Sales has completely changed in the past decade. The modern sales team is now armed with an extensive ‘sales stack’. Also referred to as a sales technology stack, having just a CRM tool is no longer enough to effectively keep in touch with customers and find new prospects.
Our team uses 90% of these tools plus other non sales specific tools.
Leads don’t just come in by phone or email anymore, they come in from the web, social, chat, messaging and more.
Leads aren’t only generated by marketing activities, they come in through digital networking and outbound omni channel strategies.
And communication with prospects and customers doesn’t just happen through phone and email, it happens on multiple video platforms and chat tools to just to name a few.
Here a just a few of the sales tools today’s sales teams are using to find prospects faster and close deals more effectively.
Do I Really Need Sales Technology?
Considering that industry-wide Win rates are very much so down, we know that realistically selling isn’t going to get any easier – It’s becoming more competitive. So in our global business environment, every business needs to be considering how they can achieve sales analytics combined with a sales methodology, which is precisely why Sales Technology is going to help you keep up with the competition.
What Are The Benefits Of Sales Technology?
The appropriate Sales Technology can significantly improve win rates, deal size, and reduce the amount of time it takes to close sales. However, not all Sales Technology are the same or even useful, so it’s essential to be mindful that the best sales technologies feature predictive analytics and offer mobile-first, real-time access for sellers and managers.
Sales Leaders know that CRM software alone isn’t effective for closing deals and keeping up with industry changes. As a result? Sales leaders and IT teams are working together to develop technology stacks that include other useful technologies. So what are the benefits?
A Valuable Resource For Sales Teams
Utilizing Advanced Sales Analytics platforms increase adoption rates because Sales Teams typically understand the technology as a necessary resource for selling activities rather than an administrative burden.
Sales Teams just want to be able to inform their selling activities with critical data insights. Sales Analytics platforms provide teams with recommendations for actions they can take to improve deal outcomes, enabling leaders to replicate winning behaviors across the organization.
Faster Problem Solving
Adopting an advanced technology stack will make problem-solving more straightforward and faster – Considering that certain types of sales technology can provide accurate, real-time metrics. By utilizing status reports at every stage of the sales process, the data will highlight where the difficulties are, meaning that Sales Teams are more likely to quickly identify their sales process problems and make adjustments before it’s too late.
Automating time-consuming, repetitive, and laborious tasks is the best method of giving time back to your Sales Team, allowing them to do what they do best. For example, if we look at Lead Generation, it’s estimated that up to 22% of a Sales Rep’s time is generating leads!
What’s In a Sales Tech Stack
Everything from social media platforms like LinkedIn to Slack to Whatsapp to Calendly to Zoom to Google Docs and CRMs… there’s a really huge technology stack that sales reps have to be proficient in.
Sales Tech Stack for Inbound Sales
Appointment Scheduling Tools
Calendly for example, is a time saving way for scheduling meetings with prospects. Many reps will have different calendars set up with different criteria. Best of all these tools will automatically send out reminders. These tools are really great for reducing and eliminating the constant back and forth between you and your prospects and customers to try to book a time.
If you can make it easy for a customer to say, “Hey, how about tomorrow at 10?” Or “If you want to find a better time, just click the link here.”
Video Conferencing Software
Sales are all happing online now so using platforms like Zoom, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans and Microsoft Teams are essential. You need to know how to use any platform your prospect wants to talk on. So practice ahead of time so you aren’t fumbling and stumbling on the call.
Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) | A Sales Tech Stack Essential
Last, but certainly not least, is CRM. You, of course, need to have a customer relationship management tool in your sales tech stack.
Using a database or a customer relationship management (CRM) tool will help you store and record information vital to closing sales. You can use this tool to record how prospects heard about you to help determine when you should follow up with prospects and existing customers. More so, a CRM enables you to remember what you and a customer talked about during your last conversation or invoice your customer.
People ask me all the time, “Hey Tom, what’s the best CRM platform.” I say, “Good question, the answer is the one that your team actually uses.” They’re all great; they all have great features and limitations and some customisation elements but don’t get fixated on that.
There are always 2 different answers I get when talking to sales professionals and managers about their customer relationship management (CRM) tool: they either love it and use it daily, or hate it and think it’s a waste of time. If you’re part of the ‘Hate it’ group, or are considering investing in CRM software, read on for 4 reasons why you should be using CRM software to organise prospecting information.
Keep Track of Customers, Clients and Prospects
The most obvious reason why people start using a CRM is to keep track of prospects and clients. The nay sayers will say it takes too much time. Tell me if your piece of paper system, or ‘I’ll remember strategy’ can do this with your clients and prospects.
Can you remember all of your past clients? Can you remember exactly what they bought, for how much, and what else they might be interested in? Maybe you have a file of past clients. Good for you. So when should you follow up with them next? Most people not using a CRM won’t even bother with the last one because it’s too much effort without an automated tool. Don’t you think you would increase sales if you got a reminder 6 months after a job is complete to see how your customer is doing with your product or service? Or better yet, 6 months after the job, an automated email goes out to past prospects checking in on them?
