Closing deals is one of the best feelings ever. Sales can be like magic, sometimes it just works, but then there are those times where you feel stuck or you feel like you’re just not closing enough deals. One of my most favorite things when it comes to sales, is to think to myself, “How can I do this better?” or “What can I do now to improve the process?” Having a good sales process is one of the best ways to accelerate growth and close more deals, but what else can you do?
A while back I tried teaching myself how to code. I got to the point where I was pretty quick with creating new apps. Nothing advance or crazy, but bare-bone apps, like a blog or a job board. I was never able to create anything more than that because I was stuck in the mindset that I must keep up with the newest tech stacks and learn the latest code. I would get distracted by people telling me that, “you shouldn’t use this code because it is 0.00001 seconds slower than the new programming language that came out.” I wasn’t getting anywhere because I was making things too complicated for myself.
When it comes to sales, it’s the exact same thing. It’s always good to try new tactics and strategies but keep things to the bare minimum. Use what works and simplify it. Stop thinking about different CRMs or different complex email management tools. Start the bare minimum because at the end of the day, it’s all about having a good process that works. Once you hit growth, anything else is a good problem to have.
Instead of spending days trying to adapt to a new CRM, start with a basic excel sheet. Hell, we did that at GrowthOK until 30+ customers, then we just slowly moved onto Trello and now an actual CRM, but we didn’t hop right onto Hubspot or SalesForce right away. Just a waste of time. Learn along the way.
Don’t overthink things!
Use Sales Automation Tools
You do not want to build out your own internal tools in the beginning. Instead, find a bunch of tools that match your budget and build a sales stack off it. Start with a bare minimum sales stack that can help you accelerate the closing cycle. Here’s a list of them:
- Linkedin Sales Navigator — This is built into Linkedin and allows you to build your ideal customer profile list easily by filtering the company based on their company size, industry, their title etc. Super helpful. What’s great about Linkedin Sales Navigator is that it’s cheap to get started. They even have a free trial if you’re just starting to use it.
- GrowthOK — What if you want an intensive amount of custom data. For example, you need e-commerce owner’s contact information that uses Shopify, does over 1 million dollar in annual revenue, and only sell in the travel space? Imagine all the work you have to manually do on your own to find all of that. Well, instead of doing it yourself, use GrowthOK for an affordable price and GrowthOK will find them for you!
- SalesLoft — Another powerful tool for list building. Salesloft has two different products. One is prospector and the other is cadence. Prospector is similar to linkedin sales navigator and is used for list building, which prospector is more of an outreach app. This isn’t a cheap option though, but once you have it in your process, you can build list rapidly and start hounding down on the outreach.
- Datanyze — This is like Builtwith on steroids. It allows you to track any website that’s using any technology. You can see exactly when they dropped off and even build contact list off it. Not cheap, and requires a lot of manual work, but if you have a decent sales budget for the month, give it a go!
Email Outbound Sales Tools
1. Yesware — Yesware is an all-in-one sales toolkit. Track emails and presentations, create sales templates, log calls to CRM, and more, right from your inbox. Remember how we spoke about keeping things simple. This is as simple and budget friendly as it can get.
2. Outreach.io — Rather new sales tool in the game, but highly rated. Outreach lets you connect with prospects by creating a sequence of touch points, interweaving phone calls and emails. Automates everything. This is a must use for a full CRM system if you are using phones.
3. PersistIQ — Never miss a follow up with PersistIQ. Persist works extremely well with sales teams and avoids duplicates in your CRM as well.
4. Streak CRM — This is a CRM that is integrated into your Gmail inbox. I use it often and love everything about it. You can track your pipeline directly within your Gmail inbox and can send mass email with mail merge.
Outsource what you can
In the beginning you’ll be doing everything, which is fine being that you’re the only one that truly understands your business and customer, but there will come a time when you’re too busy to create and manage it all. You can only do so much yourself. If you’re looking to grow, you might want to focus on hiring and doing other important aspects of the business like fundraising. This is the point where you might want to start hiring out a team of sales people to help you close those deals, while you do other things.
Hiring itself isn’t easy. You might be lucky and end up picking up a few lucky good hires, but that single hire can only do so much for you. For example, you can hire a SDR to help you with your prospecting, but who is going to do the list building, the lead research, and followups? Who is going to do the closing?
That’s why it’s smart to outsource. You can use a managed service like us (GrowthOK), and we can help you source quality leads, while the SDR focuses on researching, nurturing, and prospecting.
Eventually, when you have more cash in the bank and you start to scale up, you can hire more in house people. You can then hire a hiring manager to help you manage that process and accelerate your growth there, but in the beginning, it’s best to find a good way to source quality leads.
If you’re looking to accelerate your sales process now with quality leads and data, then check out GrowthOK