Sales technology: From Account Manager to AI driven Sales Shark

Our previous two blogs posts focused holistically on the different sales, marketing and service systems: Systems of Engagement as well as the wide marketing software space: Marketing Technology. In this post we will focus on the Sales Technology part.

We can divide this sales technology part to three main phases which need to be established in place in this particular order.

1. Foundational technology to drive your sales - we need that registry of leads, deals, feedback and customer info, as well as a tool for quoting with right product / services. Often the implementation of this phase has been left in the middle and some parts don't even exists so the foundation is not solid enough to build on top of. In principle the more you can do with a single tool, the more it supports sales reps, and the more you are able to drive your sales results through it at the end of the day.

2. Integration with other tools to bring more value - Someone said "no man is an island" (it was actually John Donne Google told me) - but same with the technology "no CRM is an island". There is so much technology we can use nowadays and take a benefit out of and the evolution of these tools is running faster and faster. Therefore, the ability to connect with different sources, different user apps and data analytics is a key. When you have your foundation in place you can simply start with your email, move into the direction of leads entry with for e.g. Zerokeyboard and when deal is agreed ask your customer to sign it with Docusign - just to mentioned a few.

3. Intelligence and insights usage to accelerate business and decision making - When it comes to the data, the key is how to use it. In general we are talking about the category of systems of intelligence. It helps if an individual is a consciously analytical person, but not all of us are. Therefore it helps a lot when you have your foundation in place, integrated with the right tools and sources. You then also need capabilities that support analysing this data - or any data you invent to use in conjunction with your customer info - this of course easily. Sales tools like for e.g. Salesforce with its Einstein - are at the verge of bringing rich data insights along with the work process to boost individual sales people productivity, but only when you have your foundation in place.

So these are the three easy to understand phases of how any company should build their way forward on the Sales Technology side. It is evident that when a sales organization is supported with end to end solutions, there is an enormously higher adoption within the user base as well as a higher probability to succeed.

In relation to these phases we can see huge synergy arising between marketing and sales working tighter together when enabled with technology. And why not? Its clear that when both marketing and sales see the benefit of working together in concrete numbers, this created a positive feedback loop.

Although, there is much discussion at the moment about systems of intelligence, it is clear that many cannot benefit fully from this opportunity. This is because a solid foundation must be built in phases 1 and 2, and not all companies have succeeded with this. We will write a separate blog that covers systems of intelligence at a later point. 

To summarize: build a solid foundation, only after that can you start to benefit from new arising opportunities. 

Written by: Sami Lampinen