The sales process has changed drastically in recent years. But is it getting easier? With the influx of automated sales technology, it can seem that way. Still, reps need to burn a few calories to make this new technology work for them.
According to Salesforce, 71% of salespeople believe their role will be radically different in the next five years. For the ones that adapt to the new standard for an optimized sales process AND receive the necessary training and tools, success should follow naturally.
<< Discover How Smart Automation Can Make Your Sales Strategy Agiler>>
Here are some ways the sales landscape has changed and some tips to help your reps optimize your sales strategy:
Guided Selling, for the Win
Sales managers have long sought to help their sales reps refine their pitches with the use of standardized best practices. With tools like CPQ solutions, guided selling has become a seamless part of any optimized sales process.
Sales managers can use the platform to help reps assess leads, provide materials to facilitate quotes and contracts, and use insights to help reps come up with a top sales strategy to surpass expectations.
The Relationship Factor
The best sales strategy has always been about building relationships. The importance of that aspect hasn’t changed a bit – but the strategy has. By 2020, customers will orchestrate 85% of their relationship with enterprise organizations, before interacting with a sales rep. That makes the remaining human touchpoints all the more valuable.
In addition to social media, email and phone calls still provide that personal touch that prospects and customers best respond to. With CRM like Salesforce – combined with CPQ – customers can be contacted and engaged with materials that are tailored just for them. Think of these as sales strategy hacks that make relationship building much easier, especially for those reps for whom rapport building doesn’t come so naturally.
Such tools will help make relationships stronger, leading to faster and better deals (and decreased churn).
Sales Reps Must Be Knowledgeable and Helpful
It used to be that sales reps would feel comfortable in knowing that they were a prospect’s information gatekeeper. Those days are long gone. With tech at the forefront of the sales process, prospects can now turn to Google to learn all they need to know about a particular rep’s products and services.
This fact doesn’t let sales reps off the hook. Far from it. It means that reps need to be extra knowledgeable. They need to provide prospects with advanced or specific insights that can’t be easily found on Google or through a competitor.
CPQ solutions can put prospect-tailored sales materials at the rep’s fingertips. In an instant, the rep can provide the prospect with requested information and a variety of options for how their products/services can help with a prospect’s pain points.
This will not only make the rep the go-to expert, but it will impress prospects. And that’s the way to enhance your sales strategy if you want to convert prospects into long-term customers.
Accuracy Is More Important Than Ever for an Optimized Sales Process
Sales reps have always needed to be expert record keepers. Quote a prospect an incorrect price and you could lose the deal. Promise a certain amount of inventory you can’t deliver, and you’ll drive a prospect into a competitor’s arms.
With tools like CPQ solutions, record keeping is handled automatically. Prices are calculated according to the prospects’ needs and budget and inventory are tallied in real time. This leaves the rep able to focus on the prospect and the bare bones sales process.
The Use of Insights to Improve the Team
Some sales reps keep their best sales strategies and techniques close to the vest, preventing anyone else from catching up. These days, with technology platforms like CPQ, top tactics become common knowledge.
Reps on the lower end of the totem pole get to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t, and this makes the entire team better. In other words, sales tactics have become more transparent thanks to such technologies, and that makes an optimized sales process easier to master for the entire team.
There are certain aspects of sales that will never change. Getting to know prospects, building rapports and recommending solutions that will solve the prospect’s problems will always endure.
With a CPQ solution, sales reps no longer have to be straight-A students with photographic memories. With an optimized sales strategy and complementary tools, sales reps can get right to the point, close the deal and move onto the next prospect, ad infinitum. This leads to faster sales cycles, more substantial deals and more return on investment for the entire organization.