Is it a market issue? In Italy it could be a good alibi, above all in a period like the present one. Sometimes it may be a quality or staff-competence problem, others it may be due to working conditions.
In our activivity, we continually find companies asking us to support them in their sales process digitalization. It may happen that our customers are more concentrated on expected tools or functionalities than on the process itself, “seeing the tree but not the forest around it”.
Below some considerations we find useful to share:
Sales are a process
It may seem obvious, but to digitalize a sales process we must have a clear plan, shared inside the organization: that is not always the case and during the sales network analysis and implementation phases, the need to revise and formalize existing or in-elaboration processes may come up.
Sales imply relationship
Sales processes imply relationships with people (sales network, salespeople and customers), even when mediated or supported by digital tools. It is essential that information “turns around” as much as possible: feedback from customers and sales data must reach those who can adapt sales network organizations or strategies. Here digital tools, if used, allow a historic leap: we must know which key information is to be shared inside the organization and do it in the simplest way.
Sales are implemented strategy
The process must be seen on its whole and it is the car driver who must know where he is going, how to do it and how to choose the right tools and resources. Waiting for sales data to arrive and acting with an “ex-post” approach is like blind-driving while someone tells us where to go.
Marketing and Sales Management must be in the know: constantly informed on consumption trends, competition strategies, their own staff on the field. They must prearrange a clear plan, define offer mix, reference pricing, promotion mechanics and verify whether those are working by means of digital tools accessible nowadays from our smartphone.
Today sales mechanics can be sophisticated and configured with smart systems, leaving no space to improvisation when answering questions such as: which are the initiatives that work and for which customer typology? Have I sold a lot because I am a good salesperson or just a fortunate one? Can I have better margins by modulating prices? Where could I be more efficient? On which customers or products should I concentrate, as there are trends showing a potential not yet exploded?
Afterwards, it is necessary to have a forward-thinking approach, with a view to the future: can I anticipate competition by opening new channels (B2B or B2C e-commerce ) or widen touch-points with current customers by means of new sales modes (reordering via chatbot or vocal interaction)?