Your sales team is busy: so busy, your team members sometimes don’t even have time to actually sell. Between staff meetings, prospecting, travel, email management, data entry, and other administrative tasks, there’s not much room to center the client. But sales teams still need to prioritize key relationship-building if they want to succeed.
To better support your team in allocating more time to actual sales, you need to look at your tech. The coming year will see massive technological advances that can streamline workflows and improve productivity. They can also mean better employee satisfaction and less workplace stress. Here are some of the sales tools your company should consider for 2024.
1. Video Tools
In 2024, sales professionals will continue to hold meetings and close deals primarily online. But Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings alone just won’t cut it. Prospective clients will demand more flexible options that cater to their schedules and timelines without sacrificing clarity or effectiveness. Tools that enable faster, more efficient virtual sales presentations will become absolutely crucial for successful business growth.
While there will still be a place for traditional, real-time virtual meetings, 2024 should see increasing adoption of screen recorder tools. This technology enables sales professionals to record content-packed, straight-to-the-point tutorials. On-screen notation and helpful visuals let sales associates deliver a message in a quicker, more impactful way, on clients’ timelines.
Certain screen recorders and other video presentation tools can also deliver important insights about viewers. Data analytics features can capture information about unique visits, viewers, shares, and engagement levels. They can tell you which CTAs are working and which videos or presentations are keeping viewers interested and watching to the end.
2. Calendar and Scheduling Tools
Even with a perfect video recorder tool, some meetings with prospects still need to happen in real-time. Potential customers still want to chat face-to-face with a real human, and ask specific questions about your product. You already know you need tools to hold effective virtual meetings, but what about the scheduling process?
The back and forth it takes to get a Zoom meeting on your calendar can take up more time than the actual call. In 2024, all sales teams should have a system in place to automate this functionality for them. A dedicated scheduling platform takes the work off their plate, allowing prospects to schedule their own meetings.
The right meeting scheduler acts as its own marketing tool, letting clients schedule with you right from your website, social, or LinkedIn page. It can also let you set timeframes or limit the amount of meetings you take in a day, to help improve focus and avoid overwhelm. It should also automate the process of sending client reminders and including a link to the virtual meeting.
3. Advanced CRMs
You almost certainly already have an enterprise-level customer relationship management tool for your sales team (if you don’t, get one right away). But it might be time to upgrade your team to the next generation of CRM tools. Newer CRMs and add-ons incorporate artificial intelligence, automation, and dozens of other powerful new technologies.
Newer CRMs can use AI to assist with email personalization, scanning news and company information to find opportunities for connection. Most will also offer built-in live chat functionality that saves (and analyzes) information about every customer interaction. They will also handle task management and automate mundane workflows.
As social media becomes increasingly important in sales interactions, newer CRMs have better social integrations. Any CRM you consider should have an intuitive, flawlessly synced mobile app, so your associates can access it on the go. Your CRM should also have built-in features like automated lead scoring and email template generation.
4. Sales Forecasting and Predictive Analytics Tools
Whether as part of a CRM or as stand-alone software, your team will need sales forecasting and predictive analytics tools. Predictive analytics and forecasting tools look at your historical sales data and use it to calculate future sales. More advanced options can use AI to combine internal sales records with up-to-the-minute external data — like news events — to produce better forecasts.
Some tools can analyze long standing customer data and compare it with info about new prospects. It can then determine the likelihood of a conversion and a longer-term client relationship. Predictive analytics can be very useful in general for personalizing and tailoring messaging to each client, even considering factors like timing or weather.
Predictive analytics programs can look at each clients’ past interactions with sales or marketing content and determine what might work best in the future. It can also be used to predict the likelihood of customer churn. With this information, it can then recommend just the right product or series of actions a team member should use to retain the customer.
So Much More to Come
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new sales technologies on the way. AI and automation are still in their early stages, and new potential use cases emerge every day. While these four areas are some of the most important places to start, it’s important to keep an eye on developing trends. At the same time, don’t rush to adopt every new tool or technology; focus on the right fit for your company.