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.
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.
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 – A Sales Tech Stack Essential
And then finally but certainly not least is CRM. You of course need to have a customer relationship management tool in your sales tech stack.
You could use Salesforce or Zoho or Microsoft Dynamics. Whatever you’re using make sure you’re using it. 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 elements of customization but don’t get fixated on that. Just make sure that you’ve got buy-in to use the CRM at the highest levels to show your reps how they can actually save time and close more deals faster by entering their notes in there and set follow-up action items and reminders and tasks so they can stay on top of of their sales pipeline.
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?
- Tom Abbott is the author of 'The SOHO Solution' and 'Social Selling' and the creator of the online sales training platform SOCO Academy. Sales leaders engage Tom for his proven solutions to building high performance sales teams that exceed targets and for motivational keynotes that energise their audiences.
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