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In the current situation with the pandemic, sales professionals such as myself need clean data and information on our customer’s priorities and plans before we start a conversation with them.

Can you imagine, what it would mean to sales professionals to have consistent, complete, and intelligent information on their customers before they visit (speak to) their customers? Would this not be greatly appreciated by customers as well?

What if sales professionals had a super-easy way to update information on their customers and corresponding opportunities? What if they were able to retrieve this information as if they were speaking to a colleague? Would that not be a welcome change?

Some of the most important data points a sales professional would love to have are project information the customer has embarked on in the past years, how these projects are faring and their successes, and finally, what are the future plans the customer has to support business goals. The biggest hurdle that sales professionals typically encounter is the lack of clear information on these aspects listed above. Information is all over the place, not in a clear structure, missing information on the customer, and above all in many different tools like emails, excel sheets, and a possible CRM system. The inadequate quality of data is therefore suboptimal. There is little to no central analytics on these disparate data sources, which leads to multiple teams calling the customer for the very same requirement leading to an unhappy customer situation and a frustrated sales team that keeps working with disconnected information, which typically starts with an irritating and tedious task of updating data on customers.


Best of breed solution plus intelligent technologies

Customers have understood that there are best-of-breed applications that allow them to collate customer data around their projects, opportunities, and future plans in a central system. And this system need not be installed on their premises, it can go on the cloud. SAP Sales Cloud is the solution where sales teams can key in data regarding customer opportunities and then evaluate them to ensure they efficiently pursue those opportunities which make the most sense for their customer. Also, focus on those opportunities with the best chance to conclude business. But this activity of maintaining customer information in the system is a time-consuming affair, and sometimes gives a feeling that sales professionals are being tracked. Such feelings lead to the fact that sales professionals often stop updating information on these tools. If this activity needs to become mutually beneficial, then simpler techniques need to be available to perform such activities as creating opportunity details or updating information.

How about providing sales professionals with a mobile app that has performance details, issues, tasks, visit information all available like a whatsapp application?


Use of Mobile Sales assistant to do the most irksome part

By employing a sales assistant within the mobile application, sales professionals could easily dictate their visit details which can be understood and used to update visit and opportunity details. It is as easy as talking to a personal assistant, who then takes notes and updates the Sales Cloud system. Such an assistant helps optimize sales productivity during travel (focus on car travel for instance), voice-controlled tasks list – therefore ensuring safety for your employees during travel through any means and customer visit documentation via voice. It is also necessary to understand what issues your customer is facing at the moment. Here sales professionals can handle and clarify customer issues directly from the app by contacting the responsible support staff, create tasks, etc.

Sales professionals are often tasked with a multitude of complex tasks. These tasks can range from supporting customer plans with well-developed offerings, managing customer issues, understanding new products and services, pricing, organization direction, internal alignment,, etc., etc. 

Let us take an example like managing customer issues.

If there is a hint of any potential problem, they will be more than happy to know how to deal with it before the problem becomes critical to success. Here the mobile sales assistant prompts the impact of issues on individual sales targets with an analysis done on the opportunity as a push notification and how a potential problem may derail the closure chances of their current opportunity. This will help sales professionals efficiently address customer issues and smartly tackle the customers, get the necessary support from their organization. Additionally, it will give the customer a good feeling that such sales professionals are truly thinking about their customer's success. 



Intelligent Technologies should improve efficiency and make work and life easier

Every organization understands that in order to grow, they need to become efficient. This notion of efficiency is projected and demonstrated by folks who visit their customers.

The goal of intelligent technologies like mobile applications driven by SAP Mobile Services, supported by integrated chatbots using SAP Conversational AI and analytics on quality data powered by SAP Analytics Cloud should foster this efficiency.

Imagine the value of employing these technologies on quality customer data for opportunity scoring and insights from Machine Learning algorithms on customer issues. This will allow these very customer-facing teams with the peace of mind and efficiency which they need to address customers' future plans and handle any customers' issues with utmost care.

Integration with other systems obviously is a cornerstone of the simplicity that is envisaged. Here SAPs new Master Data Integration provides a single point of integration strategy to integrate into S4/HANA or SAP ECC, SAP Sales Cloud, and SAP Analytics Cloud and also 3rd party applications with CRM modules and other data sources.

In my personal opinion, every function in an organization somehow demonstrates a sales persona. Be it the support staff, sales professionals, or a call center agent. How a customer is dealt with throughout their entire relationship is a continuous sales process.

In order for every sales persona to be in the position to assist customers, the notion of customer has to be the center of their actions. Therefore quality data, intelligent and relevant actions made available to the user in the easiest possible mode, should be an immediate goal for all organizations.

If every function can leverage the efficiency discussed above, an organization can become truly intelligent.



#digitaltransformation #intelligententerprise