Ready to take your team’s performance to the next level? Feel capable of achieving a lot more sales success? While every team is a bit of a chemistry experiment, you can at least try applying some technology best practices to help unlock your team’s potential. Let’s look at 10 technologies your team may want to investigate if they haven’t already.
#1. Instant messaging
Instant messaging, or chat, has been around for many years, but the technology has found a new life in the business world. In an increasingly mobile world, where employees work remotely and from home, instant messaging provides a simple but highly effective way to “see” each other’s status and to connect at any moment in a day.
Will employees waste time “chatting” instead of working? Nope. On the contrary. Persistent chat provides a time-saving alternative to emails, phone calls, and meetings. It can help you cut down on internal email.
#2. HD video conferencing
Like instant messaging, you might already use a video conferencing platform like Skype in your consumer life. What you might not know yet is that the business-class version of Skype allows for unlimited audio and video calls, which is a handy way to cut costs and even do away with landlines. You can share desktops (which is great for presentations) and with the right gear, you can even do your calls in high def!
If your team routinely goes through document versioning issues—as in, which version is the right one?!?!—then you'll fall in love with co-authoring. Co-authoring allows you and your team to work together in real-time on a Word doc, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint deck. Sweet!
#4. Social media monitoring
Social media monitoring (or listening) platforms allow sales teams to identify, follow, and understand brands, prospects, influencers, networks, competitors, and conversations in the social web. A modern social media monitoring platform can open the door to “social selling,” empowering sales teams to nurture prospects through channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Tip: If your people use social networks to drum up sales, make sure they do it through a company user account—not a personal one. You want them to build your brand not their own!
Every sales person wants and needs to work from their phone. Instead of buying, assigning, and managing phones, you can implement a secure and cost-effective bring-your-own-device policy. Enterprise identity and security measures, like multi-factor authentication, make BYOD work well. Plus, all of today’s Office apps, like Word and Excel, work across devices, including Apple and Android phones.
Nurturing technology allows sales people to warm up and convert prospects using timely and consistent communication, including personalized offers. While several SaaS point solutions have become popular (especially in the b2b market), you can get your sales nurturing functionality integrated in a modern customer relationship management (CRM) platform, like Dynamics 365 for Sales.
Gamification can help you improve sales performance and hold everyone accountable. Of course, sales competitions and contests are as old as time, but business technology has caught up fast. Today, sales managers can set up individual and team-based competitions that offer real-time leaderboards, updates, and achievements, complete with exciting prizes, awards, privileges, and of course, kudos!
Blogging can provide sales and marketing teams with a cheap and cheerful platform to attract attention, build your organization’s brand, and drum up new leads. If your sales people cannot or will not find the time to publish quality blog posts, you can always hire professional writers/content creators to help you publish great original content. Remember, what you publish says a lot about you, so keep your standards high!
It may not be glamourous, but email is an indispensable technology that salespeople use every day. Email appears on this list because a remarkable number of Canadian small businesses still struggle with unreliable email. If you’re one of those organizations, you can fix this frustrating productivity issue quickly and easily. Business-class email in the cloud works across devices and can provide you with a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
#10. Business intelligence
Beyond the bottom line, sales teams require feedback and direction to effectively improve their results. Business intelligence technology provides managers with the objectivity and transparency they need, right down to the individual account and person. BI dashboards display benchmark and on-going performance data, so they can forecast better and improve their profitability per sale.
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