In your average enterprise organization, the IT department is responsible for all key technology processes. This includes making decisions about what tools and platforms are used throughout the company. In addition, they are also responsible for implementing these tools and training staff.
For sales teams, this is especially true. The modern sales directors and managers are too busy juggling enormous contact lists and trying to dive deeper into key accounts. They simply don’t have time to focus on technology, even if it can benefit their team greatly. Instead, this burden is passed onto IT. It’s an enormous responsibility that has a direct impact on the sales team and thus, the company’s overall performance.
Luckily, system administrators are often the perfect person for the job. They are able to make a meaningful contribution to the company by bridging the gap between technology and sales success. Here are four ways that today’s system admins can directly impact sales productivity:
1. Identifying the right solutions
One of the most important sales-related tasks IT has is identifying the right sales management system. Picking the wrong solution can be extremely costly, especially for a large organization. Salesforce, for example, can cost up to $300 per user each month. However, a strong customer relationship management system provides a wide variety of benefits to your sales team:
- Access to a large database that consolidates account information. This makes it easy to store and retrieve information on key accounts, allowing multiple reps to assist them. Sales managers can quickly access any information they need, making managing their team much simpler.
- The ability to map out pipelines and pull reports that allow salespeople to accurately forecast future sales.
- Customer-based integration that provides benefits to reps and customers alike. This includes improved inventory management, shipment tracking, and an interface that is easy to use.
2. Training sales staff effectively
Finding and rolling out the most cost-effective, feature-rich CRM system possible won’t do your company much good if the sales team isn’t able to apply it to their everyday responsibilities. Just as important as finding the right tools and software is making sure the sales staff is fully trained on them.
First and foremost, training is important so normal business operations can proceed. If your sales team is too busy tinkering with their new system, they’re going to be selling less. This impacts the bottom line. It’s also important to understand that they’ll never take advantage of all the great features you worked so hard to implement unless they know how to actually use them.
A good systems admin will spend as much time training end-users as possible. Ideally, training will begin long before implementation in order to prepare the sales team for change as early as possible.
3. Digitizing important sales information
In the past, especially in the B2B sales process, salespeople were the primary source of information. When a client had a question or needed documentation for something, they would simply reach out to their rep. This doesn’t work very well in the modern sales cycles. Today’s consumers, especially Millennials, don’t trust anyone. They want to conduct their own research before ever reaching out to a company.
A good system administrator will be able to help your sales team get the information they need online so that their prospects have access to it when they want it. This keeps leads happy and frees the sales staff to spend time on more valuable activities.
4. Providing actionable analytics
Marketing is extremely data-driven and sales needs to be, too. A great systems admin will be able to pull information from the sales database that directly improves performance. Here’s a great example from the Harvard Business Review of a financial services company that was able to use technology to identify improvements in their sales model:
- Drilling down the sales team’s focus by eliminating half of their target industries resulted in a 16% increase in profits.
- Only making phone calls during a specific period of time when customers were most responsive tripled the chance of a successful sale and also boosted average profit by 20%.
- By identifying the sales process that the most successful reps utilized, underperforming reps were able to optimize their approach and improve their efficiency.
The exact revelations and outcomes will vary by each company, but there is always room for improvement. Laying the groundwork for this type of analysis is a huge boon for any company or department.
For an organization to be as successful as possible, IT and sales cannot continue to operate separately. They must work together as a single, cohesive unit, and a strong systems administrator is often the key. By taking care of the critical tasks discussed above, system admins act as the perfect gatekeeper to sales success by procuring technology that salespeople can actually use to enhance their performance.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.