Business development and sales can be a daunting task for startups. You have a bottom line that needs to grow, a market(s) about which you’re continually learning, and customer feedback that is shaping what your ideal prospect looks like.
The best way to learn these things is to just GO. Hit the ground running with business development and you significantly speed up the learning curve of finding your market niche.
Here are 6 tools to help you do just that:
When starting sales from scratch, you send a boatload of outbound prospect emails. Most of the time you’re writing the same or very similar emails. YesWare allows you to create email templates.
YesWare also allows you to create templates for prospecting, common questions, support, anything. Better yet, YesWare tracks all of the templates for you, so you can analyze how well they are working. I recommend A/B testing the subject lines.
[getImage id="" class="wp-image-3281" src="/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/yesware1.jpg" width="487"] YesWare’s Email Templates and Tracking
Your email templates are set up. You’re ready to take on the world and get everyone using your product. Only one problem.
No one puts their emails on their website anymore! Damn.
The good news is that most companies out there use one of a handful of common email structures.
Now how do you figure out which email address to try?
Well you could just send a bunch of emails and see which ones bounce, but BriteVerify can save you a lot of wasted energy. Just head to their site, type in the email address, and they will tell you if it’s an active email account. Easy as that.
*Pro Tip – Can’t find who the right person is to contact? Head to LinkedIn and look at their company profile and employees. Once you find the right person, you will likely only be shown their first name and last initial plus their title. This is part of LinkedIn’s privacy settings (and their best bet to get you to upgrade your account). Google doesn’t have these same privacy settings for obvious SEO purposes, so simply head over to Google and search “First name Last initial Title Company LinkedIn”, and voila. A link and access to their full profile.
So you’re up and running with YesWare, and you’ve got your outbound sales funnel cranking with valid email addresses via BriteVerify. Now how do you manage all of those prospects?…. CRM in your inbox.
Streak is a Chrome/Gmail plugin that allows you to manage your outbound sales funnel from within your inbox. And it’s amazing. It gives you a visual funnel to allow you to see who is where in the sales process. Assign prospects to other reps, share your funnel with your boss/coworkers, make notes to follow up, and keep any information about a prospect in one “Box”, that keeps your communication centralized. All from within your Gmail.
Get it now while it’s still free!
[getImage id="" class="wp-image-3282" src="/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/streak.jpg" width="468"] Streak funnel within Gmail
Your outbound sales funnel and website traffic is growing, you’re managing it well and gaining traction, and website traffic is growing by the day. Now how do you make the most of that incredibly valuable traffic and inbound sales leads?
Enter Pardot. One of the best Marketing Automation platforms on the market. Pardot bridges the gap between Marketing and Sales by allowing you to send automated drip emails to website visitors and inbound leads wanting more information. You get to set the rules for what makes them a qualified prospect and someone that Sales should follow up with. They give you ROI reporting to make sure you’re making the most of every customer touch point, as well as integrate with your CRM to keep your systems on the same page.
By now your sales efforts are cranking away, your site traffic is growing, and you’re beginning to receive inbound interest and leads. How do you make sure everyone is getting the support they need? SnapEngage helps you do just that.
SnapEngage is a website chat client that allows you to engage your customers while they are on the site. This is a critical time in the decision making process, and when users have the most questions. With SnapEngage you can chat with them right then and there, and answer any questions they have while gauging their potential of becoming a customer.
[getImage id="" class="wp-image-3284" src="/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/fullcontact.jpg" width="491"] SnapEngage on FullContact’s site
UPDATE: As of summer 2014, users of some Salesforce versions may find the FullContact Chrome Extension for Salesforce does not work correctly.
Please be aware that this is a legacy Chrome extension, and your edition of Salesforce may not be 100% supported.
Last but not least, the most widely used CRM on the planet, SalesForce.
Already using SalesForce to manage your prospects? Great! There’s a plugin for that. Utilize the FullContact API with the simplicity of a Chrome plugin. Once installed you will see enriched social data about the contacts in your SalesForce CRM.
[getImage id="" class="wp-image-3285" src="/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/fullcontact_2.jpg" width="445"] FullContact for SalesForce Chrome plugin
And there you have it. 6 amazing tools to help your startup get off the ground and running full steam ahead. These are all tools that I can personally vouch for and that help FullContact immensely in our day to day Sales and Marketing operations.
Have any sales tools you think we should check out? Post in the comments and we’re on it!