The present day market is saturated. There are almost no marketing strategies left where you’ll not face any competition. Unless what you have is a groundbreaking product, it is very difficult to stand out from a crowded marketplace. Consequently, you need to keep looking for alternatives to sneak into people’s imaginations. Advertisements are a way, but how much can you squeeze into a half-a-minute long media file? Here is where the Evangelism Marketing comes into play.
Brand evangelism is a word-of-mouth marketing where customers voluntarily recommend your product to others, and will practically do the marketing on your behalf. People are less skeptical of a marketing evangelist as opposed to other hard-core selling techniques, simply because that person is not affiliated nor associated with a brand. As a result, there’s a higher chance of converting a potential lead into a definite sale when you use brand evangelism.
Evangelists can be carved out of loyal brand followers. If you are a startup looking to establish your presence in your chosen niche, you need to identify who your target market is even before you launch your product. Once the connection has been made, and the lead or prospect has been turned into a paying customer, you’ll face the challenge: turning that one-time customer into a customer for life. If you can even turn one loyal customer a month initially, it is a huge positive.
Establishing brand loyalty is important because these kinds of customers will not just buy your product; they also become your brand’s passionate advocates. You get new business based on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from them. The best thing about this? These loyal customers come across as credible, unbiased, and authoritative because you haven’t paid them a single cent.
This marketing strategy does sound quite lucrative and relatively simple. However, there are a lot of principles involved in it. The simpler the strategy, the harder it is to master it. So how do you perfect Evangelism Marketing so as to have an efficient group of loyalists doing your bidding? We’ll discuss these principles in the next post.
Whether you’re at a SaaS startup or a management consulting firm, doing business development and sales is tough. To succeed, you have to master a plethora of skills, from time management to analytics. But the recent study suggests that sales reps spend only 36.6% of their workday actually selling, so it all starts from organizing your work effectively.
I’m a big fan of the all-in-a-single-platform principle, and therefore using advanced sales automation software like Hubspot was always the ideal solution. However, such systems are more oriented at large and medium-sized teams and might seem excessive for startups and small businesses. Moreover, the sales development tasks are getting more complex and diversified (especially for multifunctional startup teams) and it’s no longer possible to gather all the required functionality in one place. Below is the list of software tools I personally use to streamline my business development workflow.
Lead generation 🕵
Leads are the fuel for your selling process. That’s great if you have inbound marketing or advertising that generate leads for the sales activity but you frequently have to discover them on your own.
I am not a big fan of LinkedIn Sales Navigator but it is still the most powerful tool when comes to searching for target companies and finding the right people to reach out to. It offers sleek integrations with popular CRM, plenty of filters to find your ideal profiles and possibility to track your prospects’ updates. It also provides you with personalized lead recommendations but they are messy at times. Moreover, its price is not easily approved, especially if you’re a small startup. That’s how I found myself using Apollo.
Apollo is a great tool for sales enablement that offers both a professional suite with an extended (sometimes excessively) functionality and a free “explorer” access. If you’re a small business that is only looking for target accounts, even a free version may suffice.
Visitors tracker 🔭
For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts into the desired action, while 98% of your audience will leave unnoticed. It’s great to have remarketing pixels inserted into your HTML-code so that you can track your visitors and lure them back to your website. But what if you miss a really big fish or a red hot opportunity that should be acted on immediately? That’s where a visitors tracking tool like Leadfeeder comes into play. It uses your Google Analytics data to show you the real companies (not IDs) stopping by your web page. I really love it because it allows me to see if my website attracts a quality audience and to detect promising leads that can be approached straight away with a personalized message.
Email finder 🔎
You’ve got the company name and the person, now you want to reach out to her with a personalized mail. I don’t condone spam and certainly don’t recommend you Where would you find the email address? There are multiple ways you can do it, including guessing and using Google’s exact match, wandering through databases, digging with web-scrapers and email finder software. I personally love Snovio for its simplified yet powerful and easy-to-use browser extension. It allows collecting emails from any page, even Facebook or SERP, or a list of your target companies. It takes me seconds to find an email to send a warm intro or personalized offer, what else would you need?
