Which sales automation trends are hot?
Many businesses have recently budgeted for their CRM programs. Now, of course, they need to apply those budgets, beginning by identifying the best capabilities and tools that will take their sales program to the next level. Accordingly, many ask us: “What’s our competition doing with CRM, and will it threaten our existence?”
Here are six of the hottest sales-project trends we’re seeing this year:
- Social business: Today, there are more than 800 million registered Facebook users, and 175 million people using Twitter. Accordingly, leading-edge sales teams are overlaying social business capabilities onto their existing sales processes, to turn social networks to their business advantage.
- Territory management: Want to close the most number of possible deals, in the least amount of time, using your existing sales team? Territory management, of course, is the art of putting a salesperson in the right place, at the right time. Any business can learn from pharmaceutical firms and medical device manufacturers, who keep advancing the state of the art, most recently through mobile devices and social media outreach.
- Marketing muscle: “Leave no lead behind.” That mantra has led leading businesses to craft lead-management programs that start by identifying what the sales team requires, and then put marketing muscle into gathering leads and nurturing them until they meet the sales team’s quality threshold.
- PRM: More business than ever now gets fulfilled via “the channel.” But as business partner quantity increases, companies can face quality issues, and potential customer-satisfaction fallout. That’s why numerous businesses are building CRM-driven partner relationship management (PRM) programs to direct more business to their best-performing partners, while continuing to nurture the up-and-comers.
- Banishing product complexity: Businesses that offer an alphabet soup of product numbers, plan possibilities, replacement parts, bundles or SKUs need to make life simpler for their sales teams. That’s why more organizations are embracing “product configurators” to generate rapid, reliable quotes and pricing information, no matter the underlying product name or pricing-rule complexity.
- Field service eyes/ears: More businesses with field-service employees or contractors working at customers’ sites are training them to serve as front-line eyes and ears for the sales team. To identify potential new revenue streams from their current customer base, businesses can learn which products and services customers currently use, which helps sales teams find new up-sell, cross-sell or replacement possibilities.
Identify The Next, Best Step
Knowing what’s hot helps push your sales program in new directions, by always knowing what’s possible, as well as necessary for staying competitive. But besides taking a top-down perspective on sales program possibilities, many customers rightly also focus from the bottom up, asking us, “What should we do to take our sales program to the next level?”
Answering that question requires understanding where your sales program currently excels, and where it needs work. On that front, Innoveer’s sales assessment workshop will review your current program’s capabilities, in each of the five sales force effectiveness best-practice domains:
By analyzing your sales program’s current capabilities in each of those five areas, Innoveer identifies which need the most improving. With that information in hand, you’ll have an action plan for knowing which part of your sales program to improve first, to get the most bang for your buck. Because that’s one sales automation trend that’s always hot.
Build a more effective CRM program by identifying the next, best step for your sales, marketing, or service program. Begin by benchmarking your current program against the best practices we’ve assembled through our experience with more than 1,200 CRM projects. Once you’ve identified what to improve, then find the best tools and technology for the job.