For manufacturers and distributors looking to get better results from sales teams, the sales rep software you select is one of the most important decisions your business can make. Sales rep software gives sales reps the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently, but the right tool for your team depends on what your sales reps need to do. Not all software applications are the same, and not all teams have the exact same needs.
So what sales rep software applications do your sales reps need to do their jobs? This depends on the clients you’re working with and how your team is structured, but for most sales teams, there are some tools that are simply indispensable for reps.
7 Sales Rep Software Apps Your Sales Team Needs to Succeed
- Presentation software. Back in the day, sales reps relied on thick paper catalogs, portfolios, and books to present their product lines to clients. Today, many sales reps prefer to use presentation software like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi to visually showcase their product lines with customers. Sales reps can also run these tools on the same mobile devices they use for other parts of their job, which makes them a much more convenient option than a suitcase full of catalogs and collateral. Regardless of the presentation software tool your team selects, you must make sure your sales reps have the materials they need to make a positive impression in their customer presentations, an important step toward supporting your team’s sales goals.
- Marketing automation. Today’s sales reps are expected to deliver higher results than ever before, in part because better tools exist to do what were once the most time-consuming components of their jobs. Following up with leads and prospects is one such time-consuming task that can now be managed with a digital solution: marketing automation software. Marketing automation makes sure that the right communications—such as automated prospecting emails, newsletters, and promotions to current customers and prospects—are sent to the right prospects at the right time. This not only guarantees that prospects are getting the right messages, it also frees sales reps to respond to customers who are ready to buy. Marketing automation can even help to uncover more obscure buying signals such as what customers are researching on your website, so you can move them from prospect to customer more quickly.
- Order management software. The ability to take and manage orders is critical for most sales reps. The best order management software shouldn’t just take orders, it should also include a digital catalog and eCommerce functionality. Why? Because 75% of B2B buyers say buying from an eCommerce site is more convenient that buying from a sales rep, and 93% say they prefer buying online when they’ve already decided what to buy. These statistics don’t mean that sales reps will go away, but it does mean that the sales rep software you choose should be oriented toward facilitating the order management process and allowing customers to manage orders themselves if they choose to do so. This allows sales reps to focus on higher value activities, rather than being mere order takers.
- Meeting scheduling software. Some figures indicate that businesses spend as many as 4.8 hours each week scheduling meetings. Over the course of a year that could mean hundreds of hours wasted. Yet, for sales reps, scheduling meetings will always be a necessity. Automated meeting scheduling software such as Calendly and ScheduleOnce can make this much less of a time waster. Users can easily schedule meetings at a convenient time through these applications with a few clicks, visualizing mutually available times and selecting the one that works best, then specifying where and how they’d like to meet.
- Social media. Once, sales reps relied almost entirely on face-to-face meetings and telephone contacts to establish and maintain relationships. Today, many sales reps are successfully using social media to uncover those opportunities. Social media, whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other applications, can allow sales reps to search for contacts in a given territory, or that fit certain parameters. LinkedIn, for example, offers an advanced search option that allows users to search for alumni of specific universities, employees of specific companies, or by geographic location. This can be a useful tool when seeking out new customers and new opportunities within a sales rep’s territory.
- “Softphone” VOIP phone applications. Skype has become synonymous with this category of software. A calling app is one of the best tools around for your sales reps to keep in touch with clients. These apps can be used on desktop or mobile, and the contacts follow your sales rep wherever he or she goes. These apps can do more than just call: they can also send and receive SMS text messages and can be used as part of an online message center where sales reps can manage their various communication.
- Mobile signing applications. When bringing on a new client, there can be a lot of paperwork to fill out and contracts to sign. It’s not always possible to sign these documents in-person, so a mobile signing application like DocuSign or eSign can be a great way to get those signatures quickly and easily. These applications also allow you to easily sign and store PDF documents that can be referred to when there are questions or to make those documents available to customers in their account histories without scanning, saving, and uploading.
From finding new prospects, to warming up your leads and closing more business, selecting the right sales rep software apps for your team is an important step in making sure that your team and your business accomplish your sales goals.