With more business transitioning from traditional work environments to the digital world, more sales optimization tools are popping up. If you're new to doing business digitally, you might be wondering which tools you truly need and which ones just add unnecessary tasks to your day. This quick list will help you get started with the essentials for creating your online sales optimization arsenal.
1. Customer Relationship Management Software
If you're trying to track customer information manually (or worse, not at all), you're wasting precious time and potentially losing money. Customer relationship management software helps you track current and past customers as well as potential leads. The multi-tiered systems automate repetitive tasks like sending out invoices or promotional emails, tracks spending habits, purchased items, and more, and keeps a record of contact information. CRM applications are easy to set up, too, since most of them use web-based platforms and require no on-premise installation.
2. Web Browser Extensions
You don't always need to spend a lot on sales optimization tools, and sometimes, you don't need to spend anything at all. Although Google's vast collection is probably best-known, most web browsers have extensions you can add to help your business run more efficiently. One such example is LinkBuddy, an extension that automatically creates links when you type certain keywords or phrases into an email, making it easier for you to let potential customers know about your company specials.
3. Configure, Price, and Quote Software
You're probably asking yourself "what is cpq?" Configuration, Price, Quote software has been available for many years, but recent innovations have created a renewed interest in the sales optimization software. CPQ connects with other business technology, such as CRM applications, to integrate data and automatically create a quote. It factors in quantities and customization, multiple types of revenue, and discounts to create error-free price quotes. Customers see a 95% reduction in how long it takes to receive financial approval and businesses take advantage of a 20% decrease in the time it takes to close a sale.
4. E-Signature and Document Tracking Applications
It used to be that any final sale needed a pen-and-paper signature. However, as online shopping gained momentum, companies have had to get creative about how they finalize deals. E-signature and document tracking programs are quickly becoming the go-to for small businesses and large corporations alike. They allow a business owner to collect electronic signatures and keep them on file with other customer information. E-signatures save paper and space and make online sales more convenient for both the business and the customer.
5. Marketing Automation Software
Marketing is, of course, an essential component of any company's sales strategy. While some businesses still rely on cold calling and other old-fashioned tactics to find new customers, many prefer when the client comes to them. For this reason, today's businesses tend to focus on email, social media, and other forms of lead generation to gain customer interest. Of course, spending hours a day sending emails or posting on social media leaves other business tasks neglected. Enter marketing automation software. These applications gather names and contact information from potential clients, such as those who have filled out contact forms on a website. The platform then qualifies the leads and prioritizes them. From there, you can set up your marketing software to automatically post to your social media accounts, send promotional emails, and more.
6. Sales Analytics Software
Tracking customers and setting up automatic promotion emails isn't enough to sustain your business. You also need to track how well your sales tactics are performing. For this, you need sales analytics software. These applications track your promotions and evaluate how well they perform. They predict trends in your sales and give you information that allows you to tweak your marketing methods as needed.
7. Video Conferencing Software
An increasing number of businesses have allowed their employees to work from home. There is still a need for face-to-face contact sometimes, though. Video conferencing software makes it easier to schedule team meetings for remote workers who may not live close to the physical office. The software is productive for a number of situations, whether it's a quick check-in to see how a new employee is doing or a large video conference for multiple departments. Many video conference applications provide additional features as well, such as audio calls, recording options, and whiteboard or screen-sharing tools.
Now that you know what you need, it's time to choose the right applications to meet your needs. Judge your options on more than just their pricing. Consider whether there is customer support, which extra features the software offers, and whether the brand has good reviews and a strong reputation. Take your time making the decision, as rushing it could leave you with something that doesn't quite meet your needs.