Sales plays – and has always played – a central role in business operations.
In an age where each and every piece of data can be compiled, retained, and analyzed, sales teams have to find ways to keep a grasp on this continuous stream, use it to improve performance, retain and follow up on leads, and reduce costs.
In all of this, they also have to find ways to communicate better internally and create more cohesive teams.
Thankfully, tools have been developed to address this growing need, and do a great job at simplifying a vast amount of data, allowing sales teams to follow up on top prospects and concentrate their efforts on those that matter while pushing new prospects up the sales cycle.
Here are a few essential tools your sales team needs to perform their best.
Project Management Tool
Pursuing potential buyers is the number one objective of any sales team.
The process of finding prospective buyers and navigating them along your sales cycle may seem simple and straightforward.
However, when dealing with a high number of leads, you have to find a way to qualify them, know exactly where they are along your cycle, and compile them in order of importance so that your sales reps can maximize their time and effort.
A tool like SalesLoft, for instance, could help immensely.
This automation tool allows sales reps to build unique processes that will help them regulate and monitor sales development phone calls, emails, and other activities.
It can also be integrated with LinkedIn to quickly generate email and phone number lists, which are still essential in establishing initial contact with prospects.
Customer relationship management tools allow your sales team to follow up on sales activities, and helps them in qualifying and following up on leads.
But they can do much more than that.
A tool like Salesforce, for instance, can help you connect your marketing tools together to help your sales team create a clearer profile of your leads.
Without a CRM, it would be difficult for your team to know which leads are the hottest; that is if they even get passed on to them.
Another great thing about a CRM tool like salesforce is that it allows your sales team to plan better.
Reps can plan and prioritize tasks to make sure that while important leads are catered to, less important ones aren’t forgotten as well.
Neglecting a lead just because it may seem inactive or not profitable can be a huge error, as their potential is not always clear from the get go.
But where CRMs shine the most is when it comes to building personal relationships with your customers. Developing a deep understanding of your client’s business and a clear snapshot of their relationship with your company will go a long way in establishing trust with them.
With a small business CRM tool, you can keep track of the ongoing challenges facing your clients and follow up with solutions.
Every interaction is made relevant, and your team can choose to follow up with either free information or resources, products or special offers, or content that might pique their interest.
You’ll also know exactly which products they’ve bought from you and if they’re using it, which will allow you to make even more relevant recommendations.
However, know that if you want to unleash the full potential of a CRM tool like salesforce, you have to make sure that you and your sales team understand all its features and how to implement them, which is where a training course comes in handy.
Thankfully, salesforce’s learning curve isn’t as steep as other CRMs, and there are plenty of salesforce training options both online and offline.
Services like findcourses.com offer a wide variety of introductory salesforce training courses, as well as a few advanced tools on some of its functions.
They also have courses specifically for tech leaders, customer service reps, and digital marketers.
Time Management Tool
Time is literally money when it comes to a sales rep, and it has to be used wisely for them to reach their full sales potential.
In order to be more efficient, they have to find a way to scale back on less important tasks, and learn how to better manage their time.
Time management tools are essential to help them work smarter and allow them to make wiser decisions with their time.
It also benefits the whole environment by eliminating time mismanagement errors.
Calendly is a great piece of scheduling software that could help your team members do things like streamlining administrative tasks, set meetings depending on availability, as well as save time on playing email and phone tag.
Sales reps can set cancellation notices, reminders, and automated confirmation emails easily while personalizing content and timing.
A SAM, or Sales Asset Management tool, is another tool every sales team should have at their disposal.
These tools help provide the perfect client-facing content to reps at the time they need it the most.
This may be things like pitch decks, case studies, or any type of content that would be relevant to your clients and conducive to sales.
One of the reasons why a SAM tool is so important is that it makes sure that you keep track of all the content created and that you don’t present information that is irrelevant or outdated. It also provides a safe depository for said files for easy access.
For instance, if a pitch deck was stored on Sales Hub by your sales team, but that collateral was edited by your marketing team on Google Drive, then it could lead to some of the content being outdated.
A sales asset management tool will help reduce these kinds of errors as well as redundancy issues.
Another great thing about this tool is that created content or content amassed through research can be reused in the future by your reps.
Depending on your content strategy, sales reps can spend as long as thirty hours each and every month creating and searching for content according to data from Seismic.
Having a repository of fresh and relevant data right at their fingertips will help them cut down on research time, time that can be directed towards more pressing tasks.
If you’re looking for a nice SAM tool, you should give ShowPad a try.
This tool can help your reps present content to prospects and clients that will be engaging and highly relevant.
Another great thing about this tool is how flexible it is. It can be adapted to virtually any sales technology and will allow you to deliver a fresh stream of content to your sales team in real time.
This is a must for any company who wants to develop a solid content strategy and become an actual resource to their client base.
All these tools should be part of your sales team’s toolbox if you want to take their performance and productivity to the next plateau.
These tools will also allow to improve communication between departments, and make sure that they’re all on the same page.
But more importantly, it will allow your reps to spend most of their time on the prospects that matter the most; boosting sales, revenue, and reducing acquisition costs.