Cloud Tools Can Help Increase Sales
How new cloud technology can help you source, manage and close more leads. We take a look at how you can use cloud software to boost your sales team’s productivity and clinch more of those all-important deals!
Selling and Marketing is integral to every business and a company’s sales team is undoubtedly crucial to its success. Often sales processes are disjointed and individual salespersons work to their own agenda; fierce competition usually means that the best sellers keep their methods close to their chest. This makes the task of tracking and optimizing processes difficult for managers.
However, new developments in cloud based software are providing sales teams with some innovative solutions that can dramatically improve processes and subsequently help sales departments close more deals! In 2013, Gene Marks, writing for Forbes, concluded that cloud services were too expensive for small businesses, but prices are coming down as the marketplace becomes more competitive and infrastructure relatively cheaper.
Manage relationships better
A good cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform allows employees to quickly access and share customer details, improving the flow of information within a sales team. Keeping CRM systems updated reduces time wasted chasing down client contact information. Often new customer leads are lost in email archives, or worse, on scraps of paper, but a good sales team manager should ensure that all leads and customer information are added to the CRM database so they can be easily accessed by everyone.
Cloud based CRM software provide instant access to customer information. The benefit of opting for a cloud based system rather than building an in-house database is that the CRM system is accessed over the internet. This means that the field sales team can access and update information using their smartphones or laptops, regardless of where they are. Many CRM solutions provide apps for Apple and Android devices that allow details to be updated even when a roaming internet connection is not available; the info is then synced when the device next links up to the web.
A team that works together will always achieve greater success. Cloud-based project management software allows managers to delegate certain jobs to staff and track their performance. Tasks can be assigned, deadlines set, and progress recorded by any member of the team.
Most importantly, tasks are not forgotten. If somebody is away from the office on a day they had planned a follow-up call for a big prospect, another team member can step in to close the deal.
A sales team leader needs to know that each member of their team are pulling their weight and bringing in new deals. Cloud based planning tools allow managers to track results in real time (so long as the sales team keep the tools updated). Transparent platforms that allow all team members to view each other’s progress can make sales staff more competitive and eager to sell more. SalesForce is one of the leading sales management solutions, and they have also moved all of their services to the cloud.
Channel your best resources
Some sales staff will outperform their colleagues at different times. Cloud sales systems such as PipeDrive and Zoho allow managers to monitor sales results and delegate the best sales people to the most important deals.
Ensuring that each employee to working to their strengths will help forge better relationships with clients and ultimately boost your sales figures.
Staff performance management is a key feature of many sales tools; it takes the guess work out of determining which team member is the best and determines which employees are meeting their performance targets (and, of course, who is failing).
Sales is an incredibly dynamic area of business. In the past managers would often rely on monthly reports prepared by office assistants that detailed how well each salesperson performed. This system meant that decisions were reactive. Real-time reporting delivers a constant stream of sales data that can be used to proactively adjust strategies to take advantage of new opportunities and identify bottlenecks in the sales process.
Cloud systems are rapidly moving from data storage to complex data analysis and reporting, which is providing new challenges for IT support services, who are having to adopt new solutions and implement more complex networks, while also keeping costs to a minimum to attract SMEs. This is good news for businesses, providing them with invaluable data to help improve processes, optimise strategies and gain a competitive edge.
Cloud-based CRM, sales and project management platforms are helping businesses to grow faster in a crowded market, making them a crucial investment for any organisation that wants to develop a competitive edge in their sector.
By Gary Gould
Gary is the co-founder of the first independent cloudware comparison website. With decades of experience in the technology industry, Gary is well-placed to discuss the pros and cons of the latest cloud-based applications to hit the market. Compare, choose your favourites, and buy the cloud-based tool that works best for your business with CompareCloudware.com.