How Sales Technology Sets You Apart From Your Competition
Sales technology – the hardware and software used to drive results and succeed as a business – is one of the most important assets a company has. In this post, you will learn about the types of technology available and how they can set you apart from your competitors.
Portals are the form of sales technology that most of your customers will interact with – online stores, mobile apps, and in-store systems to help customers make informed decisions about their purchases. How you use and develop this type of technology will have a major impact on your success as a business, starting with the overall user experience.
“Good enough” is no longer acceptable for businesses – with so many forms of competition, you must excel with your portals if you hope to become a significant player in the modern world of business. Start by considering your portals from the view of your customers – are they easy to use and providing the information that customers are looking for? If not, it’s time to make a change.
Portal technology can set you apart from your competition by focusing on user experience and working to build up a good relationship. Remember, your portals should be focused on the job you actually want them to do, and what works for another company may not work for you. Always take your individual needs into account when working with portals.
This aspect of sales technology is focused around the people you have “in the field” – even if those people actually spend their days in an air-conditioned office. These are the people who interact with your customers and perform the majority of your work, and how you approach this aspect of technology will have a measurable impact on your performance – because field technology like CRM systems also covers the tools you use to monitor sales and understand your customers.
Most companies are reasonably good at collecting data about their customers (demographics, average purchases, etc.), but they do not know how to properly use the information they’ve collected. Intelligent use of the data provided by field technology can reduce overhead, properly target advertising, and otherwise ensure that sales personnel have the support they need when selling to your customers.
If you use this technology properly, you can leap straight over your competition and even begin targeting their customers in addition to your own.
Your customers and competitors will never see this technology, but it will have an impact on the things they do see. Your corporate technology is the setup that connects your sales team to the rest of the company, from delivering the messages they send to tracking their requests and suggestions. The ultimate goal is to reduce delays and enhance communication as much as possible – if the sales team says that something is legitimately wrong, then you should want to know about it and be ready to solve it.
This does not mean you should give your sales team everything they ask for – but it will facilitate communication and ensure that all legitimate requests are answered. Smaller businesses may not need to have any of this technology, but any location that wants to grow beyond the start-up phase must have a plan for integrating corporate use of its sales technology.
In other words, there’s a large difference between a corporation that listens to its sales team and one who merely tells them what to do and ignores problems in the hope they will go away. You are with the former, right?
This aspect of sales technology is extraordinarily popular, and with good reason – quality marketing technology can literally make or break a company. This is the area that includes customer relationship management, search engine optimization, and targeted advertising. Marketing technology often works closely with field technology, and may even be bundled together with it – the primary difference between the two is that marketing technology is more focused on getting things done, rather than merely planning tasks or gathering information.
Effective marketing technology can set you ahead of your competition by allowing you to truly reach your customers, linking them to your portals and reinforcing the image you want to create.
Bringing It Together
There is one more thing to keep in mind: If you want to use sales technology properly, then you must fully integrate it into your business while simultaneously adjusting it to fit your needs. Each section of sales technology supports the other, and weakness in any side will bring the whole thing tumbling. Going all-in can be frightening, especially for businesses who have never taken the plunge – but technology and the creativity of your employees are what set you apart from your competition, and a serious commitment to sales technology will make a measurable difference to your bottom line.