The digital world is disrupting how customers buy and the way businesses sell. Today, customers are much more informed, controlling their own buying journey. At the same time, businesses also have more customer data than ever before. There is a huge opportunity for sales leaders to unlock the value of customer data in order to build better relationships and ultimately increase revenue growth. Digital technology is a requirement, not an option. Sales leaders need to look to technology to drive sales – that means higher customer engagement, deeper customer insights, empowered sales reps, and increased productivity.
However, the struggle many sales leaders face is how to empower sellers to be successful through technology. Often, sales reps are opposed to using tools. They view it as an administrative task or something used by management to track their activity.
By combining technology and human resources, sales organizations can transform into a high performing, data-driven entity.
A Microsoft study found that a sales-centric group of companies enjoyed an annual 50% increase in revenue growth. These companies embraced digital transformation and prioritized technology to gain insights from data and drive customer engagement and sales from those new insights.
The study shares findings about the different ways companies embrace technology and the impact on revenue growth. Microsoft identified four phases of technology adoption and noted that the fastest growing companies pass through each phase along the Sales Technology Transformation Curve.
The Sales Technology Transformation Curve
Where does your sales organization fall on the curve?
Skeptics believe technology is inferior to engaged reps – it actually gets in the way of selling. These companies like to focus on building one-on-one relationships. They may have tried to implement technology in the past, but it was either improperly implemented or it was too difficult, putting a halt to the project.
This group reported the lowest sales growth of 10%.
Followers use technology for basic reporting and productivity. They’ve invested in CRM, but are reluctant to continue on-going investments in advanced technology. These organizations typically operate in silos, with limited integration between departments and poor data integrity because CRM data entry is not enforced. Culture is often what holds them back.
The average sales growth for this group was 20%. 70% of respondents fell into this category.
Strivers use technology to transform their sales functions to provide automation, customer engagement, collaboration, and reporting. Technology is embraced company-wide, with integration between departments. However, they do not heavily experiment with technology. Instead, these companies are focused and cautious when making new technology investments to drive efficient sales.
This group reported sales growth of around 40%.
Drivers use technology in strategic ways to drive sales through active data management and deep customer insights. They are constantly experimenting with advanced digital technologies and tools to gain an advantage. Customer engagement is defined by the number of social touches with the customer and less by personal relationships. All initiatives come from the top down, and a tech-centric culture helps guarantee adoption.
This group had the highest sales growth of 50%.
Digital transformation is about reinvention and building on what you already have in place. Organizations can adopt digital technologies that will help deepen custom engagement and provide actionable insights to enable business transformation.
To watch the webinar on The Four Phases of Digital Transformation in Sales, view it here on demand.
If you’d like to learn more about improving the technology in your sales organizations, we’ve written an eBook – How an Intelligent Business Platform Will Rock Your Business.