Technological advancement, as well as awareness, is driving adoption of digital sales tools in the sales industry. Additionally, the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on sales are boosting use. This may not be familiar territory to some salespeople. What are sales tools? How do they benefit reps?
Sales tools defined
Vainu’s Erika Granath discusses this issue and lends some clarity in a recent article. She takes a moment to clearly define just what sales tools are:
“Sales tools refer to digital tools used by sales professionals to make their work easier. Sales tool is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different technologies, including customer relationship management (CRM), sales intelligence and prospecting, sales acceleration, and data connectors and integrations, to name but a few.”
Virtual selling drives tool adoption
The increase in virtual selling, due in large part to COVID-19, is a catalyst for sales tool adoption. Whether reps like it or not, virtual selling is here to stay, even as the world moves forward from the pandemic. It’s time to adapt.
“The change that thrust virtual selling to the forefront of the sales world, in reality, did many organizations a favor,” writes Tequia Burt for LinkedIn. “Sink or swim. Adapt or fall behind. Because now that the power of virtual selling is obvious, it’s the one change that promises to remain the same.”
Sales tools have major benefits
Research from GetAccept and Pavilion revealed that 97% of respondents are using at least one sales tool. Additionally, they found that 67% use between 4 and 10 digital selling tools as part of their sales tech stacks.
Respondents reported that the following are the top benefits of using these tools:
- Ease of tracking progress toward goals
- Less time spent on administrative tasks
- Structured sales cycles
- Improved internal collaboration
- Improved lead analysis
- Accurate sales forecasting
As GetAccept points out, “A sales tech stack can be a trusted friend or a source of stress for sales reps and their team leaders. A great, well-integrated tech stack can bring in more deals and increase revenue…”
Tools to add to your sales strategy
Burt highlights sales tools that can help reps better compete in this time of increased virtual selling. She starts by pointing out that many salespeople are at least aware of or use a CRM. But this sales tool can be so much more with some personalization and integrations. For example, consider integrating the following into your CRM for an enhanced experience:
- Marketing automation
- Contracts and proposals
- Web forms and chatbots
- Customer support
As she explains, “The name of the game when customizing your sales CRM with complementary selling tools is to select the ones best suited to your remote sales team needs. Then simplify access and sync every date, name, address, number, email and nugget of wisdom possible to keep it all at their fingertips no matter where [you] are working from."
Video is a strong sales tool, so make the most of it
Burt also points out that while presentations have always been about performing, it really seems that way now as more reps are presenting on video. Thankfully, there are many low-cost, easy-to-implement sales tools that reps can use when using video to sell. Burt recommends:
- Elevating yourself with a raised platform for your computer or even a standing desk.
- Increasing quality with a microphone. As she explains, “While nearly everyone has wireless earbuds or headphones with a hanging mic, the audio (that you can’t hear) can easily get distorted and irritating for the listener. For crisper, clearer sound try a basic external mic or rely on your in-system microphone. It does a better job than you think.”
- Adding improved lighting for leveled-up visuals. A natural light, courtesy of an inexpensive ring light, can really increase the quality of your videos.
Sales tools can drive productivity, allowing you to allocate your time efficiently. Burt recommends a few simple tools to adopt for big impact:
- Online learning courses: These can help you be “sales ready,” as well as keep you up to speed, and beyond, when it comes to industry practices.
- Team communications, such as Slack or other non-email methods of staying in connection.
- News monitoring to stay up to date on the sales world and your prospects’ and clients’ industries. Not to mention, you can also keep an eye on competitors.
Better experiences and results
As Burt explains, “With the right virtual selling tools for sales you can give buyers the best experience possible, and your sales team the results you desire.”
Leveraging sales tools will not only help you compete better against other vendors, but also boost your own efficiency and the satisfaction of prospects and clients. You’ll find that many of your tasks, from qualifying leads to communicating with prospects, will be improved.
Photo by Anna Shvets
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