5 Sales Tools All Teams Should Be Using
We now live in an almost completely digital world and with this shift comes a plethora of different sales tools sales teams can use. There are hundreds, if not thousands of shiny sales tools available to teams, yet there are just a handful that are most useful to the sales process.
So which ones are most critical?
Everyone seems to have their own opinions but here are our top five:
1. CRM. At this point many of you are probably going “well duh” but we can’t stress the importance of USING a CRM as a critical sales tool. Though most organizations have a CRM, not all companies actually use this tool to the full extent they can to manage their sales process and efforts. Sales teams should be using this as their single-source-of-truth when it comes to prospect and customer data, lead stages, opportunity tracking and more. And teams should embrace the credo “if it’s not in our CRM, it didn’t happen” to ensure sales members are held accountable for using the CRM for all activity.
2. Marketing automation. Adoption of marketing automation systems like Marketo, Pardot, Act On and others has been rapidly increasing the past decade, with the majority of B2B firms now using one. Though this tool might have marketing in the title, don’t be deceived, this is a valuable sales tool all team members should be using. At the most basic level sales reps should be looking up user tracking activity (web hits, email clicks, etc.) in their CRM prior to making contact with them. At a higher level, they should be responding to real-time notifications and alerts as prospects engage with marketing activities and move in and out of nurturing programs. And sales should follow up as fast as possible too; as a reminder, sales reps that follow up with web leads in five minutes or less are nine times more likely to see them convert.
3. Online presentation tool. Companies are increasingly turning to online presentation tools to replace PowerPoints and other platforms that are limiting in terms of creating and sending presentations. As marketing and sales continue to combine forces there is an increased need for marketing to create up-to-date, branded presentations that sales can easily and quickly customize and send to customers over a personalized URL, rather than sending large PDF files. And with key analytics informing the sales rep when the presentation was viewed, for how long and on what slides, a cloud-based presentation tool is a no brainer for most companies.
4. Auto dialer with local presence. With the creation of sales development departments and the need to complete a high level of prospecting, having an auto dialer in place is very important. Studies show that 92% of all customer interactions take place over the phone so the faster sales reps can dial, the odds of them making contact increases. Auto dialers make it easy for sales reps to work through phone lists in their CRM and make calls quickly. Most now come equipped with local presence, allowing calls to made to prospects from a “local” numbers so they are more apt to pick up the phone. This tool is a must-have if your sales team is focusing on high call volume.
5. Social selling tool. Social selling has been an increasingly used phrase amongst best-in-class sales teams the past few years. And for good reason, studies show social sellers are 66% more likely to obtain quota. Having a strong social selling tool in place makes it easy for sales reps to monitor social activity and gain better sales intelligence to determine how to best approach each individual prospect. There is great value to be gained when a sales rep knows what someone is tweeting about or posting on LinkedIn, and what issues or causes are most top-of-mind to them.
As you look for ways to build a world-class sales team it’s critical to examine those tools your team is using and ask yourself “is there a better way?” Often times, there is.