6 sales engagement tools used by pre-sales teams to manage leads
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a salesperson gets a thrill from closing a deal. Little is it acknowledged, however, that closing deals requires more teamwork than ever before.
In today’s fast-paced world of buyers having more choices than ever before, team efficiency has a direct effect on revenue generated. While segregating responsibilities into various teams helps efficiency, this delegation only works with good communication and transparency. The handoff from Marketing to Sales teams is critical and can be the difference between a closed sale and a lost lead. In this guide, we provide a list of 6 must-have tools that help Pre-Sales teams close leads more efficiently and generate revenue.
Once Marketing has secured a lead, it is handed off to Pre-Sales teams, who need to quickly close the sale. To do this, the Pre-Sales team:
- Teaches users how to use the product.
- Establishes value for the product to ensure users make the purchase.
- Provides support to leads on technical issues with setup and scaling.
As a result Pre-Sales teams send and receive lots of email. In order to close sales, they need to collaborate with people within the organization as well as communicate with the leads they are assigned. As email volumes start increasing, each step in their lead-to-close process becomes significantly more difficult to track and manage. An arsenal of tools is needed to achieve the primary aims of closing more leads and closing each lead faster.
1. Adding leads to your CRM
Once marketing teams send out their campaigns, leads are generated from various channels like website chats, emails, applications signups, forms on the site, etc. These leads need to be quickly and easily handed off to the Pre-Sales team to close the sale. We start with Dossier, an app to organize customer communications in CRMs.
Dossier — www.dossier.work ($20/mo)
Dossier is an app to organize all your customer conversations, no matter where they happen. it brings all your communications from email, website chat, and in-app conversations into collaboration platforms like Slack and CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce. First, you define your strategy for bringing leads into your CRM. Leads who visit your website may fill out a form, send an email to a shared inbox like firstname.lastname@example.org, start a chat on your website, or sign up for a free trial of your product or app. Dossier provides software that silently injects itself into 3 channels–emails, websites, and apps.
Dossier automatically updates your CRM with conversations from all channels, so a lead database is maintained, and the handoff to the Sales team is automatic:
- All emails sent from leads to your team are organized in separate “dossiers”
- Website chat helps contact website visitors and convert them to leads
- Dossier can also be added to your web application, so signups can reach you for help right in your app
With Dossier, teams can better manage incoming requests from all these channels and quickly qualify leads for the Pre-Sales team. Once leads and their questions are added to your CRM such as HubSpot, contact and company records for approved leads are automatically created, and all conversations are synced to HubSpot records.
2. Sending email sequences to your leads
Once leads have been added to HubSpot, automated emails help follow up with the lead in the crucial first few days when the chances of closing the sale are high.
HubSpot Sales Starter — www.hubspot.com ($50/mo)
Once leads have been added to HubSpot by the marketing team, the Pre-Sales team has access to the leads directly in HubSpot — a central database of all active, closed and lost leads. Contact and company information, communication history and active deals are accessible for all leads. The inbuilt and custom HubSpot properties help sort and search relevant leads from this contact database.
HubSpot Sales Starter is a great tool for Pre-Sales to automate lead outreach. Leads can be manually enrolled in an email sequence, a series of emails with valuable information and tips for new users. This automates lead outreach at a time they are willing to learn about your product while removing the daily effort of following up with each lead individually.
Template sequences are fully customizable and you can send any information you need to your leads in personalized emails. You can add up to five emails to each sequence and customize when each email will be automatically sent, during a time range, in the lead’s time zone.
Sign up for HubSpot Sales at www.hubspot.com for free. While HubSpot CRM is free to use, the sequence feature is available on HubSpot Sales Starter ($50/mo/user). If a salesperson has to manually enroll more than 10 leads per day, it gets cumbersome, so you would have to upgrade to HubSpot Marketing Professional for $800/mo. See the full HubSpot pricing.
3. Responding quickly to leads
As your leads are familiarizing themselves with your product and deciding whether to make the purchase, it is imperative for them to receive quick responses to their questions and requests. During the pre-sales phase, over-automation of responses, such as by redirecting queries to a self-help knowledge base is not recommended. Instead, set a goal to respond to leads within 2 minutes. This requires setting a collaborative culture in the Pre-Sales team, where anyone can respond to a lead, not just the salesperson assigned to follow up. To do this, we use Dossier’s collaboration features.
Dossier — www.dossier.work ($20/mo)
Your Marketing team is already using Dossier to handoff leads to you in HubSpot. Dossier can also help you better respond to leads by consolidating all lead communication from various channels (email, chat, in-app messages) in one place.
The Pre-Sales team can also easily respond to emails sent to shared mailboxes like email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Sales reps and managers can access the mailbox in Dossier, and view all incoming requests without cluttering their email inboxes.
When the lead owner is unavailable, other sales reps are notified of new requests, ensuring responses times are quick. Reducing this communication time demonstrates professionalism and drives sales. Using special “chat” and “collaborator” roles in Dossier, a lead’s messages are instantly sent to several team members. The Pre-Sales team can then respond in Slack, Gmail, Outlook, or in the Dossier app.
4. Following up with Video and Audio calls
In some cases, you may need to follow up with leads in a more personalized manner (ex. new decision maker involved, lead gone cold, errors and problems), When you schedule meetings, you can send out Zoom conferences.
Zoom — www.zoom.us ($15/mo)
Sometimes email conversations are too slow or inadequate in communicating information to the lead. Zoom is a video conferencing and web meeting tool to connect your team and customers over high-quality video and audio calls.
