Quinton Pienaar, CEO, Agilitude, South Africa’s first Salesforce.com reseller outlines why sales teams can potentially fail if they don’t consider better use of the cloud. Selling isn’t just about talking any more. Today, thanks to technology and its rapid and continual development, sales teams need more than just air in their lungs and a gift of the gab. It is here that technology becomes an enabler of selling success. Consider these four steps why you need to upgrade your technology and head straight for the cloud:
The dreaded pipeline
There are a number of reasons why a viable pipeline is a consistent sales challenge, but one definite issue is the lack of a lead briefing process. It is either that the lead is poor, all leads are treated the same, the sales person is speaking to the wrong person or the data is incorrect. This results in a significant waste of time and effort, in fact a market research study estimated that as much as 79% of all marketing leads are not pursued, which is a staggering statistic.
Sales representatives or admin slaves?
68% of sales representatives spend more time doing administration than actually selling. Very often these people are using an excel spreadsheet or ERP solution as a selling system. While this may seem ok, it does immediately tell us that these sales teams will find it difficult to report or to analyse the information, nor will they have mobile access. This result in more time spent on admin tasks and less time selling.
Underperforming or badly trained?
Because there is no defined process to follow, the quality of work is impacted negatively. There are no predefined standards or procedures, which leaves the sales team in the hands of whomever is nominated to train them. Process automation is required to ensure the team knows what to sell, when and at what price. Those teams that have used a bespoke selling system have reported a 72% increase in sales as a result.
Accurate reporting from a sales perspective is not just about tracking performance; it is also about analysing the data and using it to forecast, predict trends, provide input in terms of growing the pipeline, increase productivity and gain full insight into the sales process.
So how do you resolve the above issues? By embracing cloud technology and using a cloud sales tool. In this way you eliminate so many technology and administration headaches because you’re not managing hardware and software—that’s the responsibility of an experienced vendor like salesforce.com. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: you only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy. Cloud-based apps such as Salesforce.com can be up and running in days or weeks, and they cost less.