Presently, field sales teams have a number of digital tools at their fingertips. From presentation tools to Salesforce data and business card scanners – as long as wi-fi connections are strong, mobile devices are quietly revolutionizing how sales teams perform outside of office environments.
However the challenge, according to research by Corporate Executive Board, is that buyers are now avoiding sales teams until around 57% of the purchasing process is complete. This change in role means a greater focus on preparedness for salespeople. For example, first interactions often aren’t ‘fact-finding’ missions as they once were. Buyers tend to be wiser, and well-informed long before the meeting, owing to the sheer volume of information available online. As a result of this, face-to-face meetings need to offer more; they really need to deliver value. This is where digital tools can help.
Visually pleasing presentations are easier to develop and deliver on mobile devices, than they ever were with print documents. The simple fact that the human brain processes visualizations thousands of times faster than plain text gives modern-day sales teams an inbuilt advantage. The US Foods field sales app is a fine example of this, with sales presentations available to national teams showcasing vector images of fresh food from the various brands.
Sales departments now know that relationships alone can only deliver so much. We’re in the height of a period where the integration of sales, marketing and customer service is what keeps the best performing sales teams delivering. Buyers are increasingly connected and will quickly learn about customer service from online forums and debates. Online marketing material needs to create an impact and quickly. Companies are competing with news, reports and email for buyer’s time. With this in mind, encouraging prospective buyers to download an app and focus their attention is wise.
As sales team and buyer relationships develop there’s no doubt that new suites of tools will emerge to support the changing roles. An app which helps sales team to deliver engaging presentations both online and offline; is part of the way to revolutionising the process. Collaboration between sales, marketing and customer services departments to deepen on company messaging is next in securing the trust of potential buyers.
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