Does Your Sales Team Have the Right Tools?

worker-with-tool-belt-onIf you are the individual responsible for the success of your company’s sales efforts, you understand what it is to live in a “No-Excuses” culture. Simply put, you have an entire corporate organization relying on your team to generate the revenue needed to make the financial goals for success.

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, no excuses at the C-level means that there is no room for failure in the sales trenches. Increasingly, this means using the very latest in proven sales automation applications and constantly upgrading your CRM tools and capabilities.

Proactive Vs. Reactive Management

The rate of marketing automation continues to be breathtaking. In just three years, the number of B2B organizations using such tools has grown by a factor of 11, and 79 percent of the leading market performers have already been using marketing automation for more than two years.

In fact, the world of sales and market automation has developed so rapidly that talking about a basic CRM or a category leader like SalesForce is only a starting point.

The first thing to realize is that this new technology has completely transformed what it means to have an effective sales process. While basic sales skills are as relevant as ever, applying and leveraging them will is an evolving processes. While the CRM has replaced the rolodex, but the salesperson still has to make the contact. However, how and where that contact is made, leveraging it across the sales force, integrating the acquired business knowledge, and multiple other aspects of today’s sales process are dependent upon new and powerful tools.

From BOYD capabilities of smartphones and tablets to ERP business intelligence systems, your sales team requires tools and training that simply didn’t exist as recently as a decade ago. Moreover, the very rate of change in the field of marketing automation continues to accelerate.

Instead of discovering which of these tools your competition is using to encroach on your turf and playing catchup, your C-level team must proactively evaluate what changes and capabilities your team needs now to remain competitive and successful.

Sorting Out The Options

The challenge for many sales management teams is carefully choosing which tools are worth the investment to help meet desired objectives, while avoiding overwhelming your people doing the selling. With the rapid changes in sales automation and technology, it is easy to lose focus and defeat your goal of enhanced productivity. To set and maintain your automation objectives, it is best to start with the general categories.

While there is no clearly defined list of those areas of automation, as they are now inclusive of many aspects of sales and digital marketing, Jamie Shanks of Sales for Life has identified 10 essential elements to have in the sales toolkit for 2015:

  • Social selling platforms
  • Presentation capabilities
  • Social data mining
  • Content marketing
  • Assistive websites
  • Comprehensive CRM
  • Dynamic selling capabilities
  • Ongoing and directed training on the provided tools
  • Capabilities to work with channel partners
  • Updated telecom capabilities

While each of these categories overlap somewhat, they each present enough in the way of unique concerns that they warrant review by any growing company with a sales team of any size.

It’s All about Results

Of course, back to the earlier point, the basic tenets of sales remain. You have to generate sufficient quality leads with the right sales prospecting tools to fill the sales funnel and manage the process through to close sufficient numbers of those leads to meet corporate objectives. The real value in these tools is the ability to manage that process more dynamically with real-time information.

While these tools all require both hard and soft investment from limited resources, the ROI justifies the effort when they are implemented and used properly.

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RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.