The Future Of Salestech: Here's What You Can Expect
Sales automation and sales enablement are the two pillars on which sales tech continues to expand
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In the last decade, the term salesperson has evolved along with the way they sell. Sales that started with casual conversations between buyers and sellers has become a lot more data-driven and strategic in approach. By embracing technology, the process is more productive with the effective use of customer intelligence and the right tools.
Businesses all around the world made a drastic switch to remote working. In a way, the pandemic fueled the digital transformation of companies as they began to adopt salestech. Virtual selling became the norm, and over 91 per cent of companies, with ten or more employees, use a CRM.
Sales automation and sales enablement are the two pillars on which sales tech continues to expand. While sales automation eliminates redundant tasks from a salesperson's day and improves sales workflows, sales enablement aims at driving outcomes faster.
The essence of sales—building long-term relationships, delivering personalized experiences, and a value-based approach—remain the same. It's just the process and medium that have been digitalized. We've come a long way with fewer in-person meetings and business trips, and a lot more of analyzing data and improving the CX technology. Here's what you can expect in the future of sales.
Remote and hybrid sales workforce
More than 75 per cent of buyers prefer virtual interactions. And where the buyer goes, the sellers must follow. Self-serve options and customers' access to vital information have made remote selling faster and more convenient. B2B businesses—such as logistics, pharma, and manufacturing too—have quickly adopted the remote way, which is here to stay.
Sales managers had a hard time monitoring their teams and keeping productivity high. But, with the use of sales tools such as CRMs and ERPs, managers can keep a tab on essential performance metrics. Management of sales workflows and leads have also moved to cloud platforms and mobile applications. This has encouraged transparency within the teams and enabled a better remote workforce model. The innovation in sales management is guided by sales technology, and the manager's role is evolving into a sales coach instead.
An effective sales enablement strategy is the need of the hour, and salespeople need to be coached on the product, industry trends, company's culture and strategies to provide the right customer support.
Personalizing the buyer's experience
Sales and marketing alignment is key for any successful business. Buyers always expect a tailored experience right from the first interaction. To create this experience, custom sales assets and data of their previous interactions and preferences are essential.
Sellers also need to diversify the sales channels while keeping the brand experience consistent, which is tricky. It is predicted that by 2025, 80 per cent of B2B sales interactions will be digitized. So, salespeople need to align their activities to the buyer's preferred engagement channels.
The personalization journey has multiple stages: tracking the preference, running suitable campaigns, following up by sharing sales assets and insightful reports to alter the process. Various sales tools can automate and improve the experience. Utilizing them can also improve the sales workflow and result in higher sales revenue.
Joining forces with AI
AI/ML is the next leap in salestech. It levels up sales automation by humanizing conversations that could translate to increased lead volumes and close rates.
AI can make use of available (and underutilized) data to improve the performance of existing software. It can also simplify sales decisions through predictive forecasting.
At present, most of the reporting tools follow discrete algorithms, because of which certain unforeseen conditions are not covered and require humans to step in. Soon, with machine learning, sales tools will make decisions and predictions on their own: further reducing the need for human intervention.
One might think that an AI can't add the empathy and humane touch that sales needs, but sophisticated algorithms can even detect changes in visual or auditory data. For example, in the future, a system might listen to a call recording and add the lead to a nurturing campaign based on the tone of the response.
Evolving sales operations
For growing businesses, strategic planning using data drives growth. The operations team's role is to direct the sales teams towards repeatable wins. Their focus also needs to shift towards evaluating patterns from won-businesses and selecting new industries and accounts to target. This data primarily comes from sales tools like CRMs.
Sales ops teams must analyze the historical data, draw industry trends, and come up with a strategy to increase customer retention.
To stay a step ahead of the change, it is important to keep a tab on these predicted trends. Leverage sales tech to prepare your teams for the future.