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Sales teams across the country face an interesting puzzle. There are more tools on the market than ever before. The trick is figuring out which ones are worth the investment.
The right measure for judging a new tool is whether it increases the likelihood of making connections, since sales are essentially relationships. A new technology that creates and creates connections with prospects and customers is worth the investment.
Related: 3 Low-Cost Sales Lead Tools for Startups
There are three main categories of relationship-focus technologies for sales professionals
Sales intelligence is about getting as fast as possible To get as complete a picture of a customer or prospective customer. Some of the key tools in this area are InsideView and Data.com. Regardless, these sales technologies are good, but together they provide a complete understanding of a target business.
Data.com is a powerful database of business and contact information for potential prospects and prospects. Updated daily, it gives sales reps a clear overview of who they should consider. But while Data.com helps users find the right contacts to target within an organization, it's still up to the sales rep to see how best to reach new prospects.
Enter InsideView. The Sales Intelligence Platform provides insights into CRM from the entire Internet, from recent press releases, through new features, to acquisitions. This gives an insight into the state of a business in which it can be run and more. This level of detail is a must when building a business profile to understand how to best interact.
Tools such as Data.com and InsideView allow sales reps to step back from immersing themselves in the overall landscape, opening up new perspectives. Rather than looking for leads through millions of organizations, these tools should encourage individuals and companies to move forward and forward.
Once the decision has been made to approach a prospect, a new layer of distribution technology is added to help sellers understand the individual at the other end of the field.
Sales empowerment tools "empower" salespeople with data and technology to turn the art of selling into a science. It's not just about more information, it's about being able to instantly analyze and use that data to increase connectivity and build relationships.
A good example of a distribution technology is Yesware, a Gmail-based distribution platform for tracking emails, creating templates, synchronizing with CRM, and more.
Yesware alerts a seller when a sent email is opened by a prospect. Yesware also provides details about the device type through which the prospect opens the email. This information seems trivial, but it has a big impact on my team's ability to make valuable connections with prospects.
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Additional Yesware features, such as form letters, speed the sale process by enabling automatic tracking of a specific segment within a particular newsgroup, such as those who have not yet opened the original email.
We also use templates to keep track of which subject lines work best for the company, and to create specific examples of a portable device's email address versus a desktop message. All of these features help us achieve the right goals, with the right message, and so improve our relationships with potential customers.
Social media today affects every industry and every individual. The sale is no exception. The benefit for anyone who moves online is that potential customers also participate.
"Social selling" creates 45 percent more opportunities, with 51 percent of respondents more likely to reach quotas, according to LinkedIn's social selling index. In this context, understanding human behaviors, levels of connectivity, and the way people share content are some of the best tools a salesperson has.
Three of the most important social platforms in the world – LinkedIn, Twitter and Salesforce's Chatter – is my triumcta for building and strengthening connections, providing a unique background for prospects and customers a forum for internal communication.
On the surface, LinkedIn gives sales representatives a look into the background of a prospect, such as where they went to college, to the cities they lived in, working in the background, sharing contacts, and even being the right person in their organization they could reach.
The real benefit, however, is to get a true interpretation of the person's style, what they value, organizations and activities in common, etc. This is also the best way for a salesperson to understand who he or she is sharing with a Prosper has ct to create a direct route to engagement.
Twitter is second to none when it comes to understanding the actual behavior of an interested party. From vacation plans to beloved pets to milestones, thousands of random facts are shared across Twitter. In fact, many people will publish the minor annoyances of life, such as a seller in the past who approached them in a way that they found less appealing. When the goal is to connect, it's often more important than anything else to understand what's not to be done!
Salesforce has many helpful attributes, but Chatter is often overlooked and underused. Chatter seems to be "just another instant messaging platform," but offers far more as a whole company can share stories and develop learning communities.
How often in sales is it said that teamwork is not only desirable but also necessary? As often as not, a powerful learning moment is lost in a flood of emails. New employees never have the chance to be exposed to the wisdom of many past experiences. Chatter keeps these lessons for everyone in a business. When you include social selling in the mix, "mentioning" a person on a thread creates an unstoppable force. Talks are conducted organically.
I believe that the most important aspect of a salesperson's everyday life is simply to make the connection. Or, if Eminem reminds us of "One Shot", "If you had a shot taking an opportunity / anything you ever wanted, a moment / would you capture it or just let it slip?"
Related: 3 Low Cost Sales Lead Tools for Start-ups
Opinions by Entrepreneurs Contributors are their own.