Sales is one of the most perplexing areas of business management, and for many reasons. One, consumer behavior constantly changes, so one must change their sales approach constantly in response. Two, it consists of multiple stages that require skills, like prospecting, product demonstration, and closing.
On the bright side, there have been major advancements in the sales tech industry for the past few years that may be able to help make things a bit smoother for sales professionals.
With that said, here’s a closer look at eight things you can expect from the sales tech industry in the years to come.
- Automation and AI will likely take over the industry
Sales and advertising have always been an essential component of a business, and this is quite evident in the fact that they make up around 15% to 35% of the total cost of an enterprise.
Considering the fact that it’s only one of the many expenses a business has to maintain, it goes to show just how much companies spend on this particular operation. That’s precisely why organizations nowadays are looking to invest in sales automation systems. These systems and technologies will allow businesses to reduce their expenses in sales operations. (1)
And with the introduction of artificial intelligence, there’s a good chance sales automation will take over the business industry in the near future. This means tools like auto-dialers and schedulers like Call Cowboy Auto Dialer or Calendly may become the trend in the next few years.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that there’s a limit to automation. If you want to incorporate it into your sales tools, you need to remember that sales automation can be too much of a good thing. You’d want to avoid automating every aspect of your sales process as your brand may become robotic, and if you know a thing or two about marketing, prospects don’t like soulless brands. (1)
- Speech recognition will be an essential component of sales stacks
Speech recognition is yet another technology that’s growing at a rapid pace in the world of sales tech, as companies realize the growing importance of processing and interpreting auditory conversations.
One practical application of speech recognition is creating transcripts from calls and extracting valuable data from the conversations. Other benefits of speech recognition include the following:
- Delivery of highly personalized and engaging experiences to consumers
- Expansion of reach among users who have the tendency to use voice apps
- Identification of areas and points that tend to make or break a conversation
- Analysis of the techniques of top representatives and replication of their strategies (2)
In that regard, there’s a good chance speech recognition will become an essential component of sales stacks in the coming years, especially when it’s tied with AI-powered analytics.
You’ll also see more companies using speech recognition platforms in combination with tools like Call Cowboy Predictive Dialer and other calling and eCommerce solutions to close deals.
- More use of these four sales techs
According to a survey several years ago, salespeople see several particular sales technologies as a must-have in their stacks. Among them, the four sales tech that had the highest popularity include:
- Customer relationship management systems
Customer relationship management, also known as CRM, is a system that aims to help business owners enrich or nurture their relationships with customers or clientele.
A CRM system is typically rich in information that pertains to consumers, as gathered through continuous communication and interaction. These include basic information like gender, age, and address, or information that may prove to be valuable for marketing such as their preferences, buying behavior, and more.
- Customer database platforms
Customer or client database platforms are systems that store data, particularly details, pertaining to a company’s clientele. It’s fairly similar to CRM systems, but surprisingly, according to surveys, many salespeople deem it as an important part of their sales stacks.
- Videoconferencing tools
Due to the restrictions in physical interactions in the past few years, videoconferencing has become an essential part of every modern business. Hence, you’re bound to see a lot more similar tools that feature this particular operation, even in the years to come.
- Document signing (eSignature) software
Perhaps due to the same reason with videoconferencing tools, salespeople believe document signing or eSignature solutions are essential to their operations. These are tools that allow you to sign and edit documents electronically on any internet-enabled device. (3)
While one may argue that it’s been more than three years since the survey was conducted, the userbase of these four particular sales techs is indeed increasing year by year. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that they’ll continue to grow in prevalence in the next few years. This is particularly true with CRM, although some business owners may struggle with its implementation.
- Businesses will struggle with CRM the most
While CRM is indeed at the top in terms of the prevalence of use, many people struggle to achieve satisfaction with their implementation. Perhaps it’s the difficulty when it comes to using all its features. Or maybe the results aren’t as good as expected. Either way, the reality is that only a few people were able to truly make the most out of CRM solutions. Here’s a look at some of the reasons:
- Lack of communication. Much like most tasks, it can be difficult to achieve a certain goal if there’s a lack of communication. That’s exactly why experts suggest establishing a communication module first before the implementation of the CRM solution.
- Lack of application. Many business owners struggle to find more use for CRM solutions despite all the efforts they went through to implement the system. This is yet another reason why the majority struggle to achieve satisfaction with their CRM systems.
- Lack of integration. Finally, even with proper communication and a plan to use CRM for various tasks, salespeople still struggle with CRM as they lack the means to integrate it seamlessly with their existing technologies. This often results in misunderstanding even after a somehow successful installation. (4)
Since you’re likely to experience these issues as well, it’s a good idea to prepare for them beforehand. You can start by establishing a communication module for your team members. Next, you need to make a clear and detailed plan on how you’d use the CRM solution for your business. And lastly, you must ensure your technologies and the CRM solution is compatible with each other. With these steps, it should be possible to get satisfactory results from the system.
As helpful as modern sales tech may be, you must remember that they’re only a part of your entire sales strategy. Rather than relying on them fully for your success, it’s best if you simply use them as a means to increase your chances of success. Besides, as you may have learned in this article, sales tech isn’t a constant, as these technologies also evolve continuously.
- “What Is Sales Automation?”, Source: https://keap.com/sales/what-is-sales-automation
- “Voice Recognition”, Source: https://www.ringcentral.co.uk/gb/en/blog/definitions/voice-recognition/
- “4 Technologies to Drive Sales Growth”, Source: https://www.marketstar.com/impact-blog/4-technologies-to-drive-sales-growth
- “Top Challenges in CRM Implementation”, Source: https://www.sagesoftware.co.in/blogs/top-challenges-in-crm-implementation/