You cannot reach your objectives with well-structured and standardised processes alone. Almost all sales and management employees would like to spend less time on minor administrative chores, freeing up more space for customers. The right sales tool gives you additional room to manoeuver.
Why can so many sales departments only follow up on a fraction of their leads and look after a mere handful of customers? It’s obvious: The individual sales employees simply do not have access to all contacts. How could they? Many businesses still manage their customer data using Excel files or Outlook. These home-made data repositories are frequently very difficult to analyse. In one large German company we observed just how much energy and resources were wasted simply to create a mailing list for Christmas cards. The right sales tool will save you valuable time.
What does a sales tool need to achieve?
A good sales tool must help a company to successfully implement its sales strategy and manage its operative sales processes. It helps sales staff by providing timely reminders to follow up on customers and leads, automating standard operative processes. Faster management of routine administrative tasks will free up more time for customer acquisition and to strengthen current business relationships.
It is important that data can be recorded and retrieved as easily, intuitively and conveniently as possible. This applies in-house and to remote settings from any location. Employees need to see for themselves how valuable the sales tool can be in their daily work. This way they will be motivated to use it regularly, providing constructive feedback to ensure its ongoing improvement. Sales tools that are merely handed down from ‘on high’ will quickly become irritating obligations.
Your sales manager will also feel the benefits: The right sales tool will allow the manager to introduce precisely the right strategic alignment and structure based on improved datasets, using convenient functions to measure the effects of this strategy on operative sales activities.
Quick Check: How well are your sales processes organised?
Sales managers and others responsible for the business should be able to answer a raft of questions about your sales processes, including:
- Do our processes increase effectiveness and are they making a measurable contribution to success in sales?
- To what extent have time-consuming processes been standardised and automated?
- What are we doing to remind our staff regularly of leads and contacts?
- Do all our employees have access to all information needed in each phase of the sales process?
- Are our best practices available to all staff members, or are we creating knowledge silos?