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5 Sales Tools That Are Worth the Price for a Growing Small Business

By: Stephen Hays

 

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Some things you just can’t skimp on. When your business is small and growing, investing in the right tools is one of the best decisions you can make. Some of these tools carry hefty price tags, but their benefits make them worth the splurge.

Here are five sales tools you should invest in for your growing small business:
  1. Salesforce.com: One of the smartest purchases you can make early on is a strong database management tool for sales and marketing. Powerful database management, easy collaboration, and detailed tracking help you manage leads and make better marketing decisions. Salesforce.com also has an app exchange that integrates valuable additional applications with no set-up fees or integration costs.
  2. Database: LinkedIn Premium will likely meet the needs of a company just getting started, but soon, you’ll need lots of contacts to turn into customers, partners, or employees. Don’t waste money on outdated lists that don’t fit your needs. There are many tailored databases with accurate, concise information you can access for a subscription fee. Use data.com’s database of people and companies to build your contacts, DiscoverOrg for IT sales, or miEdge for HR sales.
  3. Email marketing: You can take your email marketing to the next level just by signing up for a basic package through MailChimp or Constant Contact. Email marketing still works, and a service like MailChimp can help you manage and segment your audience into multiple lists. Investing in a great email system will pay off, and the cost is very affordable. There are also sites like Selzy.com that specialize in “last chance” emails, which grab your customers’ attention for a final marketing push.
  4. GraphicRiver: No one’s gotten excited about a PowerPoint presentation—until now. GraphicRiver has templates that make you look like a rock star presenter, even in front of talented design teams.
  5. Hoopla: Sales organizations can gamify every aspect of selling with this software to motivate employees and drive performance. Hoopla is great for small companies with limited time to train, coach, rank, and organize a sales team.
When you’re running a small business, streamlining time-consuming sales functions—such as lead gen, email marketing, and relationship management—can make all the difference between growing your company and staying in the same place. These tools give you the reach, efficiency, and professionalism of big companies, and they’re scalable, so you won’t outgrow them.

How to Choose the Right Tools for Your Company

Before you invest in an expensive tool for your business, it’s important to do your homework and make sure the tool is a good fit for your company. One of the best ways to find out which program will work best is to find out who uses it already. Call those companies and ask if it’s working for them. Find out why they picked that program, whether it was easy or difficult to implement, and what their results have been.

Make the Most of Your Investment

To get the most value out of these tools, first determine the core function of each piece of software you’re going to use. Start small by using the software just for that function. Once you nail the basics, you can play with the software more to find other ways to use it.

Just remember: Even the best tools can’t fix lazy employees, a bad product, or inefficient processes. If there’s a problem at the core of your business, then you won’t get anything out of these systems.

Let your company know that these tools are an investment, and work as one to make the most of them. Take the time to learn what each product can do, and train your staff on its functions. At the end of the day, these programs don’t run themselves. Capable and willing employees—not software—determine the success of a new process. Used wisely, these tools can help you grow your bottom line without growing your company’s head count unnecessarily, allowing you to invest in revenue-producing people.

What’s the best tool you’ve invested in for your business?

Published: January 7, 2014
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