Does it feel harder to sell these days? In some ways it is. In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts.
Today’s sales teams work hard for their numbers. Thankfully, technology can help you sell more effectively.
Some of these tools may not be marketed as sales products, but they have valuable functionality that supports the sales process.
The 10 best sales tools to help you sell more, faster.
1. LinkedIn Mobile
Our first sales tool helps you stay in touch with your business contacts. Remain connected with your valuable LinkedIn network by downloading the LinkedIn mobile app. Utilize LinkedIn’s impressive search capabilities to find and target relevant leads in your industry, even when you’re working remotely.
2. Product Configurator
A product configurator is a valuable sales tool that features configure-price-quote technology such as guided selling, sales quoting, and even 2D and 3D visual configurations. It simplifies and helps improve how you sell complex, multi-option products and services, with drag-and-drop items that can be repositioned and changed per a customer's preference.
As you work with a number of clients in various stages of the sales process, it’s challenging to remember every detail. EverNote is another one of our best sales tools, helping you collect information and easily retrieve it when required. Whether you’re on a mobile device or computer, save articles about your industry, jot down notes to share with a client, assign yourself upcoming tasks and more.
When you’re connecting with prospects on social media, Hootsuite simplifies the process. Create a collection of social messages and schedule them throughout the next week. Retweet or comment on others’ messages. Analytics allow you to view what messages perform the best so you can adjust your future messaging to better resonate with your audience.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to use Google search to support your sales preparation. Take a minute to conduct a Google search of your contact before "smiling and dialing." Paul Castain writes that sales reps must do their homework before phone calls. Otherwise their contact will think, "If you can’t take the time to do your homework on me, why should I take time to talk with you?"
Grow an audience for presentations you’ve created by posting them to SlideShare, another valuable sales tool. For example, if you’re offering a new product, develop a presentation about its benefits, upload the presentation to SlideShare and embed a link to it within a tweet, LinkedIn message, email or more.
7. Mobile CRM
Your CRM software should offer a mobile app that allows access your CRM anytime, anyplace. Access via mobile device to plan and prepare for meetings and remain productive even when you’re away from the office. Having a mobile CRM empowers you to stay in touch with clients, such as responding to client questions or zipping off an interesting article to a potential client.
Another one of our favorite sales tools is Prezi, which helps you create better presentations. "You can present from anywhere, even on your phone or tablet, with Prezi’s reusable library of professional presentations," writes Dave Howe. "Presentations can be modified and distributed through the cloud."
9. Digital Recorder
Salespeople can improve their phone skills by periodically using a digital recorder to tape and assess sales calls. "Listen for things like the quality of your message, specifically if it was compelling enough," recommends Castain. "Did you sound confident? How were your 'ums, you knows,' etc.? Did you talk too fast, too slow?"
10. Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for years, but it’s easy to forget just how effective it can be. Email marketing has two times higher ROI than cold calling, networking or trade shows. Emails should be interesting, short, to the point and include a compelling subject line.
Yes, it may be harder to sell today than it was in ’07. But in the years since, we've gained access to better technology. Today's best sales tools help us create compelling presentations, stay in communication with clients, connect with our network, and improve sales phone calls.
Read more details on how the Powertrak Product Configurator from Axonom builds customized quotes and configures orders to help support sales.