Use Real-time Data to Earn Sales in the Field

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Use Real-time Data to Earn Sales in the Field

Summary: The era of data analytics is here and the number of platforms promising to help harness data for business wins is growing by the day. Follow this guide for data-driven in-field sales success.

It’s a simple equation. Ensuring your sales team has the right product information at the right time will turn a prospect into a win.

Say goodbye to the excuses of forgotten tablets, no data connection, and disorganized sales app interfaces with mobile sales enablement tools. Customers will realize working with a salesperson is infinitely better than just “Googling it.”

Customers are looking for personalized recommendations and solutions. Salespeople and marketers can leverage up-to-date information on products, competition, and consumer data to connect with customers’ shifting needs and exceed their expectations with personalized insight.

A listening ear and personal touch of a salesperson who can use real-time product data to answer questions, showcase up-to-date product information, give video examples, share PDFs or statistics, and give detailed quotes will close more sales than ever before.

Keep your team modern, mobile, and connected to real-time collateral all in one place

For a salesperson in front of a customer, toggling between different apps and juggling between a tablet and phone can feel just as frustrating as sorting through a briefcase stuffed with papers.

Then what happens when a salesperson brings the collateral for the company’s top three products, but realizes the customer is most interested another product line? With access to an organized platform with details about every product, the salesperson can use any mobile device, bring up in-depth product details and pricing, show videos or PDFs of the product in use, and make the sale.

Real-time access to data is key. To guarantee sales in the field, salespeople need to show the most current product specs and be ready to answer complex questions about availability, pricing, and product longevity. Up-to-date marketing materials can be easily accessed by the sales team using sales enablement tools that integrate with CRMs.

The best choice for a portal will give your team:

  • Offline access to all current marketing, pricing, and sales info
  • Up-to-date product database  
  • Consistent access to data inside and outside the office
  • Background sync for sales materials

Arming your sales team the updated information they need, right when they need it (when they are in the field, with prospects) is fundamental to empowering them to close more sales, quicker.

Efficiency and organization for confident, successful sales

Utilizing a mobile sales tool is a no-brainer for keeping pace with changes to product lines’ marketing collateral. There is a new way to know before you go. With product information and collected customer data in-hand inside a mobile app, salespeople will arrive ready to answer any question and easily able to bring up spec sheets, videos examples, and statistics to close a sale.

Show customers the exact specs that will change their minds and dive into the real details of how a product works. No need to worry about an out-of-the-blue product question when you can open an app and have the data nicely organized and ready to show off.

Select tools that ensure you generate revenue and improve your sales goals by:

  • Keeping profitable products at the top of sales lists
  • Reducing print spending
  • Making pricing easier to find
  • Giving access to cross-reference data in front of customers
  • Integrating and storing slide shows, PDFs, Word documents, videos, and more

The efficiency gains created by having all relevant information organized and accessible in a mobile sales app, no matter where they are, will reduce sales’ cost and increase their closing rates.

Real-time data means real-time success

Many companies are looking for a tool that sales reps can use while on the road and from their phones.

When Reliance Worldwide Corp adopted a sales enablement solution, they found that the mobile app streamlined interactions and provided the access to information between marketing and sales that the company needed for years.

“Not only did the results exceed expectations, but the sales team actually loves and uses the tool, [which] has increased efficiency, sales, and business.” – Chris Carrier, RWC

Having real-time data at their fingertips eliminates costly back-and-forth between sales and marketing departments and gives field salespeople the updated information they need to succeed.

Take on the competition in real-time

Imagine a salesperson in front of a new client showing off an all-star product. What happens if a customer brings up the product they use most frequently with the “don’t fix what isn’t broken” saying? With access to searchable, customized database of the competitors products, the salesperson will be able to easily bring up a side-by-side comparison screen designed for the customers’ eyes.

Images, videos, and deep product information for the company’s product next to all of the same up-to-date data for the competition is a major asset for any salesperson face-to-face with a customer. Salespeople will be able to showcase their own industry knowledge establishing better trust with the client and driving home the sale.

Competitive comparisons change often and having the updated information gives salespeople power to combat any objection in the field.

Make information easily available to everyone

To shorten the sales cycle there must be quick relay of information between marketing and sales and the client. Efficiency of communication is difficult when the sales team spends most of its time away from the office engaging with customers and the marketing team is in the office where all of the hard work sits behind a firewall.

