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TEN SALES CHALLENGES FACING YOUR BUSINESS AND HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME THEM

Joe is a rep for a litho-offset printing machine manufacturer. He’s worked there for 15 years. During his time there, his company has hired multiple sales reps who have failed to meet or exceed Joe’s number of sales: they just don’t have his knowledge, experience or flair. With five weak sales reps and only one strong one, the business’s sales have slumped and the CEO is starting to feel the pressure.

You might not sell printing machines, but your sales challenges might be similar. You are desperate to increase your sales and are looking towards rapidly-advancing technology to improve sales, increase revenue, decrease costs and find more Joe’s without spending 15 years training them.

Which leads us to the question: Can technology increase your sales by 10x or more?

The age-old stereotype of a pushy salesman who travels door-to-door with a briefcase is long gone. In today's age, closing a sale requires far more than a salesperson (even a good one).

81% of businesses who leave behind a positive customer experience will outperform those who don’t; blowing your customers away in today’s world is critical.

From platforms and solutions that automate followup, to AI (artificial intelligence), chatbots and advances in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, technology is rapidly changing the way your business is able to make sales. These advances rapidly increase profitability and sales productivity while giving your business the upper hand over competitors in your industry. When tools and solutions began to advance rapidly in this sector a few years ago, help you and your team increase sales by as much as 35X.

With this in mind, identifying the challenges and solutions that can improve your sales process phenomenally is essential to every business that wants to do more than just "better"

Challenge 1 - Know Thy Customer

Sales Challenge

Joe and his team (like you) know that the volume of leads does, in no way, determine their value. You can have thousands of leads that you might send campaigns to with very little effect or response. Today, advancements in technology allows sales teams to gain a better understanding of their leads - without the knowledge that AI algorithms and platforms like Know Your Customer provide, sales teams can consistently isolate leads by approaching them the wrong way, with the wrong information. One thing that will always remain critical is knowing when to say what to who and when, whether approaching a lead or closing a sale, and technology can help your team do this.

Technological Solutions

Platforms like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator are among many in 2022 that can connect your business to a whole new world of potential customers and we strongly suggest that every sales team uses them. If anything, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed businesses and networking online at a rapid and global scale, equipping sales teams like yours with exponentially more people who need your product or service.

Also, having your top rep, Joe, download his brain and knowledge into an augmented reality (AR) app with a matching sales brochure that covers all his top tips, points and insights…now everyone can sell like Joe!

Challenge 2 - Outdated Catalogs

Sales Challenge

This may come as a surprise for many of you, but when we mention "outdated customer catalogs" we are not only talking about printed sales materials like brochures or product booklets. We are also talking about online catalogs. While selling a service can be done online, prospective clients often find printed and online catalogs of actual, physical, three-dimensional objects to be:

  • Detached
  • Tedious
  • Time consuming and disengaging

Ensuring that catalogs are up-to-date and engaging at the same time, is an impossible task.

Technological Solutions

Web enabled and mobile-friendly 3D catalogs are rapidly changing customer experiences into one that is more positive, more engaging and more accurate. With 22% of returns of regular online purchases being returned due to the product appearing "different" in reality, 3D catalogs minimize unnecessary expenditure and inconvenience while giving your customers a more enjoyable experience.

Challenge 3 - Sales Teams Still Not Using the Cloud

Sales Challenge

Advocating for cloud-adoption is essential when it comes to ensuring that sales employees are able to sell their full potential - because content is available 24/7 from anywhere in the world. They don’t have to drive back to the office to pick anything up.

By now, it is unlikely that your company is running without the use of cloud technologies like Google Drive, One Drive or DropBox. While these tools have dramatically changed the way that businesses work, a large number of businesses are not necessarily utilizing them to their full potential. While the cloud is, for some, seen as a foreign entity, we use aspects of it consciously or unconsciously in our everyday lives.

Analysts are predicting that 100 zettabytes of data will be stored on the cloud by 2025, therefore, embracing the cloud and ensuring that employees are fully educated on the technology is necessary to not only boost productivity and sales, but also protect your company’s data.

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Fig. 1 Cloud statistics. Infographic compiled with data sourced from Cloudwards, The Economist: Business Intelligence Unit and Fortune Business Insights

Technological Solutions

Joe’s sales team can rapidly improve their sales processes by embracing cloud technologies that help the team share information, reduce duplication, innovate together and increase their productivity.

Challenge 4 - We live in a 3D World

Sales Challenge

One of the biggest challenges facing sales teams who sell physical products such as machinery, mechanical parts, appliances and textiles, is the inability for customers to engage meaningfully with the product before purchase. While physical engagement with products before purchases may be optimal to many, Joe and his sales team are highly conscious of the expenses and impracticality that goes into lugging around their massive printing machines to every client meeting.

And with COVID, many clients are loath to visit the showroom floor in person anymore.

Technological Solutions

Advances in technology, such as 3D catalogs, have made interacting and understanding a product so much easier for customers. After implementing these 3D catalogs into their sales routine, Joe and his team found that their customers enjoyed the augmented reality buying experience and also had a greater confidence in the choices that they made, reducing the chance of returns.

Digital Showrooms and virtual showrooms have also transformed Joe’s sales team, as he is now able to take customers on a virtual tour of each piece of equipment, click to expand key areas to ‘look under the hood’ and click on brochures and video assets along the way.

Something a paper or simple PDF brochure could never do.

