Sales development, like any other profession, requires talent, but also the right set of tools to use it to its full potential. It’s 2016, power tools like LinkedIn and Salesforce should already be in your bag, but as the landscape changes, sales acceleration technology is playing a much larger role.
According to an Insidesales.com study, the average spend on sales acceleration tech is $2,280 per non-retail sales rep. But with 36% of reps stating that the spending is too little, that number is likely to grow with further adoption.
There are 5 segments in our current sales process. Below, you’ll find tech tools that can help you at each step of the way.
There’s no such thing as being over-prepared. Since that’s the case, finding sales tools that can help you collect more prospect data than you’ll ever need, is the right first move.
InsideView – With over 40K sources, information on over 16.4 million decision makers and a view for social connections, this research powerhouse gives you all the prospect insights you want and some you didn’t know you needed.
SalesProspex – Having a crowdsourced database of almost 40 million contacts, you can use this tool to get to any decision maker. And you can do it fast by searching through 11 million companies, 80+ job functions, and your own custom suppression lists.
After you’ve done all of the possible research, it’s time for your first touchpoint. Whether it’s through email, phone or even snail-mail, your first approach sets the tone for the rest of the sales process, so timely and relevant communication is key.
Sidekick – This handy Chrome extension serves over 200,000 users by quietly providing the following:
- Contact information including professional bio, mutual connections, social content they produced, and past contact history. All right in the inbox!
- Live notifications on who opens and clicks emails
- And an email scheduler to draft and send emails when free time is actually available
Ringio – As a CRM add-on, Ringio does a couple of things that a phone-centric SDR would find useful. First off, it provides power dialing, which is a must if you want to hit consistent call numbers and avoid physical dialing times. It also provides voicemail drops, where you can leave custom and pre-recorded voicemails with the click of a button. Finally, to improve sales cycles, it logs all calls and recordings directly into your CRM. Cold calling isn’t dead; it’s just gotten less cold with tech.
You’ve done your research, you’ve introduced yourself and your company, and now you have a demo call. There’s a likelihood that this meeting will bring you closer to, well, closing. Making sure you have the tech capable of engaging your audience but not pulling them away from your value proposition is important.
Keynote – While market share is still owned by Powerpoint, Apple’s presentation tool is seen as the fresh, inventive ‘relatively’ new kid on the block. Why? Keynote is media based and design focused, therefore sharing videos and graphics comes easily and beautifully. Since the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, this is a really good thing.
Join.me – Whether you use the free version or the paid version, the screen sharing and presentation capabilities are just as seamless, which is why it’s ranked #1 in customer satisfaction and ease of use. You can invite more of the prospect’s team onto the call and see if you can convert two birds with one stone or share your spur-of-the-moment thoughts through the free iOS Whiteboard app. Either way, Join.me will keep prospects focused on what you’re saying/showing rather than the complexities found in other software.
With the average salesperson only making two attempts to reach a prospect, it’s no surprise that overall close rates tend to be so low. So after your outreach, and before and after your meetings, the next step is to consistently nurture your leads into a comfort zone where they’re ready to convert.
Pipedrive – While not a direct competitor with Salesforce and its industry-leading suite of products, Pipedrive is a visual sales management tool “built by salespeople for salespeople”. The most important part of prospect nurturing is to know exactly where in the process they stand. Pipedrive allows salespeople to easily see progress being made and the actions they need to take to get to the next step.
Attach.io – Sending relevant content consistently is a great way to keep your prospects engaged, but not knowing what they’re doing with that content will make it a waste of time. Attach.io fixes that problem by providing insights into how your prospects are engaging with your sales collateral. See who opens documents, what’s being read, and where it’s being forwarded. Having this information not only helps you follow-up more but also more efficiently. After all, 80% of sales take at least 5 follow-ups.
An often underutilized segment, reflection is one of the most important steps salespeople need to take throughout the sales process. A good salesperson seeks feedback, a great salesperson, however, seeks feedback then uses analytics to make it actionable.
MicroStrategy– The whole suite of products might be overkill for a small business or startup but the sales analytics solution and its ability to place everything on mobile is a win for salespeople on the move. With fully featured Salesforce.com reporting on your phone or tablet, you can always stay on top of what’s happening with your deals, prospects and customers.
Klipfolio – Digital all-in-one dashboards are a must for seeing exactly how well your business is running at any given time. Affordable, powerful and visual, Klipfolio has a use case for every team. But given the amount of integrations available with sales technologies, it’s the perfect tool for sales managers to monitor, identify needs and make the necessary changes.
That’s a lot of technology to consider and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want or even need every tool listed. However, these resources will help you collect more information, make better decisions and give you more time to do what you’re good at…sell!