There’s a scene in every James Bond movie where Bond gets his new toys. You know: The laser pen, the cuff link radio, the grappling hook made from a shoe. Because when someone is tasked with saving the day, you want to make sure they’ve got every tool they might need for the job.
But in times of economic uncertainty, you’re not looking to an international super spy for help. You’re looking to your sales team to shorten the sales cycle and secure more business. Nevertheless, the same basic principle applies. If you want your sales team to achieve heroic results, it’s important to make sure they’ve got the right tools.
Here are a few smart tech tools that can help your sales team accelerate the sales cycle without overcomplicating their lives. Even better, these tools make it much easier to meet customers where they are and earn their trust.
Tech tools to improve your sales cycle and CX
We spoke to a lot of business leaders for our 2023 Trends Report to learn about the biggest challenges they’re facing this year. While the economy was a concern, it’s not the one that topped the list. Instead, what leaders are most concerned about is improving the customer experience.
What business leaders have realized is that CX is the key to everything else. In some ways, it’s just common sense: Who among us enjoys having a confusing, inconvenient, rude, or otherwise frustrating experience when we’re deciding whether to buy? Far too many companies have become their own worst enemies by creating experiences that discourage interaction and sales.
This is why the most effective tools you can offer your sales team are those that don’t just help them save time and money; they should also create a nicer experience for your customers. CX is the secret ingredient that takes a tech tool from “good enough” to “really great.”
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few kinds of different solutions that combine ease-of-use with a great customer experience.
Show, don’t tell: the power of screen recording video tools
If you’ve ever tried to walk someone through a technical problem over the phone, you’ve probably experienced just how difficult it can be to convey a message with words alone. Sometimes your customers just aren’t going to understand how your product or service solves their problem until they can actually see it in action.
That’s where screen recording video tools can be a game changer. It allows your sales team to provide a real-time experience without being physically present. Here are just a few examples to think about:
- Walkthroughs of presentations or proposals
Do you really want to email that slide deck without any context? Or would you rather share a video of your best salesperson walking the customer through it, focusing on the most important ideas and slides?
- Product or service demos
Seeing is believing. If your product or service can help your customers relieve a major pain point, do you want them to read about it on your website or actually see what you offer in action?
A good onboarding process provides the foundation for customer success. It’s a great idea, then, to help support your customers with video content that offers guidance where and when they need it.
Sales automation tools add hours back to the day for your sales team
Time is perhaps the biggest constraint on your sales team. Even those multi-taskers who manage to triple-book their calendar can only do so much in a day. But what if they had a tool that gave them a few hours back?
That’s where sales automation comes in. These tools allow your team to “set-and-forget” time-consuming but lower-value tasks. The result of this automation is fewer dropped balls or mistakes that could impact your relationship with customers. Just as importantly, it frees up more bandwidth for your sales team to give personal attention to leads.
Here are a couple examples:
- Email scheduling
Email remains a very popular sales channel, but it takes a lot of time, attention, and energy if your team is doing everything on a manual basis. Automating emails is a much more effective way to achieve the same (or better) results.
- Customer relationship management
Data is one of your most valuable resources, but there’s often a lag between when your sales team captures information about a new lead and when it gets added to your CRM system. Automating that process means those critical points of data are usable as soon as they’re captured.
And if you really want to make people happy? Combine this with your marketing CRM to make sure your customers don’t have to keep giving you the same information over and over. The easier you make life for them, the more they’ll want to do business with you.
- Filtering leads
All that data you’re collecting is also a helpful way to sort out your most promising leads. By automating your prospecting process, you can quickly find the most valuable leads using insights from your customer data.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Automation can be helpful for scheduling meetings, deal management, contract and RFP generation, and a whole lot more.
SMS automation helps you captivate your customers
Your sales team doesn’t want to talk at customers. They want to have conversations, because that’s how you build relationships, increase your sales, and provide a better experience.
SMS automation is the best way to bring real-time, two-way conversations into the sales cycle.
Why? Because, as our research uncovered, SMS is the channel where your customers are most likely to respond quickly, and expect a quick response in return.
Unlike email, SMS allows for a quick, helpful back and forth, without the formality or lag that comes with sending emails. That may be why 30% of the people we surveyed respond to an SMS in under two minutes (only 18% of people respond that quickly to an email).
When should you use SMS automation? Here are a few great ways to keep your sales cycle moving quickly:
- Meeting reminders
No more missed appointments. SMS automation makes it easy to send out a reminder, so you don’t lose days with rescheduling.
- Begin a conversation
Haven’t heard from a new customer recently? Our survey revealed they want the capability to text you about customer service concerns above anything else. Start that conversation with an automated SMS to check in.
- Share discount codes or promotional news
More than two-thirds of the people we surveyed said they made a purchase after receiving an advertising SMS or discount coupon.
- Manage onboarding
Automate onboarding checklist reminders, open opportunities for questions, and check in to make sure your customer is having a great experience.
To make things even more efficient, some SMS automation platforms (like ours) can be integrated into your CRM system. With everything in one spot, your sales team can send SMS messaging without having to fiddle with a new window, program, or app – further improving their effectiveness.
Whether your sales team is B2C or B2B, they’re still talking to people — and everyone appreciates a great customer experience. By giving your sales team user-friendly tools that keep CX front and center, you can help them be heroes not only to your company, but to your customers.
Does your sales team need a little mission intelligence?
Our 2023 trends report offers insights on the biggest challenges business leaders are facing this year.