This article originally appeared in The Sunday Business Post: Connected
How executives buy products or services for their businesses has changed. It has never been easier to access information, research competing products and purchase them. This access to information has shifted power from the sales person towards the buyer. Does that make the sales position redundant? Not so, according to Gartner, who rank ‘direct interaction with the provider’ as the most influential activity in purchasing decisions. The buyer is often overwhelmed with complexity, relying on the sales person to navigate the process. This experience is where CRM enters the sales equation.
The CRM of the future will not be selected purely for its ability to generate reports for the sales director, but for its ability to directly impact sales. The selection of a CRM almost always involves the marketing director, reflecting the relationship between marketing and sales. So how might the future CRM help sales?
A buyer is researching product information on your website and asks questions via an online chat tool. After you answer, the buyer clicks a button and triggers a call with you. Now you immediately get contextual information not just about the page your buyer is viewing, but their entire journey on your website. If they’ve entered their email address requesting marketing content, you’ll be able to pull up social profiles to better know your buyer. An alert informs you they’re already following one of your competitors on Twitter. As your conversation develops, you can invite an available product specialist to join the call and go through your demo with a screen sharing tool.
Then real-time speech scoring is possible, based on tone of voice, keyword usage, time the prospect has spoken versus you, number of questions asked, etc. This benchmarks against previous successful sales conversations to build an ideal approach for sales.
Once the call ends, you’ll be able to set a series of educational white papers, case studies and other marketing collateral that will be drip-fed to your prospect. ROI calculators and other interactive tools will enable your buyer to educate themselves further on their decision. This content will be sent over time until the prospect is ready to buy. Mails will be sent when they’re most likely to get read.
You’ll be able to accurately forecast your sale based on factors that artificial intelligence will help compute. This data could factor in the buyer’s HQ location, brand strength, age, gender, lead origin and much more to form a set of predictive metrics requiring minimal user input.
In your next interaction, you can schedule a video conference to help build more rapport with your buyer. Since there’s a growing number of people involved in making purchasing decisions, it’s the perfect opportunity to invite other influencers in the purchasing decision to join the call.
Your proposal will be sent from your CRM enabling intelligence gathering on where your buyer spent time in the document. Finally your contract will be a digital signature: one click acceptance of terms and conditions, viewed and signed from any device.
Each won, lost or cold sale opportunity will be evaluated by the CRM and rate various points of data to help improve the next sale. This is essentially artificial intelligence and will help predict and apply a winning algorithm to the sales experience tailored for each type of buyer.
Many of these activities are already in operation today. The CRM of the future is about the democratisation of these capabilities to the SME and their deep integration. It will help sales get closer to customers and foster rapport and relationships along the way.
If you’re an enterprise looking to better connect your phone calls and CRM, talk with one of our unified communication consultants about how you can use our full service API to connect Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar, or any other CRM you’re using.
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