Getting clients it's a bit different from what we used to know. This age you need to be master skilled not just in the art of selling your product and service but also in the tools that would help you drive that process better.
The selling process has a lot of checkpoints and bus stops if we could use that example. Before you begin to sell to anyone, you'll need to prospect, research and get clear on the kind of customers you want to serve. Identify what makes them your customer, Discover their hideouts, this is simply identifying where they exist online? Do they prefer Facebook, Twitter or they're just not active on social media?
Before you pick up the phone to call anyone, you may have to research, know their needs, know the right person to call or mail within that company, even getting the person's correct phone number and email address. The list of to do's could mount.
To engage successfully with prospects and manage that whole process will require power tools that function to make life of selling, marketing, prospecting easy for you.
I have 10 online tools that I use to grow my business. But in this post, I'm going to highlight 5 of my favorite ones to show you exactly how I use them to build out my entire sales process to attract, retain clients and grow sales. I have put together a bonus resource at the end of this post that will give you access to the complete sales tool guide I use to grow my entire business. It helps any business not just online business. If you have to deal with clients, prospects, and manage all those process it takes then you're up for some treat. Let's dive in.
1. Google Apps.
I had to make this number one. For this to drive home, could you please reach for your business card, what email address is written in there? If you don't have a business card, what is the email address you give your customers? The one in which you send business communication?
Using the yahoo, Gmail and free emails out there for business transactions and conversations don't show professionalism. I hear a man say once, "I don't take anyone serious who sends me a proposal using a yahoo or Gmail address."
You may not necessarily have a website to have a custom email. This is where google Apps comes into play. It allows you integrate your custom domain using the power of google tools. Gmail, Google drive, etc.
How does this drive sales? It solidifies your credibility. It shows you mean business.
1. LinkedIn publishing tool.
You may know that LinkedIn allows you to publish a blog post. The good thing about the LinkedIn blog is that it's great for search engine optimization. Which means whatever you publish in there has the tendency to show up in search when related keywords are googled. For example, my LinkedIn post on "podcasting in Nigeria" shows up as one of the top 10 results when those keywords are googled.
Now this can be dangerous too, as I've seen a lot of people turn their LinkedIn blog to a pile of word junk, some post job vacancies. Some post only a quote, and some unwarranted post that shouldn't go on there in the first place. This is dangerous because when someone googles you and finds that kind of trash, how whelk will it speak of your professionalism.
Your LinkedIn blog should be a place to show off your thought leadership. See it as this: if Forbes magazine where to say to you to write an article about your industry, challenges, opportunities, etc… what would you do. Heck! If our own Punch newspaper was to showcase your business and professionalism and give you that spotlight, would you waste it on posting job vacancies, quotes and all those frivolous stuff? I wish Nigerians will try to learn how things work to get the best out of them before jumping on the band wagon.
How does this drive sales? Imagine someone reads your well-articulated blog and gets in touch to do business with you, because now they have a taste of what you can offer.
I also have a way of using LinkedIn to drive sales outside the blog, it's included in the complete sales tool guide… so read to the end to find out how you can get the guide.
1. Lead generation tools.
I use different lead generation tools to really dig deep into prospecting and researching my target market. If you want to reach new clients, you would want to know who they are, what titles they use, where they are, how to reach them, their email address and phone numbers, that's what lead generation is about. Prospecting can really take time, but with my tools it helps me reduce the research time. For example, let's say am searching for the marketing manager of ABC company, using the lead generation tool it gives me the person's name, phone number and other related people and their positions with their contact details. How cool is that. And the best part, it cuts my research time by 95%, by that I mean! What would literally take 5 hours to achieve takes only about 5 minutes.
1. My super Customer relationship management tool (CRM)
For many business owners, marketers, sales managers a long as you're in the business of daily reaching out to your customers, managing their contact details and easily updating that when it changes, maintaining the communication flow each time without missing a beat, knowing who to follow up, who not to follow up and when to follow up, what you discussed in your last meeting, or via phone or Skype can be a giant pile of information to manage with your brains alone.
I manage all of that with the CRM. I've found Zoho and Hubspot to be aligned with what my business needs. Choosing a CRM is about what you need to achieve with it and if the functionality exists within the tool you choose to use. No one tool has everything, you just have to do your research. For some many people it's all in their phone, their business contacts but when the phone is gone, tell me what you're going to do.
So how does this drive sales? You call up someone and they say, you know what, call in 2 weeks, I should make time to get you a meeting with Mr. X, who is out of the country has we speak, so let's talk in 2 weeks. Using the CRM, all you need to do in punch all that details in, the persons contact, your discuss, a reminder set up for the 2 weeks and those fine details you don't want to miss. You'll become a more effective sales person. You won't be trying to rack your brain for all that, and has your conversation thread grows you can see how your clients move from pre purchase stage to buying stage, this information helps you track those thing you may not even take as important, like how many businesses you closed in a month, how long it took, what your prospects concerns were before doing business with you. This information makes you plan out and manage your business with the highest efficiency.
Also, if you have other sales and marketing people working for you, you need this, so that your client’s communication center remains within the company not on somebody's phone and notebook, when they leave your employ they go with it. My sisters hair stylist learned this the hard way, one time she began complaining about how her stylists had taken all her customers with them when they left, although this is typical but it could have been minimized and she wouldn't feel the pinch so much, her business wouldn't have been so terribly affected if she had a CRM in place. So tell me, if a stylist can use a CRM, why can't you?
Have you ever come to that point where you've sent a mail to someone and you got the panic attack; "did they open it, did they not open it, when will they reply, why is it taking so long."
Sidekick will save you from all that. It helps you track any mail you send and you'll get a notification when the person opens your mail.
Gush, it's a life saver.
I've breezed through my five favorite online tools that drive sales. Remember I earlier told you I have 10 great tools in my arsenal and they've been instrumental in helping through the sales process, manage communication, attract prospects, and more. Ultimately it makes the art of making money really easy.
Want to gain access to the complete guide to sales tools that drive revenue? its here .