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We can all feel it – the competition to stand out and stay top of mind among prospects is growing more fierce each year. To stay ahead, sales leaders must give reps the necessary processes and tools to identify, contact, qualify and convert prospects at record scale and speed. For instance, who can forget that famous HBR study a few years back that found that companies that are able to respond to leads within one hour are 7X more likely to qualify the lead as those that reach out after two hours?

On the flip side, in a data-driven era where consumers are used to receiving information and offers tailored to their unique needs and interests, it’s becoming clear that personalization is key in increasing sales. Case in point? Recent research by Experian shows that emails that are personalized deliver 6x higher transaction rates than those that are not.

So what’s a salesperson to do? On one hand, management is pushing for faster dials and more meetings; on the other, your prospects expect you to remember all their details and reach out at just the right moments. We’re putting a stop to the push and pull by providing these tips to help your team balance sales personalization and productivity.

Intelligent Emailing

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Do you ever think back to the days of faxes and snail mail and wonder how anyone ever got anything done? No doubt email completely changed the way businesses do work and is one of the fastest and most effective means of communication of all time. But, if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a sales email riddled with “sir” or “madam” and “your business,” you realize that it can also feel highly impersonal.

Rather than having to choose between reps hitting their activity metrics or getting clicks and conversions, there are tools that exist to help achieve both of these goals. For starters, instead of making reps bounce back and forth between CRM and inbox, choosing a sales platform with the ability to integrate the two can save time better spent adding a small personalized touch to individual notes.

Another tip is to select a solution that enables both email templates and merge tags. This allows your team to send personalized emails at scale by leveraging pre-written text and inserting tags like “first name” or “company name” that your system will automatically fill in using stored lead and contact information.

Fast Filtering

One of the hardest things about being a sales rep is receiving a list of hundreds of accounts at once and not knowing where to start. Who should you reach out to first, and what do you say? Where are they in the sales funnel, what conversations have been had prior, and when precisely should you follow up? No doubt chaos can ensue and potential customers can be left feeling far from special as reps attempt to piece together their pipeline as quickly as possible.

But what if companies were able to create and capture fields customized to their sales processes and pipelines, or tag contacts with a special lead source or challenge? And what if reps had the ability to easily filter all of their leads by these specific sets of criteria, in real-time, directly within their CRM?

This type of Smart List goes a long way in keeping reps’ leads organized and prioritized, while giving them enough necessary information to personalize outreach. For example, imagine filtering your entire lead list by people who are tagged as having downloaded a particular eBook. You could then draft a customized email referring to the content of the eBook and send it in bulk to this list, using merge tags to greet them by name and mention their business.

Automatic Alerts

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Remember that HBR stat we mentioned earlier? The instantaneous nature of social networks and Google search has accustomed consumers to receiving real-time answers and attention. But with hundreds of prospects in your funnel at any given time, reacting in real-time is a pipe dream – not to mention watching and waiting for prospects to make a move is a major waste of time.

Instead, leading businesses are employing sales platforms with real-time, custom notifications. Reps and managers alike can go about their daily business and receive alerts notifying them of activities or occurrences that they have defined as important and warranting immediate action. They can then reach out within that coveted one-hour timeframe with highly relevant and timely information.

Examples of highly effective of notifications might include:

  • When a new lead is assigned to you
  • When a prospect opens an email
  • When a lead with a score higher than 80 changes statuses
  • When a prospect views a sent document

Getting It Right

With the right sales tools and strategies in place, productivity and personalization do not have to be competing goals. Rather, your sales team can achieve both with equal success. For more tips to help ensure that your sales platform is providing you with the tools you need to drive performance and increase revenue, download this free white paper: 7 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Sales Software.