The Internet of Sales: How IoT Will Improve Sales Agility

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is more than just a catchy buzzword to describe the connectivity between electronics, software and sensors – it’s a phenomenon that’s changing the way the world works, how data is shared and – sales agility. Yep, you read that right. The Internet of Things is a sales agility game changer.

To put some perspective on IoT, there were 4.9 billion connected “things” in 2015. But by 2020, experts predict, “The number of Internet-connected things will reach or even exceed 50 billion.”

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One area that’s been heavily impacted is business, specifically where sales are concerned – and 94 percent of businesses that have invested in IoT have seen a return.

An exciting, though less discussed, outgrowth of this all-encompassing digital integration is what I like to call the Internet of Sales. Essentially, IoT is changing the way businesses execute and track their sales operations. It's smarter, more searchable, more informed and more seamless.

Here are five ways that IoT will improve sales agility moving forward:

1.  Comprehensive Analytics

Analytics are nothing new and already provide businesses with an abundance of helpful information. However, IoT will take analytics to a whole new level by making it possible for a wide range of devices to transmit data at lightning speed and arrange that information in a way that’s easily decipherable.

CPQ can provide unique insights and predictive analysis based on actual customer-driven data, which will allow sales reps to configure products/services in a way that’s ideally suited for a consumer’s needs. This will also make for streamlined upselling and cross-selling for maximum profitability.

In turn, sales teams can quickly utilize this information to ramp up their efforts and run a much more efficient campaign. Although we tend to think of today’s analytics as fairly robust and sophisticated, IoT-driven analytics in the future are likely to put them to shame.

2.  Streamlined Data Sharing

Sales Agility IoTWith the number of connected things expected to increase tenfold over the next five years, there will be a ridiculous amount of devices exchanging information. All of that information can be harnessed for superior business insight.

From smartphones and tablets to cars and video games, raw information can be seamlessly converted into sales data in real-time.

This is beneficial because sales reps can use that information to improve interactions with customers. For example, they could come up with relevant product/service configurations, offer the right discounts and enjoy greater organizational agility.

3.  Smarter Decision Making Through Sales Agility

When you combine in-depth analytics with the fast pace of data sharing, it means one thing – sales teams can make highly informed decisions like never before. By allowing individuals to analyze vast amounts of information and quickly make it intelligible, businesses can make sound decisions regarding sales techniques that simply wouldn’t be possible without IoT.

This means that CPQ can lead to more intelligent guided selling, where reps can generate optimized quotes within minutes, rather than hours or even days. It also reduces the learning curve for sales reps – and rookies can quote like seasoned vets without extensive training.

4.  Efficient and Transparent Pricing

One area where many sales reps have struggled in the past is achieving transparency when generating quotes and ensuring that they’re on the same page as customers. IoT combined with CPQ should prevent a lot of misunderstandings and headaches in this area because it’s so easy to access input cost data, applicable discounts and other variables that determine the final cost.

This way, sales reps can quickly assess the needs of customers, configure a product/service accordingly and provide a quote that’s completely transparent so customers aren’t hit with any unwanted surprises.

5.  Better Customer Experience

Understanding customers and the psychology behind what makes them buy is crucial for the success of any business. With the emerging Internet of Sales, businesses can keep a close eye on the customer experience – and if a product or service isn’t meeting their expectations, a business can take measures to rectify the situation.

Because of the blazing speed in which customers can provide feedback, problems can be addressed much more quickly than in the past. This new age of total interconnectivity makes it possible for companies to utilize commerce platforms to keep tabs on buying history and loyalty information to suggest additional products/services.

Not only does this enhance the customer experience even more, it can significantly increase profitability.

There’s no escaping the grip that IoT has and will continue to have going forward. Using it to your advantage should allow your sales team to operate with hyper-efficiency and accomplish more with fewer wasted motions.

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