The foray of digitization and extent of technology penetration is gradually redefining the entire set of business basics globally. The streamlining of all the processes, specifically in the sales domain, can undoubtedly be attributed to the advent of technology and digitization. Be it analytics based on sophisticated artificial intelligence or even targeted campaigns leveraging social media, this wave of advancement has enabled companies to enhance their sales impact and ROI footprint. Constantly evolving technology provides the avenue for efficient business management – whether it is to improve the performance or to increase the reach. However, this has also been a precursor to the social technology explosion which in turn has revamped the sales industry and is here for a long haul, to transform the industrial anatomy. With innumerable social media outlets at disposal, attracting and engaging new customers has also got new plausible dimensions.
Be it a new methodology or even a belief, everything boils down to the implementation and the resultant received from the same. If we were to compare the sales industry scenario about one or two decades back to the present day situation, the visible differentiator and catalyst to be called out for the fast pace of the industry domain will be the wave of digitization and technology. Taking a peek into couple of instances which showcase the stark difference which technology has made to the sales processes:
Prospective Customer Database
In the business of sales and marketing, it is crucial to know the target audience. For any company in any age, the strategic focus remains on seeking potential consumers, attracting them, engaging them and most importantly converting them into loyal customers. To maintain such a database, earlier, conventional methods such as recruiting “doors men”, photographic establishments, advertising outside shops or the newspaper etc. were deployed. These offline methods, often not as productive, have now been replaced with the new and more productive advanced database extracting techniques such as Whitespace database etc. Additionally, the digital platforms also provide prospects for corporations to virtually “shake hands” with their target consumers, engage them in dialogues about valuable merchandise insights and all this eventually lead to an enhanced sales impact. Unlike conventional sales methodology, social media makes it conceivable to reach out to multiple entities from across the globe – all at once.
Profiling / Demarking Influencers
Earlier done as per manual discretion, anybody with strong contacts in the government or the upper crust of the society was successful in targeting their prospects. In today’s world, with exponential penetration of social media, the customers as well as the sellers, are more aligned with each other’s requirements and offerings respectively. Indicators show that majority of the people are turning to peer endorsements and evaluations on social media as part of their product research. Another noteworthy fact is that most consumers have almost zeroed in on the service provider/ seller even before they have contacted one. Hence, it becomes critical to follow and discern the online presence, frequented platforms etc. and accordingly make a targeted approach by being visible on those platforms. This digitization enabled trail enables the organizations to target their potential customers and prospective buyers at the right time and at the right place without losing time as happens in the traditional approach.
‘One-Size-Fits-All’ versus Custom-Made Approach
As the reaction capture to the devised campaign/ sales route used to be tough to ascertain in a case of traditional methods, therefore, the follow-up approach used to be universal for all, without taking into account the different degree of requirements. Contrary to this, with a focused observation of the online practices of the prospective customers, sellers are able to tailor-make a plan and this knowledge also empowers them to synchronize their content marketing approach as per the specific need.
Converting customers to ‘loyalists’
The self-regulatory mechanism of feedback was developed in Britain during the 18th century for economic purposes. And since then it has evolved into a great customer communication mechanism. Digital platforms offer a distinctive advantage for sales forces to translate the people into loyal consumers, and the success rate guaranteed is as high as 78% as per certain notable sales studies. Technological intervention has eased the tasks of prospect tracking way up till response delivery. With an advanced set of analytics at disposal, it makes the ordeal easier for the organizations to zero down onto the present consumers who have a high propensity of getting converted into a repeat customer.
Moving towards a better ‘Selling’ world
There is no doubt that the subtle incursion of technology into the world of sales has eventually made it more efficient and effective. The prime-most quotient which establishes this fact is the time-saving element which technology has introduced. Moreover, it has also added quality and precision to all the business practices. Ultimately all these factors have cumulated into the expansion of the potential marketplace while equipping the organization with enhanced tools to leverage the most of that marketplace. The trickle-down effect of it is an eventual industry growth and subsequent increase in ROIs.
Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ holds true not only for sentient species but also for organizations in this fast forward digital era where falling into the trails of obsolescence is far easier than adapting to the evolving norms. Organizations leveraging the power of digitization by adopting new- age technologies such as whitespace database, big data analytics, social media, cloud computing etc. to streamline the sales forces, will be able to survive and remain competitive. Hence, adoption of new sales techniques maneuvered by digitization is the way forward for this technology led industrial society.