Okay, so Marketing has done their job and generated a boatload of leads for you to contact. Great. But is simply having a list of names to email or call really all you need to do your job efficiently?
No, of course not! There are a lot of other factors that also impact whether the ease with which you close a sale. You know all about prioritizing your outreach and the importance of timing, but if you know relatively little about the person you’re about to contact, there’s a good chance that the conversation is going to fall flat.
What’s a salesperson to do?
Luckily, as a modern salesperson you have a lot of tools at your disposal that make collecting intel on leads much easier than it has been in years past. Here are 6 tools that you should seriously consider using if you are chronically under-informed about your inbound leads.
LinkedIn offers salespeople a ton of knowledge that they can leverage to help make initial contact with a prospect go more successfully. Primarily, it offers information about a user’s career, industry, and the company that they work for, which will help you to understand whether or not they may be a good fit for your product or services before you even reach out.
You can also use LinkedIn and other social networks to build goodwill by sharing relevant articles, writing posts, and interacting with your leads before you make contact. This is an important part of social selling, which is really important in today’s sales environment.
Followerwonk is a really helpful tool offered by Moz that allows salespeople and marketers to better understand their Twitter followers. It offers a deep dive into your Twitter analytics, shedding light on who your followers are, where they are located, and when they tweet, which is all helpful information to help you build engagement and lead up to an initial contact. It also allows you to find and connect with new influencers in your industry, which can help build your social reach so that you attract the right followers who can one day turn into customers.
Being active on social media is essential in today’s market, both to engage with prospective buyers and learn more about your leads before making contact. But who has the time to spend hours, or even a single hour a day, combing through Twitter and Facebook feeds?
Nuzzel makes the whole process of following leads on social media easier. The tool allows you to create newsletter-like digests of content shared by your leads on social media which helps salespeople in two ways: You know what content they are sharing, and you can see what content is being shared by the people that they follow, which gives you a good sense of the types of content that resonate with them. Nuzzel is a great tool for long-term relationship building prior to and after initial contact with a lead.
Infer is a powerful lead scoring tool that is similar to many others on the market, like HubSpot’s lead score. But while most lead scores rely on data such as how engaged your leads are with your website or content, Infer takes the whole process a step further to help you really prioritize the leads that you should be targeting first.
By integrating with HubSpot, Infer is able to match data from your HubSpot account to information spread across the internet. These thousands of signals are used to calculate a score that can tell you how likely a lead is to convert, and can prioritize leads based upon the impact their conversion can have to your revenue. Though it doesn’t directly gather information that Sales can use to inform their conversations with leads, it makes it much easier to prioritize outreach efforts so that they are always going after the leads most likely to become a customer.
5. HubSpot CRM
We’ve talked about how great CRMs are for businesses a lot in the past. They can help you improve your sales pipeline, save you time, and just generally provide you with a lot of tools to make your sales process easier. So before we dive into HubSpot’s CRM specifically, I just want to reiterate that any CRM can have a powerful impact on your business (so long as you use it right).
The HubSpot CRM is an exceptionally powerful one for a simple fact: It makes it much easier for Sales and Marketing to collaborate and share data. (More on HubSpot Marketing below.) This collaboration makes it easier to share an follow up on leads, track results, and just make sure that your teams are properly aligned and hitting their relevant targets.
6. HubSpot Marketing Free
HubSpot Marketing Free is the (duh) free version of HubSpot’s flagship marketing software. It’s perfect for smaller companies who are just starting out in their sales and marketing efforts, and allows for the easy capture, tracking, and conversion of leads—all without paying a subscription fee.
And though this is primarily a marketing tool (“Marketing” is in the title, after all), it has the potential to have real impact on the efforts of Sales. By capturing leads and scoring them so that Sales knows who to reach out to, the tool allows Sales to make better use of their time and close more sales.
Bringing It All Together
Having the right information on your inbound leads makes the job of a salesperson much easier than having no information at all. To get that information, you’ve got to have the right tools in your arsenal (otherwise you will be spending a lot of time weeding through Google search results on your own). In Sales, as in all other aspects of life, knowledge is power—you just need to know where to find it.