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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton

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Get Maximum Impact From Your Sales Technologies

using technology to sellWhat sales tools do you use to open doors & close sales? If you’re concerned that you’re not getting the maximal impact from them, check out my interview below with Jonathan London, co-author of Using Technology to Sell.  (Click to download one chapter.)

Ever since I’ve known Jonathan, I’ve been impressed with his depth of expertise regarding what it takes to “get the business.” I know you’ll get some golden nuggets from reading about his perspectives. 

JILL: What are the biggest mistakes you see sales organizations make relevant to technology? 

sales technologyJONATHAN: The biggest mistakes are the siloing of technology. What I mean is that most companies only choose one technology, like CRM and don't choose the most appropriate technology at each stage of the sales process. And in most cases whatever they choose is underused. The other big mistake is mistaking that technology is the answer vs. people, the process, skills and technology in combination.

JILL: In your book you share several key things sales organizations / individuals should do to avoid these mistakes. What are they?

JONATHAN: I think a salesperson or sales organization needs to take a holistic approach to the sales process and enable the sales organization in every phase. By enable I mean give them the skills, knowledge, technology at every stage of the sales process so they are most competitive and successful.

I also believe salespeople need to be given more autonomy to do what they need since technology now allows them to do things they couldn't do on their own.

JILL: I know you really emphasize “sales process” in everything you do. What can you tell us about the integration of process and technology?

JONATHAN: A sales process is a guideline, road map and the plays you need to follow and run to win. A key element is to discover and align with the prospect’s decision process. In all instances it needs to incorporate the appropriate technology. As outlined in my book, there is great technology to enable each stage.

For example, when presenting your solution, you can use a variety technologies to create a compelling presentation or proposal and then use a wide array of videoconferencing/collaboration tools to present to your prospect. It is startling how few people use video these days. 

JILL: So, what is the difference or benefit to the salesperson or organization if they apply these concepts?

JONATHAN: The benefits are a much tighter integration of technology to enable a sales approach that results in greater efficiency, more time to sell, a more competitive sales organization and of course more sales with greater profits.

JILL: Let’s talk specifically about technology now. Aside from a CRM system, what are three “must haves” that not nearly enough salespeople are using? 

JONATHAN: I would say the three must haves are:

  1. A strong foundation in how to use social media and online data. These are relevant throughout a selling process. 
  2. Choosing a strong collaboration tool which integrates audio/video/web and that can also be used throughout the selling process and; 
  3. Mobility so that a salesperson can be a road warrior and do everything anywhere.

JILL: And finally, what’s the coolest technology you saw when writing your book?

JONATHAN: There were so many but the coolest category (vs. single product) were anything that enabled a salesperson to use, capture, create or present compelling visual media. So much is available for free or a very low cost. To name a few Camtasia, Vidyo, Bloomfire, Videoscribe, Xtranormal, Zinioreader are all interesting technologies. It is a shame salespeople and organizations are not using these more. 

The last comment I would like to mention is that this subject is really about empowerment for the individual salesperson or sales organization. So much can be done now because of technology and people need to start taking advantage of it.

JILL: Thanks so much for sharing this info with us today Jonathan. If people want to learn more, where can they go to download the first couple chapters of your book? 

JONATHAN: Just click here to download a couple chapters of Using Technology to Sell. Or, you can go directly to Amazon to get your copy.  

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Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She loves to work on tough sales challenges, big issues and unsolvable problems. Her first book, Selling to Big Companies, was hailed as an "instant classic." Fortune selected it as a "must read" and it's been an Amazon Top 25 sales book for 4+ years. Her newest book, SNAP Selling, was just released to rave reviews. She also writes a popular blog and publishes a leading newsletter. As an in-demand speaker an annual sales meetings and conferences, Jill helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business. Her clients include IBM, Microsoft, Hilton, Accenture, 3M and Staples. Her expertise is frequently published in top business media such as ABC News, Success, Inc., WSJ Start-Up Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Journal, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Management.

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