Sales people are facing almost unparalleled levels of competition. Consequently they need to be diligent in choosing their assistants. Assistants in this context relates metaphorically to the role technology plays as a virtual sales assistant.
The technology (assistant) refers to a software suite that comprises a company’s business intelligence solution integrated with CRM and marketing automation. A good example of this suite is world leading SugarCRM connected to sales-i, a leading customer intelligence solution, and Act-On , a leading marketing automation solution. A software suite that includes customer intelligence is especially suitable for those organizations that sell many products to many companies.
The core use case for sales people to work closely with their virtual assistant suite is to manage, and take action on the plethora of information available. They must do this within their sales process to address the following two key strategic areas:
Let’s examine these two key strategies:
Penetration and retention of existing customers:
Customer intelligence solutions such as sales-i provides information that tells the sales person a customer's buying history. This indicates where they have been with a customer (past sales), where they are now (current sales), and where they would like to go (future sales).
The virtual assistant suite plays a major role as the marketing automation component, synced with the CRM, enters the mix to take action on selected customer targets with tactics such as: email marketing campaigns and powerful automated marketing campaigns. This entails a series of automated timed tasks such as, emails and scheduled activities. This is truly a “take action” strategy - difficult and virtually impossible to “pull off” without a virtual assistant!
New customer development:
New customer development is now much more reliant on marketing automation and inbound marketing. This is in contrast to traditional outbound marketing that includes field cold calling, outbound telephone calling, and trade shows. Automated marketing campaigns execute a lead nurturing strategy – helping to qualify leads that result in higher conversions to new customers.
Inbound marketing is the result of search engine optimization - optimizing company websites to draw visitors and evaluating and converting qualified leads and syncing them into CRM systems for sales people to follow up.
It must be noted, however, that outbound marketing isn’t going away, and never will. It will always be effective in some markets, and with various product mixes. A huge benefit, however, is that inbound marketing and marketing automation campaigns make outbound marketing more effective. It provides sales people with at least partially qualified leads, producing a higher ratio of converting leads to new customers and reducing costly and low return telephone and field cold calling.
More companies need to provide sales people with the technology that comprises the virtual sales assistant that we reference here. It gives them much stronger management of building and maintaining business from their existing customers. It gives them many more qualified leads to convert to new customers. The end result is usually a higher return on their sales time for themselves and their companies.
CRM International is a SugarCRM reseller. We do SugarCRM implementation, training and customization. We are marketing automation specialists and do complete implementation and training. We are resellers for Act-On marketing automation software. We integrate Act-On with SugarCRM, as well as offering standalone marketing automation. We are a strategic partner for the sales-i customer intelligence solution.