Becoming a Tech-Savvy Sales Manager: How to Leverage Sales Technology
29 May 23
Technology should be used to help sales, not hinder it. Learn about the basics of sales technology and how managers can use it to improve performance.
In today's digital age, sales teams have many cool tech tools they can use. But if they don't use them properly, it can mess up their sales game. Let's go over why sales managers need to become tech-savvy, two common mistakes to avoid, and five sales technology examples to increase performance.
Why Sales Managers Need to Become Tech-Savvy
Even though relationships still play a big role in sales, technology has changed the game. It's made it super easy to connect with prospects, keep track of customers, and seal those deals. So, here are three reasons why sales managers should seriously think about using technology to boost their team's performance:
#1 Enhanced Data Analysis
Technology gives you all these insights into the sales process, so you can make smart decisions based on data and improve your performance.
#2 Better Collaboration
With technology, you can communicate and work smoothly with your sales team. It builds trust and lets you learn from each other.
#3 Increased Adaptability
Technology helps your sales team stay ahead of the competition by adapting to changes in the market and meeting the evolving needs of customers. It's all about staying on top!
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Technology is great, but you need to be careful about the downsides. When it comes to sales, there are two common mistakes you need to watch out for.
Relying too much on tech
It's easy to get caught up in analyzing data and focusing solely on the results, and forgetting about the activities that actually drive those results. But hey, let's not forget that relationships are still the foundation of sales.
Personal interactions with customers and the sales team are crucial. Analytics alone won't tell you everything about the quality of the work your sales reps are doing. You need to observe and coach them too.
So, to avoid this mistake, let's make an effort to step away from the screen. Engage with prospects and customers face-to-face. Have regular check-ins and meetings to strengthen those connections and build trust. Technology should enhance relationships, not replace them.
Now, onto the second mistake: sales tech overwhelm
Sales Tech Overwhelm
It's easy to feel intimidated by all the fancy sales technology out there and end up not using it properly.
But as a manager, you don't have to jump on every new tech bandwagon. Instead, focus on adopting the technologies that truly improve sales and gives you and your team the best performance and productivity gains.
To avoid this mistake, identify your team's specific needs and pain points. Then, do some research and invest in technologies that address those areas. Train your team on how to use the tech effectively and provide ongoing support.
Remember, it's better to master a few key technologies than to get overwhelmed by a bunch that you don't fully use.
How Sales Managers Can Use Technology: 3 Examples
Sales technology can be a game-changer for sales teams, but it can be confusing to know where to start. Let's look at three examples of how sales managers can use technology to improve their sales team's performance.
AI-assisted sales coaching can be a big leverage for sales teams seeking long-lasting success. It's all about using the power of artificial intelligence to give sales professionals personalized coaching and feedback right when needed. This helps them sharpen their skills and achieve amazing results.
One great example of AI technology for coaching is ChatGPT. ChatGPT can be like a virtual sales coach, giving sales reps valuable guidance and support during their interactions with prospects and customers. It's got this amazing natural language processing thing going on, so it can analyze sales conversations, give suggestions for improvement, and even simulate customer interactions to help sales reps level up.
Now, let's talk about the perks of integrating coaching and AI.
First, we got instant feedback.
AI-powered chatbots can give real-time feedback during sales interactions, so sales reps can quickly make adjustments and get better on the spot.
AI algorithms can analyze each sales rep's strengths, weaknesses, and past performance data. This means they can get coaching tailored just for them, with specific development plans to improve in areas where they need it most.
Chatbots like ChatGPT are always watching sales conversations, spotting patterns, and highlighting successful strategies. Sales reps can learn from these insights and adapt their approach for better results.
And let's not forget about scalability and accessibility.
Chatbots can handle multiple interactions simultaneously, so they can support many sales reps. Plus, chatbots are available 24/7, providing on-demand coaching and support whenever sales professionals need it.
So, yes, AI-assisted sales coaching and chatbots like ChatGPT bring many benefits. It's like having a personal coach right in your pocket!
Sales teams can boost their overall performance by using the power of predictive analytics.
It's all about using fancy algorithms and machine-learning techniques to analyze tons of historical and real-time data.
When you incorporate predictive analytics into your sales strategies, you stay one step ahead. You can make smart decisions based on data and drive sustainable business growth in some pretty cool ways. Here are three use cases:
First off, we got sales forecasting.
Accurate Sales Forecasting
By digging into historical data, sales trends, and all that good stuff, predictive models can give you insights into future sales volumes, revenue projections, and customer buying patterns.
