1. CRM Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) might be the top sales tools that experts agree should be a priority for sales teams to utilize. CRM tools can be used for any company size, small to enterprise. CRM tools support a seamless customer service experience, helping companies organize customer details, needs and desires, and next steps in the sales cycle. Connecting with prospects is becoming more diverse- emails, phone calls, linkedin, social media, live chats, and more. CRM software is perfect to organize the customers journey, making sales teams more effective with less resources. Your sales team can benefit from a CRM by:
- Being on the same page - this is especially important as remote positions are on the rise
- Activities in the sales cycle can be automated, integrated, tracked and stored - activity management is key
- Sales goals are clear- sales reps can organize and track their next steps in the sales cycle
- Sales leaders can see an overview of their sales teams activities and responsibilities
- Sales leaders can benefit from reporting features - having access to crucial sales analytics and forecasting.
Exploring and securing a CRM tool is an essential step for companies that want to streamline their operations. A CRM is an essential tool for company growth- integrating all of your companies information and systems in one place.
2. Automation Tools
Automation tools are amazing at reducing manual tasks that sales teams perform- freeing up time for more essential steps in the sales cycle. There are tons of automation tools out there. The great thing about automation tools is that they integrate with other technology, such as a CRM tool. With Automation, sales engagement is streamlined and simplified across the sales process from beginning to end.
Complex and tedious tasks can be simplified with the help of automation. Technology such as prospecting tools, scheduling tools, and lead enrichment tools all benefit from automation. We will dive into these next. When sales teams use automation right, it can be one of the most useful tools in the toolbox.
3. Lead Enrichment and ProspectingTools
Any seasoned sales professional has been there... prospecting and qualifying your leads can be a major hassle in the sales process. Sales reps often run in circles trying to gather lead information. When you ask sales reps how much time they spend on prospecting vs actually selling- most will say they spend more time finding leads then actually selling to those leads. That is why lead enrichment tools are key to sales reps.
Lead enticement tools vary but typically they can use automation to gather:
- Company demographics
- Company geographic data
- Social handles - company website, linkedin, facebook, instagram and more
- Contact information for your target prospect
So why does lead enrichment matter? For starters, it helps to create a meaningful customer relationship that goes deeper - allowing you to personalize the sales process for your prospect. Lead enrichment supports lead nurturing and prospecting. Both go hand-in-hand in supporting sales growth and reaching targeted goals.
We have included prospecting tools here as it pairs well with lead enrichment - some might even say they are essential to one another. The goal of prospecting tools is to find the right prospect and generate revenue. Sales prospecting is not one step, it is a collection of steps that take place. It takes pace from the early stages of finding and contacting a lead to turning that lead into a buyer.
A top sales prospecting tool used among sales reps is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator helps sales professionals identify and engage their prospects. As noted above, automation tools are ingrained in tons sales technology - including LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, prospecting can be automated with connection requests, messages or InMail, page invites, and more.
Sales prospecting tools that are note worthy, in no particular order:
Lead enrichment combined with prospecting tools allows for sales reps to make the most of their time, by engaging with prospects who have the highest probability to convert.
4. Scheduling Tools
Work smarter, not harder right? With scheduling tools, sales teams can do just that. Scheduling tools eliminate the numerous emails back and forth or phone tag to find a meeting time. As you have probably gathered by now, there are numerous types of scheduling tools- allowing companies to find a unique solution that meets their needs. It might sound like a broken record, but scheduling tools thrive off of automation. I know, we said it again!
Scheduling with a prospecting has never been easier:
1) A lead is qualified
2) They click on your calendar link and find a time that works for you AND them
3) A calendar invite and confirmation is sent to your email and theirs
4) This appointment is now added to your calendar and your prospects, including a zoom link, google meet link, or phone number for the call
Before scheduling tools and automation, the four steps above might of taken up to a few days and a lot of effort from the sales rep and prospect. Imagine having to do that with hundreds of prospects. Scheduling tools make this statement true- time is money! By using a scheduling tool, sales professionals can spend real time doing other tasks and prepping for meetings with prospects.
5. Social Network Tools
Being engaged in prospects social network is becoming increasingly popular in todays market- especially as more tech savvy professionals take over the workplace. Depending on your companies niche, finding the right social channel is crucial for prospecting. A good goal is to build a high quality presence on 1-3 key social networks. LinkedIn and twitter are two popular social network platforms that sales reps can dive deeper into.
Tips to utilize social networks as a sales professional:
- If you don't know already - you must find your target audience
- Spend time following and connecting with your prospects
- Do research on any relevant groups and communities that align with your target audience
- Engage on the sales platform- follow, comment, like, and share content. Engage and post regularly.
- Narrow down the content to promote - what is relevant to your prospect? what makes you stand out?
Social selling has become a popular avenue to prospecting clients, building relationships and closing deals. Social selling is close to media marketing, but not exactly the same. With social selling and network tools, sales reps are nurturing relationships and building a pipeline that is a long game. Data from a LinkedIn study reports that those sales reps who use social selling, are actually 51% more likely to meet their quota goals.
Lastly, using a social media tool to automate posts and engagement is crucial to companies trying to scale this growth. Some of these tools offer analytics to track performance on your social media presence and engagement. This can be helpful to track progress, adjust and gear your future plan moving forward.
If you want to explore social selling tools further, check out this article by The Pipeline.
Sales Tech Helps You Grow Faster and Better
While we only highlighted a few domains of sales technology, the list is endless. Each company must invest time into establishing a tech stack that works for them - there is no magic answer on what will work for you. Trial and answer is key.
The trial is worth it- technology in sales is like the gas that runs a car.