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 its processes, mainly sales.
Therefore it’s crucial 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 realize what digitalization consists of or how they can benefit from it.
What is digital transformation?
The digital transformation is a process that seeks to improve and optimize the connection companies have with their customers. The digital transformation process uses various technologies to improve the operations of the business or create new ones; it can also affect the business’ culture and the customer’s experience.
What is digital transformation? Example
If we focus on the sales area, digital transformation is the answer to several 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.
An organization that seeks to boost sales has, at its disposal, a series of digital technologies, among which they can choose those that best adjust to their needs and budget.
This article, as a whole, will focus on how digital transformation can improve the sales process.
What are the 4 main areas of digital transformation?
According to Microsoft, digital transformation has 4 main areas:
- Empower your employees
- Engage your customers
- Optimize your operations
- Transform your products
Understanding the Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is used to transform a business into a digital company.
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.”
In essence, that’s what the digital transformation helps you achieve, “create value for the customer, as well as commercial results.”
Implementing digital technologies without dying in the process
To adopt these tools successfully, you require some preparation. There has to be, first, a 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
Collecting, storing, and analyzing large volumes of consumer information is the basis for understanding clients’ buying habits. But, on average, companies only analyze 12% of the data they collect.
That’s where Big Data comes in.
It provides a series of tools to analyze all this information, allowing organizations to generate prospects or studies to establish the viability of future scenarios. Through the use of analytical models, based on consumer behavior, it is possible to identify potential customers and to determine which messages can be more effective to capture their attention.
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 create personalized messages. The advantage of these networks is that they allow you to interact 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. This is an advantage because they tend to 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 tremendous asset in the sales process; in fact, it’s estimated that 78% of sales professionals who use them get better results than those who don’t.
Tasks like making appointments with clients, sending emails or making invoices, demand time, which reduces productivity and profitability.
Automated systems, as the name implies, automate these tasks, so you can concentrate on generating more sales.
Likewise, thanks to these systems, sales supervisors can access the latest information on 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, to optimize 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 traditional CRM software, cloud services 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, any time.
Used correctly, these systems represent a considerable advantage, as marketers quickly access information about their customers, like what they’re interested in, and what are the possibilities that they will 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.
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, as 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 represents a significant competitive advantage for sellers. They are not only capable of accessing their customers’ information in real-time, but 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 as a result of higher sales rates and better customer experience. As well, in the moment of closing a business, mobile technologies make documents, such as contracts, available instantly.
Are you ready to digitize your sales process?
In conclusion, technology is transforming the world of sales. In the future, only businesses that use these 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.
Is your business prepared for the digital transformation?
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