In the time that it took me to write this headline, I received 3 work-related emails. My co-founder knocked on my office doors to ask for some advice about a product we’re building. And there were 3 million other things that I could have been doing.
Like everyone else reading this blog post, I don’t have enough time in my day. And I am trying to conserve as many moments as I humanly can: I work with a virtual assistant, I create templates for everything, and I delegate projects related to my biggest weaknesses. I also look for strategic areas of optimization. One of my favorite areas of focus is sales enablement.
If you’re in sales or marketing, you’ve probably felt the time-crunch pain of your everyday role more than anyone. You’ve also probably come to recognize the importance of having the right processes in place. Here are a few ideas to help you get started, nominated by a community of fellow super-smart, busy people:
Try Artificial Intelligence Tech
Nominated by: James Gardner, digital strategist & client development leader at Connective DX
I spend a lot of time scheduling phone calls and meetings, often with 5 or more participants. It can be a real headache to identify open windows of time that work for all my required and optional attendees. When the back and forth of emails takes too long, I’ve even had people’s availability change, forcing me to start all over again!
I’ve tried several tools like Doodle that simplify and automate the scheduling process. They all help to a certain degree, but X.ai is currently my favorite. It uses artificial intelligence and basically acts like a personal assistant on your behalf. I think it’s still in beta but it wasn’t hard to get an invitation to try it.
I’m confident it’s saving me 60-90 minutes of wasted time every week. That makes a difference! Plus, it impresses my prospects and clients and avoids aggravating them with unnecessary emails.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Nominated by: Karl Becker, president of The Carruthers Group
Repurpose the content you already have and save content creation time. If you already send newsletters, parse out this content and turn it into individual LinkedIn posts to stay in front of your contacts and build brand awareness.
You can even use some of this content to keep your blog updated. We’re also fans of collecting content from partners, vendors, and colleagues and using what you found useful in your own post – giving credit to the source of course. As an example, if you have a partner hosting a webinar – share this as content you want your audience to know about. It will create value for you, your partner, and your audience.
Build a Personal Brand
Nominated by: Peter Seenan, communications strategist at LeadFeeder
Busy sales leaders know they should be active on social media because more and moreB2B customers are using social for research and the buying process is lengthening. The problem is that being personal, helpful and always genuine is seriously time-consuming.
That’s why it’s important to be using tools that allow for some automation while ensuring personalization. We encourage our teams to use LinkedIn, for instance.
Traffic to our website from LinkedIn has tripled in the last 6 months and LinkedIn represents an important channel for trial sign-ups.
Build Systematic Efficiencies
Nominated by: Karl Becker, president of the Carruthers Group
Focus your business development time where you have the highest probability of success. Implement a marketing automation program or newsletter platform that provides lead scorings. Lead scoring is a practice where a leads actions generate a score. For example, the more sections of your newsletter a lead reads the higher their score. You can leverage up your time and business development efforts by contacting the leads with the highest scores and thus the highest probability of interest in your brand.
Repurpose the content you already have and save content creation time. If you already send newsletters, parse out this content and turn it into individual LinkedIn posts to stay in front of your contacts and build brand awareness. You can even use some of this content to keep your blog updated. We’re also fans of collecting content from partners, vendors, and colleagues and using what you found useful in your own post – giving credit to the source of course. As an example, if you have a partner hosting a webinar – share this as content you want your audience to know about. It will create value for you, your partner, and your audience.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
Nominated by: Taft Love, director of sales development at PandaDoc
Research is a huge time-suck for sales teams—especially sales development. Manually finding basic contact info (like email addresses and phone numbers) and personal data (like job history and common connections) can take up a significant amount of your reps’ time and give the a great excuse for not focusing on selling activities.
The first step is to stop paying your high-value reps for doing low-value research activity. An intern or freelancer from a marketplace like UpWork, equipped with the right tools, can do a lot of this work for your team.
Here are some great tools that will help you find the contact and personal data necessary to keep your high-value salespeople focused on high-value activities:
- ProspectLinked – a simple, accurate, easy-to-use email finder
- LinkedIn Premium – great way to find prospects and gather personal data
- TryProspect – powerful email finder for LinkedIn profiles
- ZoomInfo – the best bang for your buck on direct phone data
- Owler – great source for company info
- Crystal – a “personality platform” that teaches you about prospects’ personalities
You have limited hours in the day–so start optimizing them immediately. Your sales team’s time is too valuable to be spent doing grunt work, scheduling meetings, or digging for information. Keep your operations running smoothly with the 5 tips above. The end result will almost feel like magic: what’s better than having more hours in your week?