Selling is increasingly pushed to purely digital channels and while it’s enhancing efficiency, it’s also removing what’s at its heart: trust. Using the right kind of sales technology can play a crucial role in restoring this trust between you and your future customers.
Facts don’t persuade people, trust does.
While the facts are important and are without a doubt a motivating factor, it is the human, face-to-face interactions that people are often looking for in sales. These interactions influence a person to become one of your next customers or remain a loyal customer for years to come.
Facts about products have very little persuasive power other than adding to a believable story, coloring them with meaning if you will. Stories are more persuasive and believable when they are told by someone we trust. Truth needs to resonate with us on more than a mere rational level, it needs to be communicated by someone we perceive as being truthful. This is why word-of-mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool around the world, and why the best product advice comes from those you trust most.
James Clear, creator of the Habit Academy, makes a similar point in describing what it takes for people to change their mind about products. Believability and trust happen through personal engagements with others. We discover, for instance, that people with strong disagreements about the same facts are very likely to find common ground and agreement when they share a meal together. Their experience of one another now colors the facts they exchange. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt concludes likewise that we believe things not on pure factual evidence but rather moral grounds, experienced in relationship and during face-to-face encounters.
In short, accurate information about products and services don’t persuade people, trustworthy field sales reps that people have personal encounters with, do.
Making the future of field sales safe.
In an earlier blog post on how to enjoy more face-time with customers we shared the findings of a Harvard Business Review survey that highlighted the importance of travelling to meet key clients, partners and employees in person. It’s clear from this research that business leaders understand that healthy relationships are crucial to sales success.
For most organisations, personal contact is essential to achieving sales goals. According to research undertaken by Xant, companies with field agents have a closing rate that’s around 30.2% higher than those who rely on calls or emails and the deals are usually 130.2% larger. This makes field sales a critical investment for companies looking for stability in the current market and economy.
This data presents a real challenge. Meeting face-to-face is the competitive advantage necessary in the current economy to stave off competitors vying for the same customers who now have tighter budgets and are looking to cut costs. However, business owners should not risk the health and safety of an organization’s people, and they shouldn’t need to.
In order to ensure that these healthy relationships can still move forward and thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic, Skynamo has developed new features to make sure face-to-face selling is safe again. Skynamo’s COVID-19 Daily Clock-in Screening Form ensures that businesses that require field sales teams to visit customers regularly for relationship management and research are able to protect their employees and remain aligned with occupational health and safety guidelines, and best practices.
Can sales technology help us trust one another going forward?
As Team Human’s Douglas Rushkoff noticed, so much of the technology we’ve developed to connect people across the digital landscape has done more to isolate us from one another than to bring us together in conversation. Across industries, selling is increasingly pushed to digital channels, resulting in less face-to-face interactions. The result is an erosion of trust, loyalty and understanding between people, and ultimately less selling for you.
You might be asking yourself at this stage, can sales technology even help us trust one another at all then? And the answer to that is a resounding “Yes!”. What we know is that Skynamo can and does change customer relationships because it’s a technology that increases facetime with your customers and decreases your admin time behind a desk or computer. The purpose of sales technology should be to help you to sell, not to sell on your behalf, and definitely not to get you to spend less time with your customers. Skynamo changes the sales conversation and transforms business practices in a manner that results in increasing sales and the cutting of various unnecessary costs in the process.
Our customer B2C Premium Drinks nearly tripled their monthly customer visits because our sales software helps their managers to be more hands-on with their reps, giving them a clearer understanding of the issues they face out in the field. ‘Daily visits nearly tripled because of the transparency provided by Skynamo,’ says Derryn Maclear from B2C. ‘We have been able to assist our reps in doing more daily visits as we are able to help them plan their routes better.’
Interstat’s Lisa Joao Campbell shares that before Skynamo helped transform their sales process it was a matter of out of sight, out of mind. ‘The moment you start visiting a customer less, you can immediately see a drop in their buying patterns,’ she tells. Using Skynamo helped Interstat increase their visits to customers by more than 25%.
As you prepare your sales team for selling in the digital age, it’s not a matter of choosing between facetime with customers and the latest technology. It’s crucial to choose sales technology that increases real conversations and trust.