Why using the right sales technology can be crucial to connect with buyers

LinkedIn's first-ever edition of State of Sales- India Report shares the key take-ways and actionable insights for sales and marketing professionals.

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Today, technology, and particularly sales automation, is bringing new levels of productivity to selling.
By Edward Hunter

In recent years, we have entered the era of insight-led marketing and of highly personalised services and experiences. To keep pace with the fast-changing, complex and demanding business landscape, sales professionals need to deploy innovative and modern selling practices. Today, technology, and particularly sales automation, is bringing new levels of productivity to selling. Sales intelligence tools help to build a seller’s understanding before they engage with a customer or prospect. This enables them to deliver greater insight and value from the start.

India has historically been a relationship-based sales environment, characterised largely by referral selling, wherein building and maintaining credibility is important. Therefore, relationships, built on a foundation of trust are more important than ever before. Sales professionals, particularly those from younger generations, are embracing new technologies to bridge the gaps with buyers, build trusted relationships and increase their relevance.


To be successful in today’s buying and selling landscape, sales professionals need to be able to build relationships at scale by leveraging sales technology to engage with the right contacts at the right time, while fostering human connection and trust. Here’s a deeper look at some of these top trends from the first The India State of Sales 2019 LinkedIn report that differentiate some of the top sellers and how they are using insights and data to over-achieve their quotas.

Businesses are increasing their investments in sales tech
Technology is helping sales professionals extend their impact by automating administrative tasks and gathering intelligence about prospects. Therefore, businesses are increasing their planned investments in sales technology. The first The State of Sales 2019 - India Edition that looks at top sales professionals who have achieved their quotas has found that close to 71% of sales professionals are expecting their company to invest more money in sales technology next year, and almost all sales professionals (94%) now use technology to close more deals in India. Scaling customer relationships by leveraging technology is at the heart of modern selling. As per the survey, sales teams are turning to cloud based software to accelerate productivity. Using sales tech can help you stay current with your relationships enhance productivity, and gather contextual insights about customers.

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Trust is the No. 1 factor in closing deals
There’s nothing quite as persuasive or as effective as the “human touch” to crack a sales deal. Conventional sales approaches are just not as effective anymore - buyers find them cold and impersonal. In India, earning and maintaining trust remains important as consumer skepticism of big brands peaks. Decision-makers expect highly personalised recommendations from well-informed sales professionals who demonstrate a clear understanding of their business needs. 55% of decision-makers rank trust as the No. 1 factor they desire in a salesperson, and 32% sales professionals rank trust as the most important contributor in closing a deal - even above ROI (25%) and price (12%). Buyers are also more likely to engage with sales when introduced through a mutual connection, particularly if the sales professional represents a strong brand.

The marketing and sales divide is diminishing
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90% of top sales professionals rate marketing’s importance in closing deals at an 8 or above, and 52% gave them a rating of 10. This indicates that the sales and marketing divide is diminishing, and they are working more closely together than ever before. Findings of the LinkedIn report reveal that younger professionals are eager to orchestrate marketing and sales efforts for better results, with 59% of millennials saying that they work “very closely” with marketing. It’s clear that sales and marketing alignment is key to customer advocacy going forward.

Millennials are adopting sales tech and expect personalization
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Millennials are early adopters of new sales technologies and tools and are proving to be among the more successful sales professionals. In fact, 73% millennials say they anticipate spending more time this year using sales technology, in comparison to 61% non-millennial sales professionals. We are also going to see a fundamental shift in the workforce from non-millennial to millennial as millennials gain more influence in the workforce and transition to become key decision makers, making up to 46% of professionals by 2020. Millennials tap into marketing insights at higher rates, using new strategies such as establishing a close-knit relationship with marketing. Through their innovative methods, millennials are changing the face of sales as we know it.
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The writer is the Head of Sales Solutions- India at LinkedIn.
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