16 ideas for creating the perfect sales toolkit
READ TIME: 11 MINUTES
Sarah Jackson, March 08, 2022
Many professions that relied on in-person meetings adapted to a physically distant world over the past few years. Online school. Half-empty sports stadiums. And of course, a switch to remote work for sales teams.
But that doesn’t mean businesses and stakeholders can’t still thrive. Numerous companies have risen to meet the demands of a remote-first world — creating sales tools and learning opportunities that can be valuable additions to your digital sales toolkit.
From apps that makes the sales process more efficient, to coaching and skill-building methods, to best practices that increase team success, these are the sales tools and initiatives you should use in your sales strategy:
16 ways to make your sales toolkit more effective
Sales tools and apps
Those who’ve been in the sales or remote work world for a while will recognize a few of these companies. But there are also some newer players adding value to the field.
Scheduling anything with a distributed sales force can be a challenge. If you have sales reps working in different time zones or need to reach prospects with busy schedules, Calendly helps you connect with them at a time that works for everyone.
Calendly is a powerful scheduling tool that goes above and beyond by integrating with calendar apps like Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook. Sales team members simply set the times they’re available, and Calendly will show interested prospects a list of times the sales rep can meet.
Scheduling multiple meetings at a time? Knowing your availability means Calendly won’t double-book you — it automatically avoids that and schedules buffers between meetings.
Meeting participants automatically get invitations to confirm they’re attending. Calendly even lets you host video conferences, perfect for one-on-one meetings with prospects as well as group meetings when you want to include an engineer, customer success manager, or any other role that brings value and helps you close a deal. What’s more, by using Calendly’s browser extension, you can integrate the platform’s functionality directly into your Gmail inbox or LinkedIn Messaging conversations.Sign up FREE for Calendly
2. Hubspot Sales Professional
A household name in lead generation software, Hubspot’s Sales Professional subscription brings a powerful set of features you can use to up your game. Recent updates make it even more valuable, including:
Sales management and segmentation tools
Multiple sales funnel pipelines
Sales automation with customizable workflows
Predictive lead scoring and metrics
Expanded product, document template, and email template libraries
Smart send times
Take advantage of sales automation features to increase team productivity, organize and align your staff, and manage multiple deals for different funnel stages and products. Hubspot Sales Hub is a tool that can help your team operate at their best.
I prefer @HubSpot I like that you get a clean and simple experience but also a robust and powerful experience. Any marketing/sales professional can set it up w/o the help of an engineer. If you get on enterprise or pro, you also get predictive modeling and scoring built in.— Alex Staton (@alex_staton) March 18, 2021
Video is now a dominant communication channel. It’s become a way to host distanced events and classes, webinars, and concerts. It’s a primary method to host work meetings, or just to talk with friends and family.
Vidyard provides an easy way to add video to your sales toolkit.The app lets you create and edit videos by yourself, and the sign-up process is simple — just sign up using your Google account. It also works as a simple extension to your Chrome browser.
Take advantage of the attention-grabbing power of video by creating informative explainer videos for your website or embedding video thumbnails in your marketing emails. Vidyard also helps you stay connected with your remote sales team via video chat or through prerecorded updates.
One of the biggest and most relevant questions facing every marketer is, “What is my ideal customer thinking?” Crystal helps you answer that question by giving insight into people’s personalities based on their social media profiles.
Crystal’s website says it can help you with everything from identifying sales prospects to developing a playbook for your latest campaign. It works as a Chrome extension, scanning people’s social media profiles to gain information and offering advice on how to communicate with them.
Approaching someone with a better understanding of what they like and what motivates them can help cold calls succeed by giving prospects a more personalized touch.
Thoughtfulness is what’s missing in our binary data-driven world.— William M. Ballance (@mballance) January 11, 2021
Optimistic that @lavenderhq, @CrystalKnowsMe and others are building toward a hybrid future that powers tech-enabled thoughtfulness.
What other companies do you like with similar goals?
ZoomInfo maintains an extensive database of companies and the decision makers that lead them. The information helps you ensure the contact details saved in your CRM are up to date so they can target prospects more effectively.
Salespeople use ZoomInfo to filter prospects by industry type, location, size, and revenue. The tool’s analytics uncover new sales opportunities. For example, an ideal customer profile can be mapped to ZoomInfo’s databases of company web domains and lists of what keywords were searched by devices on those domains. The results show which contacts are searching keywords and topics relevant to your solution — an insight into your prospects’ and clients’ buying intent.
6. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator platform lets you use LinkedIn’s vast database to generate new sales leads and engage with prospects on a more personalized level.
The tool connects with your CRM system to provide data insights, give you lead recommendations, and help you track information. Your team can also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s advanced search features to identify potential connections that match your buyer persona, even at the least expensive subscription tier.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is highly under rated. It really can change your sales game if you take the time to learn it.— Morgan J Ingram (@morganjingram) February 18, 2022
Salespeople generate a lot of written communication. When you’re sending that follow-up email to a prospect, you must sound professional and eliminate typos and grammatical errors.
Grammarly ensures your copy is clean by providing spelling, punctuation, and grammar suggestions as you type. It even analyzes your text to identify the tone of your message.
You can get the free version as a Chrome extension, and you have the option of upgrading for more in-depth insights. While it isn’t perfect, Grammarly is definitely a useful tool for double-checking correspondence.
