“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas Edison
This is a quote that every salesperson will resonate with; from unanswered emails and, calls to the hostile and disinterested prospects, they deal with a lot for each and every closure. It’s their persistence that makes them such an integral part of a company and its success. One of the key elements of growing any business is having a steady team of sales leads.
But as an agency, one needs to ensure that the sales team is equipped with some great tools that’ll ease their otherwise tedious job.
We spoke to some of the top agency leads and have created an expert roundup of sales enablement tools that can improve sales efficiency. Oh yes, along with some tips to get it right!
Q: What tools does your agency use to improve sales efficiency?
The tools we use at Marcel Digital to increase sales efficiency completely depends on the client and their specific business needs. To do so, we choose from a suite of best-in-class tools that give us the ability to research, strategize, and implement a comprehensive approach to increasing sales and engagement.
Internally at Marcel, we use tools like SugarCRM for customer relationship management; Act-On for marketing automation; and Hotjar to understand how well our users are engaging with the marketing materials on our website. This helps improve our web experience, and also helps us streamline our sales process, and more relevantly upsell clients (if) there is an opportunity.
We use a combination of tools for sales and account management. Our inbound leads go directly to an open account manager, who talks to them and understands their requirements, after which they build a customized marketing package. For all the customisations we use WooCommerce.
Once the closure is made, we use form.io to generate an intake form, specifically catered to the services purchased. Then we forward it to the account manager’s dashboard which is in Infusionsoft, which helps us automate the onboarding using their sales automation workflows. This automatically generates meetings, reminders, emails, and to-dos in order to get the account up and running.
The day-to-day tasks are overseen by the account managers in Asana, which is a project management system we use to assign tasks to team members in each department. When tasks are completed they automatically go back to the infusionsoft account, through Zapier, so the account manager can see the completed task on their respective dashboard.
We use Trello to manage our sales funnel, as it’s incredibly simple and effective. We also use Intercom.io for custom page-level messaging on our website, this helps us to cater the message according to the content the visitor is viewing; this has increased our response rate by over 20%. Tying Intercom with Slack ensures we see the messages right away and get back to potential prospects without any delay.
However, our go-to sales tool is the mobile app we built to help businesses get online reviews. We offer the tool for free to single-location businesses.
I’m a big fan of the Leadfeeder tool to improve sales efficiency. As focused as we are in driving quality web traffic, the tool gives me visibility for the companies that visit my website, and that knowledge helps us focus on the prospecting efforts the agency. Moreover, it further gives me a macro-economic view of what industries are seeking in terms of marketing improvements/change.
When it comes to sales enablement, our go-to tools are Zapier and IFTTT. We mostly use cloud connectivity apps to create triggers between various platforms. For example, when we add a new “deal” to Hubspot, Zapier automatically creates a task list and adds to our project management platform – Teamwork, which notifies our operations team about the upcoming deal.
We love Trello, it is a great tool that helps us get leads and also lets us record everything in an open ended format. It’s cloud based, hence we can capture everything and manage it our way. Well, I can’t really say it has improved our closure rates, or anything tangible that can be measured, but it has definitely eased and streamlined our CRM process.
We’ve been using Hubspot for 18 months to improve our sales and marketing efficiency. The integration between the two sides of the tool is like magic. The Sales Professional tools, which comes at an additional fee each month per sales executive, create efficiencies for personalized outreach to our prospects.
WEBITMD uses a number of tools, but our primary tool is Hubspot for our inbound and Growth clients. The marketing automation and tracking features not only helps us to understand how buyers engage with content, but what type of messaging to send to different buyers depending on their requirements. Moreover, the tool has a powerful segmentation feature that allows us to keep a check on our leads and avoid any fallout.
At Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital we use Infusionsoft at the core of our sales process. It allows us to automate quick responses to clients and keep them informed with relevant information along the way. It’s so powerful that we’re working on automating much of our sales process all the way through intake.
At Kobe Digital we mostly use our in-house tools, as we believe in automating most of the processes. Although Zapier is very effective and helps achieve a lot of functionality, we feel that for the level of customization we desire, we get the best results from our specific tools. In the future we may even license the software we create to other agencies. We truly believe our tools can be beneficial not only to agencies, but also for clients and the industry as a whole.
We have our own unique marketing automation tool to manage our pipeline and nurture leads into a conversion – FairLeads. Our tool has been customized to interact with business prospects at every stage of the sales funnel. FairLeads delivers a fully automated sales cycle that allows you to identify and communicate with potential customers one-on-one like never before.
Q: What is your number one tip to improve sales efficiency?
Patrick Delehanty, Marketing Manager at Marcel Digital
If you can’t speak directly to your client’s or prospect’s needs and pain points, you show a lack of understanding and empathy, thus killing your sale or opportunity. Clients and prospects want to be heard and their pain points understood. Our job as marketers and sales professionals is to hear and tailor our message specifically to those pain points, and create solutions that better align our prospect’s goals with our business goals. Only when we create relevance in our messaging and sales process can we increase efficiency overall.
Erik Radle, CEO at Miller Ad Agency
Deploy every tool you can to understand the needs of the customer. Knowing how to offer solutions that are on target vs. just pushing the products in your bag is the absolute key.
Jen Saunders, CEO at WEBITMD
Increasing sales efficiency through tools means you need to focus on the buyer, and determine which tools will help you reach people with the right content. Agencies also need to scale their tool set and look for platforms that can perform multiple tasks. This may look like an efficiency play, but when there is less internal chaos it means there is more time to create sales opportunities through qualified leads.
Matthew Egan, CEO at Image Freedom
We see so many end-game techniques taught in business classes, but the soft skills are often ignored. It’s all in the basics like email etiquette and being available to the customers and just getting the work done. Additionally, if you can converse with your prospects in their language then you can go a long way, as it has always worked for us. You need to understand that the customers are not just buying your service/product, but they’re also trusting you. So learn to win their trust and become a friend.
Adam Broetje, CEO at Odd Dog Media
Whenever we commit to delivering a proposal, we always schedule a time with the client to deliver it either in person or via a screenshare. This allows us to explain the items in detail, answer any questions and make adjustments immediately if needed. If we can’t deliver in person, then we record a custom video with HYFY.io to make it as personalized as possible.
Paula Keller French, Director of Sales & Marketing at Search Influence
The number one tip to improve sales efficiency is to understand the power of all the tools at your fingertips, and to use (or at least try out) all of the features available. I’ve seen people manually logging calls, when, if they hooked up their phone to the CRM system, they could automatically have all of those calls tracked. I also see people setting tasks to do things manually, when both steps could be automated.
You must have a champion for the system within your organization – to assure you are leveraging the tool to capacity from implementation through product updates.
Gary Shouldis, CEO at 3 Bug Media
My only tip is that make sure that your marketing and sales teams are working closely. This will ensure that your sales team is getting the right kind of leads, and the marketing team can provide them with the necessary collateral in order to close the deals.
Casey Meraz, Founder & CEO at Ethical Consulting
My number one tip to improve sales efficiency is to use automation whenever possible. The front end setup is a lot of work depending on how many products or services you offer, but if you can segment your audience based on their needs and get them the most relevant information quickly and in an automated way, you will save a lot of time and money.
Dan Golden, President & Chief Search Artist at Be Found Online
Always try to make real human connections with your customers. 5 more calls a day? That’s 3 more sales a month!