We’ve all said (probably every January, and again at the end of each brutal quarter end) that we have to follow a more efficient and effective sales process to close more deals, faster. The more complex our buyers’ journeys become, the more complex the sales processes become. Even if you have the most efficient sales process out there, there are some lesser-known timesavers for salespeople that can help you save time in the sales process so you can spend more time, you know… selling.
There are a lot of sales funnel tracking tools available today. Some CRMs have visual pipeline tools available, like Pipedrive and Tubular. If you’re a visual person, and you’re not using a tool to help you see all your deals and where they are in the sales process, I recommend you consider making a change.
Tools with these visual pipeline capabilities can often help automate forecasting and save time in the sales process. How long do you spend each week reporting where you are on each deal, the potential of each one closing, and how much you think you’ll end the month with? I’d imagine at least an hour each week.
Have the Interwebs Research your Prospects for You
There are so many apps, online tools, SaaS products, browser extensions, and other timesavers for salespeople available today, but it’s tough to wade through them all. When is the last time you sent an email to a lead to get an auto-reply letting you know it was a bad email? Yesterday? When is the last time you spent 10-15 minutes looking online for information about a prospective company? Tools like Find That Lead (a Chrome extension) provide up-to-date email addresses for contacts at the click of a button (and even give an accuracy rating). Some CRMs will automatically generate company or individual information if it’s known. As soon as an email address is added into HubSpot CRM, the record is populated with all the relevant information available (so no more of that painful data entry)!
Let People Book their Own Meetings
Give people access to your calendar so they can schedule time directly. There are some great scheduling tools out there like Calendly and HubSpot Meetings. Think about never again having to send emails back and forth to figure out a time that works for both parties! Use a scheduling tool to create a link to your meetings tool. Include it in your signature so people always have access to book directly on your calendar. Life is SO much easier.
Reach Out to Only the Most Promising Prospects
If your existing system doesn’t have lead scoring, you can probably sift through your leads and get rid of the prospects that don’t match your ideal customer profile. No sense wasting hours on a prospect that will never, ever buy from you. Focus on the ones that will.
Here is a handy prospect matrix to help quickly determine which prospects to contact, which to nurture, and which to ignore (or toss).
Minimize Paperwork and Drudgery
Logging calls, scheduling appointments, creating more proposals - they can all be brutally painful when you’re up against quotas and deadlines. Integrate tools like proposal software with your CRM,
There are some tools available (and quite frankly, reasonably priced considering the amount of time they save) to help you minimize the proposal paper chase. Check out Proposify and Pandadoc. Both let you store proposal templates online to quickly piece together the perfect proposal and send it out for e-signatures (digital signatures, if done right, are legally-binding so no need to worry about that). If your business is a complex one with long proposals, this could be a huge timesaver for you.
(By the way, these tools also let you set an expiration date for each proposal, send automatic reminders to your prospect, and let you know when your prospect has opened and signed it).
Use a CRM with a Mobile App
How much time are you away from your desk? Are you always at your desk when you’re on the phone with your prospects? Like many salespeople, your job probably doesn’t end at 5:00pm. If your CRM has a complementary mobile app, your world can get a lot easier if you can add notes, calls, and follow-up tasks right from your phone.
Automate Redundant Tasks
When do you send that 3rd follow up email? Then do you connect on LinkedIn or is that after the 4th email? Many CRM systems have some automation capabilities. (If yours doesn't, check to see if your CRM can integrate with Zapier and you can “make” them work together).
With more robust CRM systems, processes can be automated while still being able to personalize certain important steps like emails. HubSpot lets you customize sequences to automate tasks like connecting with someone on LinkedIn. So, if you’re like most of the rest of us, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to do that again, your HubSpot sequence will remind you when to do it.
I’ve mentioned HubSpot several times in this post and, as HubSpot partners, we are a little biased. However, we’re partners for a reason, it’s a phenomenal product. And just about all the tasks listed here can be done in HubSpot CRM (and, by the way, it’s free).
A CRM isn’t just a way to digitize a sales process and let the sales VP micromanage the sales force. A (good) CRM actually benefits the sales reps much more that it gets credit for. Did you know, according to HubSpot, that sales teams using a CRM have increased revenue by 41% per individual sales rep and can also lead to a 27% increase in customer retention?
If each sales person on your team could save time in the sales process and increase their revenue by 41%, what would that do for your business?
Check out even more timesavers for salespeople with our free guide.