Don’t leave following up with past customers to when sales are slow only to realise they’ve moved on to your competitors.
While a couple hot prospects might be easy to keep track of, what about that guy that contacted you two months ago, but said their company is going through restructuring so will have to hold off for now? How do you keep track of these no longer ‘hot leads’? You could either forget about them which is easy when not using a CRM, or you could create a system or a set of reminders to follow up. With certain CRMs, you could even automate an email to go out at a pre-determined date to follow up with them. That’s almost easier than forgetting about them!
A CRM system and pipeline management tool helps you nurture prospects and stay on top of the sales process. With some, you can track all email and phone correspondence, put in notes and reminders of the next steps, and have templates for those repetitive emails to the locksmith boss. Losing that sticky note with details of your phone call or forgetting to send the prospect the information they asked for is no longer an option.
Sell More Products
With a good CRM, at the click of a button you can pull up all contacts that have shown interest in a certain product of yours. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you when there’s a promotion on it or updates to it. A CRM can make this process efficient and seamless.
With a CRM, you can look at your dashboard and see what’s in your pipeline. How incentivising would it be to see the amount of money you could make if you closed all open leads? Or see which sales are forecasted to close this month so you know how close you are to your targets?
Some information to keep track of in your CRM include:
- Product they are interested in
- The forecasted amount of the sale
- The date of your last contact with a customer
- The date of the next contact
- The date expected to close
- List of supporting materials you should be sending them
- Names of the other stakeholders who will be involved in the buying decision
It’s time to up your game and have a clear picture of what’s in your sales funnel and a strategy to close more sales.
Improve Your Sales Strategy
With a CRM you can track how your prospects and clients are finding you. Is it through referrals, certain publications, networking or trade shows? Maybe you get a lot of leads from one, but they don’t convert to as many closed sales? It’s important to know where your customers come from so you know where to concentrate your efforts.
Website Live Chat
Many sales teams these days have moved from being mostly phone based to spending a lot of time on chat. This includes live website chat to allow reps to chat with prospects in real time when they’re on their website.
With tools like Drift, Intercom and ZenDesk Chat in a teams sales technology stack, reps can see which page a prospect is on giving them clues about what they’re interested in buying and the types of questions they have.
Website Live Chat tools are also great for lead capture.
Artificial Intelligence Tools
When companies incorporate some of the cutting edge Artificial Intelligence Sales Software that are on the market now, their teams can gather more intelligent information about their prospects and reduce time spent on mindless tasks, freeing them up to spend more time on building relationships with prospects.
Examples of AI Sales tools include Saleswhale, Chorus and Cogito.
Sales Presentation Software
Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides or a snazzy Prezi deck, sales teams need a solution to deliver visual, structured sales presentations.
Some companies are starting to incorporate Prezi into their sales technology stack because of it’s ability to track where in the presentation deck reps are spending the most time and comes with 100s of ready to go templates.
Phone Tracking Software
Whether your company is using an in-house phone tracking software or an online tool like justcall.io, phone tracking software has been an essential sales tool for some time now as it allows companies to see how much time reps are spending on calls, how many calls they’re making and how many calls they’re missing. These tools also allow sales managers to check on the quality of their rep’s calls.
Email Automation Tools
Lead Gathering Tools
While LinkedIn Sales Navigator is excellent for finding decision makers at companies, adding sales technology tools like Lusha and Hunter allow sales teams to gather more information on their prospects including contact information.
Website Monitoring for Sales Teams
While marketing teams have analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook, sales teams can get intelligence on website visitors that helps them fill their pipeline with tools like Leadfeeder. Leadfeeder and the likes allow teams to identify which companies are visiting their website and get email alerts when a certain company visits. This gives them the ability to know which companies they should be following up with and when.
Social Media Platforms
Make sure that you’re using LinkedIn as a minimum in your sales tech stack. Sales teams need to be using social media platforms. If you’re in B2B sales in particular, make sure that your team is very active on LinkedIn and using it for prospecting for researching customers and for nurturing leads. For those that aren’t yet ready to buy.
Using mobile messaging apps like Whatsapp for example, are really great for sending quick messages either voice recordings or video recordings to your prospects and customers. There’s also Line or WeChat or Telegram. These are some really popular mobile messaging apps in our part of the world here in APAC.
The most important thing is that you’re on the platform your prospect likes to use. Messaging your customer through messaging apps is an essential tool in a reps sales tech stack because moving from email to messaging apps makes the conversation more personal.
Having tools like Google Docs or Dropbox for document delivery in your sales tech stack are essential for not only collaborating with your coworkers but also for sharing documents with customers. Our reps have our brochures and collaterals all easily accessible in different DropBox folders.
Team Communication Tools
Slack for example is a great tool for communicating and sharing and collaborating with your sales team. Slack is a wonderful platform that we use and you can set up all these different channels based on certain topics and you invite the right people to the right channels.
I’m curious to know, which of these tools are you using?