Today, many technology companies have a sales structure that includes a greater mix of inside sales professionals than outside sales professionals. While this trend is particularly dominant within the tech space, there is significant evidence that this shift is occurring much more broadly. In fact, a study conducted by Steve W. Martin, professor at the University of Southern California, found that 46 percent of sales leaders reported a move within their sales organization from field sales to inside sales.
In this new modern sales era, CRM solutions are no longer enough. In fact, according to a previous study, CRM users fall short in online lead response, with a staggering number of companies using top CRM solutions waiting days or weeks to respond to what should have been seen as a “hot lead.”
The reality is, high-velocity buying calls for a new sales approach and new tools that combines the science and the art of selling. By establishing repeatable sales processes and optimizing those processes through scientific analysis, salespeople are able to handle more opportunities, and provide responsive and tailored buyer experiences. Here are four major new technology categories that are emerging that help sales teams keep pace with the speed of opportunity:
1 – Predictive Analytics: When used in the sales process, predictive analytics can be a powerful tool for extracting customer data to identify buying signals and high-priority prospects. A few of the players in this market include:
– Lattice Engines: Their predictive analytics solution enables sales organizations to mine large data sets on prospective buyers to identify buying signals.
– Birst: The predictive analytics capabilities of Birst’s business intelligence platform can be used by any member of the sales team to gain intelligent insights into the true causes of bottlenecks, how to best track and improve sales performance and how to target high-revenue markets and prospects.
2 – Sales Enablement: Sales enablement applications collect, analyze and convey relevant information for your sales team. Using this info helps sales reps understand their prospects’ challenges, so they can present more appropriate content and provide better solutions. A few players in this space include:
– InsideView: Integrated with CRM systems, InsideView provides a platform that gathers real-time insights from multiple sources so that marketing and sales are armed with relevant customer information.
– Savo: Savo’s sales productivity software solutions offer sales managers the ability to help new hires stay on track by delivering them role-specific learning activities, coaching, expert connections and relevant content.
– Seismic: By connecting presentations, documents and spreadsheets to live sources of information, Seismic’s sales enablement platform enables sales reps to deliver a personalized, one-to-one customer experience.
3 – Sales Acceleration: Sales acceleration technologies close the gap between sales and marketing teams. Some of the companies that operate in this arena are:
– Five9: Five9’s cloud contact center software includes native social, mobile, chat and email applications that enable reps to reach out to more customers through multiple channels.
– TAS Group: To increase sales velocity, The TAS Group’s Dealmaker Smart Software updates forecasts and offers visibility into the sales pipeline, giving in-depth analysis of a sales team’s performance.
– Velocify: Velocify’s intelligent sales automation solutions accelerate sales performance through rapid lead response, increased selling discipline, and improved sales team productivity.
4 – Social Selling: Social selling tools can help salespeople identify the right prospects, engage with them, build relationships, and generate a level of trust between sales reps and prospects. A few players in this space include:
– LinkedIn: LinkedIn Sales Navigator solution makes social selling easier by offering sales reps a steady stream of updated information on potential leads.
– Hearsay Social: The Hearsay Social platform applies leading social business techniques to help financial reps attract prospects, retain customers, deepen relationships and grow the business.
In the modern sales landscape, these emerging categories of sales technologies will bridge the gap between buyer and seller. By utilizing these new sales technologies and trends, sales leaders can address the evolving buyer dynamic, accelerate their selling processes and close more deals.
About the author: Nick Hedges is president and CEO of Velocify and a 15 year veteran of the Internet and SaaS industries. Nick has spent the last six years helping organizations accelerate sales performance and recently became an advisory board member for the Association of Inside Sales Professionals. Nick is a Fulbright Scholar, holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree from Manchester University.