We’ve just come back from a highly successful couple of days at this year’s Sales Innovation Expo. As you would expect, a majority of exhibitors there are tech companies, all aiming to equip your sales department with tools to make sales easier and more successful. And this is what really stuck in my mind after the event. As far as trends in sales go, I would say that tech was my major takeaway – specifically the continued evolution of technology to power sales efforts at scale.
Every organisation will have its own sales team structure and job titles, from very specific roles to sales all rounders. What everyone wants is tech that is as easy as possible for all their salespeople to use and, just as importantly, bring into their workflow. So what were my highlights from this year’s expo?
Whatever your sales role, the more you can personalise every approach you make, the more goodwill you create and the more effective those approaches are likely to be. However, if you are making a gazillion calls a day, you can’t possibly remember everyone you spoke to or what was said. This is where innovative tech steps in, by instantly bringing up info from previous calls. Your prospect knows you remember them and feels more than just a number on your list. “Oh, you said you were supporting Wales in the World Cup. How’s that going?” A personalised approach makes them feel special – it enhances the buyer’s experience and sets your pitch apart.
If you are working in sales for a large company, no doubt you have a whole library full of useful collateral. Even small companies can have a mind-boggling amount of data designed to help the sales process. The problem is accessing it at the right time. Whether it’s a whitepaper, product sheets or case studies, technology can now put these at your fingertips during that call. If you need to demonstrate how your product compares to your closest competitors, or give a case study showing a similar client and why they swapped to you, today’s tech can surface that information in real time. No lengthy follow up, hoping they’ve had chance to look at what you’ve sent. Real time collateral helps drive the momentum of your conversation, making it easier for the buyer to make decisions and speeding up your sales process.
In the world of sales, you know when you have a great prospect. You know what you are selling is on point and perfect for this client. All you need is the chance to speak to them. Unfortunately, research suggests that many things will conspire to prevent that conversation: timing, resistance, client scepticism, sales call fatigue… On average, it takes 8 calls before a new prospect will respond. However, most salespeople give up after just 2. What we train sales professionals to do – thanks to technical innovations that make it possible – is to use automated sequencing.
Automation means you can build a seamless schedule of activities designed to hook the client and get them to engage with you. Using a mix of messages across different platforms, you’re not just relying on endless phone calls. It could include a phone call, email follow ups, video messaging, etc. The sequence, messages and media you use are based on the prospect and their persona. As we know, the best salespeople will already use this type of sequencing but automation makes it so much more streamlined and accessible across the sales team.
This may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how often it isn’t. All this sparkly new tech is awesome – but only if it all works together. Another highlight for me at the expo was the innovation that has gone into ensuring the entire sales tech stack is integrated. Instead of several bits of standalone software that don’t speak to each other, sales tech is becoming more joined up so your CRM, Sales Enablement and Internal social network are all on the same page. Simple but so successful.
On a similar note, there was a strong move towards integrating people as well as technology. All too often, the various departments within an organisation seem to work in silos. However, good leadership means ensuring that all teams are aligned in both thinking and purpose. If the sales team don’t know what the marketing department are up to, how can they sell successfully? At Flume, our sales training focuses on buyer-centric selling, seeing everything from the customer’s point of view. Bringing in this type of buyer-centric approach across a whole organisation automatically generates alignment, better cooperation and a real buzz of anticipation when everyone is equally invested in the end result.
Were you there at SIE? How do my highlights gel with yours? Do let us know your thoughts on the event and the major points you came away with, or any questions you might have. And if you want to know more about Flume’s game-changing sales training, just give us a call.
At Flume, we deliver a powerful mix of live action coaching and on-demand content to give sales teams the tools, practice and motivation to sell at the highest level in 2023.
