According to the dystopian futures predicted in movies such as Terminator and The Matrix, technology will become self-aware and take over humankind any day now. Until that day arrives, however, selling technology has evolved to the point (no, not of Skynet-like self-awareness…yet) that many such tools have become incredibly valuable assets for any successful sales team.
With the deluge of helpful sales tools out there (including our own sales analytics and sales reporting product!), it can be difficult to wade through the morass and find the truly innovative and beneficial sales tools. Well, we’ve done the dirty work for you and come up with this definitive list. Here are our 10 favorite sales tools of 2013.
Sales reps need the most up-to-date information on how their prospects might be changing, such as when prospective customers receive a new job or make it in the news. With SalesLoft, users can get daily email alerts from the latest happenings within their LinkedIn networks, get the latest news updates on all the companies automatically from your Salesforce database, and build extensive prospect lists by seaching LinkedIn profiles.
Waiting for a reply to an email that you sent days or even weeks ago can be a torturous process. What if they aren’t interested? What if they didn’t even read your email in the first place? With Yesware, you can identify better prospects to follow up additional effort with by determining who actually opened your emails and clicked on your links. Additionally, you can set reminders and use email templates to optimize the efficiency of your email selling game.
The closing of any successful sale usually concludes with your customer’s signature on the dotted line. Yet, with many companies operating in far-flung reaches of the country or world, it can be difficult to track down a John Hancock in person and in a timely manner. Enter Docusign, the product that enables secure e-signatures to be signed and documented online from any device, including mobile. Sales reps and managers can track the entire sign-off process and efficiently take deals across the finish line.
Social selling has emerged not just as a trend, but as a necessity, and among the myriad social networks, Twitter has proven to be a valuable asset of lead generation and relationship building. Kred, available for free on the Salesforce AppExchange, helps reps create a list of the most influential leads on social media, while broadening the fostering and understanding of Twitter relationships that can be a great source of business.
Sales can be improved by fostering stronger relationships with prospects. Contactually helps to bridge that relationship gap with improved email relationship management. The tool automates the reminders indexed in your emails and alerts you every morning of the most critical people that you have to reach in a timely fashion.
Knowledge is power, and to gain and share knowledge, online content is king. paper.li is a great content curation service that allows for the easy curation of content online and the subsequent creation and publication of your own personal online newspaper or newsletter in a matter of minutes. Reps can use this to promote their own thought leadership and build relationships with prospects by curating and sharing relevant content.
Sorting through personal schedules and trying to sync up two individuals with barely any open spaces in their respective calendars can be a trying experience. TimeTrade, fully integrated with Salesforce, can end these headaches with simple online appointment scheduling that lets users pick from a handful of availabilities. Reps can send prospects unique links to their own calendars for both sides to book a meeting that works with their schedules.
Just like in live stand-up and radio, the sign-off is a critical element in sales. With as much selling that goes on via email today, it is essential that reps have an email signature that not only provides helpful information but also resonates with the prospect. WiseStamp allows users to customize their email signature, based on the recipient. Being able to create multiple different email signatures and rotate them into use as needed gives reps that much more versatility.
Context is crucial, especially when reps have to work with a huge number of prospects at any given time. It can be hard to keep track of personal information about each contact, a problem that Rapportive looks to solve by embedding rich contact profiles of the people you are emailing right inside Gmail. The tool provides the latest and greatest information on these prospects, and even includes a link to their LinkedIn profile.
Much of the challenge in sales is reaching the right people and the right decision makers. Who you know is just as important as what you know. Reachable cuts through the maze of people to connect you with the people you need to know by consolidating your contacts from various sources and social networks.