The sales industry. Some think of door to door salesmen, others think of telemarketing.
The reality? Enhanced and increasingly available technologies have enabled salespeople to do more in less time by working smarter- not harder.
The marketplace is more saturated with products than ever before, but with increasing dependency on technology and digital transformation, a growing piece of the product pie consists of tech products and solution selling.
There’s certainly no shortage of competition in the market of tech—how easy would that make things for us!?—so to shore up consumption, companies have started investing more money into products that allows for a more strategic sales process.
Every good sales team—be it in technology solution selling, clothing, vacuums or otherwise—has pretty awesome talent that play matchmaker with their product and enterprises across the globe.
But the question—which is nothing new for those of you in the industry—is…
What makes selling (more) effective?
To help answer that question we decided to interview our own rockstar sales manager, Anna McDonald. In only four years, Anna has become quite the sales connoisseur with a treasure trove of tactics and knowledge… all of which proving instrumental to closing more business.
With such an impressive track-record, we thought we’d ask Anna what begets her success…
1. How long have you been in the business of solution selling?
Well, prior to starting with AssureSign in 2016, I was a recruiter for a recruiting firm in the Atlanta area for more than two years. So, between pairing people with a career (people selling) and now businesses with a SaaS solution (solution selling), I’ve been in a “sales” role for nearly four years.
2. How have advances in technology and evolving sales performance software contributed to your bottom line as an account executive and now as a sales manager?
I’ve found that advantages brought on by advancing technology is two-fold for those of us in sales. …
While some advances can introduce additional barriers to reaching decision makers—ever heard of caller ID or spam filters?—many tech advances have become crucial to streamlining my processes, especially within CRM.
These efficiencies have helped me to find better ways to quickly locate desired prospects, keep information centralized, and integrate the moving parts of my workflows.
3. You mentioned workflow integration to be useful. What integrations have you found particularly helpful in maintaining a successful sales process?
That’s tricky. There are countless integrations I can think of that accelerate the process of sourcing, working and closing a deal.
When I think of the most helpful integrations, I think of the ones that enable me to do the most amount of work in one spot. When I can achieve multiple tasks in a central location, it cuts down time exponentially, allowing me to nurture my pipeline more effectively—which we all know can help to close more deals.
One of the better examples I can think of with respect to workflow synergy and time saved would be the new AssureSign-LinkedIn-Dynamics 365 integration. It allows me to prospect, connect and add new leads, all within CRM.
Additionally, it supports documents being sent for signature at any point of the sales process!
4. Can you illustrate how the AssureSign-LinkedIn Sales Navigator-Dynamics 365 integration saves you time and syncs information across solutions?
People don’t consider the time that tedious, manual tasks take from their daily schedule…
A sales executive typically has a wide variety of duties, including prospecting, note taking, calling, e-mailing, conducting demos, etc. Switching to a new task and logging in to a new tool takes up more time than you’d think.
Taking information from one location and passing it to the next, manually, can add up to five minutes or so per prospect. When you handle 50+ leads per day, the idea of transferring information back and forth becomes nearly impossible—I’m getting a headache just thinking about it 😖.
Leveraging the AssureSign-LinkedIn-Dynamics integration allows me to not only complete many of these tasks and duties in one spot, but also collects a given prospect’s information from multiple sources and places it directly into the lead.
5. Is using information on social media and having it funneled into a prospector’s profile truly helpful?
It’s funny to think of LinkedIn as a social media platform, as it’s become such a useful tool for driving my sales!
But YES! It provides the ability to delve deeper into a company or contact in ways I can’t if I were to “Google” them.
The intuitive nature of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator generates an easily navigated and integrative platform, which brings quite the relief for us Dynamics users!
6. Can you describe the other functions of the AssureSign-LinkedIn Sales Navigator-Dynamics 365 integration you’ve found helpful in your day-to-day process?
Where I find this integration to be most helpful is with prospecting. Trying to find the right person to reach out to isn’t always easy when you work with horizontal products. Being able to easily switch between multiple leads within a company and it instantly being tracked within CRM is a gamechanger!
The Navigator plug-in displays company profiles, current employees and other helpful demographics—a huge benefit when calling on sourced leads.
Another one of my favorite functions is the ability to send documents out for signature from any point in my workflow. I think any Dynamics user, well, users of any CRM system, really, would agree that being able to work from all types of entities (accounts, leads, etc) is invaluable in keeping the sales process functional. When you start having to leave a workflow to initiate transactions or activity things take longer… and as we know, time kills all deals.
AssureSign’s Dynamics integration allows me to send our sales contracts out directly from the Account level without ever leaving CRM.
7. How does personalizing conversations with prospects drive more closed sales?
With C-suite employees typically receiving hundreds of product pitching e-mails and calls per day, it becomes paramount to differentiate yourself and personalize the message.
Something I find that works well, and that I recommend to my team often, is to avoid sounding as if you’re calling in from a company. Using demographics and other information found in Navigator, we can get pretty creative with our phone personas!
With emails, that subject line is crucial.
Incorporating recent events based on a prospect’s location can be highly effective. For instance, if a prospect were based in Philadelphia, I could use subject lines like “Congrats on the SuperBowl Win!” or “Eagles Win Overturned…” to heighten the likelihood of that email being opened.
In the end, with your only connection to prospects being your words and your voice, setting yourself apart from the noise is key… This integration gives me the resources to do exactly that.
8. Can you give us a recent example of how personalization and efficiency played a major role in a closed sale?
Actually, a deal I recently closed with a financial services company comes to mind…
I was able to first connect with someone from the company via Navigator. From there, I kept the conversation rolling by leveraging information I found from the company’s profile.
I built such a strong rapport with their administrator, she remembered me by name—thanks Navigator.
When the time came to send out our sales contract, AssureSign’s SMS feature was a life saver! The decision maker was out of office at another conference and was unable to get to his corporate email account. But it was the end of the month for me, which means we needed every deal we could muster. I was able to send the contract for signature via SMS and had it in my CEO’s hand before the weekend.
Also, the capacity to easily see a signer’s progress via AssureSign document tracking in CRM is a huge help when you’re on a deadline like that! You can see where they are in the signing process every step of the way.
9. What advice would you give to account executives, sales managers, and those in similar job roles?
Take advantage of technology! Learn ways to streamline what you’re already doing and don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques and software that could potentially save time and energy.
Just as one of the hallmarks of being in sales is to exude confidence, so, too, should embracing innovation to enhance what you’re already doing… that goes not only for those in tech solution selling, but all facets of the sales industry!
The bottom line?
Constantly ask, “how can I make what I’m already doing more efficient…”
Nora Roberts put it beautifully…
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it… If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
Leveraging innovation in your sales cycle leads to
- more quality leads
- more time to nurture your pipeline, and
- more closed business.
Taking time to discover innovative tools and integrations like AssureSign-LinkedIn-Dynamics leads to a streamlined sales cycle and less manual processes.
Psssst…. The time you take securing an integration or solution and learning new mechanisms will be made up for (plus much, much more) on the back end. 👍