Are You Ready For Selling Automation?
The typical buyer’s journey has changed dramatically in the last few years. Buyers are more informed, they prefer self-service, involve sales later, use multiple channels (email, instant messaging, social, begrudgingly phone calls) and use multiple devices (desktop, tablet, phone). These changes make the sales professional’s job more challenging than ever. Techniques that worked in the past are not working anymore. How does the modern seller succeed?
Enter selling automation — a new approach to customer-centric selling. Feedback and data analysis are critical new components in making sellers more effective. Sales professionals need to change how they engage buyers and provide an experience that is multi-device, multi-channel while receiving information on what the buyer values. Sales can no longer afford to just pitch emails and phone calls at their prospects and customers, hoping to generate business. Sellers deserve a platform that provides feedback and more information about their customers. It needs to provide analysis and also allow quick changes to improve the results. Selling automation provides sales professionals these solutions and more.
Some of these techniques are proven for the marketing department. Marketing automation provides efficiency and data analysis but in a different way with a different scale. Most marketing campaigns can now be measured for effectiveness across the tens of thousands of people targeted by marketing. Selling automation is focused on delivering a similar set of capabilities, but aimed specifically at the sales professional. It’s built specifically for their workflows and unique customer communication requirements. Selling automation operates on a tactical, more personalized scale and is more effective through collaboration capabilities and analysis depth, when it matters most — at the win/loss stage.
So, what are the major components of a selling automation platform?
- Content and contacts: Sellers need to provide their buyers carefully selected content that’s easily consumed on any device. Sellers also need a view into what content their contacts have viewed. What’s working and what’s not working? A selling automation platform delivers these features in a way that is simple for both the buyer and the seller.
- Collaboration and feedback: Once the buyer is engaged, getting the deal closed is determined by how efficient all parties can collaborate. Getting all decision-makers on the same page and knowing what page that is can be very challenging. Waiting for all parties to be synchronized by email can add significant time to the sale. A selling automation solution provides a built-in way to instantly collaborate across multiple participants.
- Automation: Many necessary selling steps involve repetition. Emailing a number of new prospects, following up with existing prospects and making sure everyone has the latest content can be incredibly time consuming. A selling automation solution allows sellers to do many of these tasks in a more automated fashion.
- Insight and analytics: Sellers need to know which buyers are interested, but they also need to understand the effectiveness of their sales approach. Insights and analytics are a radical addition to the seller’s toolbox because it allows a level of visibility that has never been available. Understanding the effectiveness of sales engagements is the first step to increasing effectiveness. A selling automation solution will provide clear and actionable insights about the sales professional’s prospects.
- Multi-channel communication: Buyers have more communication channels than ever, including email, phone, instant messaging, social (LinkedIn, Twitter) and mobile apps. They migrate to the most effective and efficient channel for the task, and as a result the seller needs to adapt. A selling automation platform makes it seamless to post content across any of these channels while providing usage analytics.
These five components provide a new way for buyers and sellers to interact. Gone are the days of relying on email and the telephone alone to get the deal closed. The customer-centric seller has to prospect across social channels, deliver content that works across devices and respond like never before in order to win. It’s time for an approach that gives sellers the same advantages as their buyers and levels the playing field.
Find more great ideas about succeeding in today’s sales environment by checking out the Tellwise Tipsheet.