There are never enough hours in a day, don't you agree?
As a Sales Professional, you have a number of thoughts running through your mind, to-do lists compiled and issues to resolve (for your own company and those of others). It is critical that you make the most of each eight-hour workday, to the best of your best ability.
That means you need a way to:
- Complete research faster
- Prioritize leads more quickly
- Track your prospect's engagements more accurately
- Target your niche marketing more effectively
We've compiled a few, 9 to be specific, of our top sales hacks to help you work smarter, not harder. If you're like us, you don't have time to slow down. You need to keep forging ahead and here's how:
9 Inbound Sales Hacks You Can Start Using Now
1. Automate whenever you can.
One of the best ways to begin embracing automation is with email. At this day and age, it just doesn’t make sense to write individual emails to all of your leads. Not only because of the lack of time we have, but the amount of technology helps make writing email easier. Thankfully, marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot, have simplified the process of compiling contact information, organizing it into lists and then emailing them. You can create a list of prospects separate from customers or even split prospect lists into buyer persona segments, for higher impact.
At New Breed, we also encourage our sales team to leverage email templates. We use Sidekick, along with Google Apps, and it gives us the unique ability to load templates into our reps' accounts . They have easy access to pre-written (and proven) email templates which are completely customizable to their individual needs. It not only saves them time, but each email is also tracked in our CRM (we'll talk about in a second) so our reps can continue to stay informed about the conversations they've had with each prospect, without having to dig through their inbox.
2. Develop and follow a prospect/account research process (via Matt Heinz).
Before you have a meeting or a call, is there a standardized process you and your fellow sales advisors follow? There should be; it could be costing an hour or more of valuable selling time. Ideally, you should create a 3-minute standard routine which includes checking LinkedIn profiles, completing a Google search and using other tools (like Sidekick) to discover specific information to leverage during the call. This information can be utilized in a number of ways to help build a relationship with the prospect.
3. Utilize a CRM.
We prefer Salesforce or the HubSpot CRM to keep track of daily conversations with prospects. By taking notes and tracking them in your CRM, attached to the specific contact, you’ll be able to immediately refresh yourself on your last conversation while looking for their contact information. This allows you to efficiently plan for your call, which in turn makes effective use of all parties’ time.
4. Utilize FollowerWonk.
FollowerWonk (created by MOZ) allows you to scrape the profiles of Twitter users for your buyer personas and connect with them. It’s the beginning step to relationship building and helps you have a more meaningful conversation because you know what interests them.
5. Utilize LinkedIn.
- Make yourself searchable: sprinkle keywords throughout your profile regarding your areas of expertise. Therefore you’ll be able to appear in online searches.
- Ask for recommendations: giving and getting recommendations are a great way to build up the trust factor between
- Take advantage of groups: There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn for a wide variety of audiences. This places the opportunity to connect with your buyer personas in your hands. By doing so, you can create powerful relationships. Karen Yankovich, LinkedIn evangelist, suggests groups with 200 to 1,000 members. The best groups to join are those in which members are asking and answering questions.
Complete outreach in the morning (first thing is ideal) and handle it either by phone, email, message board, chats, or social media. This increases the likelihood of a response because you’re giving your prospects more of their day to respond to you. Plus, your email will likely be closer to the top of their inbox as they are arriving to work in the morning.
7. Embrace the data your CRM provides.
Not only will it increase productivity, it will help you determine the logistical elements of your process, such as reaching out at the best time. Aside from informing when you should call specific prospects, your historical sales data allows you discover what opportunities are most likely to close. This way you can shift the timing of communications with prospects over a longer timeline.
8. Every superhero needs a Sidekick.
A great tool to track when prospects have opened emails is Sidekick (although as we mentioned earlier, this tool does much more than just that). When you’re notified that they’ve opened your email, you can call them. By doing so, you know that you’re on their mind already and this can help the call go smoother.
9. One of the best sales hacks, in our opinion, is aligning your sales and marketing teams.
There are many, many reasons why this is beneficial for business from efficiency to effectiveness, and we've talked about it before. Aligning your teams takes time but a quick way to begin leveraging alignment is to schedule a weekly touch-base meeting. During this meeting you can:
- Discuss weekly metrics: This gives Sales an idea of what type of content Marketing is producing and promoting and how leads are engaging with it.
- Discuss sales enablement tools needed: This way Sales can let the Marketing team know what resources they need to help nurture and close more leads.
- Discuss current leads, opportunities, open contracts, closed deals, etc.: This will give the Marketing team an idea of not only how effective their marketing strategy is, but how it can become more niche based on the individuals coming into the pipeline and making their way through it.
- Allows you all, as a team, to determine how you can get better leads, not more leads: You’ll get to a point where you’ve surpassed your lead goal and you need to begin being more selective about your prospects. Nothing kills efficiency like Marketing creating ‘ineffective’ content and Sales nurturing leads they’ll just end up 'breaking up with' in the end. (I say ineffective in quotes because the content created is bringing in leads but our buyer personas.)