Technology continues to advance at lightning speed. It’s these advancements that change the way we live our lives. It seems that new technology impacts just about every aspect of our life.
The way we communicate – from phone calls and letters to texts and social media.
The way we consume entertainment – from going to a theater to streaming content on multiple devices.
The way we travel – from hotels and taxis to Airbnb and Uber.
Our work life is not immune to these advancements. Technology continues to change the way business is conducted as well. In fact, anyone who sells for a living will tell you that technology has made prospecting for new business with traditional methods (i.e., telephone prospecting and email) more challenging than ever before. Technology has made it easier for your prospects to avoid salespeople.
It only takes a quick glance for a prospect to decide if they’re even going to answer your call. If they don’t recognize the number (or maybe even if they do), your chances of getting a prospect to answer your call are significantly lower today than they used to be.
Voicemail systems have been around for a while, but when voicemail was first introduced, people seemed to only rely on it when they were actually on their phone or away from their desk. Today, it seems that letting a call go to voicemail is the default position. It’s more likely than ever that your call will be screened and you’ll end up in voicemail hell.
Anti-spam and artificial intelligence (AI) filters are becoming more prevalent and are making your carefully-crafted email message harder and harder to be found and read by your prospects.
Prospects used to rely on their conversations with salespeople to stay informed on what’s happening in the industry and to satisfy their curiosity about the potential benefits of a particular solution. Today, if your decision-makers have questions or want to explore potential solutions to their business problems, often the first “expert” they consult is Google.
The good news is that technology can also be used to benefit the sales process.
Below are a few ways technology is making prospecting for new business easier and accelerating the pace of deals through the sales funnel.
Search Engine Optimized Content
Since your target decision-makers are looking to Google for answers to their business problems, you should be publishing online content that addresses the issues that are important to them; educates them by communicating your unique perspective; and positions your team as subject matter experts. Creating meaningful content is only part of the equation though. Make sure you’re using sound SEO principals to make sure your target personas can easily find your content.
Networks like LinkedIn and Facebook can be great platforms to promote your content and build an audience for your thought leadership. They can also be used to narrowly target prospects for a marketing campaign or promotion.
Marketing Automation Software
Tools like HubSpot can help transform your website from an online brochure into a dynamic, interactive communication tool. Features such as custom landing pages, call-to-action buttons (CTAs), lead capture forms, and web chat will facilitate communication with your prospects on their terms and timeframe.
Sales Enablement Tools
Hubspot Sales Hub is one example of technology being used to help salespeople improve their efficiency and productivity. Email open and website revisit notifications helps salespeople prioritize who they should be calling on. Meeting scheduling links reduces that back and forth often associated with coordinating calendars and schedule a meeting. Intelligence on the optimal email send times, email templates, and online document libraries are improving email communication. These are just some of the features that are giving salespeople an advantage in the sales process.
As technology advances, it’s up to sales organizations to continuously evaluate their tools and processes. Only those that adopt new technology and adapt to the new ways prospects communicate will consistently achieve their revenue growth objectives.