These tools will help sales teams succeed in 2021.

5 Must Haves for Sales Teams in 2021

Bryan ElsesserDecember 7, 2020
7 min

Do you remember the excitement you felt as you planned your sales strategy for 2020? Only months later, COVID-19 had changed everything, sending you back to the drawing board to revisit how digital tools could help your company survive an unprecedented pandemic. Business needs and market forces always drive the need for digital tools, but if you’re like many sales organizations, time and budgeting constraints slowed down your move toward digital transformation. The risks associated with the pandemic abruptly highlighted the value of digital transformation for business continuity.

The onset of the COVID-19 crisis forced companies in every region and industry to view technology as a critical business component rather than as a means to work more efficiently. A recent McKinsey Global Survey of executives highlights 3 ways that the pandemic is accelerating digitization:

  1. 1. Companies have accelerated their digitization efforts by 3-4 years.

  2. 2. They’ve stepped up their share of digital or digitally-enabled products in their portfolios by 7 years.

  3. 3. Nearly all the executives surveyed said they implemented at least temporary digital solutions to meet new demands caused by the crisis, and they did it faster than they thought was possible.

Salespeople can draw on technology to generate higher quality leads, streamline sales conversions, be more responsive, and establish long-term relationships with customers.

Take a look at these 5 areas of “must-have” technologies for sales teams in 2021.

Quick links

Investing in technologies that increase productivity

The pandemic has forced drastic change in consumer buying trends. Due to lockdowns and social distancing efforts, millions of employees are now working at home. J.P. Morgan Research gives us insight into shopping trends before and after the onset of the pandemic. General sales growth was pretty steady until March 2020, followed by a few months of panic buying. After the initial buying spree, consumers changed their priorities about the types of products they buy. They’re also buying more online.

With so many changes happening all at once, your tried-and-true sales strategies aren’t likely to work in the 2021 market. In the new sales climate, you’ll have greater success by switching your sales focus from your customer to how it solves problems for the end-user of their product.

Sales conversions will be more challenging as businesses and individual consumers will continue to struggle in the early periods of 2021. Efficiency in the sales process will be more important than ever.

Here’s how technology can help:

  • Leadsbridge Aircall Integration:

    • Enables two-way syncing between 3rd party CRM, advertising, email, and lead-form solutions.

  • Callingly Aircall Integration:

    • As new leads get added to your CRM, Callingly dials your sales team until a team member picks up and then dials the lead automatically. Call all new leads back within 30 seconds so you never miss an opportunity for a sale.

Make a greater investment in digital training

In past years, many companies overlooked the importance of strong sales training programs in favor of other business priorities that produced revenue quicker. Challenging times call for a change in best practices for sales training programs.

That’s not that to say that you have to go back to sending salespeople to a central location for a week or two of intense sales training or send a regional manager out to their location for a few days of targeted training. By making a greater investment of time and money in sales training, the right digital tools will

assist your training efforts in the areas of product knowledge, presentation skills, and pricing options.

Research by Salesforce shows that 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. That’s a pretty compelling reason to set up a sales call center. The same study showed that 85% of customers replied that they were dissatisfied with their phone experience with businesses. When you combine a modern phone system and the right software integrations, you can greatly enhance the customer experience and improve your sales.

Here’s how technology can help:

  • Gong Aircall Integration:

    • Gong captures call recordings and transcribes them so you can use them for training purposes. Instruct them on what questions to ask, how to talk about pricing, and when to spend more time listening to the customer. Ai gets smarter with every conversation.

  • OneUp Sales + Aircall Integration:

    • Increase sales conversions with one-click reporting, leaderboards, personalized deal celebrations, and automated sales competitions. Team members can see who’s in the lead at a glance.

Keep your sales teams connected

By nature, we tend to be social creatures. Healthy competition drives higher performance, and that’s a great reason to assign your salespeople to teams. Research by Harvard Business Review showed some interesting insights about the power of working in teams:

  1. 1. High performing sales teams held their team members to a high level of accountability.

  2. 2. Managers of the highest performing teams weren’t afraid to raise quotas.

  3. 3. Sales teams thrive when expectations are high.

  4. 4. High performing sales teams had a highly structured process.