Challenge 5 - Keeping in Touch with Customers

Sales Challenge

Automation has rapidly progressed over the last decade, giving companies like yours the opportunity to be more efficient than ever before. Automation in communication between customers and companies in particular is becoming more and more important. Customers don’t want to wait for normal business hours for a response to a query or problem and the increased globalization of businesses in conjunction with time zones makes responding to every customer query or issue difficult for sales teams.

Technological Solution

Utilizing technology that helps to close this gap, such as chatbots and automated messages can assist sales teams in dealing with queries quickly, and reduces the chance of a customer approaching another similar company that will respond faster.

Another useful element of automation that can increase sales is through implementing follow-up emails. Plug-ins like Boomerang are equipped with a feature that allows you to schedule follow-up messages to current and prospective clients. These platforms allow you to schedule follow-up messages to current and prospective clients as well as set reminders to get in touch with clients (this is especially important for sales teams who sell products that need to be replaced, such as ink, paper and more).

3D, VR and AR brochures allow you to insert key messaging into the app for customers and users alike, enabling you to stay in touch with them, and keep them abreast of any key changes or updates.

Challenge 6 - Selling Complicated Products

Sales Challenge

During the evaluation of the sales team and processes, the senior management at Joe’s company identified the following challenges:

  • Out of the six salespeople in the company, there was only one strong salesperson; the other five were considerably weaker with less experience
  • There were inconsistencies in product messaging by personnel
  • Options, add-ons and other configurations were often not offered to the customer due to lack of sales knowledge
  • The product was difficult to understand and harder to sell
  • Customers’ took a long time to understand the benefits that were being offered
Technological Solution

Applications like SatoriXR’s Salesman have been specifically developed to address these problems. The use of augmented reality (AR) in the app gives brands the opportunity to give their customers a unique experience while ensuring that they are able to explore the product through AR and access all the information about the product and options, add-ons and more from the app.

With over 1.7 billion AR users worldwide, applications like these are paving the way for greater experiences for customers and sales teams alike.

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Fig. 2 With products like the Satori Salesman Application, sales teams can give current and prospective customers an immersive and detailed product experience using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

Now the other reps are able to sell like Joe because the AR brochure no longer relies on their abilities, and, as a value add, it’s also trained them on the product.

Challenge 7 - eCommerce Sales

Sales Challenge

Sales teams face many changes and fortunately technology that enhances sales is developing rapidly. Most businesses have introduced ecommerce websites to their arsenal of sales tools, and in most cases, have found that there are customers who prefer to order the traditional way: making a phone call or seeing a sales rep, but there are also many customers who prefer to deal entirely digitally: visiting the website, adding products to carts and checking out without ever having spoken to a sales rep.

Naturally this is the most cost effective solution for businesses however many manufacturing providers of EOM cannot rely on a simple ecommerce website that has flat 1 dimensional images on them, as the complexities behind each product need to be understood to avoid costly mistakes.

Technological Solution

3D, VR and AR online e-commerce websites, like the kind shown below, enable customers to ‘touch and turn’ the product from the comfort of their desks, without having to physically request a sample.

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Fig. 3 A sample 3D, VR and AR e-commerce webpage.

This means that companies like Joe’s are able to ten-fold their sales, and decrease incorrect orders and product returns, leaving the CEO smiling all the way.

Challenge 8 - Counterfeit Control

Sales Challenge

Between 30-40% of auto components that are sold these days are fake, and counterfeit products have a direct negative impact on sales and revenues. Creating awareness of this with customers and providing them with the tools that they can use to identify counterfeit products is essential.

Technological Solution

Fortunately, advances in technology are providing companies with the platforms they need to regulate goods and help both their company and their clients get exactly what they need and pay for. Applications like SatoriXR’s Ecommerce Catalog help sales teams and customers with counterfeit control by:

  • Providing customers with a direct access to original products
  • Scanning real products in real-time to check genuineness
  • Using AR to compare the scan with the genuine product and checking detailed design nuances
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Fig. 4 Users are able to select the product or scan a QR code to check a product against the original in the catalog.

Challenge 9 - Big, Small, Short or Tall an XR Visualization Says it all

Sales Challenge

Those selling physical machines know the challenge of having your customer visualize where the machine will sit on the floor or office or hospital room.

Imagine being able to show them, right then and there, how your machine is stacked vertically and not horizontally, taking up 75% less floor space than the competitors.

Technological Solution

The SatoriXR sales app allows the sales rep to point their iPad at any corner of the room or warehouse, and drop the machine there virtually - immediately showing how it would look and how much space it would take up.

Closing the sale the minute they do that.

Challenge 10 - Physical Demonstrations

Sales Challenge

The final challenge that Joe and his team identified was around product demonstrations. While we have already touched on the challenges around bringing products to the customer to interact with, demonstrations are different. While product demonstrations can be done by the sales team remotely or in person, advanced applications such as AR or 3D catalogs can be used to not only showcase a product but actually demonstrate how it works or what it does too.

Technological Solution

The visuals and experiences these virtual catalogs give to customers dramatically impacts on the customer’s understanding of the product and gives them the confidence in knowing that what they are purchasing is the correct product in terms of how it is used, what it's used for and where it can be used.

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In Conclusion

With the 4.0 Digital Transformation currently trending, the importance of implementing different technology into your sales process cannot be overstated and will not only raise the profile of your company but also position it as a leader in your industry. AR is taking the world by storm and there is no sign that it is letting up. By incorporating AR products into your sales process, you can give your customers experiences with your product that helps them to understand what you’re selling and why they need it.

Get in touch with us to schedule a demo or find out more about our innovative AR products and solutions that are there to give your customers an individualized and enjoyable experience with your product.