There’s so much great sales and marketing tech out there, its hard to know what’s right for your business how much automation is enough automation. For most SMB sales leaders the starting point is to have a good understand of the customer journey and where and how they can influence the customer to make a positive step in their direction.
A consumer e-commerce business might have just a few steps between a prospect and a purchase, where-as an enterprise B2B sale is likely to be more complex with multiple decision makers and therefore many more communication opportunities.
Once each stage of the customer journey is defined, its worth spending time developing the content needed to push (or pull) the customer through the journey to purchase your product or service.
With your customer journey mapped out, its worth considering what tools are out there that can help deliver more sales more efficiently.
We’ve picked just a few great tools from across the sales funnel, that have helped us deliver more sales.
Marketing Automation – Act On
Whilst not as well known as the likes of Hubspot and Marketo, this affordable marketing automation platform has all the core capabilities needed to attract and nurture prospects through to customers. Act On integrates nicely with Salesforce and other CRMs, includes progressive profiling so your users fill in more information about themselves each time they visit your website. We like Act On’s lead scoring and nurturing capabilities too.
Traffic Analysis – Lead Forensics
If your business has a short sales cycle or is more impulse buy than planned purchase, Lead Forensics can show you who’s on your website including company, key contacts and other useful information. You can set alerts if a hot prospect returns for your sales people to call and close the deal. This approach may work well in some industries but consider how appropriate it is in yours. For the right sales profile, this is a useful tool.
Lead Qualification - Jeffrey AI
Many small businesses struggle to continually find and qualify sales leads efficiently. With limited resources, and the need to be able to respond consistently and promptly to customer enquiries, small business leaders find this a highly manual and repetitive process. Jeffrey is a conversational AI that allows sales managers to define their email qualification process, and how to respond to inbound email enquiries. Aimed at small businesses, Jeffrey AI can set appointments, reply to product questions, confirm pricing information, handle objections and route qualified leads to sales people for negotiation and closing. Jeffrey AI is an early stage product but has the potential to revolutionise the highly inefficient lead qualification process.
Customer Engagement – Intercom
Intercom seems to be taking over the world of customer engagement. With a small amount of integration into an online software product, Intercom can help to acquire, engage and support customers. We love its ease of use, powerful messaging service and the clever in built tools to ensure you communicate efficiently with prospects at later stages in the sale process, when subscribing to your service and even when they are a customer. Intercom appears to be going from strength to strength with more powerful capabilities being delivered on a regular basis.
CRM – Zoho
Of course, Salesforce, remains the Daddy of CRM. However there’s a host of newer, niche providers such as FreshSales and Trello. We’ve found Zoho to have all of the essentials for managing a sales process and has lots of additional capabilities to suit most sectors and company sizes. Its really easy to configure and use, and integrates with lots of complimentary systems.
Whilst Zoho may not have pioneered in the CRM space, it’s a relatively low cost, cut down version of Salesforce that is worth taking a look at.
Channel Partner Management – Ontraport
Finally Ontraport. We found Ontraport when looking for a powerful Partner Management Portal. To run an effective partner sales channel, companies need an additional layer of capabilities on top of a basic CRM and Ontraport has that and more. Companies can create portals for their channel partners to log in, access co-marketing and sales materials, register deals and track commissions. We have been impressed by Ontraports inbuilt affiliate management and discount code capabilities and the easy to build workflows are awesome. Unlike many of the enterprise level Partner Management Platforms, Ontraport is remarkably good value, but offers many of the same sophistication needed by channel sales managers. Take a look at Ontraport if you need to manage multiple sales channels and offer different partner programs in all one place.
In summary, generating new customers for your business can be hard work. However, if you invest the time, thought and some money in the right process, the right content and the right tools, you're sales pipeline will build and revenues will start to flow.
Take a look at JeffreyAI to help qualify more leads.