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The first step in implementing sales technology is not to buy software

Sales technology and the first step

Using AI and automatic workflows to improve your customer-facing activities is the next step in sales, but a majority of companies are still moving from Excel to technology-supported sales activities. And when you are faced with this decision, the main question is not what to buy, but how to do it, and what to cover with this step.

The main question is “What are you looking to get from implemented sales technology”?

  • To have a single customer and contacts database.
  • To have a single sales and marketing activities database.
  • To have customer-facing knowledge based in a single location.
  • To control the pipeline and use it to create forecasts.
  • To use it for sales and marketing automation activities.
  • To manage higher HR fluctuation in sales and marketing with a single source of information for new people.
  • To use AI capabilities for better lead and opportunity management and next-step suggestions.
  • To control and manage metrics and KPI’s you have set up.

Or all of the above. If all of the above be sure, to set priorities, potentially based on business impact. If you go for all at once, you are risking missing the main benefits a system can bring to you, based on your current business issues and company capacity.

Here is Microsoft’s overview of the prospect-to-quote process, they are supporting with their Dynamic 365 Sales, it is a good start for anybody thinking about implementing technology that will support their sales process.

Prospect to quote overview by MS

The prospect-to-quote business process flow is a sales process that starts with identifying potential customers (prospects). It ends with providing prospects with a quote for the product or service they’re interested in purchasing. The following stages fit into this process:

Define sales strategy

    This overarching step guides the overall sales process, including the prospect-to-quote stage. It involves setting goals, defining target markets, and creating a plan to achieve sales objectives.

    Run marketing campaigns

    Marketing campaigns play a role in lead generation and help attract potential customers. This step can be considered part of the lead-generation process within the prospect-to-quote stage.

    Identify and qualify leads

    This step is essential in the prospect-to-quote process, as it involves finding potential customers and assessing their fit and potential value to the organization.

    Pursue opportunities

    This step aligns with the initial contact, needs assessment, and solution development stages in the prospect-to-quote process. It involves engaging with prospects and working to create tailored solutions that meet their needs.

    Estimate and quote sales

    This step corresponds to the proposal creation and presentation stages. It involves creating and presenting a detailed quote or proposal to the prospect.

    Manage customer relationships

    While customer relationship management is an ongoing activity throughout the sales cycle, it plays a role in the prospect-to-quote process, particularly in the follow-up, negotiation, and quote revision stages.

    Analyze service operations

    This sub-process is more relevant to the broader sales and service delivery process, but insights gained from analyzing service operations can inform the solution development and proposal creation stages in the prospect-to-quote process.

    Every organization has variations in the prospect to quote. This is a basic outline for any organization looking to implement a technology solution to support the prospect to quote.

    Sales technology should be your walking sticks on your way to the top of the mountain, not additional weight in your backpack.

    If you are facing a challenge in the preparation and planning of CRM implementation or any other sales and marketing supportive technology or you need a helping hand in improving your organization’s readiness for sales and marketing activities upgrade, reach out to me.

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