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.
Trend 1 – Technology
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?
Real time personalisation at scale
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.
Real time collateral, data and intelligence
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.
Trend 2 – Tech Integration
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.
Trend 3 – Cross Team Alignment
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.
What were your highlights of SIE?
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.
Create a seamless sales process with Flume
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.