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Why your sales reps must go digital in 2018

October 3, 2017 By Stacey Woods

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The changing role of the sales reps

Digital technology is taking over the manual data entry tasks that once took up so much of sales reps’ time. The job of a sales rep who has gone digital is no longer focused on taking and processing orders. It’s more about becoming a trusted advisor, providing guidance and business insights.

Sales automation liberates sales reps from data management and data entry, resulting in more effective selling.

Sales automation and your customers

An effective sales strategy should first consider what your customers want.

B2B buyers want help from sales reps when their purchases are complicated or high value, to negotiate the price, or when a solution involves installation and servicing. In these cases, they expect a ‘consultant’ sales rep to have done their homework about their unique needs, and define where they can add value to their business.

They want to communicate digitally, via email, or collaborative software rather than a traditional phone call.

Sales reps need the right digital tools to accommodate their customer’s needs and build up better relationships for the future to help them differentiate themselves against increasing competition.

Why your digital strategy should extend to all B2B transactions

Digital is just as important in B2B eCommerce, self-service purchases as it is for full-service purchases.  According to Forrester, 75% of B2B buyers say it’s more convenient to buy from a B2B e-commerce site than from a sales rep.

In the same report, 93% say they prefer buying online rather than from a sales rep, once they’ve decided what to buy but B2B wholesale businesses currently only focus on B2B e-commerce for simple and low-value transactions, and not complex, larger ones.

By using one digital B2B sales platform for all purchases and sales interactions, across all channels, sales reps and customers have access to sales history and stats anytime, anywhere. Sales reps can use mobile CRM information to build customer intimacy, make relevant product recommendations, saving time and increasing efficiency.

Sales rep software must be mobile

Your sales reps are in the field and the digital technology needs to be there with them so your sales rep software must be optimized for mobile devices so reps can quickly and easily enter orders and view customer purchasing, and order history.

Don't forget integration

To get the full benefit from sales automation, it must be integrated with all software solutions used by your business to streamline operations and ensure that all business data is updated in real-time.

Integration with your ERP ensures a seamless and efficient sales process from order taking to delivery.

What happens if your sales reps don’t go digital?

40% of businesses who don’t respond to the demand for digital will go out of business in 10 years, that’s the prediction from outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers, businesses need to invest in the right digital technology to evolve and stay ahead.