The Sales Manager’s Guide to Making the Most of your Sales Development Platform

Lead Nurturing ‌• October 2, 2017

sales manager's guide to making the most of your sales development platform

As a sales manager, having a bad sales development plan in place will kill your efforts to both prospect and close. The difference between average sales development and great sales development is the tools you use to set yourself apart.

Sales development platforms solve some of the most painful problems in the outbound sales process — sourcing the right prospects, personalizing content at scale, and activating prospect conversations across a variety of marketing mediums, including email, social, and banner.

From planning your sales day to tracking prospect progress, there are several functions within your sales platform that you can use to improve your outreach efforts. To get the most out of your sales platform, try out check out some of these features that can give you an advantage over your competition. Here’s the sales manager’s guide to making the most of your sales development platform.

Moving Away from the Old Sales Paradigm

B2B sales organizations continue to evolve in the way they organize and execute. In today’s sales environment, however, it’s apparent that traditional CRM systems simply don’t accommodate new workflows. CRM systems were built around the holistic salesperson who was responsible for every piece of the sales process, from prospecting, to lead, to revenue.

Today’s sales organizations are becoming functionally specialized. The resulting process and workflow changes require new, purpose-built technology to enable these specialties. Whichever sales development platform you decide to use, it should be designed to enable both sales prospecting and lead development teams alike.

When you have a tool that is built around an account-based architecture, it’s easier to manage the consensus-driven buying processes that modern organizations require.

The Future is Here with Automation

The future of sales prospecting and development is all about automation.  As with other automation platforms, success lies in the combination of data, software, and human capability. When these elements come together for sales prospecting, an automated sales development process emerges.

Why should sales reps manually reach out to prospects, draft sales emails or craft outreach campaigns when a sales platform can do most of that work for them? When you can automate the menial tasks that destroy productivity and enable your team to do what they do best, you’ll build more relationships and win more deals.

Getting Your Message Out by Boosting Content

A sales development platform will let you improve efficiency – allowing you to find out what messaging is working successfully and then apply it to other similar leads. By organizing and optimizing your content around your various target audiences, you can share high-quality assets through the platform and salespeople can replicate a process at scale that works.

At the end of the day, people, not companies, buy software. To sell, you need to engage in a conversation. Put the best content in front of the right people to open up a new line of communication.

Segmenting Your Audience and Expanding into New Markets

With a sales development platform, you can specify your ideal customer profile to find companies and prospects that match your criteria. When you can prospect to a specific target, you’ll be much more likely to close a sale. With the right tools, you can source contact information for every prospect in your segment, automatically getting their email address, phone number, and social profiles. Once you have the full picture of your prospect, you can more easily advance them through your sales funnel.

Another advantage to a segmenting feature is the ability to test and learn quickly. A platform that builds segments to quickly test new target markets, niches, and job titles can help you reach new industries and consumers. Once you find a segment that seems to hit the mark, you can size the market, test a small slice, and go big.

Engaging at the Right Moment

It’s proven that responding to requests immediately increases the likelihood that the customer will convert. However, many sales platforms rely on data that can be dated, sometimes up to days and in some cases, weeks old. A sales platform that provides salespeople with immediate alerts can help them start a conversation. OppSource’s Moment-of-Interest™ alerts are a good example of this sales tactic.

With Moment-of-Interest™ Alerts, your SDRs have the power to respond to requests almost immediately. As soon as someone reads your brand content or submits a contact form, you’ll be notified so you can reach out to that user at their moment of interest. When you act quickly, conversions increase. In fact, catching people within 20 minutes of their first interaction increases your likelihood of connecting with them by up to nine times.

Conversations are the most important driver of sales. You can’t open up new opportunities until you engage in conversation with the customer. Moment-of-Interest™ alerts let you direct your sales team to have more meaningful conversations, dramatically increasing the chance of a sale because you’re engaging them when your brand is fresh in their minds.

Creating Opportunities by Scoring Leads

As a sales manager who wants his or her team to make quota, a sales development platform will help your salespeople pinpoint and pursue higher quality leads that are on the verge of closing. When you have leads that are sales-ready, they’ve been fully vetted and are good candidates for a sale.

Many of today’s platforms have something called opportunity scoring. This ensures that leads are fully qualified before they’re handed off, which builds a stronger sense of trust throughout the members of your sales team. When all’s said and done, you want to give your sales team the best chance to succeed.  

Organizing Everything with a Centralized Dashboard

A centralized and composite dashboard allows the salesperson to organize their entire day around the highest priorities. When you’re trying to meet your daily prospecting goals, you can lower your stress, increase productivity and save time by keeping everything in one, handy location.

Your sales dashboard will identify the exact areas of your sales strategy that are performing well or performing poorly. When you have access to this information, you can use your time and energy in better ways. When you have an accurate picture of what tactics are working in your sales efforts and what’s not, it’s easy to increase both sales and profits.

Keeping it Simple with Automated Sales Metrics Dashboards and Reports

With an automated sales dashboard, you’ve just cut out a tedious, hours-long task of finding and assimilating relevant information. With these dashboards,  you have unparalleled access to crucial data that is generated by your team as they execute their sales strategy. An automated sales dashboard and report is incredibly important to managing the effectiveness of your team’s success and will tell you such things as:

  • Prospect engagement and conversion metrics
  • Which marketing campaigns are driving best leads
  • What messaging is working best at driving response with your target audience
  • Times of day and days of the week that are best for engaging with various mediums
  • Sortable and filtered intelligence about your target market receptiveness to your offering

These reports provide you with the necessary information to see how many leads are being touched at any given moment of time. Additionally, you’ll see how many leads have been spoken to, which helps sales managers track how much time is being spent on various sales tasks throughout the day. Depending on a prospect’s personality and how they mesh with your salesperson, you can track the frequency of contacts, follow-ups, the nature and outcomes, as well as average length of each touchpoint.

Trackable Templates

With a sales development platform, your salespeople can create stunning, impactful and trackable email templates that deliver emails with trackable content. It’s proven that email campaigns need to be designed well – according to Adobe, approximately two-thirds of users would rather read something gorgeously designed over something that’s plain and boring. It’s never been more important to have a great email layout with enticing content.

A strong sales development platform will have email templates built into its system, giving your team quick and easy access to a variety of compelling designs. If email is a big part of your sales strategy, you may want to find a platform that will help you increase open rate, spread brand awareness and encourage sales.

Best of Luck with your Sales Efforts!

Now that you know how to get the most out of your sales development platform, try implementing some of these tips to watch your lead count soar.

Sales development platforms help organizations solve some of the most stressful issues in the overall outreach effort. From identifying key target segments to delivering content in a timely manner to providing stunning email templates that encourage clicks, it’s imperative that you choose a high-performance sales platform.

As a sales manager, it’s your duty to put in place a solid sales development plan – a major part of that is your platform. Make sure you choose wisely!

Never Miss Another Sale Opportunity with OppSource

OppSource is one of the leading SaaS sales development platforms available, offering a purpose-built, intelligent and useful sales development automation solution.

There are two types of salespeople in today’s industry – those driven by spreadsheets and numbers, and those driven by conversation. As a sales manager, which type of salesperson do you want working for you? Those that engage in meaningful, relevant conversations with the customer will build more valuable relationships and won’t spend time messing around with spreadsheets. OppSource gives your team the purpose-built platform they need to effectively pursue and convert leads into sales ready opportunities.

Find out why companies large and small continue to choose our software – request a demo of the OppSource Sales Development Platform today.

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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