- October 31, 2019
- by Ola Rybacka
- One comment
Having productive and motivated professionals on board is often what contributes to the success of a sales team, and the overall health of a business. Your sales team is definitely your biggest asset – especially if it’s armored with proper resources and tools.
Nonetheless, even though powerful software can’t replace your sales reps (and rightly so!), it can definitely help your team automate time-consuming tasks and turn more prospects into customers in the long run. As a matter of fact, high-performing sales teams tend to use nearly three times the amount of sales technology than underperforming ones, which should be a good enough reason to give sales tools a try.
What is sales productivity and what tools can actually improve it?
Basically, sales productivity is the ability to maximize sales results while keeping your resources (such as cost, effort, or time) at a minimum. The issue with increasing sales productivity, though, is that sales agents have to deal with a lot of tasks and challenges each day.
See how you can identify the cause of the productivity drop among your team members, and what are the most common causes of lower productivity.
Luckily, you can address these issues through proper management and the use of the right tools. For starters, sales software can help you automate time-consuming tasks, such as manual data entry (and its management), lead generation, or cold emailing – just to name a few. See what else can you do with a few lesser-known tools to make your sales team more productive.
8 lesser-known sales tools to take advantage of!
Last, but definitely not least: There’s no better way to increase productivity than to take your time management to the next level. Yet again, this proves to be much easier with dedicated software, such as TimeCamp. It can easily be integrated with many popular task management applications in order to track the time each team member spends on their designated tasks. This information alone gives you a pretty good idea of how productive your sales agents are. Still, you can also use this knowledge to evaluate the general workflow, find out any potential bottlenecks in existing processes, and clearly see who stands out from your team.
If you want your sales team to be productive, you should take care of internal communication first. A seamless flow of information, along with a transparent work environment, can really make a difference for your sales agents. By taking proper care of them, you can minimize the risks of your team members doing the same tasks, or performing them with insufficient details. Not to mention that powerful project management & communication tools can easily facilitate collaboration within your sales team.
That’s precisely what Stackfield can do for you on a daily basis. In essence, it combines the benefits of Slack (when it comes to keeping in touch with all your teammates) and Asana (managing your projects in a clear and effective manner). You can also upload and download relevant files and resources, collaborate on important documents with your whole team, and even organize meetings that you can invite the others to. And the best part? Everything is kept secure due to end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication.
CRM is often referred to as an absolute essential for every sales team out there. Why so? It could be because 50% of sales teams reported improved productivity with a CRM, while mobile access to a CRM is said to increase sales force productivity by an average of 14.6%.
That’s hardly surprising, given that customer relationship management software helps to stay up to date with the latest updates on your prospects and customers, which also gives you an overview of your sales funnel. In turn, the ability to keep an eye on the performance of your sales reps is often a good enough motivation for them to give their best.
Livespace is a good example of such a tool – it’s intuitive and quite powerful when you take into account its features and capabilities. It can truly speed up the sales process for your team, as it helps you with entering and managing customer data so that your sales agents can focus on more important (and less time-consuming) tasks. Basically, your team will have all the information handy to able to nurture more leads and close more deals.
Speaking of having customer data in one place, and its impact on productivity: if you don’t send any emails through your CRM or any other tool, and use Gmail to communicate with your customers instead – you should definitely try Shared Contacts for Gmail. It lets you share your Gmail contacts with the whole sales team (and people outside of your organization), and keep your address books safe by delegating permissions for anyone who you share your contacts with.
It integrates seamlessly with Google Apps and allows you to add & update shared contacts directly from Gmail – which, in turn, makes it fast, simple and intuitive to share contacts with whoever you want to. There are plenty more features, including unlimited sharing capabilities of address books across different Google domains mobile, or even tablet and Outlook shared contact synchronization.
Apart from emails, there’s also one more important aspect of sales that’s a good indicator of your team’s productivity: calls. More specifically, the number of calls your team makes and receives. If you serve a lot of clients or run cold calling campaigns, your sales agents are likely to feel overwhelmed with all the calls they have to take care of – which is why you might want to make it easier for them.
