Ask anyone who works in the sales world what sales tools they rely on, and you’ll get a vast range of responses. From relying on customer relationship management (CRM) software and data to possessing a smartphone that can pick up a strong WiFi signal and an internet connection in the middle of nowhere, decent equipment, and insight give even the most naturally persuasive sales executive that extra selling edge. But in 2021, what are the current sales tools that are absolute must-haves? Whether it’s a software solution that provides intelligence on the territories you should be focusing on or the compensation product which gives real-time metrics on targets, Varicent’s quick guide straight to the sales tools chase.
What to Look for When Choosing Sales Tools
The whole point of investing in sales tools is basically two-fold; to simplify the work of a sales executive and to ensure the right customers are targeted leading to greater profit. Within that are additional factors of incentive and market insight. And right now, in a constantly changing and challenging world, it’s also which tools, software and apps will enable your team to do their job to the best of their ability even when working remotely. These are the key sales tools solution and software areas that we at Varicent believe should be a priority.
1. Start and End with CRM
This is by no means a recent revelation, but a robust CRM should be the beating heart of all your other sales performance management (SPM) software. This is more than one of your sales tools, it’s the database and communications hub that connects you with all existing customers and the potentials. By harnessing the output and reporting in the right way, you can build sales strategies and forge ahead with both territory management and quota allocations. There are a plethora of products out there, but whatever you choose, make sure it can integrate with all other aspects of your sales software.
2. Market Intelligence and Analytics
Successful sales work and deal closing owe a lot to the preparation and prospects stage, especially in such a volatile economic climate. You want to arm your sales team with the weaponry that is most likely to hit the targets and achieve goals, and that ammunition comes in the form of indisputable market intelligence and big data. The more common use of augmented intelligence (AI) means that the data analysts are no longer relying on statistical patterns when compiling these reports. In fact, you may not even need to rely on the data analyst at all with a high-performing data solution such as Symon.AI by Varicent joining your stack of sales tools.
3. Leads and Prospects
As the old saying goes, “You can’t send out fishermen (or women) on a fishing expedition with a net full of holes and expect them to come back with a good catch”. Translating that into sales talk, every sales executive requires a smooth sales pipeline, and that is neither clogged nor leaky. This is far more attainable when utilizing lead-to-revenue software as one of your most important sales tools. Throughout the pipeline, you’ll be able to get a clear and current view on accurate sales metrics, conversion rates, and how close an individual or team is to a deal. Having reliable real-time metrics at your fingertips will also inform any performance reviews that allow timely interventions if someone is dangerously off-track.
4. Territory and Quota Management
The sales pipeline is unlikely to successfully proceed without a strong piece of territory and quota management software to show the way forward. The importance and of establishing reasonably sized territories and manageable quotas are nothing new, but market conditions and continue to shift which means one model doesn’t suit all sales operations or customers. To fully understand and control what can be a very complex and fast-moving situation, the sales tool you can’t afford to get wrong, or underestimate is this one. Varicent’s Territory and Quota Management (TQM) software solution does more than present current data in a clear set of dashboards. It’s customizable so you can set hierarchies, plans, and tactics that match up with the bigger sales and objectives picture. And to counter any frustrations and wrong assumptions that can generate within a sales team about the equity of quotas and territories, an accessible and open product like this not only levels the sales field but motivates your team to meet their targets.
5. Incentive Compensation Planning for Now and Tomorrow
Whether you call it compensation, commission, or a sales bonus scheme, your pay-out plan must be watertight. In times gone by, inaccuracies, multiple systems, and legitimate questions over the validity of commission often resulted in shadow accounting, doubt, and often desertion. Now, with improved technology, there is no excuse to rely on old-school methods when reviewing your sales tools. An incentive compensation software solution such as the one offered by Varicent goes several steps further than simply calculating accurate payments as and when they are needed. It allows sales teams to post queries in real-time and can handle even the most complex compensation systems and rules.
Getting Your Best Sellers Back to Selling
Regardless of which manufacturer’s name is on the product and no matter what global change may bring, the bottom line is, “How will these sales tools help improve the bottom line?”. Those doing the selling may well edit that sentence and additionally ask “How will these sales tools help me to sell more intuitively, improve the bottom line and increase my commission?”.
To make sure your sales tools choices can meet the needs of your business and are match-fit for future challenges, make sure you arrange demos—the same way your customers would when looking to buy your own products.
Discover how Varicent’s sales software solutions can transform your business in the future by booking a product demo today.