Maybe your company has decided to invest on sales tools for the year to improve sales performance. Or maybe you are still on the fence about them. Either way, you need information about how you can make the most of them once you pull the trigger.
That’s where we come in. At SalesIntel, we have years of experience connecting clients to the right sales tools to help them take their B2B sales to the next level. Here are tips we have developed over the years to help our clients get the most from their sales stack investment.
But first, let’s go back to the basics: What are sales tools?
What Are Sales Tools?
“Sales tools” is a general term used to describe the variety of software solutions companies use to improve their sales. Although they vary in price, time to set up, and impact, they all have a common goal: to ease the workload of your sales team.
Examples Of Sales Tools
Although there are many different types of sales tools, there are a few that have become overwhelmingly popular. Let’s go over them and the way they can help your sales team before we dive into the way you can get the most out of your sales tools.
CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” CRM software helps keep customer accounts organized so that your company never forgets or underserves a customer. Your CRM software is the framework for your sales team, but it does so much more than a spreadsheet could do. CRM software can integrate with your email marketing tools, streamline social media, automate daily tasks, and centralize your data.
We specialize in Sales intelligence. Sales tools help your sales team know as much as possible about their customers before making the first sales call.
Different Sales intelligence tools can do this in a variety of ways. They can help your company remove faulty customer data from their CRM software, replace faulty data with verified data, and even generate new, verified data for their database.
Marketing Automation And ABM
These tools focus on the first stage of the sales funnel by creating awareness and garnering initial engagement. Automated marketing sends marketing materials over email, text, and social media to prospective customers. This effectively removes the first step of the sales process for your sales team, ensuring that your sales team is only interacting with businesses that are already interested in your services.
When your business selects ABM (account-based marketing) data services, they should research the compliance commitments of their sales tool vendor. Ensuring that your vendor frequently scrubs their lists of numbers from the do-not-call registry and has a strong commitment to compliance is key to getting the most out of your services. We will talk more about compliance below.
Sales Acceleration and Sales Enablement
Sales acceleration software automates administrative tasks to ensure that your team has time for the most important tasks in the sales process. The primary goal with sales acceleration software is to ensure that sales reps have time for more sales conversations.
Similarly, sales enablement software is also focused on increasing sales conversations; however, it uses slightly different methods. With sales enablement software, the software helps sales reps get the information that they will need whether that’s external data on trends or internal product details and case studies.
Data Connectors and Integrations Tools
These tools are focused on ensuring that your sales data is easy to move from one platform to another. This focus on accessibility was born because many sales teams found they were losing too much time manually moving data from one database to another, and they were not spending enough time interacting with prospects.
Data connectors do so much more than just copying and pasting data from one place to another. They can filter data, ensuring that only relevant data is moved from one database to another and avoid duplication. They can also reformat data to put it into the correct format for the new database, so it is easily searchable.
Tools that provide sales analytics boost your company’s performance by giving you quick feedback on recent sales. This feedback will help you make future sales and target your marketing more effectively.
Sales productivity tools refer to a more general group of tools that sales teams–like any team in a business–can use to work together more effectively. These tools include meeting platforms like Zoom, scheduling platforms like Calandly, and payment platforms like PayPal.
How To Effectively Use Sales Tools
Many people who are interested in increasing sales team productivity fall into the trap of buying a sales tool, setting it up, and not doing much follow-up in terms of making sure they are taking advantage of it. For this reason, we have come up with a series of techniques to make sure you are getting the most from your sales tools.
Make Sure They Increase Productivity
Clearly, you are interested in investing in sales tools because you want to increase your sales team’s productivity. But how do you make sure these tools are helping your team achieve this goal? First, you need to understand how tools help you increase productivity.
We will use the example of sales intelligence tools (which are our specialty at SalesIntel) and use this example to demonstrate how they can increase productivity if used correctly and when they might not help as much.
