How to Capture the Benefits & Avoid the Pitfalls
Are you using technology to boost your sales success? Or is it distracting and masking poor performance?
In this article from Sales Dragon Consulting, Jack Wilson, Asia’s leading sales expert for business professionals, discusses the use of technology for sales success.
Successful Sales & Technology: Benefits & Pitfalls
Believe it or not, when I started in sales, I used to travel with a fax machine so that I could quickly send hand-written quotations to my clients. Thankfully those days are over and advances in technology have greatly improved efficiency and speed in many areas of business. But are we making best use of technology to boost sales?
Let’s look at three simple ways technological tools can improve your sales performance:
I always use social networks before meeting potential clients to discover shared experiences that will fast-forward strong relationships. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook bring an unprecedented power to find, research and contact prospects. Salespeople engaged in social media generally outsell their peers who are not. Not only can salespeople target prospects on-line, but they can also arm themselves with background details to quickly establish rapport.
2. Account Management
Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems provide the power to record client interactions like never before. Remembering personal and professional details of your prospects and clients is vital to maintaining momentum in relationship building. Furthermore, CRM’s keep opportunities clearly in focus so that you can chase down every deal in your pipeline.
3. Client Communication
“I hear and I forget; I see and I remember.” This Chinese proverb has proven correct when it comes to video conferencing technology. Studies show that video conferencing can yield superior sales results to using voice-only calls. Bad reception and connection difficulties can scupper these advantages, so make sure your systems work well and you have your sales strategy in place before beginning the call.
Top marks if technology is working for you in the areas of prospecting, account management and client communication. Yet, often the misuse of technology can waste time and misdirect the efforts of sales professionals. Here I discuss some of the pitfalls of technology:
1. Time Management
Repeat after me: busy-ness does NOT equal business! Studies show that salespeople only spend 35% of their time actively selling. More time is collectively spent engaging with technology, including 8% of time on personal social media, 10% updating CRM and a whopping 31% of their day on e-mail. Over engagement with technology can give salespeople the false perception that they are keeping busy, when in reality they are taking time away from actually selling.
2. Client Relationships
As the use of technology in the sales process has increased, the number of face-to-face sales meetings has decreased. However, in a survey by Forbes that spoke to 760 business executives, 85% said they prefer face-to-face communication as it builds stronger, more meaningful business relationships. Technology can make it too easy to interact electronically in lieu of human contact and relationship building. In fact, if you are not actively developing interpersonal skills, you may find that your sales potential is greatly diminished.
Studies show that the closure rate with face-to-face meetings is double that of screen-based approaches. Trust is the most important factor for closing deals and it is hard to build trust via e-mail or text messaging. Top salespeople know when to move their communication off-line in order to close more sales.
This short article serves to highlight some of the benefits and pitfalls of technology on sales. I hope that it has proven useful to you and that it might generate fruitful discussion in your workplace. Thanks for reading!
Founder & Managing Director
Sales Dragon Consulting
At Sales Dragon Consulting, we help companies who want to grow their sales.
Through consulting and mentorship, we give management and sales teams the strategies and skills they need to achieve tremendous sales growth.
We can help you to become a Sales Dragon!