by Jeff Molander, Conversation Enablement Coach, Speaker & Founder at Communications Edge Inc
We usually don't recommend specific software or endorse any specific companies, but when it comes to being efficient, having the right digital selling productivity tools can make all the difference.
Email discovery & validation
Among the better choices of digital selling productivity tools for email discovery and validation (based on our seller community's collective experience...please share yours in comments) are:
- Hunter.io (50 free email validations)
- Emailvalidator.co and Proofy.io (affordable paid email validation)
- Voilanorbert (email finder)
- ClearbitConnect (email finder) + Neverbounce.com (validator)
Email management, open tracking & productivity
Email management is a crucial digital selling productivity tool. Typical functions of outbound sales email management include:
- Send scheduling ("send later") and "return to inbox if..." (...not opened, etc) functionality
- Real-time open, download and click reporting
- Template storage & insertion
- Sequence management tools (follow-up routines)
- Calendar integration & meeting scheduling tools
For all of the above (and more), MixMax is exceptional. Our team has used MixMax for years, and they're a stable, growing organization with strong customer support, heavy integrations (with all the usual other tools like Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Gsuite, etc.).
Other contenders include SalesHandy (a MixMax competitor), Yesware (for Outlook/Office 365 users), Docsify and Boomerang for Gmail (a long standing, solid tool).
Outsource your cold calling
Don't overlook UpCall.com. If you're a business owner or manager interested in finding high-quality, vetted cold callers (so you don't have to do it yourself), this service is for you.
In essence, UpCall.com is “like UpWork for cold callers.” UpWork was formerly known as Elance.
UpCall is a growing database of cold callers from around the globe. You can select the language, geography and other preferences you require for callers. Then UpCall's search engine suggests callers whose skills best fit your requirements.
For example, my US (Chicago) 312 area code phone line rings in my pocket while connected via wifi in Athens.
You can even listen to successful calls potential vendors have made, view training and certifications they hold and more.
Sound too risky? Callers are rated based on feedback of paying clients they call for. Just like on Ebay or UpWork, you can choose the “safest bet” to start a new vendor relationship.
Digital call tools
Get on the phone. Maybe you're a small business entrepreneur or part of a global sales team. Either way, you need to be on the phone, and it's very likely that some good digital selling productivity tools will help. Like it or not, cold calling remains essential to success of 85% of students we coach.
Thus, you may need (or benefit from) emerging VOIP telephone tools like Grasshopper.com. This service makes it easy for small organizations to look and feel big. Once you have a registered toll-free phone number, the possibilities begin. Your business can have:
- Multiple extensions: An automated call routing system (even if there are only 2 of you!)
- Voicemails transcribed & emailed or texted to you
- Call forwarding
- Business text messages
Hardware required? Zero. It's all in the cloud.
Microsoft-owned Skype should not be overlooked, especially if you're like me: Traveling and working with international clients. Simply pick your phone number and bring it with you—no matter where on the planet you are. As long as you have wifi, you have your local phone number.
Skype Manager is a great team management tool complete with call reporting for your in-office or remote team. Plus, Skype for Business gives you online meetings and integration with Microsoft Office tools.
Templates don't work
Remember, if you are unable to start discussions with customers you're done. No tool will help. In fact, some tools hinder.
MixMax is great at inserting templates. But, if you insert templates to send to as many emails as possible you'll FAIL. Instead, use the tool to customize (and send) faster.
Need help getting good at that? Join us in our next online workshop. See you there!