You want to know if you’re a connected, next generation sales person? It’s easy. You use all of these tools below.
Now, before those of you defensive, old school nerds get your panties in a wad, I’m not saying that your not a good sales person, or that you’re not making quota or that you the world has passed you buy. I’m simply, yet profoundly, saying that if you aren’t using all these tools, you are old school and most likely leaving money on the table and are slowly being left behind.
The tools of selling have changed and they are changing everyday. It was just a few years ago a Franklin Covey Day Planner, a Rolodex, A CRM, a phone and a notebook was all you really needed to kill it. No so much anymore and integrating these tools into your selling process is increasingly paramount.
Next generation seller’s are crushing it using the following;
Feedly is an RSS reader. (They did a great job capitalizing on Google’s decision to kill Google Reader.) Why does it matter? Feedly let’s you aggregate all the sales, business, industry, customer and competition blogs you need to be and should be reading. It updates regularly when any of the blogs you follow adds new content. Today’s bad ass sales people understand the importance of knowledge and information. Feedly puts it all in one place and makes it dead simple to read. With a killer mobile app, today’s new age sales people are up to date on what’s going on in there space all the time. They are only a few clicks away from a giant, relevant, dynamic library of sales and industry information.
I’m still blown away by those pretty, little note binders, I see sales people still carry around. Yeah, I used to have one, but the days of written notes are over. Let’s be real, we almost NEVER actually review the notes after meetings. It’s a rare occasion that we ever go back and read what we wrote. Especially if it was in an old notebook. How often did you go back an entire notebook looking for notes? Today’s new age sales person understands note taking is more than written notes, but that it’s about information storage and retrieval and that’s why they use Evernote. Today’s sales people use the web clipper feature to save a web page about their client or competitor. They catalog pictures of the clients products with their notes. They share their notes via email with their boss or put them in their CRM. They link their Evernote to Google search so any notes they’ve taken in the past that may be relevant to a search they are doing today will pop-up. Today’s savvy sales people aren’t just taking notes, they are capturing specific, relevant content and information about their clients, the industry, their competitors, and making it instantly retrievable.
Hootsuite (Social Management System)
Today’s savvy, new age sales person is social, period! They understand the power of social media beyond Linkedin and use it to sell. Therefore, they know that managing all their social profiles needs to be done through a single hub like Hootsuite. They know that listening is as important as sharing. They know social keywords could be the path to their next sale. They build lists on Twitter, they tweet engaging, relevant information, they participate in LinkedIn groups, they stay caught up on FB and they do it all from one place, knowing efficiency is king. If you’re not using Hootsuite (a social media management system), your not social, if you’re not social, you’re not a next gen sales person.
YesWare/ToutAp/HubSpot Sales (Email Management System)
How many times have you wondered if the email you sent was read. You haven’t heard from your prospect in a few days, and you’re wondering to yourself, should I send another, should I call her, what should I do?
Technology to the rescue my friend. Today’s savvy, next generation sales person knows that data is key and part of the data is knowing if and when their most important emails are being opened and read. Yesware, HubSpot Sales and Toutapp allows today’s sales
people to monitor when their emails are opened. They are notified and can call just when their client is reading their stuff, increasing the chance of making a connection. YesWare and Toutapp let’s today’s sales people schedule when they send emails, allowing them to manage their email when it’s most convenient for them, like at night, while sending email at the most optimal time, which could be the next day.
Tellwise/Tinderbox/ClearSlide (Sales Engagement/Buyer Automation Tools)
Just like email management systems, today’s next generation sales person leaves nothing to chance, especially their presentations and sales content. Tellwise/TinderBox and ClearSlide all allow today’s next gen sales people to track and monitor how their prospects engage with their content. What slides or pages are their prospects looking at? What are they forwarding to others in the organization? What links are they clicking on? Savvy, next generation sales people don’t wing it. They put too much time into presentations to just chuck them over a wall and hope for the best. They make sure they know how their clients are engaging with their content and adjust their deal strategy accordingly.
CardMunch (Digital Business Card Manager)
I bought 250 business cards almost 6 months ago and probably have 200 left. Business cards aren’t as important as they used to be. With LinkedIn, Google, About.me etc. it’s not too hard for us to find out the title and contact info of anyone we meet. However, when we do get our prospects or clients cards, today’s next generation sales person wastes no time in making them digital and tossing them in the recycle bin. Carrying around books of cards or spending hours inputing them into your address book is a waste of time. Next generation sales people get that the camera in their mobile phone is for more than #selfies and snapchat.
Cardmunch let sales people take a picture of a business card and then puts the information into a digital address book. It even lets them connect with the business card owner on LinkedIn with a click of a button. It keeps a copy of the business card as well as creates a new contact record in the application. One pic and contact captured.
Sales is changing and today’s next generation sales person gets it. They use the tools that make them more efficient, more productive and more engaged. They’ve expanded their ability to connect with clients, get things done and deliver.
As I said, these tools won’t make up for bad salesmanship. If you can’t sell, you can’t sell and these tools ain’t gonna make spit of difference. But, for those that do know how to sell, they are ahead of the curve. They are the next generation of sales people and they are killing it.
Are you a next generation sales person? Go on, go for it. You should be.
Are there any tools you think should be added to this list?
(Decision criteria: The tools here are tools that sales people can and should be able to leverage on their own. They can be downloaded and installed in most instances without support or approval from corporate. There are a number of additional tools that today’s next generation sales people use, however they are corporate or enterprise and sales people are reliant on their organization to purchase and adopt for them.)