I love being sold. The other day a kid knocked on my door wanting to sell me pest control services. He immediately started his sales pitch and I have to admit, the pitch was CLEAN. I stood there and listened with a smile on my face. After he was done, I told him I wasn’t interested in his product but I’d love to film him doing his pitch as I was very impressed. We both decided that was an odd request so we shook hands and left it at that.
I know, I didn’t buy the product but I still loved what I heard. It’s a great feeling to be sold and it’s an even a better feeling to be sold and then have the product or service deliver on its promise. That doesn’t happen very often so when it does, you better be happy. When it comes to sales productivity tools, the mantra often seems “over promise and under deliver.” Sad, but the truth hurts. Thankfully, some tools are living up to the hype and each one of these have found their way into my daily routine. Since they are helpful to me, I thought they might be helpful to you. Check them out and see for yourself.
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In my somewhat distant past, I had a few teams reporting to me. One day I had one of my managers tell me a customer was threatening to quit. I asked why and my manager began to the story of how he and one of our consultants were on a demo with an unhappy customer. During the conversation, the unhappy customer started making accusations so our consultant grabbed his phone and started texting the manager to let him know that the customer was stretching the truth. Little did the consultant know that every time he sent a text to the manager, a notification flashed across the manager’s screen. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem but since the manager was sharing his screen with the unhappy customer you can imagine how things went south when a text came across the screen saying the customer was, and I quote, “full of s*&t.”
I admit it was unprofessional and the customer had every right to be angry but truthfully when I listened to it and watched the recording, it was one of those moments that was so bad that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The recording shows the customer speaking quickly and angrily at our team. Then all of a sudden the text pops up on the screen and everybody goes silent. It’s quiet for 10 seconds before the customer starts to speak. You can hear his angry tone turn to furious. “Are you f*@&ing kidding me?” “Did I see what I think I just saw?” The rest is history but I can assure you it was an ugly conversation and the aftermath of dealing with the consultant and calming down the customer was not easy.
Quit smiling. I know you’ve done the same thing and if I’m honest, so have I. A month ago, I was on a prospect demo and I stupidly sent an unprofessional Slack message to my team only to see it pop up on the presenter’s screen. THANKFULLY, the prospect didn’t see the message but it was still too close to call. After those two experiences, I decided it was time to solve the problem. I knew I wasn’t going to stop sending random messages to people during screen share sessions so I needed to find a way to not get caught. That’s where Muzzle comes into play. It’s an app for those of us who can’t help but say what we want to say to colleagues who are sharing their screen. Muzzle is a Mac app that silences embarrassing notifications while screen sharing. That’s it, that’s all it does which may not sound like a lot but say that to our consultant who got fired or the many other sales people out there who have looked like fools because of what popped up on somebody else’s screen.
Do you see that picture below? The one with the internet browser and the 25+ tabs? That’s a real picture and I often get mocked because I have more tabs open in Chome than there are states in the U.S. (maybe a stupid analogy but go with it for a minute).
Why do I do that? I’m not sure. I get nervous when I close tabs. I might need to come back to it or there might be something important on there. My boss saw my ‘tab structure’ not long ago and he let out an audible gasp, “how can you get anything done with that hideous beast!” (That’s not a direct quote but that’s basically what I heard.) My response, “Is there another way?”
Months later, I’m happy to say there is another way and it’s called Toby. Toby allows punks like me to organize multiple tabs in one tab. Rather than have many tabs across the top of my browser, I simply put my tabs in categories and each time I open a new tab, I have access to all of my “tabs.” (See the below picture of an example of Toby.)
As a sales rep, people are always going to be on your back about “being productive.” Sadly, those people have every right to be on our case as productivity in sales is a real problem. Even the best of sales reps spend time watching YouTube videos, socializing on Facebook, or just being distracted. I’ve struggled with the problem often. I start a day and then end a day and find myself scratching my head wondering what if anything was accomplished. Every sales rep needs the ability to manage their time to stay effective. Time management is still the number one skill sales reps need to master to be great. This is where ResuceTime can help. RescueTime records how much time you spend in certain programs and on certain web sites. It helps individuals be accountable for how they are spending their time.
What kind of sales person would I be if I didn’t put in a plug for my own product? Probably not a very good one but this one is an easy sell. Sales reps have to build pipeline to stay on top but building pipe is not an easy task. It takes a strategy to help identify which accounts to target, a strategic outreach to contact and qualify your ideal buyer persona, and the ability to connect with and build instant rapport with people you’ve never met. Sound familiar? I think we’ve all had to prospect but now we don’t have to do it alone. Playbooks helps sales people know which accounts to target and then provides an easy-to-use Chrome extension to start building strong relationships through an automated outreach strategy. It’s powerful and since it’s a tool I use every day, I thought it’s only fair to include it in this article.
Still not quite sure what Playbooks does? Go here and take a free training course on how to setup and optimize Playbooks for your business. This is not a demo. This is a training and it’s one me. ENJOY!