Even for well-supported salespeople, the job is tough. Without the right technology, it can seem impossible.
No tool can forge connections to answer questions like a human salesperson, of course. But there are all sorts of supporting roles that software can play.
Think of technology like your sales team’s sidekick. Here are nine ways software can support your superheroes:
1.Improving Personal Interactions (News - Alert)
However far technology advances, there will always be a human component to sales work. If your sales team can make people feel comfortable, they’ll have a much easier time closing deals.
All sorts of different sales tools can help with this. When distance doesn’t permit a physical meeting, videoconferencing can make a meeting more personal than a phone call. And one-click scheduling tools can help salespeople find a time that works for everyone, without the frustrating back-and-forth emails the process typically requires.
2.Filling in Gaps in Data
Modern sales teams run on data. The trouble is, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to track down every little detail a salesperson would like to see in a sales CRM profile.
Data enrichment tools can fill critical gaps. Basic tools can capture details like the company’s street address and founders. More advanced ones can sleuth out things like funding status, buyer intent, and even number of employed engineers.
More complete lead profiles not only promote efficiency, but also help salespeople spot points of rapport. If a point of contact has the same alma mater as the salesperson working that lead, then they’ve got a go-to icebreaker.
Especially in B2B sales, paperwork is part of the job. While documentation is a necessary evil, it doesn’t have to slow down a deal or, worse, frustrate a brand-new customer.
Electronic signature technology drastically simplifies the signing process. Not only does it let customers sign from anywhere and on any device, but it ensures both parties have a digital copy that can be reprinted at any time.
4.Generating Better Leads
Not all leads are created equal. It’s much easier to make a sale with someone who’s already expressed interest than through someone who’s merely doing research.
Sales tools can not only generate more leads for your team, but increase the quality of those leads as well. Some tools can predict intent, while others capture things like website visits to enable a salesperson to reach out at the right time.
In B2B sales, account-based marketing and sales tools can help salespeople prioritize top leads. By focusing on the biggest deals, sales teams need to make fewer of them to meet their monthly revenue numbers.
Much as salespeople would like to spend all day talking with leads, they can’t. On many teams, it’s tasks like data entry that eat up most of their day.
As important as these tasks may be for your operations, they’re tedious and time-consuming. The good news is, automation tools can take a lot of them off your sales team’s shoulders.
Email follow-ups are a good example. While it’s important to check in periodically with leads, your salespeople shouldn’t have to type the same “I wanted to touch base about…” email over and over. Why not turn it into a template and automate the rest?
Typically, customers share payment data when they sign a contract. If they don’t feel safe doing so, your salespeople are going to have a tougher time closing the sale.
Point-of-sale tools like Square use encryption to protect payment data from end to end. CRM tools employ access restrictions to limit who on the team can access details like customers’ billing and shipping addresses.
Eight in 10 Americans say they’re “very” or “somewhat” concerned about how companies use their data. Help your salespeople answer questions about data security by putting together a one-sheeter. Address what data your company collects, how it’s stored, who it’s shared with, and what redress customers have if their data is breached.
7. Connecting Your Team
While many sales reps pursue deals independent from one another, they’re still part of a team. They still need to share the company’s goals and vision, not to mention build bonds with their co-workers.
Here, communication tools like Slack can make a huge difference. Sending a quick question or even a fun GIF is better done in an instant message than an email.
Another type of sales tech to look into is employee engagement software. Tools like 15Five can help salespeople stay in touch with managers about challenges they’re having or trends they’re seeing in the market.
Sales isn’t all cold calls and emails. Marketing supports sales on the front- and backend with content. Content marketing generates three times the prospects than outbound marketing does — at less than half the cost.
On the frontend, content like whitepapers can capture the contact information of potential buyers. During and after the sale, FAQs sheets can address common questions and concerns in low-pressure ways.
Content management systems can let your salespeople contribute to your content operations. Aside from actually writing posts, they can suggest topics related to their leads’ interests. And social media tools like Buffer can help them plan out shoutouts to key stakeholders around closing time.
A sales team with a dozen members and decades of experience builds up a lot of institutional knowledge. What happens if one of those members leaves?
Knowledge management tools like Guru can capture everything from best practices to internal processes. That way, the team isn’t hobbled if something were to happen to a veteran salesperson.
Knowledge management also provides an efficiency advantage. With one central database of company knowledge, there’s no need to spend hours fishing for, say, a billing address.
Great people may be at the core of every great sales team, but on the sidelines are great tools. The faster and easier salespeople can get from first contact to close, the better. And with the right software, that’s a lot easier than it used to be.