With its easy setup and use, Zoom is a great solution when you need to follow up with your leads over a phone or video call instead of email. The high-quality screen share solution allows sales engineers to troubleshoot complex issues for the lead and to present slides to promote the product on follow up calls.
To start a Zoom meeting, the “host” chooses the meeting options (video, audio, etc) and sends a meeting link to any participants, who can join by simply clicking the link. Zoom also provides a “call-in” option for meetings with local numbers in over 90 countries, so your customers do not incur any international call charges while still participating in the high-quality meetings.
Sign up for and download Zoom at www.zoom.usfor free. Zoom offers a free tier, which is a great starting point, however, there is a 40-minute time limit on (3-person or more) meetings started by free users. Zoom starts at $15/mo. See the full Zoom pricing list.
5. Creating self-service documentation for users
To reduce time spent replying to customers individually, frequently asked questions can be answered in a knowledge base. Self-service options allow teams to focus on closing sales instead of providing support. This is where Zendesk Guide can help.
Zendesk Guide — www.zendesk.com/guide ($15/mo)
While sales engineers and Pre-Sales teams need to give individual attention to the technical issues leads face, frequently asked questions with simple solutions can be added to product documentation. Personal attention is not needed for these simple “growing pains” and well-written guides can help users self service their issues, freeing up time for the rep to close more sales.
Zendesk Guide provides a knowledge base solution for your product documentation. You can add getting started information, FAQs and use case guides for your product. You and your team can easily create, approve and publish content using the Zendesk editor. For additional customization, an HTML editor is also available.
With a 3-level organization system, you can categorize articles, making it easy for users to find the information they are looking for. Your knowledge center is also indexed by Google, so users who search for their questions online are directed to your documentation.
Your help center is highly customizable since you can edit the theme both graphically and through the HTML and CSS code. The large active user community provides documentation and help-articles on these customizations, so personalizing your help center is easy and accessible.
Zendesk Guide is free with all Zendesk Support plans, but a paid plan is required to edit the theme code and customize your help center (highly recommended). The Zendesk Guide paid plans starts at $15/mo. See the full Zendesk Guide pricing here.
6. Promoting your product to leads
Promoting your product to existing and potential leads is done by establishing your product’s value. With documentation on how your product helps your customers now in place, you need a platform where your audience can learn about your product and its benefits.
Medium — www.medium.com (Free)
Once you add technical guides in your help center on how your product can solve complex business problems, you need to promote this content to your users and leads. You can add a trimmed down version of the guide outlining your product’s solution to Medium, an online platform for people to share ideas with people of similar interests.
Medium is optimized for both mobile devices and desktop computers. The uniform template displays your content appropriately, without you needing to code styles and formatting. You can now easily push your ideas to millions of interested readers, capture audiences, drive traffic to your site and generate leads.
Sign up for Medium at www.medium.com. Medium is free to use and you can publish your content without a subscription. Note: Medium offers a paid subscription for $5/mo that gives you access to premium content, but this is not essential for the use outlined above.
7. Analyzing lead data
Sales managers can analyze the data collected for leads moving through your pipeline to accurately predict useful information like quarter revenues and high probability sales. In order to do this analysis, data needs to be visually organized, filter-able and linked to other data properties.
Airtable — www.airtable.com ($10/mo)
As leads move within your sales pipeline, your team needs to prioritize leads and prospects to effectively manage time spent on closing sales. This helps sales managers allocate leads to their reps and maximizing the probability of closed sales while minimizing the time spent per lead. This optimization requires a large data set which, while easy to collect, is very difficult to organize and visualize.
Airtable is a modern, visually organized, spreadsheet and data organizing tool that helps you visualize and analyze your data. Inbuilt templates (eg. signup analysis, user feedback, and sales pipeline) help teams quickly set up their “bases”, which can easily be customized to the team’s personal preference. A versatile import tool can import existing data from excel sheets, csvs, or Google Drive.
Once the data is compiled, it’s easy to analyze properties like the deal size, number of meetings scheduled, regions where leads are coming from, how many took video meetings and more. You can reference data in other tables using the link and lookup options and filtering and searching helps identify data trends (ex. filtering by leads that took video calls, searching by leads that requested a demo, etc.). Different views, like the Kanban view, sort data into meaningful structures, so you can visually identify bottlenecks and user trends
Sign up for Airtable at www.airtable.com for free. If you run out of records (when analyzing large amounts of data), you can upgrade to the Plus plan for $10/user/month. Here is the full Airtable pricing.
With these 6 six apps, you can now run your Pre-Sales team in an efficient and modern way, for a total of $110/month per team member. Pre-Sales can now efficiently teach users how to use the product, establish value for the product to ensure the user makes the purchase and provide support to leads on the more technical issues with setup and scaling. This boost in efficiency makes achieving the primary Pre-Sales goal of closing more leads and closing each lead faster easier than ever before.
Learn more about the 6 apps here:
About Vik Chaudhary
Vik Chaudhary is the CEO of Dossier (https://www.dossier.work) in San Francisco. To business professionals and teams, Dossier is an app for organizing communications with customers. In his spare time, Vik loves to use Airtable to analyze all Dossier user signups.
Dossier is an app for organizing customer conversations, no matter where it happens, with zero disruption to the ways you already communicate. Based in San Francisco, Dossier is helping business owners, business professionals and teams around the globe intelligently sync their customer communication channels and organize documents, tasks and more. Welcome to a new way to build better customer relationships and a better business. Sign up for a free account today at https://www.dossier.work.