Sales processes going digital: more time to spend in one’s core business
The concept of digitalisation is closely linked to that of efficiency. And the digital transformation process that is being so widely talked about now is not undertaken by a company just to feel “au fait”, but to be more successful, competitive and in a position to face a competitive scenario that, relying on new models and cutting-edge technology, makes smartness and efficiency its sharpest weapons. So, when we talk of digitalisation of sales processes, we speak of a deeply transformative process, intended to replace traditional patterns, processes and tools with new operational management methods, methods that rely on next-generation technology. Here’s why technology is said to be the enabler of digital transformation: they are not the same thing, though, the latter is much wider than the former, but, without the right tools, transformation couldn’t possibly happen.
If we delve deeper into this, the digitalisation of sales processes has a clear, plain goal: making sellers focus on their core business, i.e. selling, and set aside the non-core ones that bring no advantage to the company and can sometimes be suggestive of inadequate management. Theory tells us that sellers are expected to focus 100% of their attention to sales: planning, implementing and analysing the tools they can use to maximise their chances of success. Then, of course, there are lots of non-core businesses that are just to be expected and cannot be brushed off overnight: for instance, contacts with potential buyers, handling the customers’ emails, and so on, but managing to get rid of those that are clear symptoms of inefficiency would be a big step forward anyway, with a favourable impact on the sales results.
A few examples of non-core items? Filling a contract by hand, exchanging lots of emails or telephone calls with the sales management to have permission to grant a discount or a specific mix of products, uploading the details of a contract in the corporate CRM, looking for (and failing to find) updated marketing contents, and a multitude of factors that can fill up a typical working day, while distracting the seller from the actual purpose of his job.
Only 37% of time is spent selling
Some surveys have estimated how much time, in a typical working day, sellers spend selling. According to InsideSales, for instance, it’s a serious problem, since only 37% of such time would be spent in the core business. This means that almost two thirds of a working day are wasted in non-core items that produce no income or growth for the company; if they cannot be totally wiped out, appropriate measures should be taken to reduce them, at least. And by quite a lot.
The solution is precisely digital transformation, in other words the addition of new procedures, new operational management methods and new work management tools that can make such transition easier. In particular, sellers (and the whole company) can hugely benefit from using a platform that makes all the sales process easier, from A to Z. Because integration is always a good thing, it prevents mistakes, speeds up processes and actually helps sellers focus on their core business, which is a bit the be-all and end-all of the entire process. If they can rely on a user-friendly tool that can manage the configuration of a deal, a quote, an estimate, the finalisation of the deal and even the uploading of the details in the CRM, then all that “waste” of time is gone. In addition, asking the company for confirmation, finding or creating contents, having special conditions authorised, going back to the buyer with a tailored quote, bringing the signed contract back to the company and uploading the details to the CRM (by hand) will no longer be needed. With all the nice consequences that entails, as much for the seller as for the company.
Obviously, a technological tool is just a component of conversion: it must be supported by a good organisation within the corporate functions and by the right frame of mind, which is ultimately the most important ingredient to success. Because, as for the rest, you have all it takes to win.