Does anyone remember the good old days of sales? Client lists were shorter, and with less options, customers seemed more loyal to their brands and valued quality much more than obtaining the cheapest option possible. Sales people often went door-to-door, ready to make a connection with a client in order to educate them on what they were selling. These days, with the Internet, clients are able to educate themselves about what they need and they start forming impressions about your brand before they even meet with someone from your company. For these reasons, and a whole host of others, the culture of sales has changed and technology has improved the speed and efficiency of touching base with clients, closing deals and accessing information.
What can we do now as a result of integrating smart devices into the sales process?
- Quicker response times
- Virtual meetings with attendees from all over the world
- Share files and make changes on the go
- Audio/Visual supports (ex. Access to corporate videos)
- Access to CRM (Customer Relation Management) System
- Close deals paperless, on site
- Look up client information on the spot
- Easier navigation to destinations with GPS in vehicles*
Your sales team is very much the front lines of your operations as a business. Not only do sales representatives often make the first impression of your business to a prospective client, but they are also responsible for maintaining and strengthening the relationships with current clients. It is this relationship that will predict the success of your sales team as a department, and ultimately, your overall business. Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have far greater influence on customer loyalty than other judgments that are based on your brand’s attributes*. What does this mean, you ask? It means, the feeling that your customer is left with after meeting with your sales representative will predict if this customer will buy from you.
Smart phones and devices, such as tablets, have allowed us to tackle and accomplish tasks on the fly, and efficiency is always a priority. However, does our reliance on smart devices take away from the interpersonal connection that not only strengthens relationships with clients, but as research shows, is a predicting factor of our customers’ buying habits. As much as the agenda function on your smart phone can help a sales person fit as many possible client meetings into the day, should they be spending that extra time with the client to build trust and credibility? As much as you have the capability of hosting a video chat meeting with a client, what is the value of making the time to meet them in person, shake their hand and get them a coffee?
Perhaps the take-away for a sales department is to take advantage of these tools in terms of how they can support the strength of the relationship with the client. A client appreciates speedy and accessible services, but also appreciates being educated and addressed by a person rather than a video clip or prerecording. And ultimately, as much as technology will change and make our current tools obsolete, taking the time to fully understand your client and making them feel valued and important will never be outdated.