The key to any successful tech stack is interconnectivity. If the tools and technology you are using do not work with each other, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Let me give you an example.
Say you wanted a new phone and your favorite application was Twitter. Now, the new phone you want to buy doesn’t support Twitter. Why would you purchase the new phone when it doesn’t integrate into an application that you already have and love?
The same rings true for a sales tech stack, or any tech stack for that matter. It’s essential that the tools you are using to build pipelines, share documents, qualify leads, and more, are able to work together to help you, the sales rep, be as efficient as possible.
In a time like today, many sales teams are moving to remote work, as employers and employees across the globe are taking precautionary measures to slow the impact of the pandemic we are facing. This has many impacts to a sales team, one of them being the inability to easily communicate with your colleagues and managers. You can’t ask your coworker a quick question and get a quick answer over Slack, just as you can’t quickly double-check a pipeline update with your manager.
Just as in the office, your remote sales tech stack should reflect tasks that you do everyday to get your work done. However, there is an even higher emphasis on communication and people management, since this is the one key activity that does not come so easily with remote work.
We’ve broken down the tech stack tools that you need into various categories to ensure that we cover all the bases of a salesperson’s day.
A CRM system or Customer Relationship Management, like Salesforce, is essential for any sales team, remote or not. It manages all data and information regarding interactions with customers and potential customers. It is sometimes referred to as a one-stop shop for everything a salesperson needs to know about a customer or prospect.
Outreach is a favorite tool for many sales teams across the world. Outreach allows salespeople to drive more revenue by grouping their prospects and putting them through predefined sequences. This is especially helpful for remote sales team leads to keep up with their sales reps’ progress. They are able to see where each sales rep fell off of a certain sequence, where they lost a prospect, which communication methods work best and for who, etc. This allows teams to capitalize on inefficiencies by pivoting their focus towards something more productive or proven to be successful. They also integrate into plenty of tools in the Outreach Galaxy.
Remote work is nothing without communication. In a time when your team isn’t together in the office to ask each other questions, it’s said that over-communication is better. Using a messaging platform such as Slack or Discord is a staple for remote work. One tip from the Ciara team is to really drill-down and organize your channels into as few as possible. Combine similar channels into one, create channels specifically for random, casual conversation, etc. Organizing your communication channels is key to keeping information flowing and helps stop miscommunication.
It’s safe to say that Zoom is the hero of remote work in 2020. Not only is it helping teams stay connected, it’s also going as far as to keep families and friends connected. For a remote sales team, Zoom has always been a staple in their tech stack, as it is a way for salespeople to put a face to their name when talking to a prospect. It’s important when working remotely that sales reps use a kind of video communication platform to talk with their prospects to check-in, give demos, show new product features, and more. Remote work can be lonely, so using a video platform helps people stay connected face-to-face.
Using Intercom is a key way to get your website visitors, prospects, loyal customers, and more answers to their questions right away. Talk about immediate gratification! Intercom keeps the personal touch in your automated business messaging and allows you to stay connected to your audience. We use Intercom to help us specifically maintain customer relationships by having an alternative method to communication than strictly emailing or Linkedin, which tend to be asynchronous.
As a key player in the Google Suite, Google Drive allows users to upload documents and share them among team members. We use Google Drive to organize our sales material and resources, such as presentations, contracts, and sales-marketing material. It’s easy for the entire team to access via their company Google account and makes co-working on content such as articles easier than ever. Remote teams need a centralized location to store all their content and important documents, and Google Drive is perfect for that.
Trello is a task manager that helps teams organize who does what project, what stage the project is in, and track when it’s completed. Trello is used to not only assign projects, but also to track the progress of each subtask within a project. It’s a helpful tool for sales team managers to gain an overview of their team’s current activity and ensure that projects are prioritized correctly. Specifically for remote teams, it is extremely important to have a project management tool such as this so that quarterly goals, OKRs, and more are met or tracked digitally for everyone to access.
Finally comes a digital assistant, like Ciara. It is a conversation assistant that guides sales reps (or anyone making a phone call) through their call, provides recommendations on how to respond and automatically updates their CRM. We use Ciara to keep our messaging consistent, help onboard new sales reps, and track calls with clients. Plus, Ciara automatically updates Salesforce contacts and fields during a call, which saves a ton of time in administrative tasks. Ciara helps keep calls organized and digital, with a complete call history and CRM integrations. An aspect that is especially helpful for remote teams is the ability to share conversation templates. They help ensure that company and brand messaging comes across the same from each salesperson - whether it’s a cold call or a call to close a deal.
Now, these are only examples of eight different tools that can be in a remote sales team’s tech stack. There are thousands of tools out there that do the jobs in each category covered, and also many more categories that could be included. However, it’s important to use only what is necessary and of utmost importance while working remotely.
Being bogged down by excessive tools is never a good thing, whether working in the office or working remotely, and causes inefficiencies and a lack of productivity. That’s why it’s important to set up your remote sales tech stack as soon as possible, even when you’re all still working from the office. We recommend having a document that outlines a protocol for remote work, including each tool used and how the sales rep should use it while working from home!