Have you ever calculated how much time it takes your company from starting a sales process until the sales team finally closes an agreement and the contract is signed by the client? Surely, that time could be reduced to at least half.
The key is knowing how to optimize the sales processes and deciding which tools your sales team needs to do more in less time. In this post, we propose five digital tools that will increase the productivity in your sales department, expand their capabilities, and will help them to be more effective in their commercial work.
This post is also available in Spanish.
What digital tools does your sales team need to be more productive?
1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRMs - customer relationship management software - is a tool that is a must for any sales team. They replace and improve the old system of customer records, documents that were saved on paper and which contained every client's relationship history with the company (and many SMEs are still using this system!).
The benefits of having a CRM are many, since they are an online customer database that record the relationship history with each customer, but to a level of detail that would have been impossible to maintain in the offline world.
In a CRM, data is collected on each interaction the company has had with each customer, offering insights into which customers are more profitable, with which there are still business opportunities (cross selling and upselling), who are more or less satisfied with the services provided, etc.
With all of the information that is collected, CRMs are tools that help improve the productivity and effectiveness of sales teams. Additionally, it's ability to integrate with more and more third-party applications enhances its usefulness for companies.
For example, our electronic signature solution can be integrated with any CRM via API, so the document and contract signature flow can be controlled and managed directly from the customer relationship management software that your company is already using.
Some of the most famous CRMs in the market are: Salesforce, Pipedrive, OnContact, etc.
2. Apps that digitize business cards
Although digital business cards already exist, exchanging paper business cards continues to be a common practice among professionals in any company or sector. And it is still common to continue accumulating them disorganized throughout the office, or even directly losing them.
Until the use of digital business cards becomes mainstream, the ideal solution to keep your new contacts organized and updated, and always on-hand, is using an app to digitize business cards.
These digital tools allow you to save the business card’s information directly into your contacts on your mobile phone, and many of them also offer to synchronize these new contacts with your email address book.
Some examples of these types of apps are: SamCard and Contact Snapper (free, but only available for iOS), Camcard (available for iOS, Android or Windows Phone) or Evernote (to use their business card scanning service you need a premium account).
3. Video Conference Software
Surely in your company you also have customers from other countries. Or maybe not yet, but the option of opening new markets today is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. Why not try it?
To organize virtual meetings with those customers and potential customers, located in other countries or regions, it's essential that your sales team has a powerful tool for video conferences.
Video conferences allow you to speak face-to-face with your customers in a virtual way, thus providing the same confidence as in a physical meeting, meanwhile avoiding incurring any travel costs.
In addition to Skype and Google Hangouts, some other popular tools for video conferences are Gotomeeting or Webex.
4. Online lead generators
If you're familiar with the concept of inbound marketing, you will know that lead generation is key to grow your customer base.
What is a lead and what is lead generation?
A lead is a person that, in some way, has shown interest in the product or service that your company sells.
Lead generation is the process of drawing attention (attracting) and converting any person into a lead. That means, it is about getting potential customers interested in your product or service and convincing them in a natural way so that they finally make a purchaseSource: Hubspot
There are many strategies, tactics and tools to generate leads, but one of the fastest and most effective for sales departments are the online lead generators.
One of the most popular is LinkedIn Sales Navigator: with information on more than 500 million users, this tool recommends those who could be potential customers for your company based on their profession, the sector where they work, their preferences, etc. In addition, it also allows you to get the email of any person on Linkedin, even if they are not in your network, and can be integrated into any CRM.
5. The electronic signature
As we have already mentioned in our post on how to speed up your sales cycle, the culmination of any sales process is signing the contract. After all the efforts of a sales professional, and once a client is already convinced that he/she wants to acquire your product or service, he/she must try to close the sales process as soon as possible.
Despite the fact that today we are accustomed to immediate results due to digitizing transactions, in many companies signing contracts with clients (or providers) continues being an offline process. That means: very slow.
The customer receives the contract by mail or via email. In the second case, he/she will still have to print it, scan it, sign it and return it signed to the company. Most of us no longer have patience for these types of processes (it is also likely that the majority no longer even have a printer).
To solve this final step in the fastest and safest way possible, any salesperson will need an electronic signature solution that will allow him/her to send contracts to sign, and receive them signed in a matter of hours.
Thanks to electronic signature tools such as the one offered by Signaturit, it's no longer necessary to print documents to sign, but now people can sign it directly from any mobile device - smartphone, tablet, laptop - or desktop computer. In addition, in the case of the solution that Signaturit offers, the signer doesn’t need to be registered in our platform in order to sign.
If your sales team uses the electronic signature, the sales cycle can be closed practically in the same moment that an agreement is reached with the customer. It won't be necessary to wait days (or even weeks) to obtain a signed contract. The speed of the process will benefit the customer as well as your company, seeing how the sales cycle is shortened and how the sales team productivity increases.
Putting these types of tools available for your sales team will not only help them to be more productive - close deals in less time - but will also make them feel valued by the company, since they’re being provided with a series of basic tools to perform their job in the best way possible.
This post is also available in Spanish.