Nearly all senior executives agree that some form of outbound sales activity would benefit their bottom line; however, many smaller companies task their already overloaded management team with taking on this role. While no one is better suited to meet the moment, the typical result is an intermittent outreach effort rather than the laser-focus of someone wearing fewer hats.
If you love startups like we do, you have probably have had some experience as a one-person bootstrapping sales department. It can be challenging to establish a repeatable process for producing consistent, trackable activity and even more so if you’re short on marketing resources to boot.
In this article, we’ll offer a few tips for hacking conventional sales practices to help you extend your reach, accelerate outreach and regain valuable hours in your already jam-packed day.
Assess Your Resources
When you are a sales island, you need to optimize your limited resources. Start by assessing these resources. What content exists? Gather sales proposals, brochures, presentations, case studies— any customer-facing documents that may exist in any form.
Does your company have a CRM? If so, take it for a spin and see what it can do. Checking date stamps on contacts and note entries will help you determine if it’s used regularly or if the data may be stale and in need of some cleanup. If you don’t have a CRM in place, or if your CRM doesn’t offer time-saving functionality like automation, document storage, and integrations with other commonly used programs, consider making a change to a more robust program. We recommend HubSpot. You can get started for free and upgrade as you grow.
When you are a sales island, you need to optimize limited resources.
Now that you’ve assessed what’s on hand, it’s time to get organized. Cleanup and standardize your sales proposals and project quotes, and upload these along with brochures, data sheets and other materials to your CRM. If you find that you have few existing materials, you may be able to recycle content from your website, presentations, and sales proposals. Repurpose this content for brochures, FAQs, worksheets, questionnaires, and other bite-sized marketing tools.
Quick access to all of your most up-to-date sales and marketing materials will help speed things along as you guide prospects through your sales cycle. Integrate a payment account like Stripe and add digital signature acceptance to further streamline your process.
The best part of using your CRM to store and send documents is that you’ll see useful information about which documents prospects have read and how they interacted with your content. Helpful metrics like this provide valuable insight into your prospect’s level of engagement to better inform your next steps.
Prepare Your Pitch
Do you ever feel like you spend the better part of your day typing email responses about the same four topics? Typing out these emails one by one is time-consuming, and relying on a copy/paste method can result in some embarrassing mistakes that often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Setting up carefully customized email templates and snippets in your CRM can save you loads of time, and you can add customized fill-in-the-blank areas that will prevent your email from looking like a canned pitch.
Did you know that on average, a sales person only spends about 36% of their day selling?* That’s right, 36%! A lot of this time is eaten up by repetitive administrative tasks like data entry, locating the right materials, or back and forth scheduling communications.
Let’s take a look at a few ways to use automation to free up some time.
- Connect your email to the CRM to automatically record all of your emails. Once connected, you can email from the CRM or blind copy your CRM for simple automatic logging.
- Put prospecting on autopilot by building automated sequences. A timed sequence of emails will be sent to prospects until they take action.
- Integrate a meeting scheduler like Calendly, Google, or Office to enable prospects to book a meeting on the spot at a time that’s convenient for everyone.
- Use automated workflows to update CRM properties such as lifecycle and deal stages, or to assign tasks.
- Download the HubSpot app and scan business cards on the go to create new contacts.
Now that you’ve put some of your most time-consuming tasks on autopilot, you can refocus your time and energy on closing warm leads. Congratulations, you are no longer a single-person sales team, you’re a single-person sales army!
Reports: See Results in Action
Measure your performance with the powerful insights available in your CRM. There are several customizable reports available that you can use to monitor the effectiveness of your sales messaging and tactics or share insights and metrics with your executive team.
The Tools You Need to Sell Smarter
The sliver lining here is that you have an opportunity to start from scratch, creating a solid foundation with the tools, technology and processes that can be built upon for years to come. If you have questions or if you’d like some pointers, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.
Ready to Launch?
Rocket can help you set up and customize your CRM and develop sales and marketing content, arming you with the tools and intelligence you need to prospect, sell and close faster.