How Technology & Regulations Affect the Sales Process

Instructor: Kyle Aken

Kyle is a journalist and marketer that has taught writing to a number of different children and adults after graduating from college with a degree in Journalism. He has a passion for not just the written word, but for finding the universal truths of the world.

Rapid changes in technology can help salespersons streamline their jobs and automate routine functions. Social media, mobile devices, new applications, and effectively using ''Big Data'' can increase sales. Regulations for small businesses that increase employer costs may add pressure to the sales force to bring in more revenue.

Technology & Sales

Technology advances have changed the methods that a sales force can utilize for every step of the sales process. There are four main areas that have revolutionized sales: mobile technology, cloud storage, big data and social media.

Types of Technology and Data Available

Mobile Technology

Look at all the things that can be done with a smartphone or tablet. This helps both salespeople and customers. Salespeople will have ready access to email, internet research, company documents, and any other information needed. Customers also have the same capacity so they can make quicker decisions about purchasing a product. New research has found that when a customer researches a product on a mobile device, 93% of the time the purchase is completed. Using a mobile device in place of a cash register is another convenient way to increase sales. Using a Square device for credit cards can make closing a sale even easier.

Cloud-Based Technology

Using the cloud to store data allows a salesperson the ability to access non-public company information. Data in the cloud can be used in applications like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Programs like CRM will access data from different company divisions like customer support, sales, marketing, and inventory so you can see a full picture of one customer's interactions with all the sections of the company.

Another new technological application will automate the standard administrative tasks required for sales. Setting appointments, scheduling reminder phone calls, updating the list of new sales contacts can all done by a Sales Force Automation System.

Big Data

There is a wealth of information available and it has been labeled Big Data. Analytic tools can collect and organize this information to generate lists of likely prospects for new sales leads. Effectively using Big Data analysis can replace hours of tedious work doing company research. One avenue is to compile complete profiles of existing customers and then use those profiles to find similar potential customers.

Social Media

The explosion of social media with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and countless other internet platforms has exponentially expanded your audience. One very powerful component of social media platforms is the review section about a company. More and more customers and businesses check for posts on social media before selecting a new business to patronize. Reviews posted by current customers will be given ten times more weight than what a salesperson says.

Social media also provides many more avenues to spread the word about a service or product. Generating regular tweets about a product keeps the name out there. It is an effective avenue to reach customers without making dozens of phone calls every day. Another great thing about social media is that videos, photos, and other graphic presentations can be shared that can build interest in a service or product. Using social media helped salespeople outsell their competition by 78%.

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