Evidence shows that the ‘hard sell’ does not generate loyalty, but a good experience does. The experts at MYOB discuss what salespeople need to achieve this…
As business people we want to maximise our profits, as customers we want a brilliant and personalised purchasing experience, so it it should be no surprise that businesses that nurture and understand their customers see a quantifiable increase in profits. And yet there is still a gap between how well businesses think they do this, and what their customers think.
So what’s causing this discrepancy? On the whole, salespeople are motivated to close high-value sales, but if they’re buried in paperwork, or don’t have the right tools, then they’re working with one hand tied behind their backs.
Support your sales team
Customers and prospects today expect 24/7 access to information by phone, email, social media or other channels. By the time potential buyers meet sales reps, they are often more than 50 percent through their decision making and buying process.
Traditionally, customer relationship management (CRM) systems have been used to manage interactions with customers but this approach is proving increasingly inadequate because customers today demand a great experience across multiple touch points, including point of sale, customer service and brand experience.
To provide this type of more personalised and immediate customer service, sales teams need to have full access to relevant information and be able to manage the entire quote-to-invoice process while away from the office.
Having access to relevant data anywhere and anytime means shorter sales cycles, reduced downtime and more face-to-face time with customers and prospects.
The mobile advantage
Businesses considering investing in mobile apps for their sales teams rightly ask what the return in dollar value is from mobile working. Can mobile technologies improve sales team efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, streamline the entire sales cycle and boost profitability? In the context of sales teams, the term ‘mobile’ is not just about being in touch when out of the office; it’s about gaining an advantage over the competition.
Smart electronic devices and apps let sales teams show portfolios of products and solutions to their prospects – anytime and anywhere. They can immediately check stock availability, inventory levels, pricing and delivery times too, instead of having to make the customer wait until they’re back in the office. This efficient way of working is more responsive to customer needs, and thus increases customer satisfaction – which consequently drives sales.
Six more reasons to go mobile
1. Mobile sales apps help salespeople to close deals more quickly
If salespeople can access information such as order history, full product details, technical specs, price lists, stock levels etc. off-site, they are in a much stronger position to seal the deal on the spot, rather than having to wait until back in the office and running the risk of the buyer’s enthusiasm going off the boil. As a result, quotas go up and more leads can be converted into sales in a shorter period of time.
2. Mobile sales apps improve cash flow
With traditional systems, quotes are normally raised back in the office after a sales representative has met with the customer. With a mobile sales app, there’s no delay. Quotes can be raised on site and can be approved and processed at the same time.
3. Mobile sales apps mean orders can be fulfilled more often
Many field-based technicians use their vans as ‘mobile warehouses’. With traditional systems, there is no way of alerting the main warehouse about which stock needs replacing until the van is back in the depot. Short turnaround times can make it difficult to restock everything so technicians can end up heading out uncertain if they can fully service all jobs. The lack of visibility also places a real pressure on HQ to reorder and restock the right products in time. With a mobile sales app, technicians can log the parts used on a job the moment it is finished, so they know exactly what stock is in the van. Staff at the head office, who can see the same data, can immediately order replacement stock before the technicians return to the base.
4. Mobile sales apps increase productivity
If a sales person or field technician has access to information about a client before the meeting, they don’t have to spend time information-gathering. They can simply turn up and start working. As there is more than just one sales interaction or service visit per day, staff can do their jobs more effectively too. Armed with the right information, they can make better-informed decisions at the point of sale.
5. Mobile sales apps save time and reduce errors
With a traditional CRM system, any data collected by the mobile workforce has to be recorded on site and then a second time back at the office. This duplication of effort is time consuming, and can lead to costly errors. Using a mobile sales app, data can be entered while the sales representative is still on site with a customer. The moment it’s added to the system, employees in the office can see that same data on their screens, and make decisions based on concrete business intelligence.
6. Mobile sales apps improve customer satisfaction
With faster response times, better order fulfilment and more attentive sales visits, mobile solutions offer a massive increase in customer satisfaction. The right mobile tools can have a very positive impact on your bottom line.
Ultimately, it’s not about the technologies, or even processes or best practices. It’s about supporting sales teams to do their jobs. Just as businesses need to appeal to customers on an individual basis, they also need to recognise the working practices of their sales teams. If implemented properly, mobile sales solutions can empower sales teams to reach higher performance levels and give them a competitive advantage by increasing the overall efficiency of work processes. Businesses that have embraced this idea are reaping the benefits.
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