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Top tips for reducing the cost of sales & service with digital

  • Posted on November 4, 2016

sales-service

Implementing strategic digital technologies is a part of digital business transformation and as such impacts the ways that sales and service teams work. So it’s not surprising that many executives are eager to reduce costs through digital. Here’s what our Avanade experts had to say Twitter [CLICK TO TWEET].

Andrew Davidson, Director, Enterprise Architect

andrew-davidsonOrganisations that have executed on their digital workplace strategy benefit from a lower cost of sales index compared to traditional sales organisations. This can be attributed to a number of different factors but mainly due to increased conversion rates from better qualification, greater customer intimacy and a reduction of administrative and compliance work allowing sales people to spend more time on business winning activities. A Digital sales workforce maximises scarce resources and budget by being able to make better decisions based on internal knowledge, analytics and a network of easily reachable experts but also by acting on external information from market sources including analyst reports and aggregated news feeds. Empowering employees with the right digital tools is key to building a successful customer centric business.

Dan O’Hara, Digital Workplace Executive

dan-oharaTo me Digital is all about data.  In order to reduce the cost of sales and service, a company needs to collect detailed data on the consumers buying patterns and service usage. Not only when things go right and a product is successfully purchased and used but also when it goes wrong and a cart is abandoned or a product is returned. After capturing the data then companies can apply the appropriate analytics to determine positive actions such as cross sell and address negative actions such as social complaining. These allow for the continual tweaking of the processes and human interactions to increase the positives and remove the negatives.

Janne Lautanala, Sr. Director, Solution Development

janne-lautanalaSales organizations should maximize the amount of time sales representatives spend selling while ensuring that they sell the right products to the right customers. Deep customer and solution insights help identify, understand and eliminate anything that makes sales representatives less efficient. Helping the sales representatives to focus on the most value added activities delivers additional sales, reduced cost and increases customer satisfaction.

 

Javier Ochoa, Sr. Director, Digital Strategy

javier-ochoaReducing the costs of sales should be driven by efficiency in the sales process, and understanding how people sell. If you want to be unique, build something unique for your sales team. Before building it though, stop, look, listen and learn. Ask yourself, what information is needed, when is it used and how should it be deployed to the specific person that is going to do the task. Since it’s not always the same, it may depend on what tasks your employees are doing in each moment: Talking to a customer? Showcasing a product? Receiving a call? Study each role, department or employee so you can be sure that a specific user in a specific context would succeed with a specific tool. And nowadays that specific tool could be almost anything such as smartphones, tablets, wereables, glasses, drones, bots… or a combination of any of those. So don’t miss the L-L-L phase: “look, listen and learn from your users.”

Vishal Sarkar, VP, Platform & Offerings

vishal-sarkarSales teams can be more effective by leveraging a well-rounded view of their customers for a more personalized engagement. Digital helps bring this view to life by consolidating the information from various channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Order history, websites, etc. and by providing actionable insights to sales. This means that the sales team spends more time interacting with customers armed with highly relevant offers, rather than looking around for information. This boosts sales closing, sales efficiency and reduces cost of sales. On the service side, digital transformation can reduce time to close issues by making key information available to customer service personnel, whether it be from a knowledgebase or through external channels like websites, social, etc. It thereby saves time and provides a richer experience to the customer. It has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Digital also enables a rich set of self-service options like customer support portals, communities, wikis and new capabilities leveraging artificial intelligence like automated service bots. All of this will bring down the overall cost of service.

Top recommendations for using digital include:

  • Consolidating the customer journey/touchpoints (web, mobile, social) to get an all-around view of the customer and his/her preferences
  • Driving key insights on customer patterns and preferences using analytics
  • Giving your sales and services team access to tools for them to create a personalized experience for customers (e.g. next best action, proactive/preventive support)
  • Helping your teams adopt digital tools to initiate self-help insights on their own behavior (how often do they update pipeline, what is their issue closure rate, what are the repeated problem)
  • Focusing your sales and service staff on the customer opportunity or issue, rather than spending more time trying to makes sense of customer information from disparate internal/external systems

For more information on building a digital workplace strategy for your organization, visit us at www.avanade.com/digitalworkplace.

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