So you're probably thinking "Why do I need to buy my sales team MORE tools for the already expensive CRM that they already have?" Trust me, I completely understand your frustration. While you don't NEED to get more tools, you should strongly consider it. CRMs are great for collecting and storing an abundance of information about your current and prospective customers. However, when it comes to using that data for a strategic advantage or to gain valuable insights into your prospects buying jouney and intent, CRMs can be cumbersome and time-inefficient. So it's definitely worth your time and money to consider investing in solutions that will upgrade your CRM's capabilities. So take a deep breath and just know that once you beef up your CRM with some advanced sales tools, you're life and your sales team will be much better off.
There you go- breath deeply. Now, here's the good news. Gartner has just released their 2016 CRM Vendor Guide and it has everything you need to know about the new sales technology in our world. If you don't want to read all 143 pages of the CRM Vendor Guide, here are the 5 major types of tools (and recommended vendors) we feel you need to help your sales team be successful.
1. Inside Sales and Telesales Tools
These tools help your inside sales team find the people that could be your next customers. Inside sales tools help your team identify and find crucial information about your prospects quickly, so that they can contact and qualify your leads in order to accelerate them through the sales pipeline. Gathering direct contact information for your prospects helps to keep your sales team selling instead of hunting. Some popular Inside Sales and Telesales options include:
2. Sales Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a new category in sales enablement technology. As the Gartner report states, "Predictive analytic solutions provide data-driven insights into the sales process by applying heuristic and machine-learning algorithms to a firm's historical opportunity data." The true value of predictive analytics is that it not only assess the historical performance of your sales team, but it also predicts how your sales team will perform in the future making it an invaluable asset when it comes to creating a sales forecast. Predictive analytics solutions also help you proactively identify weak spots in your sales process or sales team's performance so that you can be a more effective sales coach. If you're looking for the leaders in predictive analytics solutions space, some are:
3. Price Management and Optimization
Price Management and Optimization (PMO) software give sales teams the ability to be competitive with pricing and profitability assistance. Per the Gartner Vendor Guide, PMO solutions are "based on a set of business algorithms that extract actionable insight and pricing guidance from big data to improve margins, revenue, and protability." Providing your sales team with a PMO solution will help push your opportunities past that 'Pricing Negotiation' portion, which can be one of the most painful stages to have opportunities drop out of the pipeline. Some prominent PMO solutions are:
4. Sales Information Services
There are few things worse than having a CRM that's full of inaccurate or outdated data. This is something that even a high performing experienced sales team can fall victim to because prospects are constantly changing titles, companies, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. You can avoid the awkwardness of not being informed about your prospects current situation by investing in a Sales Information Service. At the very least, these services can be used to periodically perform a total update to your data and give you confidence that your prospect information is accurate. Here are some quality sales information servies:
5. Customer Success Management
So you've found the prospect, worked the deal to a close, and optimized for the best possible pricing agreement. Everything should be a 'done deal', right? Wrong. For high-performing sales teams, the selling journey doesn't stop with the acquisition of a new customer, it continues throughout that customer's lifetime with your company. Customer Success Management solutions help ensure your company has great customer retention and are as close to zero-churn as possible. Don't let all of your hard work to close the deal be blown away because you slacked on getting a customer success management solution, look into one of these options:
Again, you don't need to get all of these solutions since every company has different needs. What you should do is make sure you're not settling for just your CRM. As technology becomes more and more engrained in our everyday sales behaviors, those that do not adopt technology to boost the functions of their sales CRMs will be left behind their competitors. Don't be left behind your competitiors. Be ahead of the game with better sales technology.
If you want to check out the entire CRM Vendor Guide by Gartner and all the other tools they recommend sales teams to consider, you can find it here. If you want to learn more about how predictive analytics can help your sales team, contact us!