MENU

FinancesOnline

GET LISTED
GET LISTED
SHOW ALLPOPULAR CATEGORIES

Best Sales Tools For Salespeople That Will Help Your Team Succeed

HubSpot: No. 1 CRM Solution

USER SATISFACTION 99%
OUR SCORE 9.8

What are the best sales tools to drive your team to more success? In this article, we focus on five essential tools that leverage technology to spur more won deals. They help increase sales velocity, identify promising leads, turns sales pitches into personalized conversations and, generally, shorten the sales cycle. These are:

  1. Mailing lists
  2. Smart contact management
  3. CRM
  4. Productivity suite
  5. LMS

Does your sales team leverage technology effectively? Keep in mind, just because you’re using the latest sales tools does it mean you’re leveraging tech in an efficient way.

Most companies including small business use an average of three technology tools. However, IDG Enterprise 2017 study found that only about a third of companies think their tech tools have an impact on their sales success. Buried perhaps in these stats is the stereotyped sales rep who, armed with the latest cloud and mobile sales tools, would still use spreadsheets and save his files locally.

In short, having the right tools is not enough; using tech tools properly is what will accelerate your sales team’s performance. In the same IDG study, the positive impact of sales tools for sales reps is most felt in the sales pipeline, pre-call research and account management.

Now, let’s discuss five sales tools that your team can easily adopt to start increasing productivity, efficiency and, ultimately, success to your bottom line.

1. Mailing lists

A subscriber list is the lifeblood of any internet marketing whether paid or organic. We’re talking about using real opt-ins here, not scraping, spamming or buying a list. That’s shooting in the dark. Opted-in leads are more ready to respond to your offers than, say, from cold calls or casual website visitors.

In fact, a Data & Marketing Association study from 2017 reported that email marketing still has the best ROI among digital marketing streams. Why? Because when people subscribe to your listing, they’re literally giving you permission to sell to them.

If your marketing team has a mailing list but it isn’t shared with your sales team, it’s time to consolidate both teams’ records. If you don’t have a mailing list at all, it’s time to build one.

While building a mailing list may seem like a marketer’s job, your sales can actually help a lot.

Sales team usually has an abundance of potential opt-ins from their cold calls, prospect lists and customer database that they can channel to your mailing list. Even old customers can be re-pitched to once they subscribe to something from you, either in a form of value content or deal.

Use a CRM to help your sales and marketing teams work out a reliable mailing list. If you don’t have a CRM or are hesitant to get a paid plan for one you can try out HubSpot free CRM which has all the features you’ll need to start building a sales and marketing-enabled mailing list.

How mailing lists can help your sales team:

  1. Turn disengaged customers into leads again. Inactive customer can be nurtured back to life via email marketing by hooking them with value content, such as, white papers, ebooks, webinars and case studies.
  2. Soft sell unready prospects. Stay connected with prospects who are interested but are not ready to buy.
  3. Feed the sales pipeline. Build a targeted base for marketing campaigns, which in turn feed marketing-qualified leads into the sales pipeline.

2. Smart contact management

Smart contact management tools go beyond capturing contact details, which is something a simple spreadsheet can do. At the heart of such tools is automation: smart contact management tools take away the cumbersome task of manual entries, allowing your sales reps to focus on actual selling instead. It also empowers your sales team to add new entries on the go, in real time and with just a few clicks using a mobile phone.

More than that, a smart contact management should be able to perform these tasks:

  • Automatically adds in the details when you enter a new contact
  • Populates and updates records automatically
  • Saves in one place related contact details and communication history
  • Integrates with the tools you’re using now like Gmail or Outlook, Google Drive, Dropbox

You’ll notice that smart contact management is usually a core feature in a reliable CRM software like HubSpot. In fact, the functionalities above are at the core of HubSpot’s smart contact management and one of the highly admired features of this popular app.

Smart contact management as seen on HubSpot.

