Sales acceleration technology is taking over the world
The modern world moves fast. And the pace is ever increasing. We are expected to keep up with more information, from more sources, in more formats, more frequently than ever before. This is as true in business as it is in our personal lives. However, the same technology which is allowing this acceleration is also helping us keep up with it.
Sales and marketing (like almost all other parts of business) is currently experiencing a technology revolution - processes are automating, information is key and pace is important. Sales Acceleration Technology is the term being used to describe the various applications helping to increase the pace and efficiency of the sales process. CRM forms the core of this new breed of technologies but the total coverage extends from list building to sales gamification and it would be impossible (or very boring) to talk about them all now.
Let us run a scenario through and illustrate a few key points at which Sales Acceleration Technology, of all forms, is providing improvements and optimisation. In this instance, we are also going to accept the broad trend of an ever-closer relationship between sales and marketing (which in itself is partially driven by this technology). Sales Acceleration Technology aligns closely with Marketing Automation Technology, you could argue that Marketing Automation is a form of Sales Acceleration Technology. Regardless, for the purpose of this blog we assume an overlap, but we will start ‘half way down’ the funnel.
A new lead has been incredibly efficiently moved through the marketing funnel by your marketing automation system. This lead is well qualified, has been fed all the right content at all the right points in their journey, all totally automatically based on predefined criteria and they are very interested. They are of course listed in your CRM as a qualified lead, let’s say it is Salesforce, which holds all of the critical information.
Your lead, and all communication with that lead, is captured in your CRM. They have submitted a form on your website suggesting they want a live demo and initial discussion, this is of course set up via one of the numerous options for ‘Sales Engagement Software’, GoToMeeting, Skype for Business, etc. etc. Invites are sent via the solution and the whole thing is done totally digitally. It goes great and despite being delivered totally remotely, these technologies allow you to talk face to face as if you were all in the same room. The client wants to take it to the next step, they want a formal proposal.
The next step depends somewhat on how complex this proposal is likely to be, let’s say it is a highly complex document perhaps with lots of engineering information in combination with the critical commercials. Your team is gathered, you review previous proposals stored in Dropbox perhaps, to see where you can take reference material from. Your team is made up of subject experts from across your business, you need to collaborate broadly but keep control of the proposal document and avoid multiple versions and potentially mistakes and omissions. So you upload into your collaborative document review tool - PleaseReview, your whole team works together on a single version of the document, collaborating in real time. Once creation and review is complete the document is downloaded ready for use in the right format right away, no formatting issues and no additional admin.
Your proposal is sent and tracked, you know when it is opened, by whom and you get an automated notification. You receive a response, again all tracked, and the client is happy to go ahead but a signature is required, luckily you have an electronic signature solution which allows you to collect a ‘wet ink equivalent’ signature from your client completely remotely.
The deal is done, the time and cost savings from all of this technology when scaled across hundreds or thousands of proposals is immediately obvious. Not only do things move faster, they move more efficiently and you are freed up from the time consuming, manual tasks to focus on the great, business winning ideas and innovations. It is also worth mentioning that in this example the entire deal has been conducted completely remotely, that may not yet be the norm for large deals but it can’t be far off.
The future is here, Sales Acceleration Technology is taking over, and if you ask me it looks pretty good.