The mobile app solutions should cater to the specific needs of each industry by making sure:

  • The marketing team easily distributes materials to the sales team
  • The sales team has easy access to marketing materials
  • Product lines are organized and searchable
  • Competitive intel is always updated
  • Real-time deep data sets are designed to be customer facing

When your interface works on tablets, laptops, desktops, and cell phones, communicating with clients is made simple and effective. With deep customized, searchable, data on your products and as well as up to date info on every competitor, sales and marketing teams confidence will grow, companies will see results from better communication inside and outside the office and sales in the field will be through the roof.

Find out how Reliance Worldwide Corp increased sales revenue and improved marketing-sales team alignment by significant margins with FatStax.

How technology can prompt cross-selling

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

How technology can prompt cross-selling

  • How to leverage technology for more effective cross-selling in the field
  • How to effectively cross-sell in the field using technology
  • How to cross-sell in the field more effectively

Summary: Everyday companies are finding innovative ways to leverage technology for more effective cross-selling in the field. What methods have been proven successful?

Image from Pixbay https://pixabay.com/en/stock-markets-warehouse-stock-3413657/

 

Your products and services are constantly evolving to keep up with customer demands. And as your product catalog improves, your sales team must learn and retain new information — which is easier said than done.

Still, aligning internal communication and strengthening your salespeople’s product knowledge is imperative to give your clients a customized, enhanced experience with your brand.

The need is obvious. Meeting it is anything but. For this conundrum, technology can come to the rescue. Let’s focus on how technology can be leveraged for cross-selling opportunities, specifically.  

Arm Your Customer Success Team with Better Insights

From a customer success standpoint, cross-selling requires strong communication from reps in the field. It’s important for all members of the team to know what’s happening so the continued communication is flawless and cross-selling opportunities can be taken advantage of in a timely manner.

By launching a mobile application, you can sync field notes with a marketing automation tool to capture sales activity and discover cross-selling opportunities:

  • Analyze trends in product activity
  • Log product quotes sent through integrations like Salesforce
  • Capture product viewing data activity

By monitoring these insights, not only can your customer service team track global actions, they can use data for customized cross-selling. In fact, according to Accenture, when customer success teams offer relevant recommendations or remember business conversations, they’re 75% more likely to cross-sell or upsell a company and 73% of sales teams acknowledge that cross-departmental collaboration is absolutely critical to their overall sales process.

Equip Frontline Employees with Relevant Information

Well-versed salespeople not only sign more customers, but they close higher value deals with more products associated with them.

In order to create a frontline of prepared and able salespeople, you need to eliminate the “sales default effect,” or the habit of only selling a small segment of products due to a limited product repertoire. In order to break the “sales default effect,” a sales team must have easy access to the latest pieces of marketing collateral.

The solution seems simple.

But, studies show that about 70% of content created by the marketing team goes unused by salespeople.

Not only does this render the material a waste of money and time, it means your sales team may be misinformed, and not able to sell to the best of their ability.  Also, this means your marketing ROI is reduced. With improved tools and content, your sales team can pitch stronger, more robust product bundles.

Increase Customization Through Mobile Apps

You can spend countless hours preparing for a meeting, but even the most prepared teams can fall victim to the twists and turns a sales call can take. Having technology on your side can help your sales team pivot and become instantly informed on topics that may arise unexpectedly.

Find a solution that allows your team to create interactive landing pages that promote related or recommended content based on a customer’s current buying habits. Not only does this type of intelligence make it easier for your team to access important marketing materials, it allows them to customize products to a client’s purchasing behavior in real-time.

According to Salesforce, high-performing sales teams are 2.8 times more likely to say their sales organizations have become hyper-focused on personalizing customer interactions over the past 12–18 months than underperforming teams.

Using technology to predict buying behavior is one way to personalize the sales experience and stay ahead of the competition.

Move Away from Websites

It’s time to say goodbye to websites for field sales. We’ve written several blogs on this topic; the disadvantages of websites as a sales tool are plentiful.

  • Issues arise with unreliable internet
  • Slow loading pages are a bad user experience
  • Websites make it difficult to send multiple files by email
  • Websites are not designed to be a sales-specific tool
  • Website analytics are not sales-specific

Mobilizing large product datasets from internal systems into an easy to use app will help your team access crucial information whether they are online or offline. Sales enablement tools also make it easy to track and report activities in the field, when cross-sells are most likely to occur.

