For B2B sales professionals, having an arsenal of trusted technology can seem to put hours in your day. Administrative tasks don't have to be a hindrance to your productivity. If you are carrying a lofty sales quota, you don't have to carry a heavy briefecase. The best sales tools (are):
- Mobile friendly
- Integrated, or can be integrated with your existing apps
- Have a fast learning curve
- Can be accessed from multiple devices
- Promote sharing with your manager, colleagues, or even clients
If you are a "lone wolf" sales representative in your territory, having the right tools can give you the confidence of
- Having product and service information at your fingertips,
- The ability to share your deal information with the head office,
- Take the stress out of having to remember finite details of a meeting
- Scheduling your face time, travel time and operational time effectively
Here are four tools a B2B sales representative can rely on to help smash their quota, keep clients happy, and improve management visibility into your pipeline. For each tool, you'll find a couple of different vendor options.
1. Electronic Notebooks
When you're evaluating sales productivity tools for your business, you will usually find the Evernote suite of scheduling, notetaking and capture tools. If you have just met with a client at a networking event, you can speak into your mobile phone to capture some high level details into the app via voice recognition, capture an image of their business card to associate to the meeting for follow up, and even sketch a whiteboard type images to help communicate your concept.
- Keep track of a set of tasks
- Collaborate with your colleagues on opportunities
- Remind yourself of key deliverables your client is looking for
- Write spontaneous notes either by typing or handwriting
Comparable tool: Microsoft OneNote,
2. Customer Relationship Management Software
An effective Customer Relationship Management tool can be a sales rep's best friend if used effectively, or can be their worst nightmare if ignored. Sales representatives don't tend to have the luxury of choosing the CRM system they use, and if there is already a CRM system being used, it's even more difficult to displace it. If your business is still using a desktop based contact management system, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. A Cloud based, mobile friendly, easy to use CRM system should be high on your company's priority list.
You can quickly demonstrate the payback of an integrated sales force automation, digital marketing, customer service and forecasting tool. Some of your best options for Cloud CRM solutions include:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Sugar CRM
If you are helping your manager to decide on what CRM system to use,
- Create a list of the primary business functions you will need to support
- Consider the "stack" of technology which is most pervasive in your business
- Consider factors like configurability, the financial stabilty of the vendor and their reputation for secure, reliable cloud services
3. Marketing Inteligence Services
If you want to accelerate your sales cycles and get to the decision making contacts in your territory, contracting with a provider of marketing intelligence services can be a great way to go. Leading providers in this space are InsideView and Data.com. Data.com provides Salesforce.com clients with a great service, and InsideView provides a wealth of marketing data for most of the leading CRM solutions in the marketplace.
4. Social Media Marketing Tools
Inbound marketing tactics are becoming a much more effective way of generating leads than cold calling or dropping in on contacts "out of the blue" Warming up contacts with credibility
- Website content
- Consistent messaging across strategic social media channels
Socializing your content into places like LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, where your target customers frequently "hang out" is made a lot easier with tools like:
- Sprout Social
- ShareThis or AddThis plug-insa
Instead of sharing your long format mnually with e-mail, schedule it where, and when your target market will be looking for it.
The best sales technology tools for B2B sales reps are easy to use, can make a sales rep's day more productive and are available for use in the office or in the field. As the saying goes, "I suppose it is tempting, If the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."
As a sales rep, don't be caught with just a hammer when you need a drill, some electric screwdrivers and a skill saw.