For most businesses, sales and marketing play equally important roles in driving growth for your company.
The SmartForms blog recently highlighted the importance of marrying your lead generation and sales prospecting strategies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of both sales and marketing.
Then, over on the ReachForce blog, a recent post detailed the role technology can play in actually bringing those two teams together. In short, as new platforms develop focused on integrating the needs of sales professionals and digital marketers, businesses are seeing an increase in lead conversions.
But, what tools should you be using to improve your sales prospecting efficiency and effectiveness?
That is exactly what this post covers. You will learn about six sales prospecting tools you can implement today to boost the productivity and conversion rates of your sales team.
#1. Content Library
Salespeople might balk at the idea of using a content library, thinking it is a tool exclusively for marketers.
That is simply not the case. In fact, a quality content library tool - like Attach.io - can be one of the most effective solutions for sales prospecting.
That is because, as you likely know, leads want to do their own research before having a conversation with a sales representative. In fact, according to the 2016 Content Preferences Survey report, B2B buyers review three to five pieces of content on average before contacting a salesperson.
What does a content library do for you?
- Easier access to the content your leads care about. A library of content allows you to save valuable time finding the right materials to pass along to leads.
- Alerts when leads access the content. Most content library platforms will notify you when your recipient accesses the content you shared, meaning that you can quickly follow-up with a phone call or email.
- Content insights. The analytics on these platforms can be a game changer for you in sales. You can see how much time your leads spend on each page of the content you share. So if your lead is lingering on the pricing page, it might be a good time to reach out.
#2. Google Alerts
Setting up Google News Alerts for each of your target companies might take a little time, but the return on investment can be huge for relationship building.
Think about it. Most salespeople contact their leads with very little insight into their business, goals, or factors that may hinder (or help with) investing in new solutions. They reach out blind.
Google Alerts are free, unlimited, and sent to you in short digests you can quickly skim each morning. Look for major shifts in leadership, big product launches, and successful earnings results as key indicators for potential buying periods.
If nothing else, Google Alerts give you an icebreaker for your cold call. Rather than launching directly into your pitch, referencing something going on at their company shows you have done your research and really care.
With over 500 million member profiles from around the world, there is no better database of companies and key decision-makers than LinkedIn. Whether you choose to operate on the free version of the platform or upgrade to their Sales Navigator tool, you will find a wealth of information about who you should be contacting within target companies.
Once you have found those target companies, Hunter.io, a “freemium” chrome extension, can help you quickly get the contact information you need to introduce yourself. LinkedIn hides member contact information to anyone outside your immediate network, but Hunter.io will scan the web for the lead’s email address and feed it back to you directly through Chrome. You are able to do 150 free searches per month (a pretty generous start) before being prompted to upgrade to one of their paid solutions.
#5. Referral Software
Hopefully, you know by now the value and importance of creating an easy way for current customers to make referrals. There is arguably no better lead than a quality referral. Though the majority of happy customers are happy to make a referral, few sales reps think to ask. Even if you do ask, making the process simple for your customer is key.
That is where a good referral platform - like Ambassador - can be tremendously helpful. Give your leads an incentive to share your solution with their network. The end result will likely be high-quality, new leads generated just for you.
#6. Data Management Software
Any successful sales prospecting strategy requires data management software. It is pretty much a no-brainer at this point.
The simple reason is because you cannot make contact with leads if you do not have accurate data, plain and simple. Data management software - like ReachForce - unifies information from across all inbound channels along with your CRM and then scrubs the data clean of incorrect information. Finally, a good platform fills in gaps where data is missing in real-time. That way, you are able to follow-up with your most qualified leads quickly and effectively.