Customer Segmentation and Personalization
When you analyze customer data, their behavior, and what they prefer, you can figure out different customer segments and tailor your sales and marketing strategies to fit 'em like a glove. It's all about making that personal connection.
Sales Process Optimization
By diving into past sales data, looking at which activities worked, and how customers interacted, you can spot patterns and make smart choices to optimize your sales processes. It's all about working smarter, not harder.
Predictive analytics is your secret weapon to take your sales team to the next level. Don't miss out on the power it brings!
#3 Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can dramatically advance sales and customer experiences, especially the ones that involve physical products.
These technologies offer sales teams invaluable resources to connect with prospects, advertise products, and create long-lasting interactions. Incorporating AR and VR into sales strategies can magnify businesses' engagement with clients, distinguish them from competitors, and exponentially increase sales.
Here are a few sales applications that you can enhance with AR & VR:
Product Visualization and Demonstration
With AR, customers can take out their smartphones or tablets and see products in their environment. They can check out how things fit, how they work, and if they look good. It's like having a test drive, but for anything you wanna buy!
Training and Skill Development
Sales reps can dive into simulated environments with AR and VR, where they can practice their sales techniques, handle objections like pros, and perfect their presentation skills. They can do it repeatedly, getting feedback and evaluations, so they're all ready and confident for the real deal with customers.
It's important to note that these technologies have not yet crossed the chasm of the adoption cycle, meaning they are not yet widely adopted by most training offerings (and are currently seen more like a gimmick).
Enhanced Collaboration and Remote Sales
With AR-enabled devices or VR platforms, sales reps can team up on presentations, brainstorm killer strategies, and even give real-time help to colleagues in different locations. It's like they're all in the same room, even when miles apart.
Customized and Personalized Experiences
Sales professionals can use AR and VR to address customers’ unique needs, preferences, and pain points. They can create virtual environments, product demos, and interactions that hit the bullseye every time. It's all about making that personal connection!
Sales gamification is all about injecting some fun and excitement into the sales game while boosting motivation, engagement, and performance.
By adding game-like elements to sales activities, it taps into the competitive side of sales professionals and gets them all fired up. Here are some sample applications:
Goal Setting and Progress Tracking
Sales reps can keep an eye on their performance and compare it with their peers using things like leaderboards, badges, and progress bars. It's a great way to stay motivated and see how they're doing.
Collaboration and Recognition
Sales gamification encourages teamwork through challenges that involve the whole team, collaborative leaderboards, and friendly competitions. It's about supporting each other and working together towards shared goals. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Performance analytics and Insights
Gamification platforms provide some seriously valuable data. Sales leaders and managers can use these insights to identify trends, assess individual and team performance, and make smart, data-driven decisions. It's all about using those numbers to our advantage.
#5 Intelligent Sales Assistants
Fun ad from DRIFT showcasing the use case of their AI-assisted sales chatbot.
Sales can reap the benefits of having intelligent sales assistants by their side. These AI-powered virtual helpers offer on-the-spot support, automate those repetitive tasks that drive us crazy, and give us some seriously valuable insights to increase sales productivity.
When we incorporate these intelligent sales assistants into our strategies, it's like giving our sales teams a superpower. They can work smarter, faster, and more effectively across some major tasks, like:
Automated Lead Qualification
These assistants use natural language processing and fancy machine learning algorithms to dig through loads of data. They find those promising leads and help us prioritize who to follow up with. No more wasting time on dead ends!
Sales Process Optimization
Intelligent sales assistants can crunch all those important metrics—conversion rates, how long it takes to close a sale, and your win/loss ratios. These assistants can pinpoint areas where you can improve and even suggest strategies to boost your team’s performance. It's like having a genius strategist on your team.
Sales Performance Analytics
These intelligent assistants can generate quick reports and analytics. They give you those valuable insights into how the team is doing. And with real-time dashboards, visualizations, and performance metrics from various sources, you can see the big picture.
Embracing technology can greatly enhance the performance of your sales team. However, it is important to avoid relying too heavily on technology and instead focus on selecting the right technologies that address your team's specific needs.
Several technologies can significantly boost your sales team's performance, including AI-assisted sales coaching, predictive analytics, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and intelligent sales assistants. By incorporating these technologies into your sales strategy, you can achieve higher levels of performance and productivity.
Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that despite the advanced technology, improving sales results ultimately relies on possessing essential sales management and selling skills. Just like playing the piano, technology alone is not enough; you need skilled sales (or sales management) professionals to achieve success.