Gong is a revenue intelligence platform that helps sales managers better understand and refine sales strategies. By separating the sales process into its component parts for analysis, the platform can reveal how deals are moving through the pipeline and the driving forces behind them.
Gong’s main feature is analyzing recordings of sales calls using conversational intelligence. The platform delivers insights about how salespeople discuss their products and interact with prospects on sales calls. Gong also captures and analyzes meeting details and related communications to provide a full picture of what’s happening as deals progress. You can then see where they can improve the sales process for greater deal success.
Sales enablement and sales training
Using the right tools is a must, but it’s only part of the equation. If salespeople don't stay current and keep their skills sharp, they could fall behind. The good news is there are plenty of ways to train yourself and your team so you never miss a beat.
9. Adopt a sales methodology
Most organizations use a sales process — a consistent series of trackable steps and stages that define a sales rep’s tasks through a deal. Higher-performing organizations also adopt a sales methodology to define the strategies and tactics salespeople use to guide prospects through that sales process. A good sales methodology provides a unifying philosophy and best practices for the sales team, as well as a framework for increasing skills and capabilities.
There are many sales methodologies available, so it’s important to choose the one that best aligns with your sales funnel, customer needs and pain points, and team (and organizational) goals.
For example, the Sandler Selling System positions sales reps as consultants. Emphasizing lead qualification over closing, the methodology encourages your team to focus on asking prospects questions about their challenges and needs instead of selling your solution. The Sandler approach helps sales reps avoid wasting time selling to people that don’t need the solution, and instead spend more time building trust with prospects who are more likely to convert.
Another example is Winning by Design, which was developed for businesses with recurring revenue. Funnel-based sales methodologies stop at the point of conversion, and don’t account for contract renewals, additional functionality purchases, and expanded licenses common in SaaS organizations. Profits may not appear until months or even years after a deal closes. The Winning by Design approach encompasses the entire customer lifecycle, helping you continually uncover, communicate, and deliver business impact at every stage to drive sales growth from existing customer relationships.
However, simply adopting a sales methodology won’t make your team more effective. It’s also critical to ensure your sales team dedicates time to learn the methodology so it becomes second nature in selling.
10. Implement a sales enablement platform
Sales enablement platforms are critical for ongoing success. Sales teams use them to align content with their sales strategies, train salespeople on new products and services, enhance individual and team performance, and tailor communications to prospects during every stage of the sales funnel.
Disorganized content is a major time waster for sales reps. Sales sheets, playbooks, pricing plans, FAQs, and other materials are often housed on different servers, inboxes, CRM folders, etc.
By using a sales enablement platform, everything is available in one location. Salespeople get time back that they can use for closing deals. Bonus: Having a single source for content ensures salespeople always share the most current information with prospects.
Many sales enablement platforms have AI-driven features that make sales teams more effective. For example, Highspot provides content recommendations based on what’s been successful in previous similar deals, while Guru offers real-time content recommendations within chat tool conversations.
11. Get your sales enablement certification
A free offering from Hubspot, the Sales Enablement certification course features 40 videos and supplemental lessons totaling nearly five hours of instruction.
Combine elements of sales and marketing by learning what sales enablement is, how to build a marketing framework, how to use buyer personas in sales and more. Once completed, the course claims to give your team the knowledge to define your ideal customer and create a steady flow of leads.
12. Listen to the Sprocket Talk podcast
If you’re always listening to podcasts or audiobooks on the go, Sprocket Talk might be for you. Sprocket Talk serves as a hub for audio interviews with Hubspot partners, instructional videos, tutorials, and more. It’s a resource salespeople can tap anytime to make sure they’re always learning.
Best practices to adopt
It’s never a bad time to take a look at your sales process and evaluate it. What’s working? What isn’t? Make this the year you ditch what doesn’t work and learn some new best practices.
13. Improve your recaps
It’s pretty common to send a recap after your sales calls, but are you just going through the motions or actually sending something that’s quality?
Taking detailed notes during a call can help you send a recap that impresses a potential prospect. Try to send a recap after every call. Detailed record keeping also makes it easier for other sales team members to stay up to date on your progress.
The meeting recap email is probably my best "sales" tool.— Michael Policar (@MikePolicarNGP) May 20, 2021
1. This is what I heard you say. Did I miss anything?
2. This is what I think we should discuss/do next.
3. What do you think we should discuss next?
Save in client file.
14. Talk to others in your field
Don’t be afraid to seek advice from others in sales and marketing. Bouncing ideas off others might help you come up with something you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
Knowing what others are doing can also clue you into trends and inspire new methodologies for your next campaign.
15. Go old school
We’re talking paper and ink. By all means, supplement your learning with digital resources and communicate with others. But also dust off those old sales books — or pick up a few new ones. Even if you’re familiar with the principles, it never hurts to strengthen your foundations.
16. Find sales process automation opportunities
Automation helps free up time and saves you the headache of repetitive tasks. Getting rid of mundane, less interactive tasks can make your sales team more efficient and focused on the parts of their job they love.
For example, you can write follow-up communications using a customized email template in advance and schedule them to go out after the meeting — or use Calendly to create an automated Workflow that sends them for you every time. Chatbots might also be a good choice for answering easier questions and tasks, diverting more complex customer needs to an actual person.
And there you have it: an array of resources to build your sales toolkit. Used effectively, your toolkit will help you create a more skilled, effective, and efficient sales team that can better connect with prospects and close deals.
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