"The most valuable asset to any sales team on Earth is time. However, time is also a frequent source of trouble for sales professionals — the average salesperson spends roughly 30 hours every month creating, refining, and distributing their own content."
Not proposals, emails, or other sales outreach, but Sales Enablement Content, such as sales assets, useful stats, case studies and many more. Those 30 hours are also separate from all of the time necessary to adequately prospect and nurture leads.
Salespeople need more time to do what they do best — communicate with potential customers. However, it’s not as if the important content they create, or their prospecting efforts can be ignored. Those aspects of the sales cycle just need to be simplified. It’s for this reason that sales software, apps, and browser extensions have become so wildly popular within sales departments. They save time. Sales tools that help sales teams do what they do best, but faster, is an incredibly lucrative option.
To help you boost your sales team’s performance, we’ve gone ahead and outlined some of our absolute favorite sales tools and technologies, and ways you can use them to ultimately generate more satisfied customers.
1. Datanyze and Datanyze Insider
Datanyze, one part technology tracker, one part sales prospecting asset, a great prospecting software that sales teams should take into consideration.
The company’s main service offering is a powerful software for technographic segmentation — segmenting sales leads and prospects based on their current technologies.
Many sales managers, however, have been able to support their teams by introducing Datanyze Insider, the company’s free Google Chrome extension. This prospecting tool allows sales professionals to automatically collect technology information from prospects (as well as social media accounts, email addresses, and information from other channels), segment those prospects, and build out lists based on specific technologies. The extension can be integrated with most sales CRM systems and general communication platforms.
For best use, consider pairing Datanyze with Hunter IO, another software solution that identifies and verifies prospect email addresses.
While Datanyze and Datanyze Insider are perfect solutions for SaaS sales, sales teams in other B2B or B2C roles often turn to social media activity in their sales prospecting efforts.
LeadIQ dominates the social prospecting space, with an easy-to-use, intuitive Chrome extension purpose-built for LinkedIn prospecting.
This tool serves sales professionals by uncovering prospect information from social media and, when integrated with a CRM, inputting that information in individual contact records, lists, and so on.
LeadIQ collects a wealth of general contact information from leads in a matter of seconds, including:
Work email addresses
Work phone numbers
Linked social media profiles
Personal emails/phone numbers
Current company address, phone contact, web domain, and employment size
3. Other types of sales prospecting tools
These include those that address:
- Market Intelligence: target industry/demographic information.
These are tools that collect data on both your target market and the businesses that lead (as well as those that don’t) within the market.
- Example: ZoomInfo
- Sales Intelligence: accurate lead data collection, completed through email apps, social media extensions, and any tool that allows categorization and filtering of sales prospects
- Example: LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Working Leads Through Video Content
While researching leads and background company information is an essential first step to engage with them, actually working or nurturing those leads is an entirely different story.
Modern sales professionals must think creatively and adapt to changing behaviors — people know when you’re selling to them, and they’re almost innately wary of unsolicited communications.
Today’s most successful salespeople know how to avoid the spam folder, which is easier said than done. Sales cycles today vary greatly, and the multitude of apps, tools, and media that sales professionals have at their disposal has led to some interesting (and highly effective) sales practices.
Inbound sales teams know that video can be an immensely powerful tool for driving conversations. 30-second greetings, product demos, and walkthroughs offer the same value as many traditional sales techniques, but with the added element of personalization and human connection. With this in mind, we have seen an influx of video marketing companies step up to the plate to provide sales teams the video resources they need to effectively produce and distribute sales videos.
1. Go Video
Services like VidYard’s Go Video, which records directly in web browsers using built-in device cameras, enable sales professionals to create, edit, and annotate videos for prospects — whether the video in question is a simple sales introduction or in-depth product review.
Go Video, in particular, handles production, hosting, and distribution in-house, allowing sales reps to record personalized videos via the Go Video Chrome extension. No third-party editing software or video experience needed. It is the perfect solution for creating sales videos that recipients can truly enjoy — videos that are tailored to their unique problems, passion points, or circumstances, as well as their stage in the sales cycle.
