group – which sells everything from carts and kiosks to temporary stores and events – has built a custom app on the Salesforce1 Platform to empower its highly mobile reps.

Giving its sales team the power to showcase inventory simply and quickly, and rapidly generate costs and proposals, has dramatically accelerated sales processes, and freed reps to spend less time gathering information and more time selling. As Jeri Erling, Senior Director of Specialty Leasing, explains:

“In the past our reps would pull information from multiple systems and give customers mall maps with handwritten notes of proposed kiosk locations. Now they can show computer-generated maps with real photographs, and automatically generate contracts. It’s reduced our sales cycle from months to days.”

Sales tools that strengthen customer relationships

Westfield’s custom app is also available to prospective customers, letting them review proposals and maps at their leisure – simultaneously strengthening relations, and reducing the need for reps to field follow up questions.

The app takes advantage of Salesforce Chatter too, providing in-house users with the quick, social collaboration tools they need to draw on specialist and local knowledge, and the need to answer sophisticated customer questions, wherever they are.

Westfield is far from alone in using technology to strengthen interactions. High-performing sales teams are statistically significantly more likely to use tech to enhance the sales process when managing customer relationships.

Deepening customer insights

New technology is also helping winning sales teams to gain deep insight into their customers’ wants and needs.

Well over a third the of UK high-performers (39 percent) are able to predict buyer needs based on data, experience, and analysis 80 percent of the time, versus less than a fifth (17 percent) of underperformers.

On a global scale the division is even more pronounced, with 43 percent of top performers using technology to gain customer insights, compared to only 11 percent of under-performing sales organisations.

Fresh opportunities

It’s not in tech’s nature to stand still. While nine out of ten high-performing UK sales teams have embraced modern account and contact management, there are plenty of areas in which even the most tech-savvy companies still stand to gain a sizable advantage – if they can tool up before the competition.

For example, less than half of the top selling UK teams surveyed currently have access to competitive intelligence, predictive intelligence and offer any opportunity management functionality – or sales coaching and collaborations tools. Plenty of food for thought, for even the most tech-savvy of us. 

For the full picture of how techy sales tools are enabling today’s winning teams, check out the 2015 State of Sales Report.