As you run your business, you should constantly be looking for ways to improve your sales team’s productivity and efficiency. The goal is to increase your sales, but staying organized will improve your company as a whole. Let’s look at eight sales tools that I recommend to small business owners. When used effectively and properly, they’ll increase the results and success of your business.
Sales Tools for Tracking Sales
Having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference between failure and success. As a small business owner, you’re short on money, workforce, and time. You need items in your toolbox that you can rely on so you don’t have to spend countless hours each day manage things yourself.
1. A CRM System
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is essential to staying organized within your sales time and throughout your company. A CRM will store all of your contacts and their relevant information. You can also use it to record any interactions you’ve had with them and where they are in their buying journey. Easily see when you’ve last spoken with them, what you discussed, if they made a purchase, and other activities. Implement a CRM system that works in conjunction with the sales process you’ve established for increased sales performance.
Explore a cloud-based CRM solution that can be accessed anywhere. As a result, your team members can see updates in real-time, enabling efficient multi-team collaboration. The best thing about a CRM system is that you can automate a lot of your workflow. For example, your sales team can spend more time talking with customers instead of organizing their data.
There are multiple CRM options available but look for ones that offer a free trial or version as you’re just getting started. HubSpot CRM has a free program for businesses to use. For your sales team, they can see the full picture of your sales pipeline. The dashboard is clean and easy to use, and your sales team can track how they’re progressing toward their sales quota. If you’d like more advanced features, HubSpot offers paid versions that help you further organize your data and close on sales.
2. E-Signing Software
Small business owners should invest in software that enables them to receive and send signatures virtually. This makes it far easier for business owners to send contracts and proposals. Your clients can review it and sign it much faster than if they had to print it out, sign it, and then mail you back the hard copy. You’ll be able to lock in more contracts and get paid faster when your customers can e-sign your documents.
Some examples of e-signature tools are HelloSign and DocuSign. They each offer packages of various tiers that include different features depending upon your business needs. Like we recommend with CRM software, explore doing a free trial first before committing to ensure you like the user interface and that it works for your needs.
Sales Tools for Customer Outreach
3. Survey Tools
Learning about your customers is essential to staying relevant. Not only do you keep your current customers, but you’ll also learn what potential customers are looking for. The things you learn about your customers will drive all your future marketing efforts and campaigns.
Identify who your happy customers are. They’ll help you get referrals, as well as repeat business. By identifying unhappy customers, you can be proactive about what’s making them unhappy and hopefully remedy the situation. By better understanding your customers, you’ll have more success delivering relevant products and services.
SurveyMonkey is a great tool that enables you to create professional-looking surveys. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to figure it out. With SurveyMonkey, you can:
- Gather customer feedback via email, weblink, social media, and more
- Create quizzes, polls, and surveys
- Analyze your results with the integrated analysis features
- Export your results
- Integrate the data with your app of choice
Make data-driven decisions that are better for your business with the results you get from customer surveys.
4. Sales Navigator
Connect and find potential customers with ease by using a sales navigator. With a platform like LinkedIn Premium Business, you can connect with various types of people that can help grow your business. This can include job candidates, journalists, partners, and leads. Depending upon your budget and goals, there’s a subscription plan to fit your needs. LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps make looking for new sales even easier.
The tool offers:
- Advanced search capabilities so you can search for leads for your company
- Customer lead recommendations
- A built-in dashboard that tracks and measures your selling results
- Sales updates in real-time for prospects and customers
LinkedIn offers a free trial of their Sales Navigator. Give it a try to see if it helps you bring in new business.
Sales Tools for Managing Sales
5. Invoicing Software
You want your payment process to be as simple as possible for your customers. The more simple it is, the faster you get paid. An invoicing tool is essential for being able to create invoices in a matter of minutes. With FreshBooks, you can create an invoicing template to reuse with each new customer. You can customize it to each order, add in your business’s logo, and write a personalized thank you note. Your clients can pay with credit cards, which is much faster than getting paid by check. You can set up an auto-reminder to gently nudge customers that haven’t paid during the allotted timeframe.
6. Order Management and Inventory Software
If your business sells physical goods, staying on top of your orders and inventory is essential to ensuring you don’t run out of product or overstock. Order management and inventory software can help with all of that. Most programs include the following features:
- Notifications when you’re running low on a certain item so you can reorder
- Barcode scanning system so you can stay up to date on your stock levels
- Reporting that lets you know your current inventory’s value, which products get you the most profits, how much you’ve sold, and more
InFlow and Xero are two different options small business owners can use. With Xero, you can access all of the features the software offers for free for 30 days. You’ll get a clear snapshot of which features your business needs so you can make an informed decision when selecting a plan. InFlow offers a cloud-based system, so all of your team members can see your inventory in real-time.
Sales Tools for Productivity
7. Scheduling Software
Appointment scheduling tools are much more efficient for scheduling appointments than the neverending back and forth via email or phone with customers. Simply send them a link, and they can select the best date and time for them. What’s even better is you’ve already customized the scheduling tool with your availability, so it only offers them times that are convenient for you. It’s a win-win scenario.
You can use a scheduling tool to schedule any type of appointment: sales calls, interviews, demos, etc. For sales representatives, the tool we recommend is Calendly. One of the great things about Calendly is that you’re able to view your entire team’s availability on one page. You can try out their free trial or opt for the no-cost option with basic features.
8. Video Conferencing Tool
Over the past year, communicating virtually with our team and customers has never been more important. There are many different web and video conferencing services available, but Zoom is one of the best ones you can use.
Some of the features of Zoom include:
- Host a meeting with or without video
- Share your screen with meeting participants
- Host a webinar
- Group collaboration
- Share a meeting with a link to multiple contacts
- Easy to use mobile application
Conducting sales demos is essential for sales teams. However, if someone lives in a different area, it can make doing that difficult. Zoom enables your sales team to each all types of clients, no matter where they live. Offering web conferencing as an option during their sales process will set them apart from the competition. They’ll be able to connect directly to customers. People like to see the human side of businesses, so face-to-face contact is important.
Explore Different Sales Tools to Boost Your Business’s Sales
Many of these tools can improve your company’s productivity and make you more organized, contributing to increasing sales. Not having a well-thought-out system in place for how you manage customer leads, find new ones, and communicate with them will cost you sales. You need to know what’s going on in your business at all times, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time analyzing every aspect of your business. Let these sales tools do the work for you.
For more tips and tricks to increase the sales of your small business, check out one of my other articles.