If you’re stressing out because your sales team needs to work hard to acquire customers and sell remotely – then stop: there’s no need to, as there’s nothing difficult about working remotely as long as you take care of the right working environment.
Below, we have prepared a short description of 10 apps together with our arguments, which we believe will help you to improve the remote work of your sales team. These apps not only help the merchants directly, but also support the entire sales process.
CRM systems in the SaaS model:
InStream CRM(Free) – of course, we recommend our system, which is currently free. However, we make no secret of the fact that this is a solution under development. We also recommend such systems as PipeDrive, LiveSpace, HubSpot, SalesForce Lite, Zoho, or ProsperWorks.
In our opinion, these apps are well designed, have many important features, and are very useful.
The advantages of having implemented CRM system:
- monitors the work of salespeople within the process;
- Lead Management;
- measures the effectiveness of business work;
- enables planning and managing sales results and strategy;
- base management.
Communication management app
Our absolute favourite is the MixMax app. It is a supplement to the GSuite system and the price starts at $9 per user per month. The app helps us to manage scripts and email content patterns. We have over 100 of them at our disposal for every occasion. Thanks to this, the sales team is able to efficiently provide a legal answer, send a quick offer, or 20 reminders related to lack of contact. However, MixMax helps us in many other activities.
The advantages of having the MixMax app:
- sharing communication throughout the department, patterns, scripts, sequences;
- ability to send messages at a selected time – makes planning easier;
- measuring shipment results, reminders, notifications to Gmail;
- messages sent according to a sequenced pattern – supports the Lead Nurturing process;
- tracking the opening of messages by customers;
- reservation of meetings based on the link in the footer.
Meeting arrangements is one of the key activities in the trade process. A good salesman makes sure that the client knows the time of the meeting, knows its agenda, and provides him with a chance to present his expectations regarding the meeting. A good salesman takes care of a good meeting environment.
How to ensure the highest possible number of planned meetings come into real ones? First of all, an app for planning meetings will be useful here. In this case, we recommend Calendly. The app is very simple and allows you to place a link to book appointments in your footer. It also sends out a confirmation, which can be then saved in Gmail.
The advantages of having Calendly:
- the link to the appointment booking;
- self-confirmation of the meeting;
- integrations with calendars.
Meetings and videoconferences
When you move to remote work, you need to optimize your meetings. A good online meeting is one that has been designed with the right environment for conversation, instructions for opening the app, an agenda, and prior knowledge of the participants.
In our sales team, each meeting requires prior confirmation, a phone call before the meeting, and sending the agenda.
For meetings, we use Whereby (Free), Hangout (Free), Skype (Free), Zoom (Free), Google Hangout (Free). Sometimes we also use Microsoft Teams.
The advantages of the above solutions:
- they are free of charge :D,
- they are stable and give the possibility to share the screen,
- they have built-in chats.
Knowledge about the customer
The better you know your customer, the greater the chance to adapt your solution to their needs. So how do you ensure that you know your customer as much as possible based on information from the web?
Surely a good source here is Linkedin or GoldenLine. These apps will allow you to easily get to know a person’s professional experience, their interests, and maybe also common relations, which are always worth mentioning.
For this, it is worth using a search engine and perhaps look for publications, entries of a given person, which will also show during the meeting to what extent we are interested in a given client.
FullContact is an example of an app that helps you find Social Media on the basis of email data. The app has been recently acquired by Google, but still works as before. Another app is Detective.io (formerly CharlieApp), which currently works with SalesForce.
It is also worth checking if your CRM system has additional functions of this kind. You can look for them on the PipeDrive marketplace or use Nimble CRM, among other things.
The advantages of the above solutions:
- easy collecting information about the customer;
- more efficient preparation for the meeting and identification of common points of reference with the client.
Access to the client
Often, a friend asks me for support in getting across to some company. And it’s not strange to me as at InStream Group we happen to be doing exactly this. However, it is worth knowing that there are many simple apps to build contact data on the web.
Many people give their contact details on Linkedin. Just expand the information on your profile. If we don’t have somebody else’s email address, just use Linkedin, find the client and ask them for their data.
You can also generate an email address based on tools such as Hunter.io. Here, however, you should know the basis for the purpose of processing the data in accordance with the TYPE and immediately apply to the addressee for permission to process this address.
The advantages of the above solutions:
- you always have 100% up-to-date customer data.
Management of knowledge base in sales department
Another element that needs to be taken care of, especially when working remotely – and especially when recruiting and implementing new team members, is an appropriate knowledge base.
In our team, the process of implementing a new employee is as follows:
- 2 weeks of work with the production department and Project Managers to learn about our methods of operation and product. No sales.
- Implementation of sales communication – conversation scripts, test calls recorded, video conferences recorded.
- Sales implementation:
- lowering client’s concerns
- dissipation of doubt
- assessment and qualification
Useful materials on Google Drive:
– Case Study x 100
– Legal documents
– Ideal demo templates etc.
Everything is on Google Drive. Every salesman has Google Drive for Desktop installed. Everyone has a sales folder on their desktop, which is in its entirety uploaded to the cloud. Thanks to that everyone preparing an offer or contract for a B2B client automatically creates new files in the cloud. In a situation where we add new templates of offers, presentations, and contracts, everyone has immediate access to them.
Monitoring of offer
Good morning, Mr. X, did you get a chance to look through the offer? How many times have you asked this question to a client?
If you use MixMax for Gmail, you don’t have to think about it. The platform will tell you that itself. You can also use dedicated apps such as Sellizer.
The advantages of these solutions:
- more effective conclusion of contracts.
Communication between the client and the company
Another element which, in the event of remote work, can improve the work with the customer and sales activities in general, is the possible facilitation of customer contact with the company.
For this purpose, we recommend any Chat on the website. We use Tawk.to (Free) ourselves. This solution is 100% sufficient for us. We also have a Bot on Facebook and also recommend Callpage or LiveCall for good telephone communication.
In the current circumstances, the more available we are, the better for the sales.
Sales department integration
The last point is the issue of maintaining the cohesion of the sales department itself, which may seem difficult during remote working. In our company, we use several means to ensure this.
- Communication within the company – GLIP (Free). It’s just like Slack, but for free:) From our perspective, it has everything you need to communicate within the company. You can discuss a case study, help each other, prepare valuations.
- Results panel – here we have our own solution based on Google Sheets – simple dashboards with sales results (phones and other KPIs).
- Dashboards in CRM InStream.
In addition to the apps themselves, it is important to ensure healthy competition in the sales department, bonus and reward systems, KPIs, and contests. All this makes us feel the spirit of competition in spite of the remote mode of operation.
Our company supports over 600 organizations in 50 countries in remote sales and customer acquisition. If you are currently facing a challenge in this area, please contact me on Linkedin. I will try to help as much as I can.