If you are in Sales the information below might be useful. If you’re not, these tools may feel intrusive – both viewpoints are accepted. Actually, if you’re not in sales it might be the most boring post I’ve subjected you to, still…
The usual response when I talk about social selling; Hey Man, Sales is all about calls, the numbas, the numbas, man! When I say to people who do sales that there are great tools out there – they often say; no time, no time – “gotta make dem calls.”
I get the calls metric. It’s easy management. A certain amount of calls means statistically a certain amount of sales. Scale means more bodies + more phones = more hits. Ok, but the internet works slightly differently… “It’s an army of one v a battalion of phoneys”
In one of my jobs I was responsible for a sales area ranging from the Czech Republic to Russia, down to South Africa and everything in between. Wow, you might say. That is a massive territory. To cover that kind of ground you’re going to need some strategy, focus and maybe a team…well two outa three ain’t bad.
Let me sell you some free new age tools that may guide you to a different strategic model… more nuanced, more bulk intelligence driven.
Linkedin: I know this, you’ll say. Fair enough, you can search, filter and target your clients. But what about extending it? Do you maximize it to your benefit.
Two things to note:
Linkedin is usually the only tool that is “allowed” to be open on your client’s desktop in the office environment. It is a real time tool. Other messaging tools like Skype and Slack require a degree more of familiarity.
Linkedin allows you to export and import emails in CSV. To my knowledge the only major player to leave this swinging door open. There is much that can be done with email addresses – addressed in a previous post
While Rapportive gives me a speed tool-by putting Linkedin inside Gmail, other tools give more depth of information. Email Qualifier allows you to see exactly how “social” your prospect is. It can pull up social profiles instantly, allowing a seamless transition from initial contact to developing qualification information.
Social Lead Machine takes this process one step further. It extracts live Twitter accounts from Linkedin profiles. In doing so it allows allows me to export full profile information to CSV. Another of my favored tools, Linked Helper, does more again. Both offer a real sales upgrade on the traditional Linkedin tool set.
You already know how powerful Twitter Lists are. Combining Gmail, Linkedin and Twitter is a powerful sales cocktail.
Now that we have some information, what are we going to do with it? Hubspot offers a free to use CRM platform for up to 1 million contacts. If you use the Hubspot Sales Browser extension and Gmail plugins you have some mighty cool features. One useful tool is email opening notifications. A pop up tells you when someone opens your email.
When someone replies (by email) Hubspot will offer to save company details in one click. No tedious data logging. It also integrates with other vendors like Zapier, to automate email and process driven steps, like say, sending preloaded MailChimp template to a new customer.
A tool which offers a lot of functionality for outbound or prospecting salespeople is Email Hunter, a browser based extension that simply collects emails from open tabs. Seems simple enough, but it cuts time radically from copy/paste execution. Outbound prospectors will know what I mean. It also pulls the neat trick of scrubbing emails from Twitter follower lists.
Time for an example: Lets say you have a global brand with multiple offices – usually they have a team page with email, landline and physical addresses. You can take a CSV from Email hunter, pop it into Linkedin – whoever connects is a prospect and their peer group is your 2nd level connection. You have now direct email contact and validated the company email syntax for your push on the Big Boss later. Simple. No gatekeeper. No guesswork.
Last, but certainly not least…available on Firefox and Chrome, the imperious “i Macros.”
I Macros simply records what you input and plays it back, thereby automating your browser sequences, or steps, into one click actions. Really useful in any sales or data management setting.
I add it to the list, as the top end. It’s not boot and shoot, but if you take the time you’ll soon be the office ninja – it is the IFTTT of browser automation (No higher praise can be given).
If you’re thinking I’m in Sales, what do I need that stuff for, then let me sell you “the power of imagination” and “awakening the Giant within.”
There is no getting around Linkedin as a sales tool. Facebook may try and Microsoft may kill it’s effectiveness, but it offers far more effective tools than any other prospecting device currently available.
If a prospect company uses one platform for messaging – use it too. View their posts, look for synergistic “meeting points.” Like some of their stuff (reciprocity/flattery works – everyone loves to be loved). You will also get to see their point men, public personas and decision makers.
If they’re not online – “reclusive executive syndrome”…no issue. The phone, face to face meetings, shows, events, industry get togethers, referrals and direct B2B email works just fine. It’s not one a one size fits all concept. Not everyone wants to buy what you’ve got, but its good when they know you’ve got it – think nuclear weapons.
There is a glut of data mining and contact management tech on the market. All the tools listed above are free, try them before you buy something fancy that offers everything but delivers little, like that excel on steroids program, forget what it’s called …great sales force though!
Disclaimer: None of these tools will make you the God of GateKeepers or the Saviour of Sales. What they do well is aggregate incidentals, offer insights and build “activity” information. You’ll still do the legwork – except now you know where you’re walking to, having paved your pathway with knowledge.