Technology has touched many aspects of modern life. Some may say too many, but we’re not here to argue the effects of computers on society. We’re discussing advancements in sales technology and their benefits to inside sales. Technology has affected almost every part of the buyer’s journey. It’s allowed for the transition of many sales roles to move inside. Let’s start by reviewing a basic path to sale to look at the impact of technology advancements.

1. Workflow

A fully outlined lead management process is number one in our Checklist for an Effective Inside Sales Strategy eBook. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) play a role in simplifying the lead workflow. A CRM with custom workflow creation and/or AI capabilities automatically sort and route leads to move prospects through the sales pipeline from start to completion.

Review your data to find out what works and what doesn’t in your lead workflow. Apply those findings in your CRM, and you’re on your way to creating a repeatable, successful inside sales process. As a result, no more leads fall through the cracks due to human error or poor organizational skills.

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2. Prospecting/Research

Inside sales reps used to spend a lot of time and effort researching prospects.  Think phone books, printed articles, and manual effort. Today’s sales technology provides quick, online access to prospect information and industry statistics. Inside sales reps now research by accessing all the content available online:

  • a target account’s content marketing efforts
  • social media posts
  • online reviews
  • and more

Retrieving company and contact information is easier than ever with today’s technology. Some lead management solutions let reps conduct online research from within the platform.

3. Communication

Tech-empowered communications have provided incredible improvements for inside sales reach. The inside sales tech trifecta is queue-based routing, progressive auto dialer, and logical branch scripting. Together, this trio increases call productivity and efficiency.

  • Queue-based routing ensures your reps receive the next-best lead automatically. You set up the criteria to dictate the routing.
  • Progressive auto dialing takes the next best lead and has it ready to go when a rep finishes his or her current call.
  • Logical branch scripting ensures each rep is on-message and has access to important information.

Automatic dialing and queue-based routing are two features that increase inside sales performance. Auto dialing increases call productivity. When a representative finishes one call, the next is ready to go. When you couple auto dialing with queue-based routing, your reps call the next best leads. Queue-based routing lets you create intelligent workflows to rank leads for sales reps.

Once your rep reaches a lead, other technologies may come into play with complex B2B sales. Online meetings and video chats have replaced the need for onsite, in-person meetings and demos in many industries. These changes mean more companies can transition from field sales teams to an inside sales organization.

Other Inside Sales Technology Communication Advancements

Sales technology advancements have ushered in other forms of communication for salespeople. Automated emails, social media, and (SMS) text messaging have become popular ways to connect with and nurture prospects.

When looking for a quick reply, text messaging is the way to go. Inside sales reps can use texts to notify customers of renewals, to confirm appointments, or to follow up. Social media gives representatives another way to engage with prospects. It’s also an opportunity to establish thought leadership.

 4. Tracking/Reporting

Tracking capabilities have evolved from manual record keeping to software doing reporting for you. Data is practically running business today. For example, VanillaSoft’s Call-Activity Dashboard allows management to keep tabs on metrics in real-time. You can tweak call scripts and campaigns at the first sign of an issue.

The wealth of data available to sales managers is terrific, but it can get overwhelming. Focus on measuring the key performance indicators (KPIs) that impact your objectives. Assessing a narrow portion will make managing the data simpler. Call duration, the number of follow-ups, and average sales are a few of the KPIs you’ll want to review. Find out a few others in our Checklist for an Effective Inside Sales Strategy. Tracking and reporting aren’t limited to hard data. Today, management has more control of sales functionalities. The ability to monitor and record calls allows managers to assess sales rep call performance, identify training opportunities, and perform quality control.

Tracking and reporting isn’t limited to hard data. Today, management has more control of sales functionalities. The ability to monitor and record calls allows managers to assess sales rep call performance, identify training opportunities, and perform quality control.

Looking at these four core aspects of how sales technology has affected inside sales clarifies what we already know. Automation and software simplify and improve sales productivity.