Email templates and tracking 📩
Experienced sales reps have a large stockpile of email templates for every occasion, and they know that copying and pasting them is stressful. Docsify takes this process at a qualitatively new level allowing me to instantly retrieve the desired template without leaving my Gmail. Additionally, I can schedule my messages, set reminders, track email and attachment openings and analyze their performance. The features themselves are quite basic but indispensable and I really like how they are coordinated in Docsify.
Besides heavyweight sales automation platforms that provide such functionality, I would single out Yesware and Mailbutler. There’s no significant difference neither in performance nor in price, so it’s more a matter of habit and preference than anything else.
So that it doesn’t become a 15-minute post I’ll briefly go through the list of other software tools I can’t walk without in my sales and business development routine.
Spell checking ✏✅
Grammarly refines my writing and prevents unnecessary typos and misspelled words. An absolute must-have for a business developer.
Inbox management 📬
Sortd is helping my inbox stay organized, even on Mondays and during peak periods. It only works for Gmail, unfortunately, but there are options available for Outlook.
Appointments scheduling 📆🤝
There is a wide offering of schedule assistants out there but Appoint.ly does its job perfectly for me.
Video conferencing 🎥💬
There are a handful of solutions better than Skype. I prefer Zoom.
Presentation and graphics making 🌉
Still using PowerPoint for building pitch decks? Try Beautiful.ai which is an amazing (and currently free!) tool for creating elegant interactive slides. I also use Canva to instantly design cool graphics for social media posts and Soapbox to create product demo video. Piktochart assists me in creating fresh-looking infographics, charts, and reports, while Screely helps make screenshots less dull. And yes, their free plans will be more than enough for your business development activities.
Social media posts management 📌
If you’re actively posting in social media to grow your network and attract prospect, you simply won’t do without Buffer.
I adore automation and without these tools, I would probably have to work 16 hours a day. You probably know and even actively use many them but if not — that’s something you should start your next Monday with.😉
I was speaking with a sales manager at another immigration tech startup recently, sharing some of my sales theories and tactics. I went into detail around a simple yet paradoxical realization I had that has shaped the way I approach sales prospects, and the person I was speaking to, while nodding his head, quickly grabbed a pen, scrambled for a notepad, and started jotting down notes. We were on video chat, so I could him doing it.
It was a fleeting moment, but an important thought flashed before my eyes: I’ve been at this for over three years, pitching LaborLess to immigration lawyers, paralegals, in-house immigration specialists and more, and I’ve actually learned something along the way that’s helpful to others.
The startup I was talking to isn’t a direct competitor, so I was willing to share what I’ve learned rather than keep it all to myself. But even if they were a competitor, immigration tech (ImmiTech) is a booming industry, and my philosophy is that we’re better off trying to grow together rather than keep secrets and thereby hold the entire industry back.
So here was the simple, but paradoxical realization I had that caused my ImmiTech peer to scramble for pen and paper.
(And please note — I’m probably not the first person to have thought of this, but I also hadn’t come across it in any of the startup, sales, growth, etc. books and blogs I’ve read over the years, so to me it felt like a novel thought. In any case, I wanted to start a conversation.)
I realized that selling automation to a prospect who currently has a fully manual process is actually harder than selling to a prospect who has already tried to automate.
In other words, taking a prospect from “zero” to “one,” to borrow from Peter Thiel, was substantially more challenging than taking them from, say, one to two. To me, this was both confusing and yet incredibly obvious, especially in hindsight. Here’s a breakdown of my thoughts.
Most B2B SaaS is, at the end of the day, some form of automation. Whether it’s a CRM platform that automates your rolodex, a healthcare app that automates clinical paperwork, or any number of other solutions that support one industry or another. Given the notion that B2B SaaS is built on automation, it follows that prospective clients that are are still totally manual would reap the greatest marginal benefit from automating with some kind of SaaS solution… right?
In my case, prospective clients comply with H-1B visa regulations by printing out what’s called a Labor Condition Application (LCA), taping it up in their office pantry to provide notice, keeping it there for 10 days, jotting those dates down somewhere, and then storing that form in a manila folder with a few other documents (called a Public Access File) for three years in the office. It’s an insane amount of paperwork and a massive logistical headache. And there are countless industries that have manual processes much like this.
