by Karen Wessels, co-founder of VA Connect and co-founder of SnappSales
Recently I had the privilege of speaking to a roomful of successful businesswomen about the importance of sales. These business owners required ideas on how to build sales confidence and also practical tools to implement in their business to assist with scaling and growing their enterprises.
Thanks to being on this entrepreneurial journey for close to a decade I’ve had the opportunity to try and test many applications (apps) and means of doing business effectively, whereby getting the results that I had set out to achieve.
Based on my talk I wanted to share my top 3 sales tools with you so that you can implement them readily to start seeing tangible productivity results which will ultimately lead to a growth in sales.
1. CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software isn’t just for the corporates. Smaller businesses need them too. Why? It’s very effective to have all your client details in a central place that is cloud-based, where you can update data on the go, that is, via your mobile phone and access what happened at your last meeting with your prospect or customer. CRM Software allows you to keep track of possible leads and move them through the sales funnel until they become long-term clients. From there you can share data with the rest of your team and literally at a push of a button on your phone you can track what is going on with each and every client. Super handy!
Here are some CRM systems to take a look at. Remember, you need to do your research in order to find the best one for your business, needs and budget.
HUBSpot : This is quite a pricey option, however, HUBSpot is great at combining a sales and marketing based CRM system that can integrate with many other applications. Plus, by taking advantage of their free downloads and tools you are empowering yourself & your team.
Vtiger : This is an open-source CRM software, which is great especially if you have access to someone who can code as they can strip away a lot of the features and customise it completely for your business. Vtiger is free plus it offers a myriad of features which includes emailing marketing and making calls.
ZoHo : A really great option, this CRM does come with a monthly investment, however, it can integrate fully with your Google-suite, that is Gmail, etc. and they brag that you don’t have to manually input data. Definitely one to consider!
2. Digital Meeting Apps
Driving to meetings seems so, dare I say it, “old-fashioned”. I love arranging digital meetings, especially if it’s an intro meeting, because you can decide from there whether you want to continue down the path with your prospective client or supplier. Once you are sure you want to engage with them you can arrange an in-person meeting, unless of course they are on the other side of the country or globe! ☺
Here are a few online meeting room apps to consider as part of your sales toolbox :
Skype : Skype has been around for years and most people are familiar & comfortable with this app. You can host video calls, share screen and quickly message someone if you see they are online.
Go To Meeting : This app is very much favoured overseas and offers a great place to meet digitally. This one does come with a monthly price tag.
Zoom : My all-time favourite digital meeting room app! 9.5 times out of ten you have clear audio, video calling is no problem and multiple attendees don’t place a strain on the calibre of the meeting. You can record your session, share screen, message and there is a mobile app. Plus, it’s free! And if you upgrade you can even host webinars – sounds like a win-win to me.
3. Lead Generation
In order to continuously fill your sales pipeline with quality sales leads you need to prospect on a regular basis. Prospecting forms the foundation of lead generation. You can either do this through cold calling, email marketing or other means.
Let me share two ways with you.
Mautic : This is a great email marketing tool. If you’re familiar with Infusionsoft, you’ll know that it’s quite an intense and heavy system to set up. You literally have to go for training to use this system! However, Mautic has similar features yet is far easier to navigate and set up. Email marketing is an excellent way to generate leads, as long as it is done correctly, you use converting content and keep feeding prospects the right information for them to sit up and take note. Remember to make sure that you are POPI and GDPR compliant when doing this kind of outreach.
LinkedIn : Probably the best sales tool right now for lead generation, especially if you run a B2B (business to business) business. Stats show that 81% of all leads generated in the B2B space comes from LinkedIn. Are you on LinkedIn? Is your profile up to date? Are you leveraging the power of LinkedIn to generate amazing sales leads? Develop a relationship online, create trust and credibility. Ensure that your brand is seen at least 8 times. Keep your prospects engaged. Develop that relationship, kindle the spark and you will be sure to align yourself with the right crowd on LinkedIn!
Bringing it together
There are so many apps and tools out there to help automate and streamline certain areas of your business. Don’t get overwhelmed by the choices and also don’t forget the human factor when it comes to sales. These tools are great to have, however, people buy from people, so be sure to bring the human touch in during your sales journey.
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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