Do you want to boost sales productivity in 2018? Then it’s time to re-think your communication strategy. While it’s crucial that your sales team make the best use of their time, today’s customers demand personalized attention more than ever.

A recent report from Salesforce found that 79% of business buyers say it’s critical that the salesperson they interact with is a trusted advisor who adds value to their business. Your sales team has got to live up to this role all while being highly productive. It’s a tall order, but there are some tricks that your team can use to help them on their way:

Use CRM Technology

Sales teams are increasingly turning to CRMs such as Salesforce and Pipedrive, to log each interaction with customers and prospects. But the secret to CRMs is the more the tool is used, the better the data and the more you’ll get out of it.

With a CRM full of high-quality data, you’ll be able to map prospect buyer journeys with the right sales processes to guide prospects down the sales funnel quicker. Your reps will be able to customize their approach to customers based on their role, their pain points, and other demographics collated in the CRM. The key is that your customers feel that they are understood and that your reps are qualified to help them solve their problem and find the best solution. <

Get Personal Using Automation

According to Salesforce, high-performing salespeople are 7.2 times more likely than under performers to say their team has outstanding process automation. CRMs can also help your team automate tedious back office processes and help sales reps offer more personalization to prospects and customers.

CRMs are able to collate data from inboxes and calendars in one place, and automatically pull relevant information for personalization in places like emails. Sending personalized emails is six times more effective then sending an email beginning with “Dear Sir/Madam.”

By automating these activities, you’ve not only taken personalization up to the next level, you’re boosting sales productivity by handing over tiresome tasks to the CRM, so they can get back to selling.

Integrate Your Tech Stack for a 360° View

Studies show what we already know: customers become frustrated if they receive inconsistent service from the same company. One of the biggest problems most businesses face is incompatible technology, which can lead to data silos.

If your sales team works out of a CRM that is cut off from the apps used by the marketing, customer support and billing departments, the apps don’t “talk” to one another, and customer data gets stuck in data silos. The result? A fractured view of your customer base. Sales productivity takes a nose dive while your team rushes about trying to get the most relevant customer information. Or worse still, your customers become frustrated by the lack of personalization and leave.

The smart move is to choose a sales tech solution that will integrate your apps across departments, allowing everyone to gain a 360-degree view of each of your customers. You can do this by looking for technology that natively integrates, or by using third-party apps that help you integrate data between apps. By integrating your apps you’ll ensure that your sales team can act on the right information, to the right customer at the right time.

Accept that Chatbots and Social Selling are Here to Stay

Millennials prefer to reach out to sales using social media and chat, with a report finding that 43 percent are more likely to buy from a salesperson who responds via chat. The message? Make sure your tech is up to date with the latest communications trends. If your CRM doesn’t come with a chatbot, apps like Drift can help you turn your sales efforts on at any channel.

Social selling is fast becoming the way high performing salespeople stay abreast of competition by allowing them to easily research prospects and customers. Many CRMs offer social listening tools which help sales teams offer personalized service that allows them to hone in on customer sentiment, discover their pain points, and prepare for important meetings by doing research on prospects and their companies.