The sales world has made great leaps in the last decade when it comes to technology. You can’t win with just a phone line and a notepad anymore. These days, it’s all about efficiency. Trusting other departments are doing their share, the sales team has to blaze through leads while keeping conversations intelligent and relevant. To accomplish this, having the right tools is crucial.
Organizations lose about $2.3 million due to unused and underused marketing content. Sales enablement is definitely an area of sales that needs to be given attention to, especially by sales teams who don’t only desire to perform at their best but want to help their company stay efficient. The inefficiency of unused content is one that hurts the bottom line, and it is also an issue that can be solved by using the right solutions.
Knowledge Tree is a sales enablement solution that provides document management that helps sales reps get easy access to content they need throughout the sales process. Their solution aggregates rich data on content performance which in turn helps content creators prioritize building pieces that are helpful to both reps and prospects.
Cost: Free for Studio (basic). Higher-tier plan prices on request.
Selling with context is critical to sales success. Consultative selling is what works now that customers have the tools to empower themselves and they more informed now more than ever. This brings sales teams to a new paradigm of selling, far removed from the annoying salesman approach of decades ago. Sales reps need to ask what they can give prospects instead of asking what their prospects can give them.
To accomplish this, each conversation must be intentional. To avoid shooting in the dark, sales reps need to do prospect research.
Clearbit Connect helps sales teams do just that. This Chrome extension gives you a sidebar widget inside your email window that gives details about the prospect. These details include the person’s name, photo, title, location, URL, social media accounts, company name, and other details not only about the prospect but about the company they represent. Clearbit Connect gives reps the foundation required in digging up a prospect’s pain points and challenges.
In line with selling with context, keeping abreast on the latest about your leads and prospects is the best way to not only smoothen conversations but position yourself as someone trustworthy and truly interested to help.
Setting up Google alerts for the company and the prospect you’re selling to so you receive notifications each time a new webpage mentioning them is indexed by the search engine.
These pages might contain new updates on their company, important changes, and other information that help give you a reason to do a meaningful follow-up as opposed to the generic “just touching base”.
With today’s sales climate, 95% of conversations between reps and clients happen over the phone and the internet. Having a reliable phone system is one thing–but when holding demos and pitches, sales teams must have a dependable tool to prevent inconsistencies.
A big roadblock in these types of situations is having to ask the person on the other end of the line to download a piece of software before a pitch or demo starts. Join.me is a solution that doesn’t require a download. The speed and simplicity of join.me are what many sales teams enjoy. The screensharing capability of this simple tool is often enough for many inside sales teams, especially those working in SaaS who only have to show how their product works.
Of course, if there’s a need for video conferencing, there’s always Skype and Google Hangouts.
Cost: Free account for up to 10 participants, with unlimited screen sharing and calling. Pro and Business accounts are $20 and $25, respectively.
Reps are 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if they call within 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. Let that sink in. You are making 100 times more business connections when your reps call within 5 minutes than when you let leads sit and marinate. When you call a lead right away, you hit them at the peak of their interest in your product.
For that reason, auto dialers have been a mainstay in many teams’ sales tool stacks. Tenfold has a dialer functionality that includes a pop-up which provides reps the combined benefit of fast connection and contextual selling. The pop-up includes information on prior conversations, auto-populates fields like social media accounts, and gives you a note-taking feature that allows you to provide context for the next calls.
Cost: Free trial, Pro is $500/mo for 20 users, Teams is $1000/mo for 20 users.
Scheduling calls and meeting with prospects and clients could be very frustrating. When you face roadblock after roadblock finding a common time, it’s just productivity and resources down the drain. Of course, the situation is understandable–everyone is busy and it’s tough to match schedules.
There are a lot of scheduling tools out there, but Calendly is one of simplest and easiest to use. Simply add a Calendly link to the emails you send and when the recipient clicks that link, they are directed to a page that shows your available times. This tool helps speed up the sales process, avoiding any kind of doubt settling in before you get to schedule a phone conversation with a prospect.
Cost: Free for basic accounts, $8/user/month for the Premium tier when billed annually.
Researching prospects before the actual call and even throughout the sales process gives reps an edge over the conversation. Not that it’s a competition, but the more you know about the prospect, the better you can communicate with them based on their context and their challenges.
A little-known way to research prospects is by digging through public records readily available on the SEC website. The SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval database provides free access to corporate information. All of it open to the public. You will have access to a company’s record of activities, registration statement, and even financial reports.
Getting information on your prospect or someone you have an appointment with is something executives have the luxury of. They have assistants who collect everything about the person they’re meeting with, and this gives them enough information to have a great conversation and accomplish their goal.
For salespeople, this is not a reality, unless you are a bigshot.
But don’t worry. Charlie is the assistant we all need. This email-based app sends a meeting briefer on the day of your appointment. It aggregates links to social profiles, all recent news on the prospect, shared interests and hobbies, mutual connections, and their latest posts on social media.
Charlie helps reps build rapport with prospects without having to spend a lot of time googling. This is helpful for reps who make tons of calls per day–those who don’t have the time to do deep research on each prospect.
Here’s how Charlie CEO Jorge Sotto describes the app:
“Charlie (charlieapp.com) is the assistant for the rest of us. Before any meeting in your calendar, Charlie compiles one-pagers on the people you meet with so you can walk in prepared to close the deal. Executives and sales people from companies like Salesforce, Box.com, Hubspot, Hootsuite, and more use Charlie every day to save time and make a killer impression on the people they meet with.”
The more information you have access to, the more empowered you are. Bananatag is an email tracking app that gives you data about your emails that enable you to write better and adjust according to your performance.
Tracking and viewing the analytics of all the emails you send is very easy through Bananatag. You won’t stay in the dark about what happens to your messages after you hit send. Reps can now adjust their tactics based on how prospects respond to their emails. Was the email opened? Opened but not responded to? Bananatag gives you all that information.
Cost: Free for basic, $10 and $20 for Pro and Teams, respectively. Enterprise-level pricing is available upon request.
Those in sales know that it’s very important to get contracts signed and sent fast. DocuSign is an app that makes it easier for prospects to go over contracts, review, and approve them–no matter where they are. For the sales rep, DocuSign gives you access to information like when they opened the contract and when they sign.
DocuSign is all online and keeps their operations secure, giving confidence to both prospect and sales rep that the contract will not only remain confidential, it will also hold water anywhere. It’s all legally binding.
It allows reps to sell smarter and faster; definitely boosting efficiency even toward the closing stage.
Cost: Free trial; $10, $25, and $40 for Personal, Standard and Business Pro, respectively.
Sales has clearly evolved in recent years. If your team is not updated, you will be left in the dust. These tools help your team work with both speed and quality while keeping all resources in one place.
Latest posts by Aki Merced (see all)
- 3 Things to Consider Before Implementing a Social Selling Program - October 20, 2016
- 10 Tools Efficient Sales Teams Use (Free & Almost Free) - October 13, 2016
- Sales Coaching Tips for the Modern Manager - October 11, 2016