Selling in a tough climate – the challenges
31st January 2023
Sales 2023 : Three big questions
30th January 2023
Flume’s trends and predictions for the events industry
30th January 2023
5 Steps to Power your 2023 Pipeline
14th December 2022
5 Key recession-busting sales behaviours
13th December 2022
Sales Innovation Expo 2022 Trends
30th November 2022
How to align your customer success team with your sales process
2nd November 2022
Sales velocity: How to increase average order value in sales
17th October 2022
Sales velocity: Increasing the number of sales opportunities
17th October 2022
28 Sales Acronyms used daily
8th September 2022
Sales velocity: Speeding up the decision-making process
24th August 2022
Sales velocity: How to improve conversion rates
13th July 2022
Sales kick-off meetings: How to use the momentum to power long-term change
17th May 2022
Drive retention and performance through a sales academy
9th March 2022
Call AI: The sales coaching technology you need in 2022
22nd February 2022
Drive real results from sales training in 2022: Why the traditional model doesn’t work
2nd February 2022
Sales Engagement Summit – Hosted by Raoul
16th December 2021
How business development reps can give buyers the confidence to say yes
3rd December 2021
The biggest mistake sales development reps make (and three things you should do instead)
9th November 2021
Five myths you need to know about customer success teams
11th October 2021
The four levers you can pull to increase sales velocity and how to make an impact
1st September 2021
Outcome Based Selling
3rd August 2021
Why most sales training doesn’t work and what to do about it
1st July 2021
3 reasons why writing a proper proposal is worth your time
18th March 2021
How to win a sales pitch…
26th February 2021
Sales Professionals: Why you shouldn’t assume you’ve got remote selling nailed
15th January 2021
Is your sales team ready for 2021?
4th January 2021
Selling Virtual Events
26th November 2020
Why salespeople must be ‘long-term greedy’: A five-step approach to winning more sales
13th November 2020
Closing skills: Why the pandemic has made it even harder to close that deal and what to do about it.
1st November 2020
Post Covid: How to fill your B2B pipeline with customers who do want to speak to you?
5th October 2020
3 steps for monetising virtual events
15th July 2020
18th May 2020
5 tips for closing in the crisis
4th May 2020
Using audience insights to engage with customers
20th April 2020
Biggest challenge of leading a remote sales team
15th April 2020
“Clients don’t want to engage with me”
6th April 2020
The world has changed – what should I sell?
31st March 2020
Leading remote sales teams
30th March 2020
Selling in a crisis
25th March 2020
Proposal writing research: Why your proposal doesn’t work
17th March 2020
How to accelerate your sponsorship revenue
17th February 2020
How selling to the individual increases your chance of them buying by 2x
7th February 2020
New Year, new rules. How to deliver sales training that actually works!
2nd January 2020
Half of B2B sales people will miss their 2020 targets. It’s time to shift perspective.
18th November 2019
Questions that drive more sales
15th November 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making… PART TWO
21st October 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making – PART ONE
14th October 2019
The biggest mistake salespeople make… and how to avoid it
26th July 2019
You have the right to demand more ROI from your sales training (and here’s how you get it)
16th May 2019
How to grow customer accounts this year
22nd March 2019
5 big sales mistakes from this year
23rd December 2018
How to turn the marketing trust crisis into sales opportunity
5th October 2018
Why is it so hard to find great business development talent?
21st September 2018
It might be hot outside but you still need a SCARF.
12th July 2018
The Peter Principle: Great Salesperson, Crap Manager
25th June 2018
The ‘great deal graveyard’ and how to avoid it
8th June 2018
The secret to selling in today’s market: Old-school to New-school
22nd March 2018
Why people DON’T buy from people they like
28th February 2018
What salespeople can learn from Nike
5th February 2018
Why “yes” doesn’t mean YES
26th January 2018
Take charge of your sales career in 2022
15th January 2018
How sales and marketing must work together to deliver results: tips from the front line of B2B selling
20th July 2016
6 facts and stats B2B sales people cannot ignore
26th May 2016
The amazing power of stories and 5 ways to make them sell
15th October 2015
The trouble with Blitz Days and how to increase their effectiveness
7th October 2015