On 5 July, ComNext hosted its first Brain & Breakfast, a breakfast meeting on the theme of new sale

tools: How to sell better?

How best to present your offer to your prospects at a face-to-face meeting? ComNext and Touch & Sell (our partner) presented this event with the involvement of Sofrigam, a ComNext customer.
Managing Director
ComNext Agency
Bertrand Thibault introduced this conference by reflecting that cooperation and synergy between marketing and sales teams are the cornerstone to “selling better”.
«Today, there are tools that can be used to bring marketing and sales teams closer, helping them to work together effectively» he declared.
For example, inbound marketing, particularly through marketing automation and lead generation is a highly effective pre-sales tool and leads to genuine collaboration between sales and marketing.

But what about the physical appointment?
How can the sales and marketing teams create effective and useful tools that are easy to use and genuinely used in the field by salespeople to persuade their contacts?

Today, there are 3 main families of solutions:

Cloud drives (Google Drive, DropBox, etc.…): inexpensive, operational immediately but not personalised (no benefit other than that of a “storage box”) and restricted access without an internet connection;
• Bespoke applications: high cost, very long implementation timeframes and regular updates required;
• Customisable packaged applications: attractively priced, operational in just a few days to a few weeks, 100 % offline and customisable.

We selected this last solution for our agency and for nearly a third of our customers (including Cafés Richard which is on its second application, one for France and the other for export resellers).

Ask yourself which tool can be used to establish this win/win relationship between field teams and management (and which is automatically reflected by an improvement in business efficiency)?
Our response is:
• A tablet yes, but more than just a device - the solution lies in the application!
• An application for content... adapted to the customer!
• Not just a presentation of your company, but an experience of your brand!
Antoine Pasquier-Desvignes
Partnership Director
Touch & Sell
Before introducing the Touch & Sell presentation application for tablets, Antoine Pasquier-Desvignes, Partnership Director at Touch & Sell, reflected on the need for companies to invest in sales performance tools.

He focused in particular on a study conducted in association with French business leaders (DCF) and the ICD international business school. This study demonstrates the importance of optimising the customer/prospect point of contact, in:
• a tough economic context where business models are changing,
• a digital universe where the internet is bringing down the value of goods and services,
• new trade opportunities with an increasingly long and complex sales tunnel.

And this difficult sales environment is crystallised at year-end with the difference in results widening between the “best” salespeople and the “average” ones, going from 54% to 200% in a few years.
In order to support the sales force “it has become essential to make a difference during the appointment by offering a real customer experience of your brand”, Antoine Pasquier-Desvignes asserted.
This will result in a perception of value based on:
• the Wow effect,
• the quality of the discussion (due to its interactivity),
• efficiency (a presentation adapted to the contact),
• concentrating on the main points (you “skip past” irrelevant information/sequences),
• managing the time,
• the visibility of your content.
"Although there are many benefits to digitalising the sales force (particularly increased productivity and an enhanced company image at appointments, mentioned by 70 % of those surveyed for the study), there are real obstacles to adopting these tools and these must not be underestimated", stressed Antoine Pasquier-Desvignes.

Internal resistance to change and a lack of support during deployment are the source of 50 % of failures. It is therefore essential to prepare for this change (which goes beyond simply using a new device) with the sales force and be supported for a successful project to digitalise its sales assistance tools.

Antoine Pasquier-Desvignes then presented the various functionality and uses of Touch & Sell and its back office: customisation, navigation through the content, forms, sending documents while at an appointment, information feedback, notification centre, back office: library, application's tree structure, access restrictions at different levels, reports, possible APIs...
Laetitia Perche
Marketing and Communication Director
Then was the turn of Laëtitia Perche, Marketing and Communication Director with Sofrigam - the manufacturer of isothermal and refrigerant packaging to speak. She spoke as a user of the Touch & Sell solution for 2 years and a customer of the ComNext agency for more than 8 years.

“This application changed our lives!” she enthused.
Ours was a complex problem:
• Wide disparities in ages and therefore different degrees of openness as to the use of new technologies.
• An international network.
• A product catalogue of incredible depth (several thousand lines!) combined with a wide range of services (especially logistics). In short, a paper catalogue as an enormous PDF which was difficult to digest and never up-to-date when it arrived in the field!
• A desire to reflect the innovative nature of our products through our corporate and sales communication.
The first benefit we noticed after creating our Touch & Sell app with ComNext, was the feeling of calm because we are more efficient.

Now when I have to update a product data sheet, I simply load it into the application's back office and send a Push notification to all the relevant teams to inform them. Salespeople no longer call me in a panic 10 minutes before their appointment because they haven’t brought the right documentation or can no longer find it on their computer!”, said Laëtitia Perche.

The number of “spurious” interactions with the sales teams has greatly decreased and discussions are now more effective and peaceful. “As proof, we have just changed our visual identity and distributed new communication media to the French and international teams has not been stressful at all!”,  she stated. In conclusion, Laëtitia Perche believes that the application presents an excellent use/benefits/price ratio.
Pierre Ferra
Customer Director
ComNext Agency
As the last speaker of the morning, Pierre Ferra, Customer Director at ComNext invited us to an overview.

He was present to talk about content and supporting change through the presentation of a customer case study on Bernard Controls - a leading international group of French origin that designs and produces servomotors used to control sluice gates. A customer of the ComNext agency since 2010, the Bernard Controls group asked us to design different sales materials to support its strong development, particularly internationally.
• creation of ranges to segment the offer and make it more visible,
• a pre-sales guide to prepare for a meeting, “GPS Actuator” web app to find the right servomotor model in a few clicks...

The group’s general management was delighted with these new tools but it quickly became apparent that their technical salespeople weren’t using them!
In order to resolve this basic problem, ComNext approached a consultancy firm that offered training in sales performance and Touch & Sell to offer a long-term solution through:
• an audit of the reality in the field and the feelings of salespeople and management,
• support for the change in process and sales tools,
• training in sales performance,
• an application, both an e-learning and sales tool.
Bernard Controls is currently training its sales forces through classroom sessions and e-learning. Among other things, ComNext redesigned all the e-learning materials to make them more attractive, user-friendly and interactive. With regards the sales materials, these are obviously adapted for tablets, but also the new sales processes, defined according to the profile of the sales teams and their contacts.
“The content enhances the user/customer experience and is refined by the package made up of the Touch & Sell application and the tablet. And the package allows all forms of content so as to create a seamless history, a wow effect that will improve your sales performance”, concluded Pierre Ferra.
Would you like to know more about new sales tools? You have two options:
This is currently THE most important topic in my company: I would like a personal refresher session.
I'm just thinking about it for the moment: I’d like to receive the white paper “The tablet for commercial performance”.