There are many sales solutions out there that look nice, that are optimized for mobile, have CRM and give valuable reports, but how many of them are actually able to empower your sales reps to be more productive and increase their numbers?
Unfortunately, most of sales solutions available nowadays are not built using most advanced technologies, especially not Artificial intelligence and Machine learning.
Nevertheless, technology is disrupting many industries of today including B2B sales and wholesale and the sales solution that you implement today can hugely impact your position in the market tomorrow.
Productivity growth as #1 priority
When we sum up results of many pieces of research among wholesale trade and distribution industry (in most cases conducted in the USA) number one business concern is how to increase revenue while improving base profitability.
This is understandable as growing revenue and profits lies at the heart of every business. It sounds very straightforward but keep in mind that we are talking about a wholesale industry where the number one pain point is a low-growth environment with constantly decreasing margins.
What is more interesting is how companies plan on growing revenue – almost 60% are looking to grow revenue from their existing customer base and cut cost by improving current employee productivity. This means huge pressure on existing sales teams and customer base to sell/buy more.
Rising pressure on sales department and how technology can help
Above mentioned options for increasing revenue and cutting cost are actually related to improving overall organizational productivity, especially when it comes to the sales department. Simply put, with the same number of sales reps companies would need to sell more to current customer base – much, much more.
The greatest productivity boost is obviously achieved when sales are improved within the current workforce span. How can this be done? Here comes technology, seen as an endless booster of individual and overall organization’s productivity. Not technology as a general term but solutions, apps, tools based on advanced and modern technology. This is where ERP systems, CRM, order management and mobile ordering tools, automated billing, route planning and other sales tools should come into place.
Sales solutions unfit for the real business needs – what is missing?
What is happening right now in B2B sales? Are above-mentioned solutions helping, for example, field sales as still dominant sales channel in wholesale trade?
When we look at what field sales representatives do every day in wholesale trade and distribution – it has not changed much over recent years. From the very beginning of this type of selling, job description included going out of the office, meeting with clients, presenting company’s products and services, filling up orders… And although technology is changing rapidly and influencing many aspects of our everyday lives, it looks like the field sales or any other type of sales in wholesale trade and distribution is falling behind.
Falling behind in the sense that solutions based on advanced technology became too ubiquitous for wholesale trade sales to stay out of its reach. Some sales teams, for example, have been using it in recent years. GPS apps help field sales reps organize their travel plans, and interactive catalogs, mobile ordering apps, help them present products in a more engaging manner.
There are also business software solutions like CRM and mobile CRM, that help sales team leaders and company management understand sales rep performance, see which products are sold better than others, and measure overall results.
Why we cannot see huge productivity jumps from sales teams using described tools and products?
All of this is not revolutionary. It speeds up some aspects of the job, helps crunch some numbers faster at that’s it. Why we cannot see huge productivity jumps from sales teams while they are using described tools and products? Here is what is missing in sales solutions organizations are currently using:
- SINGLE POINT FOR ALL BI – There is no single point, a platform or a solution that can generate true knowledge across the organization, empowering business intelligence without the need for additional analytics done by humans.
- SALES SOLUTIONS THAT CANNOT GUIDE HUMANS – This means all of the technologies are still simple, descriptive – from CRMs to mobile ordering solutions. They can help but they cannot guide sales reps in the true sense of that word – neither single sales members nor the managers or GMOs. Existing sales solutions cannot tell sales reps what to sell, when to sell it and to whom, right?
- MOBILE SALES SOFTWARE NOT DESIGNED BY SALES EXPERTS – Most of the mobile ordering solutions for wholesale trade and especially field sales are not designed by experts in this field. So instead of knowing what your needs are, they think they know what they might be.
- DISCONNECTED TOOLS – All tools and technologies operate in their own way, disconnected from other data or other tools organizations might be using. Imagine raising that to the global level and all different ERPs, systems, and teams. Eventually, these tools will need consolidation as they begin eating too much of the time (and money) they were created to save.
- NO TRUE OMNI-CHANNEL SALES SOLUTION – There are many different solutions covering different sales channels but there is no single solution for wholesale trade and distribution industry that has multiple tools to cover all sales channels including field sales, telesales, channel sales and online sales.
In order to significantly increase organization’s productivity modern wholesale trade and distribution companies and brands need to think beyond descriptive and simple mobile ordering solutions that are out there. Sales solutions for simple technologies will not bring the productivity jump wholesale trade, and especially sales teams need – between 20 – 100% single person productivity in order to bypass constant margin drop.
Wholesale trade, distribution organizations and brands need to think about sales solutions that have all of the above that is missing – only sales solutions that are utilizing the most advanced technologies like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence can really fill all the gaps and make every single sales rep up to 100% more productive.
If you are in need of omnichannel sales solution and think it can improve your productivity – schedule a demo and our experts will guide you through Intelisale solution step by step.