If you didn’t already know how to make sales from a distance, Covid-19 probably taught you how necessary a skill it is pretty dang quick. And, for us at least, we learned that video was key to closing some of our biggest and best deals in record time. There’s just something about moving pictures that, well, moves us.
You may not have heard of Vidyard before, but after using it for just a few minutes you may wonder why that is. This app will transform how you reach out to prospects and leads, letting you create compelling and short video content you can send out to your most promising contacts.
This tool integrates with your full marketing stack, letting you embed the videos you create in your landing pages, emails, and virtually anywhere else. It helps you make a real, human connection with the people most important to your business, even when you’re separated by thousands of miles. And what’s not to love about that?
Manually tracking down leads and prospects doesn’t work as well as it used to. These days, most efficient and productive enterprises use some form of marketing automation to make sure their messages are being received and heard by the right people at the right time. But not all automation solutions are equally matched.
We’ve been using Hubspot for a while now and we’re over the moon for it. This is a truly full-featured, enterprise solution. And while it’s got a price tag to match, most businesses won’t know what they ever did without it after just a few weeks of using it.
Hubspot offers a customer relationship management (CRM) portal, as well as full-blown marketing, sales, operations, service, and content management hubs. What we love about it is how it integrates your content marketing strategies with your more traditional salesperson-driven outreach. And well-informed customers are just plain easier to close.
The sale’s not done until they’ve signed on the dotted line. Virtually, that is. The days of snail mailing a paper copy of a sales contract to a client and waiting for it to come back are a relic of the past (for most of us at least). In its place is new functionality that allows us to offer and accept electronic signatures.
DocuSign is exactly one of those solutions, but with a ton of extra features thrown in. It offers a full-blown contract management system, complete with cloud storage and contract lifecycle management. You can incorporate payment functionality as well (if that sort of thing suits your business).
At the end of the day, DocuSign (and its less well-known competitors) enables you to spend more time selling and less time worrying about the technical details. And, in our books, anything that gets you off the paperwork treadmill and back on the sales horse is worth its weight in gold.
Sales Pipeline Intelligence: Gong.io
Each individual sale is made up of countless different pieces. From your first cold call to your latest check-in, you’ve probably made contact with each of your prospects, leads, and clients a million times. And, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering which parts of the process could benefit from a little finetuning, then Gong.io is the app for you.
Gong.io monitors and tracks all of your customer interactions and crunches the resulting data, telling you where you could improve and exactly how to do it. It’s like an all-seeing, all-hearing coach who never sleeps.
This app integrates with every major CRM, including Salesforce, as well as all the latest messaging apps to ensure it’s capturing every last piece of information it needs to give you the latest evidence-based insights and suggestions. It’s a real game-changer.
Prospect Intelligence and Market Research: Gazelle.ai (This is us!)
You didn’t think we’d forget about our very favoritest app of all did you? The one we’ve spent the last decade building, refining, and perfecting? Of course you didn’t.
Gazelle.ai is our very own prospecting-slash-selling wondertool (yes, we made up that word but we’re sticking with it) that connects you with representatives of the companies you need to connect with exactly at the moments they want to hear from you.
Gazelle.ai is AI-driven, human-research-augmented data that tells you which companies are expanding and where they might be looking to grow. It’s invaluable information because, as any sales pro will tell you, it’s the growing firms that buy the vast majority of whatever you happen to be selling.
Communications Integration: Intercom
Intercom bills itself as the “Engagement OS.” In our experience, it’s an apt description.
If you’re anything like us, you use a ton of different tools to communicate with vendors, clients, employees, prospects, and others. This can leave your efforts at communication feeling disjointed, and result in client and stakeholder experiences where it seems like one part of your company doesn’t know what the other parts are doing.
But Intercom changes all that. It replaces all of your disparate communications tools with a single, coherent, and holistic platform that keeps your outgoing and incoming messages in a single place. You’ll no longer have to wonder what Jim from marketing has been telling your prospect, or what Sally from operations has been doing with that vendor contract for so long. It’s all right there for you to see.
Basically, Intercom lets you get a birds-eye view of your lead, prospect, or client’s experience during the sales process and helps you adapt to what they’re encountering. Yes, on one level this is an integration and intelligence tool. But on another, it’s an empathy and connection machine that plugs you directly into your customer’s world.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
While we love each and every one of the tools we’ve described above, we’re not guaranteeing that they’ll be ideal for you. (Accept for Gazelle.ai. We’re pretty sure almost anyone can make amazing use of our award-winning software!)
Sales is all about fit, and finding the perfect combination of software, apps, tools, and workflows is a trial-and-error process that looks different for every person. But, at the very least, you can rest assured that all the entries in the list above represent some of the most promising apps from promising, industry-leading companies.