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Sales Management Tools
Sales are the real life-blood of a business. A company cannot survive without revenue, and the scale of its profits is linked directly to its success and longevity.
Figuring out how to market a product or service, however, is complex. Prospects’ needs do not remain constant, at least for long. How many competitors there are and what they do to siphon off sales are also always changing. The market as a whole is a dynamic place, and survival depends on knowing how to make sales under any circumstances.
With the advent of data technology and analytics software, a new era of sales strategies has begun. The ability to monitor every facet of the market has enabled companies to introduce more effective sales strategies than ever before. It has also resulted in much tighter competition. Every company now has access to a sales toolkit; those without one may find themselves at a disadvantage.
Because of this, it is imperative that company management and sales leaders become familiar with sales software and data tech. Even a quick introduction should be enough to convince a reader about the benefits and necessity of such tools.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of sales management tools and why they’re important and useful. We’ll look at data tools for prospecting; we’ll talk about how sales software can be especially useful in B2B; we’ll list some of the best sales tools and what makes them unique; we’ll explore some of the different types of sales tools and what they’re for; we’ll talk about tools useful for startups; finally, we’ll look at some sales enablement tools.
Sales Tools for Prospecting
Data-based selling tools now exist for every aspect of the sales process and every segment of the sales pipeline including, historically, the most difficult aspects: prospecting and lead generation.
Figuring out who wants to buy your product is the first step to making a sale. The more prospects you can locate, the greater your sales. Databases now exist online which contain the contact information, preferences, pipeline behaviors, and needs of thousands of businesses and organizations. Subscribing to and consulting some of these databases is a good way to begin the search for a prospect base.
Analytics tools also exist to track engagement with web content and advertising materials generated by you and your competitors. This information can be used to determine what groups are showing interest in your products and who could be targeted for conversion. If you already have an established target demographic, this information can tell you how well or if ad campaigns and other publicity materials are funneling prospects.
Demand forecasting tools are also important for predicting behaviors of clients and prospect bases in the future. This data can help businesses continuously update and refine their sales enablement strategy to suit new market conditions.
Using these and other sales tools for prospecting is vital for growing a prospect base and a great way to make one of the most difficult facets of sales simple.
Sales Tools and Techniques
Data software has been developed for every facet of business. The best sales tools and techniques, however, are those which help your company formulate strategies and tactics for competitiveness and sales success.
B2B sales tools will focus primarily on the sales pipeline–the process by which a prospect is transformed into a client and a sale is brought to completion. Data software can track sales cycle lengths, analyze the efficacy and content of conversations, determine weak spots in the pipeline where prospects are lost or deals stagnate, and monitor the performance of individual sales representatives.
Having this information at your fingertips allows you to better understand how to connect with prospects and guide them towards closing deals. New ways of speaking with prospects during meetings, better ways of presenting, plugging, and demonstrating your product, utilization of magnets and CTAs, and development of dealmaking strategies are just the top of a long sales techniques list that sales software can help you construct and implement.
Sales software is meant to help managers and executives understand the current status of their company and, in some cases, provide glimpses of future trends. This helps them make the right decisions and deploy the right tactics to ensure profitable and longstanding b2b sales relations.
Best Sales Tools
What the most effective and best sales tools are depend on the business using them. B2B sales tools can come as standalone products, but are usually offered in comprehensive suites which cover most of the core aspects of sales and business intelligence.
DOMO markets software, which can be helpful for companies that have already invested in multiple data solutions but want to integrate them into a single nexus program. DOMO can interface with any data software and combine the data streams to generate key insights and assist in visualization.
Salesforce is one of the largest companies specializing in business solutions of all kinds. Among their offerings for sales are a comprehensive CRM, a variety of dashboards, prospecting solutions, and more.
Canopy, however, specializes in sales intelligence and management software and offers a dedicated suite covering all aspects of the sales process. Canopy offers industry-leading forecasting software to help predict future challenges and opportunities, a range of visualizers to make data tracking easy, accounting and revenue programs to keep track of profits and opex, and coaching to help your sales team be the best it can be.
These are only a few of the available data-based sales solutions available, but they are some of the most powerful and essential tools for salespeople and are guaranteed to help improve the way you run your company.
Types of Sales Tools
As with many providers of sales tools for B2B, the variety of different sales and marketing tools is also considerable. Here are a few of the main types and what they’re built to do.
Prospecting software will assist in the location of potential clients. It’s the best way to discover your prospect base so you know who to advertise to and how to do it.
A CRM stores all the data available for every prospect and client your business has interacted with. This is another great tool for understanding your base and examining how they behave in the sales pipeline.
Forecasting takes any stream of data and uses customizable parameters to generate future trajectories. This is invaluable as it prepares businesses to meet forthcoming challenges and take maximum advantage of future opportunities.
In order to condense the myriad data points your software can collect into a form that users can understand, visualizers are necessary. Dashboards and graphs help management sift through and better understand large quantities of information so they can act on them more quickly and with greater confidence.
The types of sales tools your business needs may include all or none of these. Most can be classified under these categories, however, and as such this is a good representation of the general capabilities of sales data technology.
Sales Tools for Startups
To get an idea of some of the potential uses for data software, let’s take a look at the best sales tools for startups.
Startups are nascent enterprises built around an idea for a revolutionary product or service. They are inherently small ventures that often depend on finding prospects as quickly as possible if they are to grow.
As such, some of the best tools for companies looking to grow their bases are prospect databases. These essentially work as research archives which can tell sales managers and intelligence personnel what groups are likely to be interested in a product and how to reach out to them.
Competition monitoring is invaluable for startups as well. The most brilliant ideas are always being pursued by several parties at once. Knowing what rival startups or established companies are doing to market their product can help you capture and deploy strategies that are proven to work and use them to help come up with your own ideas, too.
An accounting or revenue analysis program is another of the more important sales tools for startups. Money is a prime concern for startups and the ability to keep track of opex and resource allotment ensures a company is being wise fiscally and doesn’t go under before an idea is even sold.
Because money is often tight, startups might opt for free sales tools or no-thrills options like Excel. It is important to remember, though, that the quality of the tool correlates with the quality of its performance.
Sales Enablement Tools
Sales enablement entails ensuring that your sales team is provided with all the resources and intelligence it needs to maximize sales. Enablement tools can be just about anything, and the types of sales enablement tools a company chooses depends on what kind of business they are doing. On the most basic level, the sales enablement tools most directly relevant to sales representatives themselves are CRMs and conversational applications.
A CRM is at once a database for client and prospect info, a tracker for prospect pipeline location and motion, and a conversion probability calculator. As b2b sales enablement tools go, a CRM is indispensable as a research, diagnostic, and predictive program.
Conversational software is another vital piece of sales tools software. These applications can track past conversations with prospects who were successfully converted and others who were lost in the pipeline. This information can act as training for how best to speak and interact with prospects to make them feel confident, have faith in your product, and eventually convert.
Staying competitive, staying profitable, and above all making sales now means knowing the data. Come visit us at our website and let us show you what our industry-leading suite of digital sales enablement tools can do to take your business to the next level.