How smart contact management can help your sales team:

  1. Capture essential information. Imagine your sales reps encounter a prospect in an event or somewhere; using their mobile phones they can quickly access the contact management tool and key in the details.
  2. Personalize a sales pitch. Your salespeople can use this tool to find out more about a prospect before a meeting or call. These include identifying the prospect’s interest, previous conversations with the company or most recent purchase by checking the associated items attached to the contact record.
  3. Keep contact records updated. Your reps can log sales activities and link them to the contact records, keeping your database up to date.

3. CRM

Perhaps no other tool is more important to your sales team today than CRM software platforms. The growing cloud computing power, social-driven big data and mobile technology lend to sales a personalized touch to selling even with a huge customer base. If you’re not using CRM you’re probably lagging behind in your niche.

A study by Evergage and Researchscape International showed how personalization in customer relationship leads to increased performance in the following:  

  • 65% increase in conversion rates
  • 62% increase in visitor engagement
  • 61% increase in customer experience

But to achieve personalization on a mass scale you need a reliable CRM. There are plenty of CRM tools available to you out there and our detailed Top 20 Online CRM Tools for 2018 guide will help you start off on the right foot.

One of the most reliable CRM solutions and the number one according to our experts is HubSpot, which features powerful tools for sales optimization and automation. It is designed around the core ideas of automation, visibility, analytics, integration and ease of use, clearly addressing classic pain points of why salespeople are notorious for eschewing technology. To learn more about it you can read our detailed HubSpot CRM review. All in all, it’s a solution that helps you get rid of messy spreadsheets, cluttered inboxes and confusing tools that bog down your sales team.

Major factors to look for in an efficient CRM:

  • Smart contact management. We already touched on this, where records can be automatically captured and associated in the sales pipeline for context.
  • Visual sales pipeline. It gives you a clear view of your sales funnel, where contacts, deals, tasks, contracts, appointments and other relevant items are associated. This gives you a quick lookup on context and actionable insight on deals by myriad ways, such as, name, owner, amount or stage. The pipeline can also be configured to your unique stages.
  • Lead scoring. One of the fastest ways to automate this is for marketing and sales to sit down and identify the key traits of leads at varying stages of preparedness to engage you. Sales can sift through its experience and records for common denominators among prospects. Meanwhile, marketing can run analytics on past campaigns to surface lead insights. Both teams can consolidate their findings to arrive at a rating system that scores the leads. They can feed this rule to HubSpot CRM, which then automates lead scoring. It’s a simple process, but a powerful one, to give you at once a database with identifiable lead segments that your sales reps can follow.
  • Reporting and analytics. This can help you gauge won vs. loss and see how your team measures up versus their quotas. Powerful CRMs can also drill down to per-stage metrics, so you can identify where the bottlenecks are happening and address them. Analytics can also help marketing uncover leads for sales. For example, website visitors who are looking at your product page or, as with the mailing list case above, prospects who are subscribed to a lot of your value content.
  • Integration with key tools. Make sure your CRM can be smoothly integrated with popular productivity apps that you’re sales reps are using, such as, Gmail, Outlook, Dropbox and Google Drive. This ensures low friction during their transition to CRM.
  • Sales automation. Automate manual workflows to create deals, add contacts, rotate leads and generate weekly and monthly reports.

How CRM can help your sales team:

  1. Follow high-value leads. Lead scoring allows your sales reps to follow prospects with the most chances of converting. This makes your team efficient and a money-making machine, avoiding wastage in following false leads. Sales can also turn over to the marketing team, prospects who are not ready to buy to be nurtured for future selling engagement.
  2. Align marketing and sales. Both teams can use CRM to align their customer personas, key messaging, value propositions and other customer-centric activities. When these elements are in sync, chances are many of your marketing-qualified leads will easily convert to sales-qualified leads; thus, giving you a higher lead volume down the sales funnel.
  3. Discover opportunities. CRM analytics can unearth leads that can be funneled into the sales funnel. These include website visitors, opt-in subscribers and old customers ready for a repeat purchase.
  4. Track deals and activities. The clear visual pipeline in the CRM helps sales reps to see deals and their associated records quickly. This helps them to contextualize their sales pitch or track their progress, how far or near they’re from the goal.
  5. Cut down on manual tasks. Automation relieves sales reps of many of their daily cumbersome tasks. These include entering contact details, sorting high-value prospects from the base, creating sales documents and generating reports.