So LaborLess, the startup I founded, automates that entire process — it allows employers to “post” this LCA on a digital bulletin, compiles and stores all the other documents digitally in a cloud-based folder, and otherwise relieves employers of having to deal with paperwork. And again, whatever SaaS market you’re in, you probably provide that same type of value — helping your clients get away from manual processes that are slow and error-prone.
But this was where the paradox came to light.
I had a much harder time pitching to prospective clients who had totally manual processes and who would objectively benefit the most from using my software.
At the same time I had a much easier time pitching to prospective clients who were already automating to some degree and would, objectively, benefit marginally less from using my software. I’d have to sell them on abandoning their current process in favor of mine, but it turned out that that wasn’t that big of an issue.
I was really frustrated by this. How could the companies that have fully manual processes not see the massive benefits of automation? I started to think my sales pitch was all wrong, or that I had grossly overestimated the need for what I had built, starting to doubt the entire idea. Indeed, as a startup founder, self-doubt is always on deck as the default justification for when things don’t go as planned.
Over time, however, I learned that it wasn’t me, it was outdated company culture.
I came to realize that my pitch was just fine and my product was actually pretty awesome. Rather, it was the companies at level “zero,” the ones that had fully manual process, that were culturally justnot ready to automate, despite the objective benefits of doing so. Excuses ranged from “our lawyers see too much inherent risk” (read: the lawyers are holding onto their jobs by rejecting all forms of automation) to simply “we’re happy with our manual processes” (read: we don’t want to deal with institutional red tape despite, deep down, seeing the value of automation). Frustrating, yes. Understandable? Also yes.
On the flip side, companies that were at a “one,” who already had some kind of in-house process built, even if it was just an excel macro, were the most excited about LaborLess, and ImmiTech more generally. Sure they’d have to potentially abandon a current process, but their reasoning was always something like “anything we can automate, we’ll at least consider.”
So to bring it back to the conversation I was having with my fellow ImmiTech sales manager, my advice to him was to look at the prospect’s company culture and where they are tech-wise. If they’re huge and stand to gain a lot by automating, but are generally technologically behind, it’ll be a hard sell despite the obvious benefits. Instead, I suggested, focus on more tech-savvy prospects, even if the sell seems marginally less attractive. That’s because they’re always looking to be better, are more likely to see value in new, cutting-edge tools, and therefore will pay for that marginal efficiency gain.
Of course the hope is that those prospects that are slower to adapt will eventually catch up. Or, they’ll be overtaken by their more tech savvy competitors.
Have you experienced this in your field? Please share your comments below — I’d love to start a conversation around this.
No matter which industry you’re in, sales evaluations play a major part in your company’s success. While product features and functionality are usually the most important aspects in an evaluation, buyers still consider company reputation, service and support, and future direction in the final decision.
Here are seven best practices you can apply to increase competitive win rates for your company.
Increase Competitive Win Rates
1. Highlight and demonstrate your company’s deep expertise in the customer or prospect’s industry.
Because experience in the client’s industry is critical to buyers from an overall company perspective. Make sure you’re well aligned in the opportunities you’re pursuing in terms of your company’s background and expertise.
2. Vet customer references.
Ensuring that your company has solid customer references will help to assuage any concerns customers may have about your experience in and commitment to their industry. Look for promoters who can help to evangelize your company and the strategic direction in which it’s heading. Case studies, user conferences, co-webinars, and joint customer-vendor presentations at industry events will help to showcase your most successful customer accounts.
3. Share future direction.
It’s important to share product road maps, strategic vision documents, long-term planning, and other evidence of your organization’s future direction with your customers and prospects. Ask recipients to sign non-disclosure agreements if necessary but make sure your customer base is excited about the strategic direction in which you’re headed.
4. Improve service and support.
Understanding what changes need to be made to offer customers outstanding service and support will help make your company stand out in the eyes of your customers. Leading organizations target improvements in customer experience as a competitive differentiator to ensure their customers stay loyal over the long term and don’t defect to competing vendors.
5. Understand ratings for your firm and vertical.
Make sure you understand the ratings for your company specifically, as well as your industry overall. How are buyers judging you in terms of your industry expertise, in terms of your customer references?
Also understand what’s important to buyers in your industry and how your industry is doing overall in terms of company-based attributes.
