In the early days of digital, the IT guy was somebody who “burned in” hardware, installed new software and kept everybody online. Now everybody pretty much knows how to stay online, uses programs that are in the cloud and expects the IT people to keep the servers working flawlessly. In one sense, nothing about business has changed: profit and loss, sales targets and underlying corporate structures are the same. In another sense, everything has changed. The brick-and-mortar model is being supplanted by e-commerce in the rising tide of brand-new tech advances. Those who do not stay abreast of the new tech tools will have no one to blame but themselves since these developments are simultaneously emerging for all to use. Here are four rising tech tools that can give your company the edge in enticing new clients.
Generating Leads as the First Order of Business
As the story goes, during the 1950s a would-be entrepreneur stood on a New York street corner staring upward at a skyscraper, apparently watching something of real importance. Others stopped alongside him and stared upward as well, mystified at what might be so entrancing. As the crowd around him grew, the man opened his sample case and began to hawk binoculars. Whether that really happened or not, the underlying reality is that you cannot sell if you do not have potential clients. The first item of business for your company, then, is lead generation. Generating leads today is a combination of both science and art. Going to school on the current insights of creating a pipeline of leads is already a necessity.
Apps That Offer Augmented Reality
Just about everybody is talking about augmented reality these days. What is it, anyway? Simply put, in sales it is any new tech, state-of-the-art way of presenting your products or services to potential clients. Imagine employing digital display devices that all your clients can use to enable a 3D exploration and dissection of what you want them to see. It would be a presentation that is actually superior to—and perhaps in addition to—having the physical items present. With augmented reality, you can display real-time answers to the questions and challenges customers will have. Rather than a FAQ page, you can allow your clients to access visual, audio displays that anticipate their concerns at their location and on their schedule.
Partnering Up to Boost Everyone’s Sales
When Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar chain, figured out they could improve their bottom line by including other merchandisers on their e-commerce platform, it opened the door for companies of all sizes to recognize the expediency of marketing partnerships. Your business can seek other enterprises or it can purchase a digital platform and, as the big marketers do, charge smaller companies to participate with you. In essence, this is a form of diversification: when your business is doing well, your partners can piggyback on your success. You have income from your partners' businesses during a downturn as they continue to use your platform. Your business, like Wal-Mart, can choose to be the delivery and pickup hub for all partners. This model assures that all companies in your consortium also share the newest tech advances going forward.
A Refined Sales Strategy
Building upon the notion of scalable sales partnerships, it is a good idea to take a closer look at your model for selecting the customers you want—and therefore the leads you want to pursue—based upon the assumptions you make about your customers. For instance, a recent Entrepreneur article discussed the difference between Google’s customer search assumptions and Amazon’s. As the article points out, Amazon proceeds with the underlying question, "What is this customer most likely to purchase?" By contrast, Google starts with the question, "What is the best answer to this searcher’s question?" Google provides a lot of information, while Amazon continues to be the largest merchandiser in the world. The underlying notion is, use research criteria based upon what your company most wants to accomplish.