HubSpot CRM gives you a quick lookup on key sales metrics.

4. Productivity tools

It is likely your sales team is already using a suite of productivity tools. Most popular productivity tools include:

In general, these tools boost productivity and performance of sales reps. But they can do more if you take the effort to consolidate what your reps are using.

One of the best choices to standardize your sales reps’ productivity tools is to get a Google Suite for Business. It’s Google’s suite of free tools that can be scaled to paid plans for more advanced features.

There’s another reason for going with Google: your clients, prospects, contractors and other third parties are likely using these tools already. Small business, startups and enterprises alike use Google suite, so you’re in good company.  That gives your sales team an extensive reach when they need to communicate or collaborate with any of these groups.

You can share different file types, access them from across various devices and collaborate with your team on Google Drive.

How productivity tools can help your sales team:

  1. Cloud-based. Your reps can access files and data across various devices and anywhere they are internet connected. That lends great flexibility to your team when creating reports, capturing contact details, generating contracts or communicating with prospects.
  2. Mobile responsive. It allows your sales reps to turn their mobile phones into handy computers where they can access CRM and other productivity tools. This means they can bring their workspace to the field. The time they save from transiting from field to office can be appropriated to meeting prospects or attending networking events.
  3. Real-time synchronization. This ensures your reps are using the most recent files and that everyone is on the same page
  4. Integration. It lets you integrate these tools to important business system such as CRM, help desk, accounting, project management and business intelligence.

5. Learning Management Software

Coaching is an important part of building up a powerhouse sales team. Sales reps need to be trained not only in knowing your products and services, but in your market and client sphere. Sales reps will also need constant knowledge updates as your product and market evolve.

Howard Brown writing for Entrepreneur said sales coaching is especially vital today given the lack of phone skills among the millennials. In B2B sales, closing big accounts requires one to be articulate over phone conversations. Which means you’ll have to coach your sales team in those areas.

In most cases, frontline sales leaders take to the task of coaching. And most of them probably know how hard it is to conduct training amidst the daily workload, let alone motivate their people to finish the sessions. Given the sales team’s mobility, busywork and at times indifference to activities that don’t directly improve their quota, learning management systems can be critical.

Major factors to look for in an LMS for sales training:

  • Planning tool to schedule the training sessions in advance
  • Tracking tool to monitor learners’ progress and courses taken
  • Testing and assessment to measure learners’ knowledge level
  • Reporting and analytics to identify skills gaps, knowledge improvement, learners’ performance
  • Mobile version to help sales reps access the courses on the go
  • Content management that adapts to SCORM or Tin Can to ensure compatibility across devices and file types
  • Blended learning to accommodate office-based sessions with online training
  • Gamification to encourage sales reps to finish their sessions

If you want to know more about the different LMS options available to your sales team, you can begin your research with our comprehensive top 20 LMS solutions guide. It will direct you to the right software with all the features you need.

How LMS can help your sales team:

  1. Motivates sales reps to finish your coaching sessions. Many cloud LMS feature gamification that rewards learners who finish the courses. Sales reps are competitive by nature and LMS can leverage this built-in DNA to push training.
  2. Allows sales reps to access training at their own pace. A mobile-ready LMS allows learners to take the courses one at a time and across various devices. The cloud system tracks these access points and syncs the activities to ensure the learner can get back to where in the course he or she has left off previously.
  3. Upgrade sales reps’ knowledge on product and market. When sales reps are motivated to finish the training, they get to upgrade their knowledge on product, market and best practices.The result is a high-caliber performance and, ultimately, more sales won.

Conclusion

There are many more sales tools out there but these five are the most essential tools to start accelerating your sales team for more won deals. And among these tools, if there’s one that you should start with because it delivers the best ROI (not to mention it’s free), it’s HubSpot. In fact, you can sign up for a HubSpot free app here and see for yourself how this great sales tool can push your sales success up to the next level.

Category: B2B News, Featured Articles

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also Comments Feed via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

I agree to publishing my personal information provided in this comment.

Page last modified

39 Shares
Share39
Tweet
+1
Share