You’ve started a new business, but now you have to convince people that your solution is worth the money. Sound familiar? If so, you’ve just entered the stressful world of sales.
Every company has to sell to survive. No matter how valuable your offering is, you won’t last long if you fail to communicate why buyers need it.
Evolve into a sales master by adopting these tools for your startup:
1. Workflow Automation
Salespeople can’t sell if they spend all day updating spreadsheets and records. Use workflow automation tools to empower your employees to eliminate manual tasks — and spend more time on activities that bring revenue to your business.
Even if you’re the only person on the payroll, you still need workflow automation software to make the most of every hour. Smart tools can templatize your email pitches and update customer records. They can also provide contextual customer support without flipping through files or placing callers on long holds. To sell more, start by automating more.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You can’t sell products without prospects. Use a CRM to track sales opportunities, store contact information, and record interactions with prospects and customers. With a CRM powering your communications, you can help current customers and ensure buyers feel valued.
Most CRM systems integrate with a variety of sales tools, so you can customize the software to fit your needs. Try a few combinations and free trials to determine what works best. Once you have your CRM optimized, it will become one of the most potent weapons in your sales arsenal.
3. Payments and Invoices
Handshake deals are good, but cash in your pocket is better. Invest in user-friendly payments and invoicing software to create a smoother finale for your sales funnel. If you force prospects to go through a cumbersome closing process, deals will slip through your fingers. Your competition will be waiting with open arms.
Many other sales tools offer built-in invoicing functionality. If that works for your startup, don’t fix what isn’t broken. However, if you could use a faster, more intuitive process, consider alternatives. Look for a tool that can scale with your sales team as your company grows.
4. Internal Communications
Sales and marketing teams share common goals. Without strong interdepartmental communication, neither team can reach its full potential. Implement internal communication tools and processes that encourage their use. This will get salespeople, marketers, and customer success agents talking.
When everyone in the company understands others’ needs, everything runs smoother. Customer satisfaction increases as agents know more about products and promotions, leading to more repeat business. Salespeople know how marketers promote different deals, so they feel more confident selling them. Marketers understand sales teams’ real needs and create content to fill the gaps. This catapults your company’s sales success, but only when your teams talk.
5. Order Management and Inventory
Every company with physical products needs a smart solution to track inventory and orders. Without up-to-the-minute information, your salespeople could accidentally make unfulfillable promises. Not only will that irritate customers, but it will also make your business look amateurish.
Stay informed with order management and inventory tools to get ahead of potential problems. Look for a solution that alerts you when stock is running low. The best products use smart reporting to identify which products are most profitable. They then help adjust your inventory management accordingly.
6. Social Media Management
In the post-Facebook age, even stodgy B2B companies stay active on social media. Give your salespeople a fighting chance by using social to promote your brand and advertise new deals.
Take advantage of social media chat capabilities, too. Talk to customers in comment sections and through private messages to resolve small issues before they become big problems. Allow customers to purchase directly through social channels. If that doesn’t work, make the transition from social account to landing page as seamless as possible.
As you learn the ropes of sales, you’ll eventually realize that no one has all the answers. Sometimes, ideal customers will go through the right parts of the funnel and fail to convert, anyway. Don’t let failure get you down. Continue to invest in your sales process. One day, you’ll look back at your early sales struggles and wonder why you ever worried.