A primary role of sales leaders is to motivate their sales teams and improve their performance. As technology, data and science have now become primary drivers in the sales industry; these provide powerful tools to help improve motivation by increasing productivity, efficiency and perhaps the strongest of all – sales performance and results. Gamification technologies have been shown to be effective at improving the productivity of salespeople. Sales automation technologies offer the clear advantage of improving sales team efficiency. Sales acceleration technologies speed up the sales process, allowing sales personnel to achieve successful results and completed sales more quickly.
1. Gamification – Increase Sales Productivity
The sales industry is often a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, so sales leaders seek to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty in the sales team. Many organizations are using gamification in their sales activities, which Gartner defines as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”
Given the competitive nature of salespeople, the application of digital game design techniques to the sales environment is a natural fit. The organization can construct contests, competitions, and leaderboards around some different metrics; using the game mechanics to create fun, challenging, competitive and visual experiences with goals, achievement levels, and rewards. The goal is for the individuals or teams to engage with the “game” and participate. This participation can be used to increase product knowledge and build skills, as well as helping to keep the sales team engaged with customers and the sales process – increasing lead conversions.
2. Sales Automation – Increase Efficiency
Sales people can view routine tasks as mundane and thankless, although these can be crucial to the overall sales process. Sales automation technologies allow many typical administrative activities to be automated, significantly increasing the efficiency of the sales team.
These platforms can be used by marketers to schedule and track campaigns, and by sales personnel to efficiently manage and track contacts, directly inputting into the CRM information such as the logging of call activity, call attempts, voicemail attempts, and email correspondence. The systems can go further and trigger reminders for appointments and actions; automate such tasks as sending predetermined follow-up letters and emails at set times; or sort and prioritize leads into categories such as qualified, interested or already contacted based on pre-specified parameters.
These technologies can also help ensure the accuracy of information as well as prevent loss information and opportunities, such as failure to follow up with a lead. The automation saves the sales team time by automating time-consuming tasks, increasing their efficiency and freeing them for other sales efforts- a significant motivator to maximize productivity.
3. Sales Acceleration – Increase Conversions
Sales acceleration as a term generally encompasses a variety of technology solutions under an umbrella as tools to accelerate sales – to shorten the sales cycle and a buyer’s purchase path so that opportunities are converted more quickly into actual sales and customers. These rapidly expanding technologies are considered to bridge the gap between CRM systems traditionally part of sales and the marketing automation systems; and while not fitting precisely in either, improving marketing and sales collaboration across a platform.
These solutions generally allow organizations to maximize use of their data resources; and rely on speed in data analysis, data presentation, and responsive actions. These technologies cover a variety of areas – sales intelligence, analytics, data visualization, gamification, automated email, email tracking, webinars and online video conferencing and social media. The specific tools that will most effectively accelerate sales may vary by organization and by industry and change over time. However, tools that help salespeople accelerate sales and increase conversions into actual purchase transactions faster clearly enhance sales motivation.
Technologies are crucial in today’s sales industry, which increasingly relies on data, speed, and science. The three discussed above, gamification, sales automation, and sales acceleration can be effective tools for sales organizations to motivate sales teams by increasing productivity, efficiency, and conversions.