My Dad is a born handyman.
When I was growing up, there were always tools hanging around the house, or pots of glue, or random pieces of wood. But when I think back, Dad had 3 tools that were used 90% of the time, and probably another 200 that were used 10% of the time. Frequently employed were his favourite hammer, his trusty screwdriver and a pair of dirty looking pliers. All were well-worn, satisfied looking things.
The rest of the tools sat in the shed looking quite sparkly – and underused.
My fears for the current generation of sales teams is that you too will have a shed full of shiny underused tools, and you are potentially accumulating them at a rate of one or two a week – apps, little bits of freeware, CRM add-ons, advice, video, ideas. However you might play with them for five minutes and put them in the “shed”, without knowing the benefit of which ones to use. So, allow us to do the hard work for you!
Here is our list of the three sales tools to hang off your belt, and carry everywhere:
a) A tool to house your data: These days this is called a CRM System, or Customer Relationship Management System. The key with these is the segmentation. A good CRM will give you the ability to follow the 80:20 rule, which is to spend 80% of the time on the 20% of prospects who are actually going to make you money.
They do more than just remind you when to call – they help you strategise, suggest resources and connect you with specific client news, other influencers and decision makers in the sale, and so much more. Some of the popular brands include SalesForce and SugarCRM. If you are in a small business and you don’t have a CRM, you will be pleased to know you can download some open source versions for free. Simply follow this link.
b) A Sales Cheat Sheet: There are 7 critical things to remember to do when selling, and if you do them better than anyone else you have the deal. For example, how to ask questions that sell, and handle objections. In order to remember them all, you need a Cheat Sheet sitting right on your desk to sharpen up your approach. The good news is we have a Natural Training one page PDF version available to you for free! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy requesting it in the subject line.
c) A tool to generate leads: Your ability to create your own luck is a hallmark of a great sales person. You need to have a reliable tool for generating your own leads. At the moment (and this will change so keep your eyes peeled on the newest and latest) there is no greater source of new business leads than LinkedIn. Tip: spend time on creating a great profile, with a photo that works (send it around to some friends first for their opinion), develop your online list or group, and remember to always add value to others first! You might also like to utilise Google Alerts. Pop in your top 20 clients, and you will receive any updates on their progress, which gives you great material for follow-ups and client management.
Contribute to the conversation on Twitter as well as tell us what you think – just go to @Natural_Sales to get involved!