Use digital transformation to align your team and win more sales
Anywhere that sales happen, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for sales reps to impress potential buyers. The main culprit behind this is digital buying channels: as Gartner points out, the rise of e-commerce and online information means that, now, a typical buyer spends only 17% of their customer journey actually talking to salespeople.
This leaves sales teams with the unenviable task of making the biggest possible positive impact with buyers as quickly as possible. While there’s no denying meeting a customer’s often-shifting expectations instantly is difficult, the good news is that it can at least be made easier with Cloud technology.
To illustrate why, consider the following.
Imagine you’re a sales rep for a chair-making business, and you have a very promising lead. This lead — we’ll say they’re a company called “Jack Corp” — needs to furnish their office with chairs that your company designs. Already, you’ve figured out how many chairs Jack Corp needs, what design they like and other basic (yet important) information.
But then, just when you think the sale is finalized, Jack Corp emails you a question: “Can you make all of our chairs red, to match our renovated office?”
It should be a simple change. But, while scrambling to address their question, you can’t get a hold of anyone with who can alter the sales order, because everyone in your department is sending you to voicemail. You’d change the document yourself, but you’re having trouble finding it amid your cluttered laptop files. And though you could reach out to the R&D team, you don’t know any of their schedules, and you’ll likely spend the rest of the day reaching busy signals.
In the end, you don’t have any way of promising Jack Corp that you’ll carry out their simple request. And, naturally, Jack Corp is disappointed. They no longer see you as fast and capable. They just see you as unprofessional and disorganized.
So, what could have saved this sale? The answer is, having the whole team on the Cloud to begin with.
In the Cloud, sales reps gain access to tools that unify and streamline the overall collaboration process. As Forrester points out, transitioning to the Cloud is less about cost savings and more about improving company agility and revenue. In the communications space, this is achieved by giving teams solutions for real-time messaging, alerts and file sharing.
Think back to our story, for example: Suppose, when Jack Corp asked you to make their chairs red, you could instantly see the availability of all your colleagues, and could leave a “call me back” message to any who are unavailable. Suppose you could send an urgent request out in a group chat, or that you had access to the sales file through a link you shared internally.
Any or all of these measures would have acted as in lifesavers in a sale like our hypothetical one. The reason why isn’t so much connectivity, but flexibility. As customer needs change, plans must change to keep up, requiring quick action on top of quick thinking — both of which communications in the Cloud, on one single PBX, facilitate.
This is also to say nothing of the ways the Cloud enables increased data access. Gartner predicts that, by 2025, a whopping 80% of all B2B sales will occur through digital channels. While this already indicates a need to improve digital sales fronts to meet customers where they are, this study extrapolates the point that “increased digital activity and information storage systems means more, and more detailed, data on customer behavior and product usage patterns.”
So, suppose while working on that sale with Jack Corp, you did more than just work closely with an aligned team. Suppose also that your team had been sharing data about customers long before you even initiated contact with Jack Corp, and you’d learned from the data to expect sudden changes in cosmetic details of your chairs.
Details like this, far from being trivial, are the steps forward that put sales teams ahead of the competition. This preparedness, when coupled with greater overall flexibility, enables reps to make that impressive impact with customers in what increasingly little time they have to wow them.
When it comes to sales, the agility and internal alignment the Cloud brings is what will undoubtedly help salespeople win their deals. Certainly, the rising competition out there means customers are raising their expectations. But by utilizing the communicative functionality of the Cloud to its fullest, reps can not only meet those standards; they can be ready to exceed them before customers even ask.
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