While team sales work strategies work well in person, there’s a downside to working with virtual sales teams. Members of a virtual sales team can feel disengaged and disconnected from other team members which will hurt their sales performance. Salespeople that work at home don’t have opportunities to connect socially at someone’s workstation or “the water cooler.” Isolation and the lack of engagement can lead to a host of emotions like loneliness, unhappiness, and frustration.

When you use digital technology to keep your sales teams in touch, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a virtual sales team to keep your salespeople socially connected. It’s easy enough to set up weekly virtual sales team meetings. Why not set up time for a virtual lunch hour or host a short standard social time for team members to get better acquainted socially?

The right phone system features will help your sales team members connect around a virtual water cooler.

Here’s how technology can help:

  • Microsoft Teams Aircall Integration:

    • Your teams get real-time alerts so a team member can instantly respond to callers. Use Aircall to select events such as incoming calls, missed calls, contact creation, etc. to your team channel to keep open up collaboration within teams and keep them connected.

  • Slack Aircall Integration:

    • No need to wait for an email response with Slack. Set up groups by teams, projects, or topics on dedicated communication channels. Add or remove team members as appropriate and save entire conversations in the history. With Aircall, you can respond in the group too.

  • EvaluAgent Aircall Integration:

    • Randomly assign calls for review to eliminate bias, reduce missed opportunities through feedback and coaching. Improve first contact resolution rates and close sales faster. Gamify performance with online leaderboards.

Developing trust in your remote sales teams

Unless you can see and hear your salespeople making calls and closing deals, how can you be sure they’re actually working? You might be particularly suspect if a salesperson’s quotas fall. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not working hard to close sales. They might just need a little more training.

It can be hard for sales managers to loosen the reins when they’re used to running a tight ship. The Harvard Business Review study cited earlier points out the importance of accountability within your salespeople. It’s true that you have to build a sense of trust in your remote team members over time. Zapier overcomes this barrier by embracing the core value “default to transparency.” The right digital tools open up communication tools, so team members are always in the loop. Software solutions give you insight via updates on various accounts and entries.

You don’t need to micromanage your virtual sales teams, but you do need to be clear about what you expect them to accomplish. The best approach is to focus on the output rather than the amount of time they’re clocking in. Your cloud-based phone features give you the insight you’re after.

Here’s how technology can help:

  • Klaus Aircall Integration:

    • Build trust with salespeople by sharing actionable metrics for agent development. Start building trust with new agents by getting them up to speed and selling two times faster. Helps you define specific criteria to rate your salespeople on.

  • MaestroQA Aircall Integration:

    • View reporting and grade customer interactions across all team members and all channels. Leave time-stamped feedback on customer service calls to provide actionable feedback. Automated grading assignments improve the quality of the customer experience.

Digital tools for digital transformation in 2021

Regardless of what pace you were moving at along your journey to digital transformation before the pandemic, the events of 2020 require relying more heavily on technology to keep business continuity flowing. The bright side is that technology equips you well to establish a remote workforce even if it feels very foreign to you.

A VoIP phone system provider with sales software integrations keeps your teams connected, increases call agent availability to your customers, and gives you the tools to train call agents and evaluate productivity. With Aircall, you can add new sales agents, create teams, and set up efficient sales workflows to correspond with your sales strategy. When you combine a modern phone system with the right software integrations, you have all the “must-have” tools and features for your sales teams in 2021.

Here’s how technology can help:

  • Aircall:

    • Offers a robust set of call center features to enhance your sales call capability and it works seamlessly with a multitude of software integrations to increase your efficiency and productivity significantly.

  • Hubspot Phone Integration:

    • Log call data and get customer history to get richer insights. Aircall’s pop-ups automatically deliver vital information to sales reps and sync notes into Hubspot. Manage all lead generation and marketing automation including support tickets and sales calls from a single location.

Digital transformation will be the most necessary component to your 2021 sales strategy to help your sales teams be more agile and competitive. The same tools will form the foundation for successful sales in the coming years regardless of any new challenges you might face. Choose from the best software integrations from the Aircall App Marketplace to give your sales agents a single source that optimizes your phone system features and software solutions.

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