6. Leverage areas of strength; correct areas of weakness.
Look for areas of strength you can leverage, along with areas of weakness you can correct. If you know you have weak customer references, look for new accounts you can solicit as references. If you know you’ve got a solid reputation or that you consistently deliver what your sales team sold, advertise that as a key selling point.
7. Look for best practices in other industries.
Go beyond your own industry to seek out best practices that you can adopt from a company-attribute standpoint. Unlike the solution capabilities, most company-related attributes are the same, making cross-industry comparisons easy and straightforward.
Schedule a consultation with a Win Loss analysis expert to chat about increasing your sales win rate.
Originally published at www.primary-intel.com on December 13, 2017.
Automatic Workforce Scheduling is a well known problem. Indeed, and due to its complexity, it is still one of the hardest to solve successfully. If we think of retail stores, we find strongly flexible shift regulations, which makes the problem much more complex.
In this post, we’ll try to define the underlying optimization problem. We will also explain why it is difficult to solve, in a way that I hope everyone can understand.
In the shake of simplicity, we’ll try to define a really simple Workforce Scheduling scenario, that afterwards we will measure.
Our simple problem has just 10 employees. This is a fairly small ammount of people for a regular store.
Each employee can work between 3 and 8 consecutive hours per day. She also has to respec a rest of 12 hours between two consecutive working days.
There are three tasks that are regularly performed in the store: Management, Sales and Replenishment. For the shake of simplicity, every employee can do any of them.
The employees can work in the store from 08:00 to 20:00 every day.
Our goal is to assign a shift to each employee each day, satisfying all the defined labor constraints, and maximizing the coverage of the store workforce needs.
There are many ways of measuring the complexity of a problem. In fact there is a lot of theory around it and even some interesting unsolved problems. In this post, we will just focus on measuring the size of the problem, which is one of the main indicators of complexity. As a measure of the size, we will estimate the number of possible solutions.
First, let’s measure the number of different shifts that one of our employees can work in a certain day. As it’s easier, we’ll do it for each possible shift duration.
For a shift of certain duration, we could imagine sliding it from the opening time to the closing time, in order to represent all the possibilities to place it. Supposing an slicing granularity of 30 minutes, which is fair enough, we’d have:
For 3 hour shifts, 19 different possibilities:
For 3.5 hour shifts, 18 different possibilities
And we can continue this up to 8 hours, the maximum working time per day, where we find 9 ways of assigning the shift.
Summing up, we have 19 + 18 + … 10 + 9 = 135 different possibilities of assigning a shift for a particular employee in a particular day. Not so many, indeed.
We have then estimated as 135 the number of possible assignments that a particular employee can be given at a certain day. Now we want to estimate how many assignment possibilities we have for a certain person on 7 consecutive days. To do so, we will start with days 1 and 2.
First of all, it is easy to see that it is possible to combine every possible assignment on day 1 with every possible assignment on day 2. That is, for any single shift assigned to a particular person on the first day, we still can assign any of the possible shifts on day 2.
Then, we can estimate all the possible assignments for day 1 and 2 as 135 * 135 = 18.225 possible assignments. This can be seen in the following image.
Extrapolating the previous reasoning to the rest of the week, we can easily infer that the number of possible different assignments for a single person in the whole week sums up to 135 * 135 * 135 * 135 * 135 * 135 * 135. If we compute this number, we finally have:
That’s really a lot of possibilities. And we are just planning a single week, for a single person, on the simplest conditions. We are not taking into account even the fact that inside each shift we have to decide which exact tasks the employee performs!!
We have seen that the simplest problem that we could imagine is itself huge. If we keep growing that problem to match a real case, the problem becomes even bigger. Intractable problem immediatly comes to mind.
With such a big problem, is it possible to solve it, or to even find a good solution? Well the short answer is yes, we have done it in ORQUEST, but we need to elaborate a little bit more.
In the data science world, there are a bunch of techniques, normally under the denomination of combinatorial optimization, that are designed to face such challenges, though it is still really hard. Lets introduce the most relevant ones, and briefly analyze their applicability to the Automatic Workforce Scheduling problem.
Heuristics are the simplest of these techniques. By exploiting both the problem structure and the business knowledge, they construct the solution in a step by step procedure. At each moment, and from the current partially constructed solution, they make the best decision they can with the information they have at hand.