Types of videos:
App or website reviews
File sharing and tutorials
“Delight” content; content to support and elevate customers following a sale
This could take the form of something simple that reassures the customer, or provides additional value, such as a video that congratulates them for their decision and provides additional information/resources for making the most of a product.
2. Other types of lead nurturing tools
To increase sales team efficiency are those that involve:
- Content Analytics: how particular resources or pieces of sales collateral are being accessed, used, and shared by prospects
- Content Sharing & Management: managing sales collateral in a centralized location; resource hosting and aggregating
- Example: SharePoint (Microsoft)
- Marketing Automation: platforms and tools, such as HubSpot, that track marketing assets and provide a complete overview of lead activity, touchpoints, and conversions
- Sales Emails: personalizing sales outreach and gaining insights into how users interact with sales emails and linked/attached resources
- Example: Attach
Any content on efficient sales technology would be incomplete without tools that enhance the final stages in the sales cycle; apps and extensions that help teams complete RFPs, submit comprehensive proposal documents, and ultimately manage their various sales agreements in one location.
Proposify is the leading software for creating and managing proposal documents, featuring full video and media support, built-in form and e-signature fields, and analytics for measuring proposal interactions, opens, and comments.
Perhaps the most useful feature of Proposify is the function for teams to create templates within the platform, complete with auto-populating contact information and built-in content library for easy access to supporting documents, resources, and more.
PandaDoc, an alternative to Proposify’s offering that many sales managers also turn to. This service functions in much the same way as Proposify, with slightly more robust analytics and more universal document management features.
3. Other contract management tools and sales Presentation tools
That are also invaluable for B2B sales, include:
Sales Management & Reporting
None of the sales tools in this article will matter without proper sales management and analytics to drive or change best practices. Sales teams function most effectively when their wins are championed, their time is allocated, and their work is documented.
Not only do they need tools to help manage the day-to-day efforts; they also need tools that show them which tactics are working and which are not.
Sales management tools that businesses can use to centralize their sales team, as well as general team management, are those that deal with:
- Sales Team Communication: centralized communication and management of sales documents, messages, team interactions, conferencing, and more
- Sales Training: tutorials, courses, and industry certifications to promote smarter selling
- Example: HubSpot Academy
- Customer Feedback: survey tools that allow salespeople to gauge customer and prospect feedback on all aspects of the sales process, from initial email communications to end-stage demos and proposal documentation
CRMs and All-in-One Marketing and Sales Platforms
This is one area that all-in-one marketing and sales platforms truly shine. All-in-one platforms include a “CRM”, or Customer Relationship Management platform, which is a vital component of every effective sales team.
Platforms such as HubSpot allow sales users to collect all sales information — and we mean all sales information — in one location; pulling data from email communications, lead generation from websites, prospecting, and even other apps in this article to paint holistic pictures of leads and the sales organization as a whole.
Think of CRMs as sales dashboards. They aggregate all of your sales data, from lead information and sales team performance, in one central location. Your CRM should be the foundation of your sales reporting and management, while apps and integrations with the other services fill in the gaps; in the end, creating a truly all-in-one solution for marketing and sales.
Businesses, C-level staff, and sales managers can use all-in-one platforms to:
Understand where marketing and sales efforts are going, and what the effects of those initiatives are.
Identify weaknesses in the marketing and sales funnels, such as missed opportunities for lead generation, or infrequent communication.
Analyze lead and company data in relation to closed/lost sales.
Manage communication and outreach both before and after a buying decision is made.
Sync up information from various integrated apps, resources, and other sales tools under one roof.
Improve efficiency for sales teams through the use of automation.
Now that you have a foundational understanding of the tools and technology that leading salespeople use every day, it’s time to put some to use!
While many of these tools are available for an individual monthly fee or team account, they almost all offer free trials for you to give the software a try, compare your options, and really determine what works best for your sales needs.
We recommend giving a few a test drive to discover how you can use out-of-the-box thinking to enhance your sales cycle before and after the deal is made. Need more guidance? Don't hesitate to reach out t us today!