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Sales tools at a glance: 5 must-haves for modern sales

CRM, CPQ, product configurator, sales navigator ... there are now numerous sales tools and options for digital sales support. Some of them should be known because they truly make the life of a salesperson easier.
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The gradual development towards digitization has created a wealth of new sales tools that are intended to support tomorrow's sales. As a sales expert you are now faced with a mammoth task: month after month, new tools are coming onto the market, the industry is booming. It is easy for modern salespeople to no longer see the forest for the trees: What is the best, fastest, newest and most user-friendly tool? In order to shed light on the darkness, we want to support modern salespeople in their search for the best fit. We have created an overview of the most important sales systems for you.

First and foremost, however, it is important to find out at which interface the company wants to start in order to optimize sales work. Questions that need to be answered in advance are:

  • How does the customer shop?
  • What is the customer buying?
  • How long does the buying process usually take until the final purchase decision?

These three central aspects help to understand where sales tools are relevant for the company and at the same time ensure that the customer and his needs are in the foreground during the optimization of the sales processes.

You can now find out which sales tools you should definitely not do without.

These are the 5 most exciting sales tools:

CRM systems

To ensure that no important information is lost with the large amount of customer data that is generated every day, many companies have long been using this tool: Customer Relationship Management (CRM for short). Both in the office and in the field, CRM systems are an absolute must-have in digital sales in order to always keep an eye on the needs of customers.

Every time your sales representative makes contact with a potential customer or a promising lead, he learns a new detail, which is of great relevance not least for the personal relationship between sales representative and customer. What used to be archived in the memory of the responsible sales representative or on paper is now stored digitally. CRM systems offer the entire sales team access to these details by storing all communication between sales and lead or customer in a central location. This knowledge can be decisive for an entire buying process: the preferences of your customers and important contact details become shared knowledge instead of sales-specific insider knowledge. Thanks to the central data storage, the entire sales team can access the current version of customer data with their own smartphone, tablet or computer, regardless of location or time. The sales team is easily and efficiently networked with one another at any time and anywhere.

The cloud-based CRM market is teeming with providers who promise top performance. One of the best-known providers is, for example Salesforce. Even if every company should identify its individual best fit, there are certain qualities that today's CRM system must meet.

Features that every good CRM system should have:

  • Contact management:

All important customer data are available at a glance and can be called up anytime and anywhere

  • Lead management:

Above all, the CRM software should help to manage your leads in a structured manner and to sort them according to name, address, descending relevance or other criteria.

  • Sales and dashboard analyzes:

In order to carry out sales processes more efficiently, it is important to always have an eye on your pipeline. With detailed sales forecasts, you can track exactly where the company's sales are currently located. This makes the process transparent (more) not only for you, but also for your entire sales team. In order to be able to carry out specific analyzes, the system then visualizes the information obtained in intuitive dashboards that can be easily customized.

CPQ system

The most important thing for your customer to feel safe with you is a tailored and personalized customer relationship. An essential part of sales is above all the offer that you send to your customer. In doing so, many companies essentially make two easily avoidable mistakes:

Often just an automated PDF data sheet is sent that has little to do with individualization and personal dedication. This not only scares off the customer, but also removes any illusion of positive customer loyalty that was often painstakingly integrated into the purchasing process in the previous steps.

Or so much time and power is invested in the creation and personalization of the offer that the tedious work of the sales person quickly vanishes if the offer is rejected. This is not only annoying for the sales person, but also very inefficient and time-consuming.

So our tip: Let sales software do the job. Because in this step of the sales process, the modern sales person benefits significantly from the digital tool of the automated preparation of offers: A so-called CPQ system offers the golden mean between effort and benefit. CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote: After the product has been created, the price is then determined and finally the offer sheet is developed. Intelligent pre-settings allow AI-generated templates to be generated quickly and easily using various technical modules. The modern sales department receives an automatically created and, above all, individualized offer for each customer without much effort. You will quickly notice that this simple work step eliminates a lot of small-scale sub-steps at the same time. Above all, however, the salesperson does not lose the closeness to his customer and at the same time saves himself a lot of time-consuming work.