By using branching techniques, they manage to take back some of those decisions and somehow amplify the portion of visited solutions a little bit. But as we have seen before, the number of different solutions to our problem is really huge, so even if we are able to explore alternatives really fast, we’ll always be far away of exploring enough.
Several times we have seen Workforce Management algorithms that use this kind of techniques and proudly log the number of solutins they have found so far, but they will barely be less than 0.001% of the whole!!!
Metaheuristics are techniques that, starting from an initial complete solution, evolve it by evaluating neighborhoods of that solution and moving through them in the aim of finding the optimal one.
Many techniques match this characteristic, such as Tabu Search, Simulated Annealing, and more recent ones, such as Ant Colony Optimization, Particle Swarm Optimization, etc., Also Evolutionary Algorithms can be included in this category.
While these techniques have proven to be really effective in solving tons of extremely complex problems in areas such as logistics, retail, transportation, etc., they have not proven to be effective for Automatic Workforce Scheduling. The reasons behind that are quite complex to explain in a short post, but I’d say that the tight relationships between the several components of the problem is one of the main root causes of it.
Integer Linear Programming is a well known technique, with powerful state of the art commercial products behind it, such as IBM CPLEX and Gurobi. It is known to solve huge problems in areas such as manufacturing, logistics, transportation and many others.
But again, Automatic Workforce Scheduling has proven to be a hard-enough problem for them, and we’ve never seen a successful approach for this problem using these techniques (although we have actually seen several failures)
OK, as I said before, ORQUEST is able to obtain really good solutions (many of them optimal solutions) to the Automatic Workforce Scheduling problem.
ORQUEST team has invested huge ammounts of gray matter on developing sophisticated algorithms that, by mixing all of the techniques explained above, are able to solve real workforce scheduling problems with more than 100 employees and more than 1 month horizon in an automatic way in minutes.
And now, should you believe us? Well, I’d say you shouldn’t. But you can contact us, and we’ll plan a demo for you, so you can see it first hand.
Originally published at orquest.es on December 15, 2017.
Leads are the lifeblood of any business, but hunting those leads who will never buy a product is just a waste of time and money. Here we have to work smart rather than hard. If leads are visiting your website, you need to take two steps for better sales conversion rate,
Use website form to prequalify your leads.
Direct those leads to sales people for qualifying the leads.
In order to work efficiently, Here comes our Leads Builder for CRM. Let’s have a look at its new features,
Enhance your visitor retention and gives you a competitive advantage of improving your sales rate. Now Leads Builder for CRM had come up with amazing user interface to get more Leads/Contacts from your website. With this, you can largely focus on customer management, smart campaigns, personalised web engagements and much more.
No more duplicate Leads
Duplicate Leads are the irritating productivity killers. They clog up your CRM and make your lead capture services seem redundant and leads to confusion about follow-ups. With Leads Builder for CRM, you can prevent the dual entry of Lead information and lessen your multiple work. You can build duplicate free CRM with abundant Leads/Contacts at the instant of their registration in your website and update the existing information too.
Automate your Lead Capture
Streamline your lead generation by capturing the leads directly from the webforms. Leads Builder for CRM offers various webforms like Contact Form 7, Ninja Form and Gravity Form, that turns your digital marketing campaigns into lead generation machines. You can configure your CRM using secured key in one time and directly redirected to CRM form pages without any manual click.
Kindly write to us your feedback at support[at]smackcoders[dot]com or Please leave the comments below.
Understanding that will help you understand your model.
Most founders think it’s just the cost of your advertising spend.
It’s everything you spend on marketing (people + ad spend + contractors, etc) AND sales (everyone involved in the process + tools, etc)…
And that still doesn’t include anyone you might have to qualify, or the cost of running webinars, etc.
All that to say, knowing your numbers matters because it’ll help you understand where you should be in my Software Sales Matrix™.
Watch this week’s video to learn how to avoid landing in the “Startup Graveyard”… and the 3 strategies to pull you out fast.
When I sit down with a startup to help them scale their business, I always ask questions around 4 key areas.
What’s the average size of a deal on an annual basis (called ACV: Annual Contract Value).
What do your marketing activities look like and how much do you spend on a monthly basis?
What do you offer to support your customers? 1–800 #? Online FAQ? Do you send people on site to train or configure?
