One month into 2014, are you crushing your sales goals or are you struggling to get started? Whether you are on the road to winning a fancy new car, or on pace to settle for a set of steak knives (or worse), I have some helpful hints and tools to accelerate your sales. Don’t just work harder – learn the tools that will help you become a sales ninja and reach your 2014 goals.
1 – Get smart with your calendar using ScheduleOnce
Scheduling is repetitive and time-consuming. You need the right tool to easily coordinate with prospective buyers and clients. Our sales ninjas at PipelineDeals use ScheduleOnce to engage clients and save time. ScheduleOnce allows your clients to select their preferred meeting time based on your availability and automatically update your calendar with your appointments.
No more back and forth trying to find a good time to meet or talk. Embed ScheduleOnce in your email communication or on your website, and your customers will find the best time to connect with you in a relaxed atmosphere. Our sales team at PipelineDeals began placing ScheduleOnce in our welcome email communication several months ago and we’ve seen a big jump in customer engagement.
Pro Tip – if you use PipelineDeals calendar integration for Google Apps, you can use ScheduleOnce to schedule meetings with clients and automatically track that new event in PipelineDeals. Schedule, track, and organize your life in a snap.
Hard work? No – just a really sharp tool.
2 – Leverage the power of your LinkedIn network for better sales intelligence
LinkedIn is a great place to connect, network and learn more about your prospective customers. If you’re just looking at your connection’s profiles though, you’re missing out on some powerful features. LinkedIn recently introduced a lead recommendation feature for premium customers that allows you to easily find people closely associated to your key lead. It’s incredibly easy to use the lead recommendation feature to discover a lead’s influencers, supervisors, or peers close to the decision making process.
To illustrate – imagine that you’re working a deal with an associate director of marketing at Starbucks. The final decision maker for the deal is the VP of Marketing, but all you have is your contact. With the lead recommendation feature, you can gather valuable sales intelligence on your lead’s influencers so you can better tailor your message to your buyer’s needs. If you don’t have time to review your prospect’s key influencers, LinkedIn also allows you to save lead recommendations to a contact list that you can easily recall when you have the time.
Make sure that you use a CRM like PipelineDeals to capture the valuable sales intelligence you’ve garnered from LinkedIn so you can quickly recall this information on future conversations.
3 – Become a Google Search Master
Normal search is like a sledgehammer. For more intelligent B2B prospecting, you need the scalpel like precision of Google’s advanced search functions. Advanced search allows you to search by filetype, within individual sites, area code or zipcode, by either/or functions, and by many other possibilities. With advanced search functions, you can hone in on the exact people you want to communicate with.
For example, imagine that I’m a salesperson who sells to Dentists and Orthodontists in North Carolina and I’m wondering if there are any doctors lists posted on the North Carolina DHHS website. Instead of poking around the website, clicking on links and blindly searching for an Excel to import into my PipelineDeals CRM, I can quickly use advanced search functions to find exactly what I need. Here’s how:
To search within a site, type “site:sitename” (example – site:www.ncdhhs.gov)
To search for a specific file type, type “filetype:filetype extension” (example – filetype:xls)
To search for two different words, type “word 1 OR word 2” (example – dentist OR orthodontist)
Altogether, the search will read as: site:www.ncdhhs.gov filetype:xls dentist OR orthodontist.
It may look complicated at first, but master advanced search functions and you’ll save yourself hours of web research. No more sifting through page after page of search results. Find your prospects instantly and start selling.
For a more extensive primer on Advanced Search, take a look at this helpful primer from Google, this post from the CTO of Hubspot, or this wonderful introduction to B2B Sales Prospecting with Google Advanced Search.
What are your indispensable tools for sales? We’d love to hear what you’re using to compliment your CRM and win more deals. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was written with the guidance of PipelineDeals’ Wizard Behind the Code Curtain, Grant Ammons. Grant is our CTO and lead puggle enthusiast. He lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife Hally, son Alex, and two puggles.