Why technology should be your strongest sales person

3 min read
Apr 29, 2024 2:12:04 PM
In collaboration with MT/Sprout - Technology makes marketing more personal, sales more efficient and customer support better. So leverage the digital trails that customers leave behind. They improve your knowledge, your relationship and your bottom line.

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'Every supply creates its own demand.' A well-known law that economist Jean-Baptiste Say committed to paper as early as 1803. And now, more than 200 years later, that law is more relevant than ever. A cell phone or a (portable) computer? At first we think: we don't need one. But now we sit behind our laptop with a smartphone anyway, listening to music through our wireless earbuds. This development is also visible in the marketing and sales world. Not only does supply create the market, but the market helps determine how supply and companies act. And it's all because of technology.

Digital marketing

Karel Jan Alsem, lecturer in Marketing at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, has been following trends in this sector for more than 30 years. He also wroteseveral handbooks on marketing and brand positioning. 'Digital marketing is the single most important 'kink' in the marketing trend curve of recent decades,' he says. 'That breakpoint extends over a number of years. Then I'm not just talking about the Internet (and all the online and digital developments that came out of that), but also about consumer and business behavior. By this I mean all forms of marketing, from research to strategy and tactics and the implementation of these by organizations. This in turn results in a higher service level, because you can respond to wishes. Ultimately, it all stems from that digitalization of the other party's behavior.'

But that digital world of marketing, sales and service today goes much further than purely tracking interests via cookies, creating an order history, offering relevant apps or showing matching ads, Alsem argues. 'Technology is inextricably linked to all the traditional Ps (product, price, place and promotion). Interacting with those Ps provides a great flow of useful information. Engage your future, potential customers or B2B partners with your product through online platforms. Set your price through digital pricing or convenient bidding tools. Don't just give your product a physical presence, but also online. And promotion depends on Google Analytics, a search engine-optimized website, content strategy or influencer marketing. Your website is your very strongest sales person.'

Sales and software

Each year, American technology entrepreneur Scott Brinker publishesthe Martech 5000, a list that provides insight into which (and how) companies are positioning themselves within that tech world. Brinker signals in his bookHacking Marketing that marketing and software are inextricably intertwined. 'Software has eaten the world, and marketing too. And this is actually a really good thing!' It is not only important to innovate inwhat is produced in marketing, but alsohow it is produced.

This is also the view of Emiel Kanters of Eindhoven-based Webs, which helps companies excel commercially through technology. 'The function of technology in the game of supply and demand is becoming increasingly important. Sales is becoming a different profession. The human factor is increasingly facilitated by technology. The 'salesman at the door' gets to know you, and responds to that. He becomes much more of a service provider, so to speak. What does the customer reallywant? In business development, you no longer push a product into the market, but try to readwhat is going on in the market and build your service around that.'

In other words, reverse the process. Learn from successful sales and build your organization around this behavior. Marketing becomes more personal, sales more efficient and service levels become higher. Use the traces that customers leave behind to make educated guessesfrom that position to get to know potential customers. After all: sending employees out into the streets to convince them that a product is good is no longer necessary. For that information, we read online reviews and watch videos on YouTube. Through a good CRM system (the name says it all, Customer Relationship Management) you build a relationship with your customer. Get carried away by the market and use that knowledge to grow!

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