Websites don’t share the same capabilities.

With stronger sales enablement tools, companies can now combine internal and external data, communication and strategy for more effective cross-selling techniques.

Learn how our client, Reliance Worldwide Corp, is using FatStax to increase cross-sell and up-sell potential.

The Three Fundamental Limitations of CMS, DAM, PIM for Sales Teams

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Many Marketing teams have taken the giant leap and implemented a Content Management System (CMS), Digital Asset Management (DAM), or Product Information Management (PIM) to solve the issue of organizing content.

With these powerful software platforms, all your videos, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, spec sheets, CAD drawings, etc… are all arranged, organized, tagged, and findable.

Ah, you can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, despite the proliferation of CMS, DAM, and PIM most Marketers still get 6-10 emails per day asking for sales  collateral from reps in the field. Read More

Sales people need to put more time into closing big deals in 2018

By | Mobile Productivity Tools

Sales people need to put more time into closing big deals in 2018

“Fear, uncertainty, and doubt had crept into my head. (I now know that this is a common event among salespeople.) It was devastating.” – Dean Minuto, The One Page Sales Coach.

Have you ever lost a huge deal and wished you had spent just a few more hours on it?

Doing the deep work, thinking about the upsells, and how the deal flow should go down.

If so, you’re not alone.

In fact the majority of reps we consult with regularly say things like, “If I just had another week, I coulda closed that one.”

Yet, time and time again we reps “can’t set aside” or “just don’t have” the time to slow down and really put the hard work it takes to close big deals in 2018, when the Internet has changed sales forever.

If this is you, then here’s what you’ll get from this article.

  • What exactly is occupying a sales rep’s time so that they can’t give the extra time to get these deals done
  • What sales reps that value their time are doing to make sure they set aside the time to really work on these deals
  • What you can start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day

If you are crushing quota and taking the end of the quarter off, then this article is not worth your effort.

However, if you want to find a way to get better and close bigger deals more often, then hopefully this will be useful for you.  

Just in case you are hoping for it, there are no magic wands or shortcuts. 

 

What the heck are Sales Reps so busy doing?

As you are probably aware, a core sales responsibility is providing prospects with compelling information that helps them justify their decision to buy.

So let’s use this as an example of where our time goes.

For many sales reps this means, spending time searching for the right case studies, the right product information, etc. and building compelling customized presentations for huge deals.

To make this even more difficult, the right collateral could be in your email, stored on your hard drive, buried in a sales portal, or on your company website.

The bottom line is finding the right collateral takes up a ton of time for the reps.

I call it playing “Sales hide and seek”.

Look, I do it too.

Our company is small with only a few reps and doesn’t really have a ton of products per se, but I recently found myself spending 30 minutes trying to track down a PowerPoint we used a few years back to add a single slide to a new customized PowerPoint I was building. Finally found it in Dropbox buried in a folder – btw poorly labeled by me!

How much time is spent just searching for the right materials?

So let’s imagine you have a hot prospect and you need to pull together some collateral-based on a one-to-one meeting to close a deal.

You set your mind on 5 files/key pieces of information

  1. Price Sheet
  2. Short Overview Video
  3. Installation Guide
  4. Comparison battle card with a competitor
  5. Link to the product on your website

It doesn’t take that long to find, right?  

Say 5 minutes per piece of information by the time you find it, check it, copy it and paste it into an email.

That’s just 25 minutes. Easy peasy.

But you aren’t working one account, you are working at least 10 – 20  prospects, all with different needs. So we’re up to 4 to 8 hrs a week (250 – 500 minutes), let’s call it 6 hrs per week?

50 work weeks x 6 hrs means sales reps are spending about 300 hrs per year searching for collateral to send to prospects. That’s roughly 15% of your year.  300/2000 for the math nerds.

From my conversations with sales reps and dealers, that’s a very optimistic outlook on the time spent, I bet that it’s closer 15 hrs per week searching for the right information depending on how complex your product or services your company puts in your bag.

So when you throw in group meetings, sales meetings, one-on-one’s, travel time, and logging calls in your CRM.  You’re left with 10 hrs or so a week to actually meet with prospects and work on the big deal you got going.

We all know this is not enough time!

What savvy Sales Reps & Dealers are doing to make sure they spend enough time on bigger deals to give themselves the best chance?

Quick question.

What do you like doing better?

