Sales teams have a countless number of daily responsibilities, ranging from lead discovery to closing deals. They need to constantly establish a rapport with new contacts, prepare pitches and demo products for potential customers. Salespeople can improve performance through the use of customer relationship management (CRM) tools and social media.
Buyers are now avoiding sales teams until around 57% of the purchasing process is complete, according to research by The Corporate Executive Board Company. Since a lot of the buying process is moving online, salespeople are getting less face time with clients. Therefore, data from CRM systems is becoming more important. This data includes the online activity of potential customers related to presentation analytics, white paper downloads, social media interaction and e-mail responses.
Fortunately, there are a number of digital tools available today that are useful for sales teams:
I spoke with Bill Burnett of PointDrive to learn more about what his company offers for sales teams. His company offers a sales tool “for presenting content and tracking activity.” PointDrive alerts senders via e-mail when recipients have viewed presentations. Senders can also see what the recipient has looked at and when it was viewed.
Burnett came up with the idea for PointDrive due to frustration from the lack of sales-related digital tools. “The problem is that e-mail itself isn’t a sales tool. E-mail isn’t the best way to tell your story. It does not allow you to control how you present information or let you track what happens with that content. For all you know, it could have ended up in a black hole,” said Burnett in an interview with FORBES.
When a potential customer asks for a salesperson to e-mail specifications or other details, PointDrive can be used for automatically creating an aesthetic online presentation rather than a boring e-mail with a document attached. The reason why the presentation is important is because the human brain can process visualizations thousands of times faster than just plain text. PointDrive tracks the engagement of the presentation and displays the analytics in a dashboard for the sales team.
PointDrive costs $15 per month, but it has a free trial that allows you to send 2 presentations without having to enter a credit card. You can save some money by paying $149 for the year up front.
Rapportive is one of my favorite tools because it lets you socially engage with e-mail contacts instantly. Rapportive is an add-on for Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Mailplane.
Whenever you put your mouse above an e-mail address in a message, Rapportive will display his or her profile photos, job description, most recent tweet and links to social profiles. This will give salespeople deeper insights of how to communicate with potential customers. You will be able to learn more about prospects before reaching out further using this tool. Rapportive does around 20 million lookups through its system every month.
Salesforce.com, a leading cloud-based customer relationship management company, has several products and services to automate business processes. Some of the features offered in Salesforce.com software have opportunity tracking, lead scoring, e-mail templates, mass e-mail, customizable dashboards and custom app development. Prices range at between $25 per user per month for basic services to $300 per user per month for premium services.
Salesforce.com services are broken into several categories, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud, Collaboration Cloud and Custom Cloud. The Sales Cloud service has a real-time sales collaboration tool called Chatter. The Service Cloud lets users create and track cases and route what is important.
An annual developer event is hosted by Salesforce.com called Dreamforce. Developers from all over the world travel to Dreamforce to participate in mini-hack sessions and showcase their apps. Salesforce apps created by these developers can be downloaded from the AppExchange platform.
Whenever you attend a conference or networking event, it is common to exchange business cards. CamCard is an app that can store and transcribe information from a contact’s business card into a mobile phone contact. All you have to do is take a photo of the business card and the app handles the rest. This is a great way for sales teams to follow up on leads while on-the-road. The CamCard app is available on Android and iOS.
Boomerang is a plugin for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome for Gmail that has reminders for e-mail follow-ups. Boomerange also has a scheduler for having e-mails automatically sent at a preferred time. Boomerang has a click tracker to see if a potential customer visited the website that you sent to them in an e-mail.
This service is especially useful for people that have a stuffed inbox. I use Boomerang for bill reminders and to send birthday e-mails ahead of time.
If you are a salesperson, what tools do you like to use? Let us know in the comments!