Sales Innovation: The Secret to Lasting Client Relationships
5 min read | September 1st, 2022
Earlier this year at the Salesforce World Tour in New York City, Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor discussed the current state of the economy: inflation, layoffs, supply chain issues and many more disturbances which have begun to threaten companies’ ability to stay afloat. This in turn is causing a shift from purely transactional relationships to customers expecting much more from those selling to them. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to create lasting client relationships by utilizing the power of digital innovation.
Co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor discuss the economic and workforce crisis.
In uncertain times, client relationships become that much more important, particularly within the sales industry. The latest studies paint a picture that is unlike the pre-pandemic sales relationship which often ended when the sale closed. Today, 87% of buyers expect sales reps to act as trusted advisors, actively listening to pain points and providing feedback, solutions and support for their clients.
In a recently conducted interview with Salesforce’s GM of Sales Cloud, Ketan Karkhanis, the topic of sales relationships shifting to a more consultative relationship was discussed. On the matter, Karkhanis suggests that this comes with its own set of challenges, where leaders now have “to reimagine their organization to stay ahead in this digital-only buyer centric world” (salesforce.com). However, this new wave of consultative selling comes with benefits as well, as Karkhanis states that it is an exciting time for “the selling profession because now you can engage at a deeper level with your customer and focus more on value creation” (salesforce.com). Thus, when sales professionals generate more value in their interactions with clients and customers, it generates more enduring relationships. The question that remains then, is how can sales professionals create lasting client relationships without further complicating the sales process? Let’s find out.
Embrace Digital Transformation
In a world where fast food is made faster with in-app pre-orders and streaming services can predict your next binge-worthy show with stunning accuracy, service is no longer about what customers want, it’s about what they’ve come to expect from businesses. This includes:
Data retrieved from Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer (5th ed.)
This is often referred to as “The Great Sales Transformation” in which the adoption of cutting edge technology is all but required for a business to be future-proof. The tricky part is, however, determining which digital tools will be helpful for your business. This is incredibly important because research has shown that utilizing too many tools can ultimately have detrimental effects on your business. Sometimes having less truly is more – here are some tools that can help boost efficiency and close any customer gaps.
Digital Tools for Success
AI – artificial intelligence. It’s talked about so much lately, yet it is still largely misunderstood, with a significant number of individuals reluctant or even worried to dip their toes in for fear of bots taking over their jobs. The fact of the matter is that human connection is still valued tremendously, especially within the world of sales. In fact, 82% of U.S. consumers want more human contact in their experience as customers in the future. Salesforce’s GM of Sales Cloud, Ketan Karkhanis, agrees with this sentiment that AI should not be the protagonist. Instead, AI should “eliminate the mundane by doing it for you, and serve you actionable insights for better decision making” (salesforce.com).
Einstein: It’s not your average AI, it’s the only comprehensive AI for CRM. Einstein places your org underneath a microscopic lens to deepen your understanding and get more predictive about your business and customers. Enable smarter work processes across Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, App Cloud, Analytics Cloud, and Community Cloud.
These days, customers want solutions, products and services rapidly. In fact, 83% of customers expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company, yet that rarely occurs. Rather, the opposite occurs most frequently, which is multi-user, multi-step workflows and if you’re tired of that, it’s likely that your customers are tired too. Automation boasts a whole host of benefits for your company including: advanced deal management, faster lead scoring and prioritization, smarter lead assignment distribution, seamless scheduling, superior lead nurturing, and so much more.
81% of salespeople say intelligent insights improve their customer relationships which is all the more reason to help empower your team with predictive analytics. By using data, machine learning, and statistical algorithms, it can help your sales team identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data, anticipate prospects’ behavior, and inform better decision-making. Put simply, it helps to take the guesswork out of what could happen to instead know future events concretely. This is critical for salespeople because it not only makes for more effective upselling and cross-selling efforts, but it also helps to build lasting customer relationships as well.
CRM Analytics (Tableau)
Unleash the full power of your Salesforce data with CRM Analytics (formerly Tableau). Infuse highly intelligent and predictive analytics into every client interaction to not only provide your whole team with a clearer picture of data, but to curate more profound customer relationships. Explore new ways to leverage data into your business to accelerate growth, launch your team ahead of the competition and make the best decisions for your current and future circumstances every time.
According to Salesforce, clients don’t care so much about products anymore. What do they care about? What the products can specifically do for them. In this day in age, clients not only want to be more effective and more efficient, they expect the same from you as well.
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