Sales leaders need the same thing -- tips on how to select the right sales tools -- their own “Sales Technology in a Box.” If you are starting a new sales team, if you're ramping up a sales team, or you are looking to boost the production of an existing sales team, you need the right tools.
Which tools make sense to employ? Start with your challenges and work forward from there. You're investing in tools to make money and solve problems. That's how you sell to your prospects; so you should do the same. Sales leader, heal thyself.
Most sales tools can be categorized into one of four categories, based on the problems they solve. These types of tools are for the Top of the Funnel, Sales Management, Lead to Revenue and General Effectiveness.
Here, I focus on solutions for the top of the funnel and primary issues -- and how these map to various solution areas. But before I do, I tip my hat to the work of Topo’s Craig Rosenberg in this area.
Tools for the top of the funnel
More qualified prospects in your pipeline. It is the dream of many a sales leader. But the challenge is not one of simply amassing large volumes of names in your machine. It's more important to get precisely the companies that are likely to buy what you are selling. Mere lists of prospects companies are not enough.
Today's sales tools help generate the top of the funnel by helping your sales team to quickly identify the right businesses to focus your attention on. If you need more qualified leads -- and who doesn't -- then these tools might help. Let's look at a number of challenges and how tools can help.
Who should my sales team talk to? You need a Market Intelligence solution to help your sales team find prospects that match your sweet spot.
How do I get the right people on the phone and email? Look for a Lead Quality Tool to help locate relevant contacts and their details.
How can I communicate with many prospects quickly? Invest in Prospecting Tools to help your team communicate effectively with prospects.
How can I demonstrate my solution in a personal or interactive way? A Web Meetings solution can help you. It will streamline real-time communication with prospects.
How can I quickly connect with prospects by phone? Dialing Technology is the answer. It accelerates dialing and messaging to numerous prospects.
I need to open accounts. Which tools can help? Look at Social Selling Tools. These solutions allow sales to make meaningful connections.
The sales process is increasingly moving to a model where tools that boost productivity and efficiency are imperative, not just nice to have. When salespeople have great tools, they turn leads into revenue faster. When managers have great tools, they make better choices and put resources in the right place.
The sales tools vista is a study in itself, and too expansive to cover comprehensively in one article. In a future column, I will take a deeper dive into other sales tool categories, such as Sales Management, Lead to Revenue and General Effectiveness, and show how you can put them to work to improve results.