It’s common knowledge that salespeople spend up to two thirds of their time on non-revenue generating activities. There are several reasons for this; according to InsideSales, salespeople can spend 40% of their time just searching for the right person to call, and is also argued that salespeople waste too much time trying to work poor quality leads. This correlates with the claim that a lack of high quality leads is one of the biggest challenges faced by salespeople. Monotonous tasks such as general admin, CRM data entry, sending emails, etc. are often blamed for taking up too much of a salesperson’s time, but it’s also argued that poor time management is a major culprit when it comes to salespeople not hitting their targets.
There is also an argument, according to TechRadar, that sales models are no longer efficient in this ‘post GDPR era’, and that a lack of data confidence has undermined outbound sales efforts. More and more, companies are relying on inbound to leverage their sales and marketing efforts, but we know from our previous article, Debunking the ‘Outbound Sales and Marketing is Dead!’ Myth, that relying on inbound efforts alone will not generate good ROI for a company.
By the same token, leveraging unreliable data can potentially build negative brand equity over time, as prospects may become disillusioned if they regularly receive irrelevant messages from outbound campaigns. You may end up wasting your own time and money, and more importantly, the prospect’s time. Your target customers should fall in love with your product/service offering because you’re offering a solution to a problem that they face. Targeting the wrong prospects can result in generating negative feelings towards your business. Worse yet, those with negative emotions may share their feelings with others. Word of mouth is very powerful and it can be challenging to overcome negative interactions, particularly as they are more likely to be shared than positive interactions.
It’s clear from the above that salespeople are struggling to manage their time effectively and comfortably hit their targets. So we’ve come up with 5 tools that can help to increase sales effectiveness. Check these out below:
Timing is everything for sales. There are many tools out there that claim to use AI to help sales identify buying triggers, but sometimes simplicity is the most effective approach. Yesware is an email marketing tool that alerts you when your email correspondence has been opened, and whether the recipient has viewed your collateral. It also allows you to create and store email templates so that they can be used again. What does this mean for salespeople? It means that they can acknowledge an email as soon as it has been read, allowing them to strike before a competitor does, while also providing insights into where those emails are going after they have been sent. No more waiting around, wondering whether an email has been read, or even seen. Yesware allows you to keep track of your prospects in real time…it’s sort of like GPS for your mailbox! ?
SalesOptimize is a sales lead generation platform that provides companies with access to their full addressable market. Millions of websites are downloaded from the Internet from a variety of sectors, including: Retail, Tech, Finance, Gambling, Travel & Hospitality, etc. and then converted into high quality sales leads for customers. The platform is a self-serve tool that allows customers to search for and download their leads directly into their CRM pipelines or Excel. TAMI provides rich information about businesses, e.g. company size, location, whether they are eCommerce enabled, financial overview, contact phone numbers, verified employee email addresses, and much more. Using a tool such as this provides a solution to the ongoing problem for Salespeople having to work poor quality leads. Using SalesOptimize, they can manage their time more effectively with relevant leads that they handpick themselves. No more unqualified leads being fed into CRM pipelines!
Hubspot offers a wide variety of services for both Sales and Marketing teams, including a CRM tool, email marketing software, predictive lead scoring, landing page creation, live chat functionality, and more. Using each of these tools in tandem with one another can help to streamline both sales and marketing processes so they work more effectively together. For example, using the CRM tool with the email marketing software makes it easier for salespeople to keep track of their prospects and without having to manually enter data into a separate CRM system. Straight away they can identify when someone has opened/clicked an email, which will be reflected on the prospect’s record in the CRM database. This means that less time is spent trying to migrate data from email marketing tools into the salesperson’s pipeline, meaning they can focus their attention on more pressing tasks.
Salesforce is arguably one of the best CRM tools out there for sales teams in terms of functionality and integrations with other SaaS products. It has excellent pipeline reporting and campaign management capabilities, which are critical for salespeople in identifying the strength of their pipeline, stage of the sales cycle, and communications with other departments in the organisation, e.g. inbound reporting discussions with the Marketing team. The ability to create completely customisable lead fields is also advantageous in generating more complete pipeline records. Very often, salespeople complain of having incomplete records, or leads that lack adequate information; with Salesforce, leads can be customised to include as much information as is required, so less time is spent further down the line manually adding this data to these records.
Sales teams (especially startup sales teams) are the interface between the customer and the company. However, the modern salesperson can get caught up in administrative duties such as customer support, feedback, troubleshooting, account management, etc. Likewise, they can get bogged down with an overwhelming number of internal communication tools, such as JIRA, Microsoft Teams, G Suite, Skype, Outlook, etc. Slack is definitely a ‘go to’ for salespeople when it comes to reporting bugs and customer issues to the tech teams. It offers integrations with Salesforce and JIRA (among many others) so it’s perfect for articulating everything between Sales and Tech (in many companies these departments would be worlds apart!). It makes the communication process much smoother, allowing users to create channels for specific issues/tasks, and also share and access documents which can help reduce lead follow-up time.