Article | 5 min read

Why building a connected sales organisation that can navigate uncertainity is the need of the hour

In an increasingly volatile and competitive marketplace, sales teams are feeling the pressure. And while there’s a wealth of tools available, the reality is that many companies are struggling to chart a clear path forward.

By Subarna Ganguly, Staff Writer

Last updated September 27, 2022

The Zendesk State of Sales 2022 report, Wrangling the Disconnected Sales Organisation, provides a valuable snapshot of current industry trends and highlights the biggest risks and opportunities for sales teams right now. Discover the most pressing issues for sales organisations today, what the dawn of conversational CRM means for their tech stack, and how firms are planning to navigate the year ahead.

The most pressing issues for sales leaders today

Our recent global survey of 3,000 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) decision-makers found that, for the majority of sales teams, the three main priorities for the year ahead are:

  • 1. Integrating sales tools
  • 2. Creating a single view of the customer
  • 3. Hiring and retaining employees

In addition, our report also revealed that many companies are still struggling with the operational side of CRM and, for some, technology is becoming overwhelming. Sales teams currently use an average of 4.7 tools, and nearly half (46 per cent) plan to add more tools next year. Of course, the aim of all this tech is to simplify and streamline, but is that really happening? It’s a tricky question to answer.

Sales teams are benefitting from the functionality of their tools, but they are also dealing with siloed information and layers of complication due to fragmented tech stacks. Businesses cannot access a single view of each customer because data is held separately across different tools and teams. Many companies recognise that opportunities to share customer insights between sales and support are being missed.

Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of sales leaders recognise that their teams need to integrate sales tools to avoid losing business and that teams must be cross-functional to beat their competition.

Companies are keen to address these issues. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of sales leaders recognise that their teams need to integrate sales tools to avoid losing business and that teams must be cross-functional to beat their competition.

When it comes to retaining staff, one UK IT director in the hospitality industry tells us that, post-Covid, it has become an employee’s market. “Everyone is looking for the next opportunity in their career. Companies are now seeking stability,” they said.

Putting the right technology in place can be highly beneficial when recruiting and retaining employees. People want systems that help them to fulfil their potential and do their jobs well. An advanced CRM system that enables seamless customer interactions, supports cross-functional collaboration, and provides valuable customer insights can help sales organisations to retain and motivate their teams.

The dawn of conversational CRM and how it will impact tech

Conversational CRM is a hot topic for the industry right now. Multi-channel conversations with friends and family are a way of life for many, and companies are under pressure to keep up. Conversational CRM gives organisations a single view over each customer’s history regardless of which channels they use to communicate. Data from customer interactions across WhatsApp, Facebook, phone, email, and other channels is collected in one place. Companies can then leverage the data to enhance customer experience and business opportunities. These CRM benefits help to explain why a quarter (25 per cent) of sales leaders are keen to add conversational sales capabilities to their teams.

As one sales ops leader in the UK said, “The key feature of a good CRM is integration, omnichannel customer management. I want live interaction with social media, all customer contacts. Equally important is what you can take out—the analytics.”

Digital transformation can help companies unify their support, sales, and marketing operations and become fully data-driven. One great example of digital transformation in action is Paris-based company Wavy, which creates simple, flexible, and accessible software to help hair salon professionals manage their businesses.

Wavy’s conversational CRM transformation resulted in a 400 per cent improvement in first reply time, and a 25 per cent conversion rate on the sales side.

Wavy consolidated its sales and support operations onto one platform with conversational CRM capabilities. With sales and support tools integrated on one platform, the company was able to connect its marketing automation as well. Now the company has a complete view of its customers, from acquisition onwards. Wavy’s conversational CRM transformation resulted in a 400 per cent improvement in first reply time, and a 25 per cent conversion rate on the sales side.

Selling in challenging times: How can firms come out stronger?

Sales teams are feeling the strain of not only hitting revenue goals, but also having to do so in an increasingly volatile and uncertain market.

Organisations recognise that collecting, processing, and analysing data can help them to provide a better customer experience and maximise sales opportunities. When we asked sales leaders about leveraging data, 71 per cent said that sales teams must be data-driven and capable of personalising sales conversations through digital channels. At the same time, 78 per cent of sales leaders said conversational sales would be important to their companies over the next year.

However, it’s worth pointing out that only 27 per cent of sales leaders say they currently have conversational sales capabilities in their CRM. There’s an opportunity here for sales organisations to gain a competitive edge by adopting conversational CRM before their peers. Unifying sales and support operations, and leveraging conversational sales will enable sales teams to become truly data-driven, so they can face challenging market conditions and prepare for future uncertainties.

Zendesk's State of Sales Report

Want to learn more? Click through to read the Zendesk State of Sales 2022 report.

Zendesk's State of Sales Report

Want to learn more? Click through to read the Zendesk State of Sales 2022 report.

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