How does your sales process work? Who’s involved? What’s the time to close a new lead?
How do you onboard a new customer? What’s the process for them to get started?
With only the answers to these questions, I can build a complete model of their business in my mind and map it to the matrix to understand where their opportunities lie.
When it comes to scaling a SaaS business, understanding what you can invest in, and what you can’t because your pricing doesn’t allow it, is the ultimate clarity.
It’s this level of clarity that most overenthusiastic startup founders are blind to.
They dig their head in the sand… and in doing so, dig an early grave for their startup.
Watch the video to understand the two axis’s I use to evaluate startups, and place them on the grid.
Do this for your company, then leave a comment and let me know what you learned.
Can’t wait to hear where you’re at!
Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.
If you’re a business owner, take a moment to ask yourself these question, and give yourself an honest answer:
How well do you know your customers? And how well do you know your “ideal prospects”?
If you’re anything like most business owners, you’ll have a relatively good idea about who they are… But do you really know them well enough?
Can you answer these 3 following questions:
Do you know what their average income is?
Do you know what their biggest fear is?
Do you know what problems they go to bed worrying about, and wake up obsessing over?
Maybe you can… maybe you can’t right now…
But the reason I’m spouting on about all of this is because:
Great marketing starts with knowing your market inside out!
I see so many sales letters being written these days that have clearly been written without keeping the market in mind. An unsurprisingly, these sales letters bomb hard.
Point of the matter being, the market is everything.
The market dictates what the headlines of your sales letters should say… what your offer should be… what benefits to include in your ad… what benefits not to include in your ad…
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point already.
Everything starts with the market, and that is why whenever a client hires me to work on a sales letter, the first thing I do is get the client to answer 43 questions (and sometimes more depending on whats being sold) about their market.
Now, obviously, the client isn’t going to know the answer to all of these questions, and that’s okay. But the questions they are able to answer for me (and the client) a much clearer idea of their market… and thus… better copy resulting in more sales will be produced.
Quite frankly, I believe that if you hire a copywriter, and they don’t ask you many (or any) questions about your market, before starting work on your copy, you should fire them on the spot and hire someone who does.
Speaking of which…
If you’re interested in hiring a direct response copywriter who does understand the importance of the market, then shoot me an email using my contact form (link below), and let me know about your requirements.
Unfortunately, until advancements in cloning technology come along, there is only one of me. Meaning I cannot work with everyone who gets in touch with me. It needs to be a good fit for the both of us. So get in touch and we can see if we’ve got a win-win situation on our hands!
The field of sales can be a difficult one, but there is no greater feeling than making an amazing presentation to seal a huge deal. Sometimes it may seem like successful presentations are few and far between. If they are, you’re doing something wrong. Every sales presentation can be a great one with the right strategy.
You’ve probably heard the acronym KISS, which typically stands for “keep it simple stupid.” In the case of sales, KISS stand for “keep it short and simple”. Short presentations with only the essential pieces of information are the most effective ones because they don’t bore your prospect with a drawn-out explanation. Start by listing the vital information you need to give the prospect, then present your product as a solution. To make it interesting, think of the pitch as a story, with exposition, conflict, and resolution. Just don’t get bogged down in the narrative.
Something salespeople too often take for granted is conversational tone. A presentation shouldn’t be a monologue, it should be a dialogue about the product and why the prospect should be interested. Ask questions like “have you had a similar experience?” or “would this work for you?” just to make sure they’re engaged in the presentation. And if they ask questions while you’re presenting, stop and answer them. Many salespeople wait until the end to take questions, but that prevents the prospect from getting immediate clarity, perhaps at a critical juncture. If your audience doesn’t understand a key part of the pitch, you will lose them from that point forward.
Anyone can be a successful salesperson with the right techniques. Hopefully these tips, and the practice that should accompany them, will help you excel at your next presentation and beyond.
For B2B brands, there are few things more critical to your company’s overall success than your ability to reliably keep your pipeline filled with new leads. While it would be great to rely solely on inbound leads to keep it filled, a healthy balance between inbound lead generation and outbound prospecting provide a more reliable foundation for most companies.
An effective outbound sales team is a huge asset for any B2B business. They not only bring new leads into your system but they help to develop relationships and spread awareness of your brand throughout your industry. The benefits of a great sales team go way past revenue and leads.
