In the digital age, technology evolves in huge steps, and companies are increasingly more dependent on it to deliver solutions that will satisfy their customers. In any organization this reality is transversal to its structure, affecting all their processes, mainly sales.
Therefore it’s important that companies, especially small businesses, understand that ignoring the digital transformation would mean that they will fall behind in the competition for customers. However, many entrepreneurs don’t understand what digitalization consist of or how they can benefit from it.
Understanding the Digital Transformation
The digital transformation is a process that seeks to connect companies with their customers, with the use of various technologies. This process includes all the functions of the organization and its purpose is to optimize the operations of the business.
Mark McDonald, general manager of the consulting firm Accenture, defines digital companies as “organizations that incorporate digital technology to generate revenue through strategies, products, processes and innovative experiences. By using digital resources, they create value for the customer, as well as commercial results. ”
If we focus on the sales area, digital transformation is the answer to a number of changes in consumer habits. Social media, mobile devices and the constant access to digital information have altered the role of consumers in the buying process, because by being informed, they are less dependent on traditional sellers to make decisions. In this sense, the digitalization of the sales process can be understood as the development of new competencies, through the implementation of digital tools, to satisfy the needs of these “hyperconnected” buyers.
Implementing digital technologies without dying in the process
An organization that seeks to boost sales, has at its disposal a series of digital technologies, among which you can choose those that best adjust to your needs and budget. But to adopt these tools with success you require of some preparation. There has to be, first, a sales strategy that guides the organization as a whole and ensures that digital resources are aligned with other processes that help stimulate sales.
Another aspect that should not be underestimated is training. If the sales team does not understand how to manage this digital transformation with their specific functions or doesn’t know how to use the tools, they should receive the appropriate training. Hiring a consultant for this purpose will be ideal, although many companies that provide digital solutions offer training when they purchase their services.
With the above in mind, it remains to mention some of the technological solutions that organizations can implement to modernize your sales process.
Tools for the digital transformation
Big Data. Collecting, storing and analyzing large volumes of consumer information is the basis to deciphering their buying habits. Nonetheless, the average companies only analyze 12 percent of the data they collect. Big data provides a series of tools to analyze this information, allowing the organizations to generate prospects or studies to establish the viability of future scenarios. This way, through the use of analytical models, based on consumer behavior, it is possible not only to identify potential customers, but also to determine which messages can be more effective to capture their attention.
- Social media. Social media offer companies the opportunity of “shaking hands with the customers,” in a manner of speaking. By interacting with them and knowing their opinions about different products or services, it’s possible to define their profiles on these platforms and create personalized messages for each one. The advantage of these networks is that they allow you to shake hands with thousands of consumers at the same time and all over the world.
Nowadays, customers are more connected than ever, thanks to social media like Facebook or Twitter, and in a large percentage, they base their buying decisions in recommendations of acquaintances, commentary or reviews in these networks. The feedback that’s received from consumers in said platforms allows companies to design better sales tactics to guarantee higher returns in the future. Social media is a large asset in the sales process, in fact, it’s estimated that 78 percent of sales professionals who use them get better results than those who don’t.
- Automated systems. Tasks like making appointments with clients, sending emails or making invoices, demand time and reduce productivity and profitability. Automated systems, as the name implies, automate these tasks, so the sellers concentrate on generating more sales. Likewise, thanks to these systems, sales supervisors can access the latest information of their employees, like success rates, customer complaints, and other data used to determine sales indicators. This information is generated in real time and allows area managers to make decisions or make quick adjustments, optimizing procedures.
- CRM technology based on the cloud. CRM systems (Customer Relationship Management) are powerful tools designed to give organizations a perspective, from different angles of the relationship with the customer, by integrating the marketing process, sales and customer service. Unlike the traditional CRM software, services hosted in the cloud free employees from the computer and the servers. When the generated data by these systems are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
Used correctly, these systems represent a huge advantage, as marketers quickly access information about their customers, like what they’re interested in, and what are the possibilities that they will make a purchase at any given time. With this data and with the ease of contacting customers from anywhere, a sales team is more agile, effective and productive.
- Mobile technology. The proliferation of mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, has radically changed the sales process. For consumers, the possibility of investigating, evaluating and purchasing products and services online from these devices has transformed the shopping experience. The marketing and sales departments should keep this in mind, since a large percentage of customers who use their phones to make these types of consults, ends up making a purchase. The use of these technologies represent a big competitive advantage for sellers. They are not only capable of accessing their customers’ information in real time, they can also update it without having to turn to a computer. They can also consult product specifications or availability of inventory, and access other tools to increase their effectiveness in the process, giving in a result of higher sales rates and a better customer experience. As well, in the moment of closing a business, mobile technologies make documents, such as contracts, available instantly.In conclusion, technology is transforming the world of sales. In the future, only businesses that use tools and digital technologies, like big data, social media, mobile devices and the cloud to optimize the sales process, will remain profitable and competitive. Those who choose to maintain sales techniques of the past, will cease to exist.,/p>Is your business prepared for the digital transformation? Leave us your comments!