If you’re in the selling business, you’re always itching for an edge. That means you need to avail yourself of the smartest, most efficient methods to get clients from “I don’t know…” to “Sold!”
To be sure, you don’t have to rise to the fame of a Mary Kay Ash or Zig Ziglar to be a sales phenom. Plenty of salespeople across the world land tons of deals, build loyal connections with customers, and solve buyers’ biggest conundrums. You may not know their names, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less successful.
Here’s the dirty little secret, though: The majority of sales folks aren’t utilizing all the tech at their fingertips. As a result, statistics culled by Forbes suggest that most sales experts sell only 35.2% of the time. The rest of the time, they’re pushing papers, engaged in redundant activities, and not bringing in revenue.
The bottom line is that even the most prolific seller probably has room for improvement. And there’s no shame in wanting to get better. So why not embrace the technology that can help you rev up your conversations? Or reduce the risk of being ghosted by a top prospect?
Below are four tech stack must-tries to impress your boss and win over resistant buyers.
1. Close deals seamlessly with virtual proposals.
Remember the days of sending your client a proposal, waiting for the client to make adjustments, and going through the process ad infinitum? (Those days might have been as recently as this week, to be honest.) Every time you make your prospect jump through a hoop, no matter how minuscule, you risk losing momentum.
What’s the way to close this gap for good? Leverage proposal and contract processes that automate the system on one platform. PandaDoc, an all-in-one document automation software, notes that requesting proposals the old-fashioned way needlessly extends your close rate. In other words, you waste precious days and weeks trying to get the final go-ahead. Plus, once you’ve built a proposal on paper, how easy is it to change on the fly? In most cases, it’s not easy at all.
The way to fix this issue is to find a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider like PandaDoc that offers the ability to manage your proposals and eventual contracts in one location. Having documents available to everyone who needs to know—and make changes effortlessly—transforms the proposal experience. It also shortens the sales cycle by reducing buyer barriers to acceptance.
2. Add robust templates to your tech stack.
Have you ever found yourself writing the same email again and again? Sure, you might change a word or two here and there. But the gist and tone remain similar. These are documents and correspondence that you could automate with software.
What’s the value of having dozens of templates? With the right system, you can deploy your templates quickly across omni-channels. Have a prospect who prefers text? No problem. Your template can be revamped to look great on a phone. Dealing with someone who’s a social media user? Send DMs and get noticed.
Not sure you want to invest in more tech software? Even if you just keep a catalog of templates on your centralized knowledge system, you’ll be ahead of the game. As a side note, you don’t have to lose the individual touch. In fact, you should focus on personalization because it’s what 80% of participants in an Epsilon buyer study said they want. Templates can be constructed with “holes.” Fill those “holes” with customized messages and foster connections without losing precious hours re-typing content.
3. Invest in a truly modern customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Why do so many salespeople rave about CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce? The companies have made it their business to lead the CRM industry. They’re continuously adding new solutions to their platforms, including AI-driven tools.
Feel as if your outdated legacy CRM gets the job done? That may be true. However, it’s worth investigating state-of-the-art CRMs. Sure, it’s understandable to want to hold onto your CRM because you know it. No one likes change. Still, it might not be the right answer anymore.
Newer CRM platforms aren’t just clearinghouses to hold prospect and client information, either. The top ones allow you to analyze customer behaviors, set up regular messaging based on where a customer is in the sales funnel, and perhaps listen socially. Unless you’re 100% sure you have a CRM that truly links your organization’s marketing, communications, service, and sales teams, you’d be wise to investigate what’s on the market.
4. Increase your sales prospecting IQ.
The more intelligent your sales prospecting, the less arduous it is to uncover truly qualified potential clients. AI has helped sales technology become savvier, moving way beyond just grabbing prospects’ personal and business information from the web.
How does sales intelligence work when buoyed by technology like AI and machine learning? For one, sales software can crawl the Internet, looking for potential prospects based on your company’s past purchases and historical information. The software can then deliver target personas to specific sales team members. Even if the sales team has to evaluate the information by hand, everyone will save time.
Sales prospecting software can also help you scrub and update information, much of which will be outdated in about a year’s time. Remember: These are processes you would have to do yourself or ask someone else to do on your behalf. If a program can do it just as well, why not let it?
Prospect.io even suggests that sales prospecting should include a deep dive into data about the sales that turned you down. This way you can get a better understanding of why, and what to do better next time.
Sales will always be about relationships, and tech can help you finally have the time to build connections. So why wait? Stop spinning your wheels and start generating long-term ties.