Searching through emails, portals, and websites trying to track down the elusive golden nugget collateral, or…

… spending time gaining a deeper understanding of a prospect’s needs and building the types of insights that make you a trusted advisor.

Simple right.

However, even master salespeople fall into the trap of doing the former over the latter.

For example, Dean Minuto, master sales trainer, in his book The One Page Sales Coach painfully describes the moment when he realized this…

“Fear, uncertainty, and doubt had crept into my head. It was devastating.”

He then goes on show us how he overcame this.

First, take stock of where you are spending your time.

Take a look at your calendar last week.

Add up the hours you spent working on the big deal you got cooking.

And contrast that with the time you spent

  • Looking for product information
  • Logging activities in CRM
  • Making calls
  • Traveling
  • Sitting through meetings

I suspect the answer will shock you.  

Here’s my calendar for last week. I’ve narrowed the times where I worked on the one mega-deal we are working as a team.

That’s right 1 hour and 30 minutes total. Granted it was a short week with the 4th holiday in there.  So 1.5 hrs out of 32 were spent on the life-altering deal we are working on.

Makes me sick at my stomach to think about it.

Second, decide today how much time you need to spend next week to be 100% confident that you are spending 100% of the necessary time to win the biggest deal in your pipeline.

This will be hard. I promise you.

Here’s a possible list:

  1. Background research on the major players
  2. Research the company’s competitors and position in the marketplace
  3. List out all possible reasons you will lose the deal and write out what you will do combat these reasons
  4. Spend time with Marketing, product managers, your VP, or production to make sure your presentation, RFP, SOW, or proposal is airtight
  5. Practice your pitch or phone call

And so on for your deal. Is it 5 hours? 10? 20?  

Finally, now that you are crystal clear on what it will take to be 100% confident you are giving 100% of the effort required to win the deal. Block off time on your calendar today to complete each activity and title each block of time with what you need to accomplish starting with word CRITICAL.

For example, CRITICAL – Meet with Mary to list out the potential upsells for Acme Co – 1hr.

The reason I want you to use the word CRITICAL is that this will tell your co-workers to stop bothering you at all costs.

Of course, you need to meet all your other obligations like sales meetings too, so the time needs to be blocked off around these other meetings and time sinks. Yes, taking the kids to soccer counts.

So, how much time is left to search through your sales portal for the latest sales slick?

What can you start doing tomorrow with the tools you already have to get more time back into your day?

I am going to get crucified for saying this, but you gotta use every tool at your disposal to claw back your time including off-loading looking for sales materials to your Marketing team.

Most Marketers we meet with seem perfectly content to do the legwork for their sales teams, so I’ll put it in writing.  

  1. Bury’em with requests until they push back or give you tools that make it fool-proof to find what you need fast. Seriously, just keep emailing and texting them until their heads explode.
  2. Next, take the time to get all your login credentials for all sales tools provided to you in one place. If you’re fortunate enough to sell for a company that uses single sign-on good on you.  For the rest of us, I like the app 1Password for keeping track of all my login credentials in one easy place so I don’t have to keep resetting passwords all the time. I’m sure there are others that’ll do the trick.
  3. Install and sign in to all the sales tools your company provides.  We recently ran analytics for a large client on FatStax sales tool adoption and found out that roughly 40% of their dealer reps had never even bothered to install the super amazing sales app we built for them.  Come on man!  That’s crazy. How many hours do those 40% waste hunting and pecking for sales materials when they could have it on their smartphones in their back pocket?
  4. Set aside 30 minutes a day to log activities in CRM. 30 minutes is all you need, sometimes less.  Get it on your calendar and hold yourself to this time limit. When your VP or Sales Opps guy complains you don’t log things, just show them your calendar filled with CRITICAL to-dos for the biggest deal in your pipeline and the 30 minutes you spared every day to log activities into CRM.
  5. Put Marketing to good use by enlisting their help and demanding their time working on your presentations or proposals. Your Marketing and Product Managers have extraordinary knowledge about how products flow together and where to find the right materials. The best reps that close the biggest deals will always make them a critical part of the team.

Conclusion

While a rep naturally wants to spend less time looking for sales materials and logging activities into CRM systems and more time working on the huge life altering deals, our tendencies will always be to do busy work.  Thus we squander the time we should be putting in to make sure at the end of the deal, win or lose, that we don’t wish we had another week to spend preparing to win it. 

Come on man! We can be better than this.