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Digital tech transforming sales operations, says Accenture

Apr 15
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Digital tech transforming sales operations...

The explosion of digital technology is having a transformative impact on sales operations and companies around the world, according to Accenture.

In a recent study, the firm noted that the top 2,000 publicly listed businesses across the globe are now spending $2.4 trillion (£1.7 trillion) on digital sales channels and tools.

However, there is still clear scope for companies to gain more benefits from increasingly sophisticated tools and new processes such as automation, the research indicated.

After surveying over 800 sales professionals and analysing data from a 2015 CSO Insights study, Accenture found that 80 per cent of firms have adopted a customer relationship management system and a large majority have introduced new digital measures across the entire sales process.

Despite these steps, turnover rates of sales professionals are increasing and 60 per cent of reps don't feel confident about meeting their targets.

The research suggested that one of the underlying problems is a disparity between the goals of the chief sales officers (CSOs) who implement the digital tools and the sales staff who use them.

Nearly six out of ten CSOs (58 per cent) said their primary objective was to bring in new accounts, while over a third (36 per cent) of sales reps prioritised improving customer satisfaction.

Jose Goncalves, managing director and global digital sales lead at Accenture Interactive, said many firms looking to improve their sales effectiveness could benefit from a fundamental reform of their approach to digital technologies within the sales department.

"Rather than a top-down, enterprise approach, companies need to take a people-first approach that listens to the sales force and marries their needs with tools that deliver data-driven, flexible and personalized omni-channel experiences that help them sell smarter and drive the bottom line," he advised.

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Image credit: iStockphoto

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