“There’s an app for that!”
Now that’s something most of us have probably already heard. From our personal to professional lives, there seems to already be a tech tool built to make even the most mundane of processes easier, more efficient, or better.
Sales and marketing are two age-old fields, and the game has been elevated to new heights with the surge in technology meant to make sales and marketing not only easier, the processes have become smarter, faster and more effective.
It’s a shame if you’re stuck with a clunky CRM. Are you picking up the phone with nothing but a phone number? With everybody being on the internet producing copious amounts of data, sales and marketing are challenged to use this kind of connection to bring products closer to the consumers who need them.
So, you’re in a sales or marketing team, you should definitely check out these ten tools that address specific areas of your everyday processes. Shave an hour or ten off your work week!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn is the biggest social media network for professionals, by far. In the last three years, LinkedIn has continuously rolled out products that benefit sales and marketing people, giving them a way to use the data within LinkedIn to make meaningful connections with prospects.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of those products. What it gives sales and marketing professionals can be encapsulated in one word: access.
What you pay for with LSN is a quicker, easier way to search LinkedIn’s database for professionals who fall within specific parameters. If you’re making strides with just a premium LinkedIn account, LSN will give you a nice lift.
Here are some of the added functions on LSN:
- Makes automated lead suggestions
- Gives up to 700 search results at a time
- Eliminates the ethics issue when researching prospects by allowing you to send messages to people you don’t know yet (InMail)
- Connect to your CRM for team and individual monitoring
Crystal is a tool that claims to be the “best improvement to email since spellcheck”. And many attest that this could be true. Brand Channel said the tool is somewhere between horoscope and a Myers-Briggs profile, and even saying it walks the line between innovative and super creepy.
I tried it myself and…it’s frighteningly accurate.
Here’s how Crystal works. It creates a profile for anyone with a LinkedIn account and it gives you guidelines on the best way to conduct yourself when communicating with a person. This includes how to speak, what to say in an email, how to work with or even sell to this person most effectively. It doesn’t give you loose guidelines–it gives you eerily specific instructions: “words, phrases, style and tone you should use to reach the recipient in the way that they like to communicate, rather than your own.”
The directions are formed from bits and pieces of information Crystal can get from your contacts’ public profiles. Crystal goes out of its way and creates email drafts for you when you want to contact a person you’ve never met, in the tone and way that their online trail suggests will resonate with them.
Google Alerts may very well be Google’s most underrated product. Search and Gmail are up there, but Alerts is indispensable for sales and marketing professionals who like to keep up with competition (which is everyone of course).
Here’s how it works:
By creating a Google Alert, you can get email notifications any time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you.
For example, you could get updates about a product you like, find out when people post something about you on the web or keep up with news stories.
How does this product benefit sales and marketing professionals?
For sales pros, putting in alerts for your niche and your clients make sure you have enough fodder for your sales conversations. New funding? New director? Change in direction? If it’s on the internet, Google Alerts has got you covered.
For marketing pros, there are so many ways Alerts can help. It can give you instant updates on what’s new in your niche so you can react to it, create content around it and produce content that your audience would be interested in.
BuzzSumo is a content intelligence tool that identifies what content is shared the most in every vertical, under every topic, for an author, and so on. It goes deeper by identifying who the sharers are–more importantly, the influencers that share articles and other pieces of content.
Yes. For both sales reps and marketers, knowing who the main influencers in a vertical is very crucial. You get the nod of an influencer, you get the trust of industry leaders.
It also allows you to research what your competitor’s most popular articles are since it gives information just by supplying a URL. Here, sales reps and marketers get to dig up what content is effective by getting information on what the most successful competitors are doing. Based on this information, you’ll get an idea of what themes and topics interest your prospects the most.
And what sales rep and marketer wouldn’t love getting direct information about who shares what? With BuzzSumo, you’re able to find influential people from any topic or vertical. If you’re building Twitter lists or prospecting lists, this information is very important. Once you get the list of people you want to connect to, BuzzSumo gives you access to a wealth of information including but not limited to: who they follow and who follows them, what they typically share, if they engage with their audience, and so on/
Everyone is on social media. If you’re a marketer or a sales professional, you know too well that your prospects and clients are on the huge social network. Within LinkedIn, inMails and the Sales Navigator are kings.
How about twitter? Is it enough to like and follow your prospects and the people who influence them?
Sales and marketing pros should pay attention to Socedo. It’s a tool made for automated lead generation. Zapier recipes meet BuzzSumo and TweetFull. You can discover new prospects that match whatever customer criteria you set. And the tool further qualifies your contacts by applying the criteria you set and using your own information to bring you leads that are most relevant to you.
Socedo focuses on three main components to maximize your lead gen efforts:
- Targeting relevant prospects based on specific social media activity
- Qualifying social prospects with practical & customizable automated engagement
- Monitoring performance through a Social Lead Report
Yesware lets you track emails through its Gmail integration. It appears as a checkbox in Gmail’s Compose window where you have the option to turn tracking on or off for certain emails. The product is apparently directed at professionals, what with its reporting features for Salesforce and other CRM software.
So why is email tracking important to sales reps and marketing pros?
For sales reps, it allows you to know which prospects open your email, helping you gauge lead quality and is a way to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Marketing professionals use email tracking software and plug-ins to monitor their influencer marketing and outreach campaigns.
For both professions, tracking email metrics is very important in building an email strategy that won’t waste time and resources while keeping leads warm.
Yesware works with various CRMs–so alongside your CRM of choice, you can integrate the tracking functionality of Yesware to launch and operate effective campaigns.
And, of course, for both marketing and sales pros, keeping on top of your schedule is crucial. Deadlines can pile up. Many connections and relationships are time sensitive. Leads and prospects go cold quicker than a blink. The key to making sure that all your meetings, activities and deadlines are in check is ensuring that you schedule tasks and events in their own dedicated slots.
Multi-tasking isn’t bad in its entirety–however, it’s proven that the more focused you are on a task, the better and quicker you’re able to finish it. And, meeting with a prospective client or your boss is never a good time to multi-task.
So considering how much work we have to get done with so little time, there has been a flurry of scheduling and calendaring solutions developed in the market. One of which is Calendly.
This scheduling platform allows you to customize events and activities while also integrating with the most popular calendars out there–Google Calendar, iCal and the Outlook calendar.
Calendly allows you to move and buffer before and after events, including automatically reminding attendees of a coming schedule. Probably the best and most useful function of Calendly is the dedicated custom URL for each meeting. When you want to send a schedule to anyone–a customer, a prospect or a team member–you can use the URL to send them directly to the event type.
Eliminating scheduling back and forths will surely help you not only create more time for other tasks but also allow for smaller cracks that some prospects might fall into.
There are a lot of tools developed and are continuously being developed to make the lives of sales and marketing professionals easier. These are just some of them. With the sheer number of tools, it’s important to test out and see which ones work for your particular situation and team. One that adds to your efficiency and slashes hours off of your work day.
Continuously improving the skills of your team, paired with the functions of tools that really fit, will help you reach quotas minus the stress.
What tools do you use in your team?
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