Do you recall a time, not so long ago, when sales reps kept notes on post it notes or spreadsheets? When they dialed leads manually? When they knew little-to-nothing about the prospects they were calling?
Luckily, those days are gone. Why? Because tools like intelligent dialers, email templates, local presence dialers, and screen sharing have transformed the way we sell.
We’ve entered the age of the sales stack. And now, winning at sales won’t just require the right pitch, but will also demand the right combination of tools to get the job done. Because with the right sales stack, even novice sales reps can outperform veterans who have failed to embrace sales acceleration technology.
More companies are catching on. According to TOPO’s Sales Development Technology Report, which interviewed more than 130 sales leaders across a variety of industries,more than 72% of companies interviewed are investing in tools to make their sales team more effective.
But while having the right sales tools can be a breakthrough, there’s no one-size-fits-all inside sales technology stack. The tools that you need to succeed will depend on what you sell and how you sell it.
Here are 9 curated tips from experts about how to successfully arm your sales team with the tools they need to achieve unparalleled results.
The same content that marketers create to generate leads (e.g. ebooks, blogs and webianrs) can be used by sales reps to accelerate deals. The key is delivering the right content in the right context.
“Different content and messaging is relevant to different people. So you want to be able to deliver that in context with people that you’re talking to.”
Brendan Cournoyer, Director of Product Marketing at BrainShark
Inside sales reps need the ability to give effective demos remotely. A great screen sharing solution can help. But to really maximize the effectiveness of demos, it requires preparation and personalization.
“These days, there’s a lot of technology out there to make your demo more engaging. Use it. Share your screen during the call with tools like GoToMeeting and, create a personalized slide deck, and have any relevant links already loaded and ready to go in tabs on your browser.”
Niti Shah, Lead Nurturing Manager, Hubspot
Call tracking solutions have been used by marketers for years to gain visibility into revenue closed over the phone. But call tracking data can also be used to provide sales reps with real-time visibility into prospects’ intent (i.e. the ad that inspired them to call).
“Tracking inbound calls will be essential to your ability to fully optimize your marketing. We know smartphones drive more searches, which then drive more calls. Tracking these leads back to the marketing source that drove the call (be it display ads, search keywords, websites, email, etc.) allows marketers to both prove – and improve – ROI.”
Katherine Buchholz, writer, Business2Community
Local presence dialers enable reps to automatically dial prospects from numbers with local area codes. According to an independent study from Software Advice, it can improve connection rates by up to 400%.
“People are far more likely to answer calls from unknown callers if they see a local number on caller ID: four times more likely than if the caller ID displays a toll-free number.”
-Craig Borowski, Managing Editor, Software Advice
Products that can help you build lists based on sales triggers can have an enormous impact on ROI.
“Nowadays in sales, it’s no longer good enough to nurture accounts for months until they come around. You have to be in tune with the pulse of your prospects and be ready with your offer when the moment is right.”
Ben Sardella, Co-Founder and CRO, Datanyze
Predictive analytics give sales managers the power to see, in real time, which reps are on pace to meet their goals. The result is they can take action immediately to ensure that goals are met.
“When Sir Francis Bacon, coined the aphorism “Knowledge is power”, he didn’t foresee a 21st century where technology and data science would more automatically and immediately turn knowledge into insight. Today, the phrase “Prediction is Power” may be more appropriate.”
Laura Ramos, Vice President and Prinicpal Analyst, Forrester Research
One of the best ways to improve sales productivity is to enable reps to send more emails every day. Using email templates can vastly decrease the amount of time it takes reps to send out emails.
“We use templates to keep track of which subject lines are doing the best throughout the company, and to create specific examples of a portable device email versus a desktop message.”
Bobby Alvarez, Manager of Corp Sales Training at New Relic
Look for tools that can help you log automatically emails in your CRM, create follow-up tasks and more.
“Several tools can upgrade popular email services to help you make smarter decisions about your messages or automate time-wasting tasks.”
Jonathan Blum, Principal of Blumsday, LLC
One of an SDRs most important jobs is booking appointments with prospects. Calendaring/appointment setting tools can enable prospects to book a meeting at a convenient time with one click.
“It’s hard enough to get a prospect to spend even an hour of their limited time on you. Why should booking the sales meeting itself take time?”
Jami Oetting, Content Strategist, Hubspot
Our recent Sales Acceleration Buyer’s Guide can help you identify which tools will support your business drivers.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.