Using Sales Intelligence Tool the Right Way
When sales intelligence tools are used correctly, they increase productivity because your team does not have to spend as much time sifting through unreliable data. Sales experts refer to this phenomenon as the 1-10-100 rule. Essentially, a dirty data point will cost your company $1 to verify, $10 to clean, and $100 if you do nothing. This means that for every $100 of person-hours that a company without sales intelligence tools will use to rectify data, you will only spend $1 or $10 depending on if you have a data cleaning or data verification tool.
Not only will you be able to save money, but you will also be able to keep your sales team happier if you have a proper sales intelligence tool that your team knows how to use correctly. The process of prospecting and combing through faulty data is one of the least popular sales rep tasks, and if you have a sales intelligence tool that works for your company, you will be able to eliminate this chore.
What Happens When Sales Tools Aren’t Used Correctly
Sales intelligence tools are used incorrectly they can actually decrease productivity. When we say “incorrectly,” much of what we mean is companies not taking the time to research the strengths and weaknesses of different sales tools and choosing a sales intelligence tool that is not right for their company.
For example, some companies just look at the sticker price of sales intelligence tools and use that price as the way they calculate return on investment (ROI) for that tool. This is a faulty method because it pushes companies toward buying tools that offer poor-quality data at a lower price. What you want to look at instead of price per data point is the accuracy that the company offers its customers, because the accuracy will decide how many sales conversations you get out of the data.
For example, SalesIntel offers 95% accuracy on all of their data to their customers. We offer that high accuracy because we are in the minority of sales intelligence tools services that offer human-verified data to our customers. Human-verified data is just what it sounds like. Data is first generated and verified by an AI program before receiving an in-depth check from one of our experts.
To ensure that you are getting the most from your sales tools, you need to make sure that your tools are the ones that will give you the highest ROI, not just the cheapest services. Once you have found those tools, you will need to make sure that they are performing highly by continuing to run return on investment calculations as you continue to use them.
Choosing The Right Sales Tools
As we mentioned above, you will need to make sure that you are getting the best sales tools that your company can afford. ROI calculations are one way you can make sure you are getting the right tools, but there are a few other calculations you should take into account.
Match Your Tools With Your Company’s Future
You probably already know this principle: “Always invest for the company that you want to become.” You want to buy the tools, hire the staff, and create a business plan that will accommodate the business that you want to in the near future.
In terms of tools, this means that you should have what will work well for the business you hope to grow into. For example, you want to make sure you have CRM software that will accommodate a larger client base than you have today.
Look For Great Customer Service
A software company can seem like a good partner in theory, but sometimes when the rubber hits the road, that company doesn’t live up to expectations. Usually, this happens when someone can’t meet the customer service need of their customers. Be sure to talk to multiple people from the company before you buy and get a sense of the customer service you are investing in.
Sort Out The Foundation First
Remember, sales tools build off of each other. As we mentioned above when we were going over the list of sales tools, some sales tools require you to have another tool first. For example, you should always get CRM software before you think about getting data enrichment services. And you should definitely not get a data connector service if you don’t have more than one database.
Matching Tools With Funnel Stage
When choosing your sales tools, you should look at your sales funnel holistically. Determine which parts of the funnel are slowing down the sales process. Those parts that are slowing down the whole process are where you should focus your efforts.
For example, if your sales team is spending all of their time prospecting and are not having the time to maintain relationships with clients, you should focus on getting strong contact data. That will free your sales team to converse with leads. On the other hand, if your team is spending extra time sending emails to prospects, you should get marketing automation to make that part much easier.
Finally, as you choose your sales tools, you should research whether your provider is compliant with standards for ethical marketing. Make sure that they scrub their client lists of numbers from the do not call registry before they pass them on to you.
Get Professional Help
If you want to learn more about which sales tools work will be best for your company, get professionals involved. Many companies offer free consultations to help you determine whether their tools are a good fit for you.
Professionals can also help you determine what the ROI for certain tools should be. This will help you understand what to expect in terms of sales growth after you adopt those tools. At SalesIntel, we offer an ROI calculator to determine which data tools are the right choice for you.