Inside sales has become a hot topic in recent years. It’s no longer all about the outside teams talking to customers face to face. Over 70% of customers don’t even want the face to face meetings, as they do such a large part of the sales process themselves before going anywhere near a sales rep.
So obviously, companies need to have a strong inside sales team engaging customers on social media and through email as early as possible in the sales process, and ready to contact them as soon as the customer does show an interest.
But these processes can take up a lot of time and money. And that’s where sales acceleration technology comes in.
What is sales acceleration?
The basic definition of sales acceleration technology is that it’s a collection of tools to help determine and connect with prospects and speed up the sales process. Ultimately what sales acceleration is looking to do is shorten the sales cycle while increasing customer engagement.
Sales acceleration technology includes tools that automate certain aspects of the sales process. They also provide data so that reps can increase their productivity, increasing the revenue they bring into the company.
Does CRM count?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool for managing all information regarding communications and relationships with customers and leads. Not only do you have a place to store the names of all of your customers, you can also see every interaction you’ve had with them, every purchase they have made, any documents you’ve shared with them and so much more. It’s about creating a single view of your customer that’s easily accessible by all of your staff.
Having this information on hand isn’t always enough. It’s what you do with this information that matters the most. And that’s where sales acceleration becomes key.
Faster Response = More Qualified Leads = More Sales
A study by LeadResponseManagement.org and Dr. James Oldroyd shows that contacting a web lead within the first 5 minutes of them showing interest is 100 times more likely to qualify the lead than if you wait 90 minutes. This kind of statistic goes to show just how important fast response times are.
To see how sales acceleration can help, you just have to look at the tasks that these tools can do:
Tracking engagement with customers
A lot of sales acceleration tools can monitor how you engage with your customers. They can track emails that customers open and pursue, along with how they engage with your content, who they share it with, etc. This information is important to personalizing what is being sent to customers depending on what part of the sales process they are at. The more personalized the content is, the better experience the customer is going to have and the more likely they are to buy.
Probably one of the most effective uses of sales acceleration technology is the way it can collect and analyze data. These tools can capture your sales data and draw insights from it. They can show your sales team what parts of the sales process are working and which parts are not. This kind of analysis can illustrate how effective a certain marketing campaign has been. It can also establish the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales team, highlighting anything that needs to be better focused or changed completely. Having access to a wide range of data like this means that you can easily come up with future sales plans that will generate the most leads.
There are a lot of repetitive tasks that sales reps have to complete every day. Processing orders, keeping track of inventory and sharing information (among other things) are all tasks that take sales reps away from what’s most important: making a sale. Sales acceleration allows these tasks to be automated to give the reps more time to focus on the important tasks.
Auto-dialling means you can make more calls in less time by using the information in your CRM. You also have the statistics to show when is the best time to call. Scheduling social media posts ahead of time means you don’t have to take the time to share each piece of content individually. Email templates can cut down on the amount of time spent writing up emails. Some tools can even match a lead with the right sales rep in order for them to get the best and quickest experience possible. These are just a few examples of what sales acceleration can automate. It shows how easily time can be freed up from doing generic administrative work in favor of actual sales.
Sales acceleration tools are an imperative part of your inside sales process. However, it isn’t a magic formula that will instantly show results. It’s not enough just to have the technology. You have to know how to use it properly, and this will differ from business to business. Know exactly which tools your business can best benefit from. Do proper research into each one before deciding on it. And make sure that your staff are properly trained in how to use these tools properly, otherwise they won’t make a difference to your productivity.
Sales acceleration can help you land more deals quicker, and drive more revenue into your business. So what are you waiting for? Get accelerating.