However, most companies have a lot of problems developing a reliable outbound sales team. Most of these problems start with prospecting. In fact, 40% of salespeople say that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job.
Using the tools covered in this article, you can bolster your team’s prospecting efforts and help them to keep the top of your sales pipeline full. The best prospecting tools for 2019 that every business should know about include:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the bread and butter of many of the top B2B outbound sales teams. LinkedIn has more than 500 million users, with more than 250 million active users. Many of those are decision-makers.
As the largest professional social network, LinkedIn makes for an obvious choice of investment. Their Sales Navigator product caters to salespeople by extending the functionality of your account, providing deeper access to their database of prospects, and providing tools that help you to sift through them.
A subscription allows you to send InMail to prospects that are not in your network and lets you create prospect lists to keep your sales pipeline filled.
Uplead is a powerful tool for outbound sales teams. Their system allows you to build targeted lists of prospects from their database of more than 30 million business contacts. Their system provides you with a certain number of credits based on your subscription tier.
Then you can search for prospects by job title, function, management level, industry, location, company size, and technologies used, among others variables. They provide high-quality verified data using real-time email verification.
If your company is targeting prospects that utilize a certain piece of software or technology, there are no tools that are more valuable than BuiltWith.
Their system makes lead generation easy when combined with other tools, allowing you to build lists of websites that utilize specific technologies from their database of more than 31,404 different technologies.
Although a bit more expensive than other solutions on this list at $295 per month, it’s hard to deny the value that BuiltWith could bring to sales teams that are looking for a very specific type of prospect. It will be worth that money in time savings alone!
Hunter is a Google Chrome extension that makes finding email addresses of prospects easy! The tool allows you to search for all of the email addresses that are associated with a given domain.
It will then give you a score based on how likely it is that someone will reply to your email, as well as the number of sources that they found that led them to believe the email is legitimate.
If you can’t find a prospect’s email, Hunter supplies you with a common pattern behind all of the associated email addresses on their given domain so that you can guess what your contact’s information might be.
Prospect.io is an exceptionally valuable investment for outbound sales teams. It stands apart from the competition in its ability to provide emails of your prospects, email them, then integrate all of your data with major CRM platforms like Salesforce and Hubspot Sales.
They also offer a Chrome extension. Their credits cover all basic account activities including finding emails, verifying emails, and sending your campaigns. It’s an excellent all-in-one email prospecting solution for just $99 per month.
Being able to speak directly to your prospect’s biggest wants and needs is perhaps the most critical part of closing a sale. But researching your prospects can be a time-consuming task. Crystal Knows helps to solve their problem.
Their system analyzes publicly available data and builds a unique personality profile for your prospects. You can learn about how they prefer to communicate, what their behavioral tendencies are, and how you can adapt your communication style to align with their preferences.
It’s a powerful prospecting and sales tool that can help you to develop warm relationships with interested prospects.
HubSpot Meeting is a meeting scheduling tool that is free to use and integrates directly with the companies CRM and other tools. It makes scheduling calls and meetings with clients simple by eliminating the back and forth of scheduling meetings.
By allowing your prospects to choose the time of the meeting, you give them additional flexibility that ensures that you will be able to close meetings more regularly and at times that your prospects will appreciate.
Another offering from HubSpot, their HubSpot Sales prospect is an email management tool. Using the HubSpot CRM platform, Sales allows users to create and send custom email sequences, track when emails have been opened by prospects, and see when they have clicked the links contained inside.
If you want to make email prospecting a big part of your sales strategy moving forward, HubSpot Sales is an excellent tool that integrates with their suite of amazing products to bolster your sales teams.
Close.io is a powerful CRM platform that also includes a number of sales features. They specifically offer cold calling features that make it an exceptional choice for teams that rely heavily on the strategy.
Using their “Power Dialer” and “Predictive Dialing” features, Close.io takes all of the guesswork out of who to call next, when to call them, and how to track those conversations. Their analytics system gives you detailed insight into your cold calling efforts and can help you to improve your close rates.
Tools to Bolster Your Outbound Sales Strategies
Outbound sales teams are the golden goose of B2B companies. However, prospecting can be difficult. Using tools to help you bolster and navigate the prospecting process can save you time, make you more effective, and grow your revenue.