Blog (EN)

The particular importance of sales for successful business results in many markets arises from an increasing glut and competition for products and services, worldwide. Hence, the quality of market and customer processing is becoming more and more important.

Digitalisierung Vertrieb

I ended my last blog post (Approaches to how Digitalization can be result-oriented in Companies) with the notion that digitalization creates exceptional opportunities, especially in sales.

As promised, I would now like to take a closer look at this by answering both of the following questions: 

  • What are the exact advantages that digitalization in sales can facilitate?
  • How can digitalization in sales be implemented in a practical way?

 

#1 Increase Advisory Skill:
Digitalization establishes access to information

Success in sales necessitates active customer management, customer control and customer communication.

To be able to appear competent and credible to the customer, sales teams need access to extensive information about markets, competition, and above all customers and their businesses.

From my experience, I can say that it is always a wonder how those working in customer care do NOT know everything about their customers and their businesses… and this is by no means meant reproachfully.

A great deal of information is simply not available even though it may be actually in the company. This may not even involve complex or linked data. Even unavoidable, simple figures about the top sellers within a defined period of time, sales areas or about individual customers are not always available, never mind the more complex areas such as analysis data regarding promotional mechanisms or a sales mix with an optimized profit margin.

Here it is not just about failing for technical reasons but very often due to a lack of sophisticated data structures which are oriented on the business goals. Although this all sounds so obvious, in practice it continues to fail.

One thing is for sure: If you know what moves your customers and makes them successful, you will also be successful.

When there is no other option, a good sales person will often compensate shortcomings in information systems by the manual evaluation and calculation of data and additional personal input.

However, when a sales team are supported by digital systems, when key data and reports are always available and professional presentations can be shown to a customer even better results are attainable in a more efficient way. Sales people up to top management levels can profit from this.

Tipp

Awaken sleeping business potential and sales options by systematically pointing these out to your customers. This requires well-structured data, a powerful system which is easy to use and makes these data available in real time on the road. Most of all it needs the willingness of your sales team to further develop their skills and processes in using these tools.

 

#2 Working with System(s):
Using Customer Relationshop Management

Whoever works with figures, data, facts and systems will make more business and turnover and through this will enjoy long-term success.

This does not exclude, by any means, emotional sales and dedicated work on a customer relationship level.  Readers of my previous blog already know that I am a fan of doing one thing without leaving the other outn (also see my recent article: Leadership & Goals: Approaches to lead your companie into the future).

Whether you do sales using systems or on an emotional personal level, the methods are not opposites. Digitalization should not replace important interpersonal relationships but should complement and support them.

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

CRM systems increase the possibility to enhance customer relationships on a totally new basis and immediately improve the quality of a sustainable collaboration.

To achieve this, the sales team have to be introduced to the system, shown its advantages and trained how to operate it efficiently.

This is when digitalization does the work in sales far more effectively, customer satisfaction increases and business grows. 

There are several exceptional applications to use to this effect, which can as well be integral components of management information systems and ERP systems as also independent CRM systems which help to optimize all work in sales. This is how to turn your sales teams into customer development teams with comprehensive advisory skills.

A top company turnover results from top advice and is in turn based on well-structured information which can be quickly accessed and of course, not forgetting a trained, well-rehearsed sales team with top sales people.

 

 

Tipp

When you do provide your sales team with a good, proper information system, don’t forget the comprehensive and regular training that goes with it. After all, your employees don’t go out on the road in company cars without a driving license. In both cases, it’s simply not safe without the correct training and a loss in sales can also be a danger for your business!

In conclusion, there is absolutely no alternative to digitalization in sales and that is for sure! Sooner or later, companies and organizations which do not use the existing possibilities will be left behind and lose to the tough competition.

However, it is not just technology that is important. Above all, people have to be encouraged to use the technology meaningfully and effectively.  This requires good interface management between people and technology, between IT-departments and sales as well as other areas of operation. To this effect, digitalization must be strategically managed in the whole company….  and given top priority… from the top!