These days there’s a tool for everything. The question becomes, how do you determine which tools are the ones you should be paying attention to? Should you be using internally facing tools to automate your sales processes, or customer-facing tools to help close deals faster? The trick is finding the right balance. Sales reps in some of the more ambitious organizations have access to about 10 to 15 tools in total. Beware: internally facing tools can be great at driving productivity and helping you identify leads (e.g. LinkedIn!), but if you don’t have access to a handful of best-of-breed customer-facing tools, your sales may be lagging. So, how do you determine which customer-facing tool is the right one for closing deals, faster? Here are a few things to consider when looking for the right fit for your needs:
Focus on Pain Points
What’s the simplest way to filter out what you don’t need? Don’t bother with tools meant for areas where you aren’t struggling. Have a stellar demonstration? Skip tools meant to make demonstrations easier. Instead of investigating every option, rein in your scope to include only those areas where you need assistance. Be ready to be educated and surprised at the same time!
How do you evaluate where your sales cycle needs help? Let the funnel guide you. Examine where the sticking points are in your sales funnel. Develop hypotheses around what can help you overcome those obstacles.
As an example, one of the primary reasons deals slip from one quarter to the next is that the customer “goes dark,” as sales reps sometimes say, which means that they stop replying to communications from the salesperson.
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One hypothesis you might develop for why this happens is the following: “the advocate liked the solution that was presented, but she was unable to communicate the value of the solution to her team.” She wasn’t sure what to tell the sales rep, because she didn’t hear a “no” from her team, or a “yes.” So she simply stopped responding.
To “un-stick” this common sticking point, the ValueCore platform enables the sales rep to demonstrate quantitative, value-based selling points, in visual form, using the most relevant content for the client. You can update assumptions and charts dynamically based on client input, and share a dynamic link with the client, allowing them to access the model and make changes to the assumptions if they like. This enables a dynamic, collaborative interaction between the sales rep, the advocate at the client, and her internal team. Tools like ValueCore help show your customers the value of your product and help move them on to the next stage in the funnel.
Leverage Your Assets
Another easy way to pinpoint the tools that are right for you is to look at your existing systems and determine what can be added for maximum impact with minimal effort. Look for tools that integrate with the systems you already rely on. Are there plug-ins or add-ons specifically made to automate or streamline your workflows? Does your system have preferred partners who can build custom solutions or have easy applications you can purchase and implement quickly? By looking at the ecosystem of your existing software, you might find simple solutions that work out-of-the-box with the tools you’re already using. For example, ROI calculators can be integrated into your existing sales and marketing software solutions to enable seamless extensions of existing workflows that enhance the customer experience and increase stickiness. The ValueCore platform integrates with Salesforce, Hubspot, Marketo, and other leading solutions to make it easy to enhance your existing sales and marketing processes.
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Don’t leave out your network. Seek out recommendations from trusted advisors, industry friends, colleagues, and coworkers who might be using or have used tools outside your reach. Get a feel for what’s worth it, what’s a waste of time, and what’s just too complicated. If there’s something that people are starting to purchase en masse (e.g. Zoom, Outreach.io, etc.) there might be a good reason! Let your network do your research for you. If you can find people who have experience with the kinds of tools you’re looking for, your vetting process just became a lot easier.
More Bang for Your Buck
Look for tools that can take on more than one task. Multi-purpose tools reduce the amount of time you need to spend researching, purchasing, implementing, and adopting. The ValueCore platform is a full-service addition to your sales process that assists you all the way from harvesting leads to selling a renewal. The platform makes it easy to reach out to leads, conduct structured discovery and qualification, procure relevant information to build compelling presentations, demonstrate the value of your product, and prove its value during renewal time. By adding one tool, you’re contributing to the entire sales cycle from start to finish.
The vast sea of tools can be daunting, but with the right focus and a few recommendations to point you in the right direction, discovering the exact tool you need doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. To learn more about the ways ValueCore can make an impact on your sales process, reach out to our experts today to schedule a demo or submit an existing ROI spreadsheet to see how we can optimize your sales and marketing efforts.