We sales professionals are a busy bunch. There’s a lot on our plates… building relationships, conducting research, identifying prospects, creating proposals, closing the deal.
Thankfully, tools can help us work more efficiently so we can sell more and increase our impact.
There are SO MANY options for productivity tools out there – it becomes important to find the tools that work best for each individual. Of course, it can take some experimentation to get there. Below are some of the tools that I’ve personally found to improve my effectiveness and productivity in the sales profession.
While a robust CRM is typically on the list, I won’t include it here. I believe that’s a given – a system with simplicity and integration that allows the sales force to focus on productive customer-facing activities. A CRM is part sales enablement and part personal effectiveness, because it’s the combination of its design (the system) plus usage and data quality (individual actions) that determine its relevance and impact on sales results.
I perform at a much higher level and with less stress when I’m organized and not keeping a mental checklist.
- Evernote: A tool for organizing client information, reminders, lists, and my own personal development content into easy-to-use notebooks.
- Dropbox: My go-to cloud storage tool for working with my team in the office or on the road; it allows for easy collaboration, syncing, and alerting on documents.
- Selling Lists: Recently on this blog, I shared five types of modern selling lists. These are more than typical “to do” lists. Several of can be used in collaboration with your CRM, and can give you that extra boost of focus. It’s all part of the skillset, A Modern Seller is Holistic.
- Tracking Sheet: Decidedly low tech! I keep a good old-fashioned paper tracking sheet for my customer-facing activities. If you use a tool like this, you’ll want to plan for entering pertinent information into your CRM.
Our customers expect us to be well researched about them and their organizations. These tools help me shave time on research and meeting preparation.
- LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn is my No. 1 tool for learning more about and connecting with industry thought leaders, colleagues, customers, and potential clients. I’ve personally found that investing in their premium option has helped me get further in my research and search efforts.
- Google Alerts: I set up weekly Google alerts on my top customers and prospective clients, allowing me to stay on top of trends affecting their organizations or industries.
Mindset and Decision Making
In the sales profession, our mindset comes before all else. The right mindset keeps us motivated (especially when things are tough), and helps us make better decisions about where to invest our time.
- Stop, Breathe, Think: A mindfulness and meditation app that allows me to check in each day, and then select short meditation tracks to help me set the right mindset for the day. Many of the tracks are 5 minutes or less.
- Win Streak: An app to help track daily successes, or “wins.” Very helpful for staying motivated and engaged on longer term goals, as well as celebrating small milestones along the way.
- Daily Planning Tool: Another low-tech tool I devised to help me focus on my top priorities each day. My daily goal is to tackle early in the day the top business development and sales activities that move my sales opportunities forward. This tool also helps me to time block and batch activities for greater productivity.
I’m including a few of my favorite fitness tools, because fitness is a huge part of how I stay productive.
- Nike+ Training Club: A free app with various video-based cardio and strength routines, all tailored to different fitness levels and goals. Many of the routines don’t require weights or equipment. This is perfect for wellness while I travel!
- Yoga Studio: A variety of yoga routines, customizable to fitness levels. Another great option for staying well on the road.
- Sleep Cycle: Sleep is crucial to overall productivity, and I know that there are many times I don’t get enough sleep, or quality sleep. Sleep Cycle is an intelligent alarm clock, waking you up at the optimal time each morning, helping you to feel better rested.
Looking for more? Check out this comprehensive list of 150 top sales tools, compliments of Sales Hacker.
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