The sales world is glutted with tools built for the sole purpose of helping salespeople hone their craft.
But what makes a good sales tool? How do you go about comparing tools with one another?
A good sales tool makes your sales process better, faster and cheaper. It automates parts of the process to help your salespeople achieve more in less time. And that’s where the sales tool evaluation process begins—with the understanding that the time of your sales team is valuable. The more manual your sales process, the more time you need to allot for your sales team on each close, costing you both labor and sales opportunities.
In other words, a good sales tool takes the manual, administrative processes out of the hands of your reps so they can focus on closing more deals.
Let’s look at the three key traits of a good sales tool:
1. Integration potential
No two sales processes are the same. Though most follow similar progressions, various nuances and subtle differences require a sales tool to be adaptable and able to retrofit your process and all of its particulars.
In addition to customizability, look for a tool that you can integrate across your organization—something all members of your team can learn easily. You want a tool that you can plug in to your existing software systems and apps.
Remember, you’re looking to make your sales operations better, faster and cheaper. Don’t adapt to the tool – buy one that adapts to you.
2. Time and effort saver
We’ve made it clear by now that good sales tools save both time and effort. But how, specifically? In a few ways:
Email should be seamless and automatic:
If your sales team has to jump through a series of hoops or you need to depend on them to remember to track email and communication manually, you’re going to drop leads. There is no way around this. Your prospects are going to start receiving repeat emails, and your sales process is going to leak.
Communication with leads and existing customers must be dosed out carefully:
Too much communication can cause apprehension with leads and disenchantment with long-time customers. Monitoring your team’s contact with prospects and customers shouldn’t require immense amounts of back-and-forth communication. Get up to date and save time and effort with an activity monitoring sales tool.
Free up time in a salesperson’s day with easy automations:
Are your salespeople spending time and effort typing out prospect notes, laboring over emails to leads and scrolling through messy contact spreadsheets? With those communications automated, they could be spending that same time and energy closing sales and focusing their efforts on well-qualified prospects.
There are simply too many variables for a sales representative to keep track of. This severely limits their ability to work a larger pipeline.
Focus on leads that are ready to close:
A good sales tool will "bubble up" the best leads to your sales representatives so that their time is spent working leads that are ready to buy. This cuts down on the time that your team would spend on educating leads and dealing with objections. Do you have a tool that can categorize and sort prospects to ensure you’re focusing your energy on those who are hot?
The way that a good sales tool does this is through lead scoring. You should be able to assign different actions that a user would take to a score. Some of the most common actions that get "lead scored" are email opens, link clicks and unsubscribe requests. If somebody opens an email and clicks the link inside of the email, they receive a high score and your sales representatives are notified. If somebody clicks "unsubscribe" it lowers the lead score.
3. Effective follow-up aid
A standardized tracking tool can help take the guesswork out of communication with prospects by consolidating important information in one place.
In order for a follow-up to be effective, it has to be on-time and on-topic. Using a sales tool that will remind your salespeople to contact prospects on the right schedule and with the right message will make a notable difference in your conversion rate.
A good sales tool ensures effective follow-up through the following components:
- Type of communication: Is your sales team giving prospects relevant information? Are they using fresh messaging or being redundant? Are they contacting leads the way they wish to be contacted, such as email, phone or by mail? Good sales tools can automate contact preparation and ensure that your future customers receive the kind of information that will spur them forward in your sales process.
- Timing: A show of either over-eagerness or carelessness through too-much or too-late communication can significantly harm your relationship to customers. So it’s incredibly important that you’re timing out your messaging carefully—a process that can be difficult and tedious to manage manually. A good sales tool will aid this effort, ensuring an effective follow-up with each and every prospect in your system that is timely and relevant.
- Volume: Like with timing, the volume of messages you’re sending prospects can be an extremely volatile component of lead follow-up. Effective follow-up depends on just the right portion of messages—emails, phone calls, mailers, etc.—to advance prospects in the sales process. A good sales tool will prescribe an appropriate volume of notes for each potential customer in your database.
Leaning on software will help your sales team to never again lose a warm prospect in the shuffle.
Infusionsoft does it all...
Looking to integrate a sales tool across your entire organization, save more time and effort, and follow-up with leads more effectively? Infusionsoft offers a variety of tools to help your business do just that.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Centralize all customer interactions, information and daily activities in one place.
- Email Marketing: Capture new leads, automate follow-up and turn leads into customers through excellent, intelligent email marketing.
- Lead Scoring: Quickly identify the hottest leads in your database so you can close sales faster and more effectively.
- E-commerce Shopping Carts: Sell more online and collect payments with one centralized shopping cart system that you can easily plug in to your existing website.
- Cloud-based Sales and Marketing Software: Save time, simplify your day, and improve organization-wide productivity.