Visualizing the World of Sales Technology
“Always Be Closing.”
This infamous phrase was popularized in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, and has become a mantra among fervent salespeople.
While sealing the deal is always the ultimate goal, salespeople actually spend the majority of their time on other tasks like generating and nurturing prospects, following up with customers, and finding new sales opportunities. For this reason, nearly three-quarters of sales professionals rely on technology to do those less glamorous tasks faster and more efficiently.
Today’s graphic from Raconteur shows the value of technology in today’s sales world and how artificial intelligence (AI) technology ultimately helps sales reps win more business.
Artificial Intelligence in Sales
Globally, 40% of salespeople use or are implementing AI technology into their workflows to automate or streamline sales.
AI-based sales technology helps to:
- Identify the best leads to target using past customer data
- Improve the quantity and quality of leads
- Increase omnichannel customer engagement
- Personalize customer information in real-time
- Automate sales tasks such as contact information data entry
Using AI tools could mean the difference between closing a deal or losing a prospect.
Companies that automated their contact form responses, for example, saw a 71% increase in open rates and a 152% increase in clickthrough rates.
Growth of Sales Technologies and Tools
With at least two dozen major sales tech segments projected to grow in the next few years, five technologies stand to gain the most traction.
1. Account and Opportunity Planning
Refined data from past and existing customers offer valuable insights on which future prospects to target. Using these insights and other key data (company lists), sales intelligence tools can create custom search criteria to narrow down the best leads to approach.
These tools merge seamlessly with analytics, marketing, and data management to prevent information silos within a company.
2. Sales Methodology/Workflow
Customer relationship management (CRM) is now the fastest-growing software sector in the world. The CRM market is expected to double from $40 billion in 2019 to $80 billion by 2025.
Salespeople can use tools like Salesforce to manage leads and customers effectively and even assist other internal teams with more personalized customer interactions, such as customer service.
3. Content Management
In this information-rich age, companies are expected to keep customer information secure. Content Management Software (CMS) such as Confluence or Paperflite allows sales teams to instantly organize, collaborate on, and distribute internal documents and resources with one another to maintain up-to-date files.
4. Prospect Engagement Management
Customers want products and services tailored to their specific needs and desires. Many companies using a series of personalized emails to welcome or re-engage online customers found they could close 75% more in sales.
5. Online Training and Coaching Delivery
With new technologies, more nuanced client data, and shifting public perceptions of brands, top salespeople are seeking out efficient methods to maintain their skills. This helps them to better connect with prospects and manage sales pipelines.
Technology in the Sales Workflow
Top sales professionals have weighed in — sales technology platforms and tools are invaluable to their success. An overwhelming majority of salespeople use these tools every day:
- 98% use sales intelligence solutions that provide insight and automation.
Examples: InsideView, Nimble, Clearbit
- 94% use collaboration tools to keep their finger on the pulse of sales activities.
Examples: Wrike, Basecamp, Slack
- 92% use email tracking tools to track campaigns and conversions.
Examples: Ebsta, Clearslide, Hubspot Sales
Using more refined software tools, salespeople are able to make better-informed decisions about which prospects to nurture and which ones to grow organically.
And as Glengarry Glen Ross reminds us: “Coffee’s for closers only.”
Ashley Veins is a staff contributor for Visual Capitalist.
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