Product configurator

Are you one of those companies that sometimes sell products that require a lot of explanation? Then sales is an extremely important point of contact: Your sales representative is faced with the mammoth task of convincing the customer of a product that he himself may not yet have understood about 100%. We ask ourselves: why not let AI do the job? The product configurator is particularly suitable for placing the individual customer needs in the company even more in the foreground. Because the more complicated the product that is being sold, the higher the demands of the customer for tailored advice with a tailor-made offer. How intensively customers can be advised is then often a question of resources. And this is exactly where the product configurator does a particularly laborious job.

As an IT startup, we have developed digital sales support with our software. Our sales tool of the "Digital Product Selector”The customer through an automated questionnaire in which the customer interactively specifies their own needs and product claims. In just a few steps, the customer is guided to his best fit of the product range and quickly and easily receives a customized product recommendation. The advantages at a glance: Not only is a pleasant customer journey prepared for the customer, but above all, a lot of time-consuming work is relieved of the salesperson.

Appointment tool

Another tool that can be used to make day-to-day sales easier is the automated appointment planner. This software solution takes over the reservation of your sales calls so that (potential) customers can see with just a few clicks on which days and times the sales representative can be at their side. Both sides save the tedious back and forth between annoying appointments and the sales expert can prepare even more specifically for his customer meetings.

Another advantage: The appointment tool can be easily integrated into the website as a salesperson. Whether as a central form on the company's website or on the social media channels: Wherever the customer encounters the salesperson online, they have the opportunity to make direct contact by making an appointment. It is really as simple as it sounds, but it has a high impact. An established tool for this is, for example Calendly.

Social selling

Find and be found: Social selling through online platforms and business portals such as LinkedIn, Xing and Co. has become more important than ever in our digital age. In recent years, this trend term has gradually established itself as a modern sales tool. For example, LinkedIn offers the Sales Navigator, which should make it easier to address potential customers

If you already have a professionally used Facebook, LinkedIn, XING or maybe even Twitter profile, it often only takes a few steps to use it as a sales tool. Above all, it is important to make yourself aware that your own brand can be embodied with the social media presence in order to significantly build up relationships with existing or new customers. Above all, however, it is about being close to the customer through your own Internet presence and thus possibly being able to respond to his needs more quickly and perhaps even offer a solution to his current problem.

The supreme discipline in sales is to turn your sales contacts into real customers. Finally, three social selling strategies that are having an impact:

  • Get personal:

The trend of the past few years to maintain the highest possible professionalism on business portals has recently vanished more and more into thin air. After all, LinkedIn and Co. are also about "social" networks and this aspect is gradually coming more and more into focus. Many industry influencers are therefore increasingly placing their own view of things in the foreground on their profiles and try to build a network based on emotional argumentation and sharing their own experiences. With success! 

  • Offer added value:

Unlike in the past, interaction on social media means more than just advertising. The focus today is on using useful tips, tricks and experiences to position yourself as experts in the industry, be it as a company or yourself. Therefore, avoid an aggressive advertising policy and share important insights with others with your contributions.

  • Stay authentic:

Slipping into foreign roles to attract “customers” is definitely the wrong way to go. Because nothing is worse than feeling insincerity. And not only in private life, but also in a professional environment! Make sure you communicate with your online community just like you would face-to-face with your customer. And above all: stay true to yourself!

Get started and digitize sales

Fear of change often goes hand in hand with a lack of knowledge and information. Also when it comes to digital transformation. With this overview of the common sales tools, we want to show you which tools are useful in order to be well prepared for a digital future. Because one thing is certain, digitization measures pay off: Employees are relieved, while efficiency increases and, as an add-on, there is even more time that can be invested in a successful customer relationship.

If you are unsure which sales tools are right for you, then first exchange non-binding information with the respective provider and ask, for example, about contacting reference customers. After all, there is no better understanding of customers and problems than other companies that have faced a similar challenge than your own. This is of course also possible at FoxBase: You can find ours here References, and if you would like to find out more about the individual use cases, please contact us.

Contact

We look forward to every inquiry about the Digital Product Selector. Let's digitize B2B sales sustainably together!

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