There’s no doubt that the business environments we operate in now are digital-heavy and packed with more-informed consumers. That is why one of the most essential weapons of today’s successful sales teams is sales software. So, if your team is not optimizing their effectiveness through the use of technology, they will be left behind by the competition that is.
Feature-rich software built specifically with sales reps in mind, especially field sales software, has unlocked the ability to organize/centralize information, streamline processes, optimize productivity, and help your sales team significantly increase their close rate.
The good thing is, that there is now a wide variety of different tools available, in all different categories, that sales teams can utilize to maximize effectiveness (both reps and leaders!). Everything from sales management software to sales training software and everything in between.
But, if you are an outside sales team that is just getting started with building your tech stack, you may be wondering where to start. We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ve broken down some of the specific benefits of using sales software and some of the top categories of software, along with some specific software recommendations to get you started.
Benefits of Utilizing Sales Software (Especially for Outside Sales!)
In sales, especially in outside sales, efficiency—and any inefficiencies—have a direct impact on your bottom line. So, if the whole process is more efficient, it will be much more likely to increase sales performance. And for field sales reps, this also means being able to remain efficient both in the office and out in the field.
But the benefits of implementing the right mobile-friendly sales software can be much more far-reaching than just increasing efficiency. The overall benefits include:
- Automating many of your reps' time-sucking daily tasks (customer notes, cadence management, prospecting, etc.)
- Optimizing multiple stages of the sales process and reducing bottlenecks in the sales funnel.
- Organizing and managing sales and customer data in one centralized location.
- Optimizing sales routes for maximum efficiency.
- Housing, organizing, and sharing sales content easily and effectively.
- Getting customer-specific insights.
- Streamlining sales activity management.
- Helping improve the customer experience and, thus, customer relationships.
- Improving the ease and accuracy of sales reporting and forecasting
- And much more!
As you can see, sales software offers a wide variety of beneficial features to help sales teams operate at their best. But, again, the abundance of choices in specific software options can make it difficult to know which are the most important.
Top Categories of Sales Software to Start With
For a sales team to be successful, they need to be able to spend as much time as possible actually selling. Outside sales teams are already at a slight disadvantage when it comes to this because they spend a significant time on the road.
So, when you are deciding on the sales software categories to focus on, think about the stages of your sales process and what areas or processes can be the most time-consuming for your reps. This is where sales software can step in and streamline those things.
With that thinking in mind, here are some of the top categories of sales software tools to zero in on to get you started and a few specific recommendations of software for each category:
A sales CRM software is a critical tool that will serve as the central hub for your team, housing all of the customer and prospect data and other important information.
Easily accessible by your reps both in and out of the field, a sales CRM will have features specific to sales teams. This includes things like sales deal pipeline tracking, quote management, and sales cadence management. But, it will usually lack features that full CRMs have for the marketing and customer service teams as well (like mass emailing or ticket tracking).
Some good examples of a sales CRM include:
- Map My Customers - For field sales teams who want an all-in-one, mobile-friendly sales CRM.
- Pipedrive - For sales teams that want extensive sales pipeline management capabilities.
- Close.io - For sales teams who want to optimize sales activity management.
One of the most valuable things you can provide outside sales reps is a faster way to visit the customers and prospects within their territory. Thus, empowering them to close more deals. This is exactly what route optimization software does. These tools automate the sometimes daunting task of multi-stop route planning and provide optimized sales routes that maximize efficiency.
Some examples of popular route optimization software include:
- Map My Customers - For field sales teams that need the best way to efficiently navigate their territory along with intuitive recommendations to include in their daily plan.
- RoadWarrior - For sales reps who are just on the road very occasionally and want a free routing tool.
- Spotio - For B2C sales teams who are selling door-to-door canvassing neighborhoods and need a way to track knocks.
Prospecting & Lead Generation
Generating new leads and prospects to fill up the pipeline can be one of the most time-consuming tasks in your sales reps’ days. But it is imperative that sales prospecting is done properly to ensure your team is focusing on leads/prospects that have a high probability of closing. Sales prospecting software can not only streamline this process but also ensure your team is generating high-quality leads.
Here are a few recommendations for prospecting and lead generation software:
- Map My Customers - For outside sales teams that need leads by geography.
- ZoomInfo - For sales teams that need prospective business customer data across a wide range of industries.
- Definitive Healthcare - For medical sales teams that need data on healthcare providers.
Sales enablement software empowers sales reps with the sales content and information they need when they need it. This software organizes sales content and makes it easy for reps to collaborate on it, find what they need quickly, and even share it. This content could be prospect-facing (like data sheets or pitch decks) or internal-only content (like sales playbooks and battle cards).
Some recommendations for sales enablement software include:
- Seismic - For sales teams who want a way to organize and share content easily while also getting recommendations on what content to use in the sales process.
- Highspot - For sales teams who need to be able to pull up personalized content quickly.
- Bigtincan - For sales teams who want a sales enablement platform with AI-powered automation capabilities.
For more categories of sales software as well as particular examples of options within each category, check out this sales technology landscape graphic!
You Can Create the Perfect Stack of Sales Software to Optimize Your Team’s Success
There is a huge variety of sales software tools available to today’s sales teams. Not utilizing them in some form is no longer an option if you want your team to be as efficient and as effective as possible.
By starting with the categories that we covered above, you’ll be well on your way to empowering your reps with an effective sales software stack to optimize their success and increase revenue. Just remember not to overwhelm your team with a ton of different tools. The best case scenario is if you can minimize the number of separate tools by utilizing all-in-one sales software that meets a variety of different needs.
Try out a couple of different tools today and set your team up for success!