11 Cool Sales Tools for IT Staffing Sales Professionals
What is that old saying from our friend Alec Baldwin, "Always Be Closing?" Yes, yes, sales is about the art of closing. But you know what, getting to the "closing" takes more than simply executing on a random series of events. It requires some well thought out planning. And forutnately there are some fantastic sales tools for you to take advantage of. Here are some of my favorite. Let mek know what you think and if I left your favorite off the list, give me a hollah!
1.) A reliable screen sharing service such as Gotomeeting, or Joinme.com. Many managers think they don't need such a product because they're selling a service and not a product. Hence, they have no product to demo. But using screen sharing is an excellent way to bring your conversations to life. You can use visual illustrations to make you point more compelling and your conversations more interactive.
2.) Hubspot. Hubspot is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads and close customers. I can't say enough about this tool. I have not had to make a cold call in YEARS because with Hubspot, my prospects come to me. Better yet, Hubspot scorecards the qualify of my leads and allows me to move them through a marketing funnel. I can set up automated lead nurturing campaigns and workflows to convert my leads and nurture my customers. I run my entire web site on it including this blog and it is fully integrated with salesforce.com. So when I make a sales call (while in salesforce.com) I can see all of the blogs, emails and web pages a prospect has looked at not to mention which which white papers they have downloaded. And of course I have access to more analytics than I know what to do with. This my friends is what every sales professional and small business owner needs. Check it out.
3.) BuiltWith. BuiltWith allows you to see what technologies a company is using to run their web site along with other internal enterprise software they are using to run their organization. This of of course is especially useful for those in technology sales because it provides you with useful insight prior to making a sales call.
4.) Video conferencing such as Adobe Connect, Skype, GotoMeeting or Webex. I'm not partial to any one particular tool but I do think video conferencing is an excellent sales tool and WAY underutilized. A picture is worth a thousand words. Think about it, wouldn't you rather be able to have a video call with a customer or prospect vs. a normal phone cal?. Pictures and videos engage the emotional side of the brain—where all buying decisions are made. No, it's not face to face but it is pretty darn close. Using video conference over the regular phone can help sales people overcome the most common and challenging hurdle in all of sales; buildig trust. Lastly, it's just convenient for you and your customer. Imagine if you could do 5 video calls a day, that's 25 a week!
5.) Charlie. Think of Charlie as your personal sales assistant. Charlie will sync with your calendar to prep you for your upcoming sales meetings. It will email you a one-pager on who you are meeting with. Talk about service! Now of course as a sales trainer I suggest you read this (and do additional prep work) prior to walking into the meeting. This is a really cool tool!
6.) Refresh. This is another really cool app, similiar to Charlie in that. If you attend a lot of sales meetings and calls but have a hard time keeping up with who's who, then this is the app for you. Refresh mines publicly listed data and personal quirks from social media accounts and lists it as information about a contact. For instance, if you have a meeting planned with a prospect who is also in your LinkedIn network, searching for her name in the app will present a screen with her latest tweets, hometown and other personal details from Facebook, and her update from LinkedIn.
7.) Quota King. Yes I know, I'm incuding my own tool in my own blog about cool sales tools. Quota King software is a plug-in for CRM/ATS systems. It has an intuitive, visual interface that guides reps through Menemsha's sales methodology in a wizard-like fashion prompting reps to execute best practices at each stage of the sales cycle. It also scorecards your accounts (shorten your sales cycle) and your job orders (improve sales win rates) and allows you to build out organizational charts.
8.) Premium Linkedin Account. I suspect most of you have this already but if you don't you must be off your rocker:)! Seriously, check this out. And if your company is not willing to invest in it then you should make the personal investment it. It is well worth it! Here's the thing: We all know how difficult it is making cold calls. We need all the help we can get to make that cold call a "warm" call. That is exactly what you get when you use Linkedin Premium. You get the insight you need on your prospects to make that cold call feel warm.
9.) CRM. I think this one goes without saying but let me explain WHY I have it on my list. Many reps think of CRM as management's system for evaluating sales rep activity. But really, it should be used as a simple way for anyone to get a 20,000-foot view of the pipeline: how projected revenue is looking at each stage of the sales cycle versus this quarter's and next quarter's targets, which prospects need to move forward in the process, ect.
But here is the BIG reason why you need a CRM: You absolutely must have a way to determine the last time you talked with somebody without going through your emails or looking at your physical notes. How do you know how to move a sales opportunity forward if you don't know what the prior interactions covered (and when they took place) or what next steps were established? You can't.
10.) Rapportive is a free Gmail add-on that provides contact information directly into your your inbox. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can automatically see a contact's picture, job title, location, and social media profiles. In your inbox view, you can even click on any of the social media links to be automatically directed to a contact's social profile.
Rapportive can help you visualize who you're communicating with but it also allows you to go to a lead's social profiles to get further context on who they are and what they're interested in.
11.) Salesloft Prospector. if you want to generate a custom list from your LinkedIn searches, Salesloft Prospector is a Chrome extension which allows you to build prospect lists by searching through LinkedIn profiles. The exported list can then help you begin tracking down prospects and segmenting your leads.
These are just a few of the tools that are available. Take advantage of them and I'm confident they will help you and your team improve efficiency and productivity. Just be sure to not try and incorporate too many tools -- that can be debilitating. The more investment you and your team puts into an efficient sales process, the more you'll both get out of it. Again, let know if you have a favorite sales tool that I didn't mention!
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.