As your business grows, the need to build a scalable sales process becomes more critical — but deciding which sales tools to invest in can be a daunting task.
The good news is that there are plenty of sales tools and apps available to help you create your linear sales process that will allow you track and measure your sales results and improve them over time.
After working helping companies build better sales funnels and systems for the last 5 years, we’ve identified the 5 categories of software tools that you simply must have to create a modern, streamlined and efficient sales process.
Tool 1 – Your CRM
Your CRM system will sit at the heart of your sales process and is the central platform where all your contacts, customer details, leads and opportunities are stored. It is likely to be the tool that your sales team will use the most, so spending time researching and implementing the right CRM for your needs is critical.
This can be a daunting task as once you decide to move forward with your CRM software, it can be very labour intensive to get it setup correctly. If you decide 6 months later the tool that you selected is not what you needed in the long run, you may end up wanting to jump ship to another CRM solution. This can cause a lot of disruption to your business and set your growth plans back months (if not years). If you have the resource, we recommend that you work with a CRM expert to help guide you in making the right decisions. This will save you a lot of time and energy.
If researching and deciding for yourself, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is ‘is this CRM easy to use?’. Once you feel comfortable with the system, it’s time to get input from your team by demoing and showcasing the features so that they understand what is possible. It’s very important to get their buy-in when selecting a tool like this as it will be them, that uses the system day to day more than you.
Most companies that are looking to build a scalable sales process by implementing funnels and workflows have some unique-ness about the way that they operate. Make sure that the CRM that you select is customisable enough for your needs, as it’s very unlikely that it will fit you perfectly ‘out of the box’.
A few things to think about here are:
- What kind of custom fields can I create?
- Do I need to create any custom record types and does the CRM allow that?
- How customisable are the opportunity/company/lead records?
Once you have an understanding of what you need from your CRM and you have checked it over for customisability and feature set. You can start to compile a list of potential tools to use.
To get you started, here a few CRM tools that we recommend investigating:
There are thousands of CRM tools on the market but these solutions have been around for years, are tried and tested and are already used by thousands of small and medium sized businesses that are looking to build better sales funnels and processes for scale. You will have access to incredible support and there are plenty of expert consultants and agencies that can help you get setup for success if you need the help.
Tool 2 – Your Email Marketing Platform
Email marketing remains one of the most effective and efficient marketing channels to sell your services, promote your message and nurture relationships with prospects and customers.
By utilising an email marketing platform as part of your scalable sales process, you will be able to automate the delivery of your branded communications and use targeted content to deliver the right message, at the right time. This is incredibly useful for building trust over time with leads that are moving through the stages of your sales funnel.
We recommend that when selecting your email marketing solution, you think about a few things like:
- Does this tool allow us to segment our leads automatically for better personalisation?
- Does it allow us to easily setup and track goals for email sequences?
- Does it allow us to move leads from one sequence to another easily?
- Does it allow us to track activity like opens, clicks and purchases easily?
Most email marketing tools on the market should offer the above functionality but it’s always best to check. Segmentation is one of the most important features of any email marketing tool as your leads are expecting a personalised and tailored buying journey.
One thing to note – if you have already selected your CRM system, it may have an email marketing automation tool built into it or available as an add-on. Lot’s of software providers are combining these features as they are commonly used together. Having email marketing data visible in the CRM to your sales team is incredibly helpful for them when analysing what communications their leads have been receiving and engaging with.
Most of the CRM tools mentioned above already have these features built in. But if you are looking for a separate email marketing tool you can take a look at the following:
These standalone tools tend to have a more niche target market like ecommerce or creators. We’d highly recommend that you opt for a tool that is build for companies and integrated with your CRM easily. Ontraport, Hubspot and ActiveCampaign are our winners for this.
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Tool 3 – Your Self Serve Calendar
Going back-and-forth over email trying to arrange a suitable time for a call or meeting is frustrating at the best of times. More importantly, it’s losing you and your sales team revenue. With every email that is sent, your potential customer has to make another micro-decision as to whether to continue the sales conversation with your company. This gives more opportunities for your lead to fall through the cracks or decide that they are no longer interested.
Luckily, there is a simple solution!
It’s time to invest in a self-serve calendar app and let your potential new customers schedule a time to speak with you that suits them best. There are many benefits to this including:
- Your customer can feel in control of their own buying journey, increasing their engagement.
- They are more likely to show up to the appointment because it was them that scheduled it and your app will send automatic reminders for them.
- You can setup structured appointment slots for you or your team so that you’re keeping control of your calendar and work on the things that matter at the best time for you.
Most B2B service-based businesses will need at least one meeting, video conference or phone call to close the sale, so it makes sense to automate and simplify this process for both your team and your customers.
According to statistics, businesses can waste almost 5 hours a week in scheduling meetings. A calendar app can make meeting scheduling more productive by allowing bookings to be made at the click of a button.
If you don’t yet have a calendar tool setup for your business, here are a few recommendations for you to take a look at:
Each of these tools have a slightly different set of features. If you’re particular about the time slots and distribution of meetings for your team, investigate each and find what you need. If you want to get setup quickly and easily, we’d recommend Calendly as our top pick.
Tool 4 – Your Proposal & Contract App
In 2021, we can land and re-use space rockets but cannot seem to attain reliable printing technology for the home office. There are little things more painful in business than recieving a project agreement or contract via email and having to print it out, sign it, scan it back in – yikes.
Closing a sale and getting that all-important signature on the dotted line of a proposal or contract is a process that needs to be easy, fast and require minimum effort from your customers.
Electronic signatures are the new standard and we need to be implementing this into our sales pipeline workflow for our own sanity as well as our customers’.
Proposal apps provide the tools for customers to electronically sign a contract with a click. But, more importantly than that, proposal and contract tools can be triggered by your CRM system to send a document at the right point in your sales process, helping your sales team to close more deals with less manual effort.
If most of your proposal and agreement documents are templated, this is a game changer for your team and will save you hundreds of hours over the course of the year.
Here are some recommendations for you to take a look at:
Some of these tools have free plans if you are sending small volumes of documents. The price of these proposal softwares usually scales up with usage (which makes sense) and functionality needed, like integrations etc.
Tool 5 – Your Automation & Integration App
Speaking of integrations, we now move on to one of the most important tools on our list – automation and integration software.
There’s no denying that to grow your business you’ll need to enlist the help of at least a few of the above tools and likely many more across all of your business functions.
Passing data between these systems is critical for saving time and money. You do not want to be spending money on people to do data entry across your software tools. Your team have higher value tasks that they can be working on to generate more revenue for your business.
Bringing an automation software solution into the mix can really help you increase efficiency across many of your teams workflows.
For example, by integrating your calendar tool with your CRM and email marketing platform, you’re able to automatically update contact record information for your sales team, move the lead to a new sales pipeline stage and trigger a new email sequence to let the lead know what to expect next.
This is a simple example but by stacking multiple automations like this into your business, it’s an incredibly powerful way to save time and grow revenues.
For our recommendations, we have one standout winner in this category – Zapier. There are other tools on the market like Integromat and Tray.io but Zapier has an incredible amount of software tools already available to connect and automate and is easier to use for the average person.
That being said, if you feel uncomfortable building automation workflows between your software solutions using these tools, we’d recommend speaking with a custom integration expert that can help you get setup for success.
A better way for your sales team to work
If you are ready to develop a modern and scalable sales process, the tools we’ve mentioned will help with the implementation. But if you’d like some more support with setting up your sales process systems and funnels, book in a call with us today (via our self-serve calendar app!) and we can guide you in the right direction.