Tech tools for sales people constantly evolve. While the basics of selling have not changed, the tools used certainly have. This same situation will continue into the future. The question remains as to what tech tools will be essential for sales people going forward.
Once upon a time, the sales force in the field needed a trunk full of binders and catalogs as well as a pocket full of change for calls from pay phones. These might have been augmented by slides and overheads. This ancient technology has long since been replaced by cell phones and digital presentations. And your sales message faces additional competition from highly informed prospects searching an ever-expanding digital knowledgebase on the Internet.
To compete going forward, sales people will still need mobile communication. Add in GPS capability and Internet access to locate prospects. The Internet access is also needed to provide access to personal productivity applications such as spreadsheets, documents, and email. The ability to transfer files to coworkers and clients through a cloud-based system or directly and wirelessly, such as through Bluetooth, is also critical.
Increasingly, a standalone media device is also crucial. More and more, video and similar media plays a role not only in the sales process, but in personnel training as well. So possessing a device adequate for media consumption is essential.
So what are the Essential Tools?
The basic, essential tools for sales people today are commonly a smartphone and laptop. A tablet device might take the place of the laptop. In the near future, a single tablet or smartphone device might take the place of both.
To some extent, the technology needed depends on how much of your sales process is done in the field. Then again, the technology may change your sales process.
Chevrolet is set to roll out an app for iPhones and iPads in late 2011 aimed at enhancing the sales force of its various dealerships. The app will enable a sales person to assist customers in choosing between various models, options and programs as well as check inventory and make orders. The sales force will not only be able to access the information form anywhere in the showroom or on the lot, but off the lot as well, making it possible to close a sale anywhere at anytime.
Some Things Don’t Change
In the end, tools change but the fundamentals don’t. Regardless of your choice of tools for sales people, sales are still made by contacting legitimate leads, locating prospects in need of your product, and referrals.