CloudTalk, for example, will not only allow your sales agents to answer more calls but also access caller data right away, and analyze calls to identify potential areas for improvement. Actually, it has plenty of other features that you can take advantage of in order to facilitate all calls flowing through your organization and improve the productivity of your team.
Before you make all those calls and emails, though, you have to take care of lead generation & qualification first. Sadly, not all leads you might find are able to increase revenue and thus, the productivity of your team. It’s much more productive to spend less time and effort on leads that are not likely to purchase from you in the end, which is why you should make sure that you have a proper list of contacts with a higher potential to sell to.
Build an ideal customer profile based on the characteristics of your target audience, and take care of lead generation software, like LeadFuze, to create such lists. In fact, this tool will allow you to unlock a lot more data like verified emails, phone numbers, and social profiles, just to name a few.
Being able to answer your prospects and customers fast is essential nowadays, and it often shows how productive your sales team really is. As a matter of fact, modern customers easily get frustrated and almost immediately switch to another company if they don’t get what they want right away. Luckily, there are certain tech solutions that can help you answer the queries faster and become more productive in the long run.
Chatbots are a perfect example of such solutions: after all, they are “triggered” by your customers, and ready to answer their questions at any given time. With tools like Verloop you can easily create your own bot to generate and qualify more leads, book meetings, and build better customer relationships. Plus, this tool also comes with free conversational templates to get you started.
While on the subject of booking meetings – the ability to schedule appointments, consultations and product demos is crucial for many sales reps out there. Yet, scheduling them manually can take a lot of time and effort. Luckily, there are many tools that can automate the whole process for your team – including Harmonizely. Its purpose is to simplify and unify the scheduling process for all your sales reps in real-time, by letting your customers easily schedule meetings with your sales team – regardless of calendar type their use. It might not seem like it at first, but better meeting management can result in closing more deals and thus, improved the productivity of your sales agents.
There are many times when we find ourselves looking up our lead’s email address online, be it to update our list, fill in the gaps in the contact data, or build a complete list from scratch. Ideally, we want to do this in the quickest way possible and get the most accurate results, and it is not something that you can do with an extensive Google search or scouring social networking sites. You will need a good email finding tool for that matter, and ContactOut is one such tool that comes to mind.
ContactOut is a Google Chrome extension that finds your leads email addresses and other contact info such as their social media profiles and phone numbers right on their LinkedIn profile. It lets you save and organize your leads’ profiles along with their contact information through an intuitive dashboard. The tool also features a search portal that lets you find the email address of leads that are not on LinkedIn. With a large search volume, an 89% accuracy rate, and focus on personal information, ContactOut has an edge over most of its competition.
NetHunt CRM offers a better way to manage company’s relationships and interactions that drive business growth. It would be a perfect CRM option for businesses who run their processes in Google apps. The tool has a native-like Gmail integration that gives access to a CRM data directly from your email client.
Everything that a salesperson needs is now available in Gmail inbox: customer profiles, deals and opportunities, sales funnel, data filters and views, team collaboration, email tracking, bulk email campaigns, and much more. You can transform incoming email inquiries into opportunities with ease.
For sales teams that generate leads through Linkedin, there is a direct integration that allows to add Linkedin contacts into CRM in one click and set up lead nurturing email sequences. Zapier integrations and API capabilities are among the few other perks aside from Google apps integration.
NetHunt offers extensive customization options so that a company could adjust every CRM aspect to their needs: from folders and permissions to client cards and pipelines. And whenever you need to change anything, it’s quick and simple!
Another way to see how productive your sales team is, is by taking a look at their email activity. Sales reps communicate daily with leads and prospects, and many send out hundreds or thousands of cold emails to raise awareness and drum up leads.
EmailAnalytics is a tool that lets you visualize your team’s email activity. You can see emails sent, emails received, and even average email response time. This enables you to rebalance workloads, monitor email activity, identify top performers, and improve key performance indicators such as email response time.
Make your team more productive with the right sales tools
As can be seen, the right tools can easily help you empower your sales team and boost their productivity in the long run. Even though some of them might be associated with substantial costs, you should always consider them as an investment, not an expense. In fact, using powerful software can quickly pay off in terms of sales results. See it for yourself!