Thoughts

The sales tools I’m using in a virtual world

by Rob Hassler

Here at Promptworks we’re continuously adapting to how we work and how we keep our clients happy in the midst of a global pandemic. While we’re working remotely and it’s (mostly) business as usual, it’s as critical as ever to keep closing deals and keep your pipeline full.

Even if you started the year with a healthy pipeline, few businesses have been fortunate enough to go economically unscathed. It’s true that the pandemic will eventually subside, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to stop selling, testing your selling tactics, and refining your processes.

As companies continue to navigate their own businesses, it’s important that you’re adding value to your prospects and leads, buyers, and customers with every single interaction. This is especially true if you leverage an account-based marketing and sales approach, as we do at Promptworks. Rather than target a high volume of contacts in an impersonal way, we focus on understanding our prospects’ businesses and crafting communications accordingly.

Here are 5 tools I’m currently leveraging to build relationships and grow our pipeline:

1. Calendly for Scheduling

I’ve always found the manual process of scheduling meetings to be cumbersome, particularly the dead time spent waiting for responses and repeated emails trying to find a mutual time that works for both parties.

At Promptworks we’re big fans of calendly - a web application has streamlined the scheduling process and allows the client to find a time that works best for them based on the options available on your calendar. I’m a big fan of being able to present meeting “type” options (for example 15 or 30 minutes), and not needing to toggle between multiple applications.

2. ZoomInfo for Prospecting

When it comes to prospecting, how often do you find yourself scouring the internet for a potential buyer’s contact information? That’s where a tool like zoominfo steps in. Zoominfo allows you to effectively find contact information, company information, and insights/news about a target audience all under one roof. I’m particularly fond of the “scoops” functionality which allows you to uncover news about a specific company you’re interested in working with.

3. Loom for Video

Actively engaging with your customers virtually is the new normal. While phone calls still play an important role in communicating, research shows that a video call is more effective in attracting your customers attention.

Enter loom, a tool that allows you to seamlessly embed an intro video to an email, walk a customer through a proposal, or conduct a recorded brainstorm about a new product. These are just a snapshot of ways I’ve used Loom so far in a remote working environment. The possibilities are endless!

4. Qwilr for Proposals

In most sales processes, putting together a winning proposal is a key part of closing a deal, if not the key part! One tool I’ve found that streamlines the proposal process and has helped us differentiate ourselves from the competition in a virtual world is Qwilr, an easy-to-use web-based proposal builder.

A few key features I’ve enjoyed are having the ability to add dynamic content in an otherwise static document, and the inclusion of analytics that give you insight into how and when prospects are interacting with your documents. You can even see which slides they spent the most time on--or skipped altogether!

5. Crystal Knows for Insights

I was introduced to Crystal Knows quite recently, and admittedly I thought it sounded a little creepy. In short, Crystal Knows utilizes AI-based technologies to “provide personality assessments, predictions, and coaching tools to support a variety of communication-oriented roles - leadership, sales, recruiting, management, and more.”

This clever LinkedIn plug-in provides you the ability to see someone’s personality profile. I’ve found it to be quite accurate in helping provide insights into how to connect with someone, set up a call, or generate a meeting based on their insights. The company is backed by investors like Salesforce Ventures, Birchmere Ventures, CEB, and HubSpot.

I’m always looking to connect with other sales professionals to share tips and best practices--and learn about the tools you’re using in a fully virtual model. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn--or you can schedule a time on my Calendly! (You knew that was coming.)

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