Today’s empowered customers have access to more information on their purchases than ever before, and they’re not afraid to exercise control. Now occupying the driver’s seat, they understandably have high expectations for what a positive sales experience looks like.
Meeting — and exceeding — these expectations requires sellers to ensure comprehensive, non-fragmented, human sales journeys for customers. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the key to making the sales journey more human is technology. Leveraging smart, customer-focused technology helps to ensure that customers remain — and also feel as though they are being treated as — unique individuals, not pieces of data, across all stages of the sales journey.
Below are some ways businesses can make sales more human while incorporating smarter technology.
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Eliminate Business Silos
While today’s customers engage businesses across different departments and channels, they still expect a unified and consistent customer experience. That is why a unified platform that works across all departments is vital: this prevents data silos from emerging that make customer context incomplete and shield customer interactions with the brand from different parts of the organization. Nothing could make a sales agent seem less human than if he or she tried to upsell a customer who had just called to log a customer service complaint the week prior. But if sales and customer service aren’t sharing the same information, that sales rep might never know about the complaint. Uniting organizational structures and legacy solutions creates a truly cohesive customer experience — from marketing to sales to service — increasing both customer loyalty and agent knowledge.
Find Efficiencies and Reduce Complexity
Companies often create their own roadblocks by adopting sales tools that only add more work for sales reps and offer little value in return. These one-dimensional reporting applications mean salespeople have to spend valuable time inputting data across multiple systems and yet produce little insight on how to improve their sales capabilities. Companies that adopt more agile, efficient technologies often see a multiplier effect as they can simplify and automate in ways that allow sales agents to fully tap their capabilities and become more productive. Using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation can help reduce administrative burden and allow sales reps to spend more of their time building and nurturing relationships with their customers. If rote tasks are automated, not only is the customer more likely to buy, but it also increases efficiency and revenue gains, while cultivating more focused, fulfilling experiences for sales agents. Ultimately, this allows sales reps to work that much smarter, so they have more time to focus on the human-to-human part of sales.
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Turn Data into Relevant and Timely Action
In order to be truly effective, tomorrow’s sales and customer service teams need to go beyond capturing and storing data. The tools they use should be able to anticipate what individual buyers need based on real-time analysis of historical occurrences and current actions. Similar to your smartphone proactively suggesting an alternative route around a major traffic jam, modern sales teams can utilize AI-powered technology to receive suggestions on the best solution to present to a customer before they even ask for help. The ability to understand a buyer’s challenges as an individual, at any given moment, enables a sales rep to make the offer that is in tune with what the buyer wants and needs. Such technology, or system of insight, can be the difference between closing a deal and losing the sale to a competitor, and this understanding enables a sales rep to increase buyer satisfaction and strengthen the relationship between customer and seller.
Forward-thinking sales organizations are leveraging technology to serve up deep understanding of individual buyers, and recommend next best actions and offers that are likely to move an individual opportunity forward. This creates a more personal connection between the buyer and the seller. As a result, customers feel better understood and appreciated instead of receiving impersonal experiences and being treated like indistinguishable pieces of data, which no one wants. In the end, this era of digital transformation is not about the technology; it’s about the customer and getting closer to them as individual human beings.