Sales technology is overwhelming.
There are a gajillion solutions out there, and they all claim to make my sales headaches disappear.
So where do you even start when it comes to building the sales tech stack for your sales organization?
Recently Mark Kosoglow, the V.P. of Sales for Outreach.io, sat down to talk with us about the sales stack at Outreach. This stack is the backbone that’s driven Outreach’s growth from 0 customers in November 2014 to 2,000 customers in February 2016.
Outreach doesn’t have a marketing team…so 100% of that growth is attributed to their outbound sales efforts, and the tech that fuels those efforts.
Impressed? Because you should be. Those numbers are insane.
Having an effective sales stack can increase the productivity of your sales team by three to five times. It takes the guesswork out of finding accounts, streamlines your access to account information, and spits out a specific process you can repeat every time.
So without further ado, here’s the insanely effective sales stack that Mark uses at Outreach. Enjoy.
The ever-popular networking site is the first tool.
It’s important to source accounts based on specific demographics for your ideal customer profile. Being able to say concisely what or whom you are looking for saves you from weeding through the huge number of potential accounts available through LinkedIn.
Really thinking out search queries beforehand helps cut down on time spent sifting through potential client profiles.
Also, you’ll want to keep track of which accounts your team has already searched so you aren’t wasting a rep’s time prospecting someone that someone else has already engaged.
This is a part of the process that can eat up a lot of time. One solution at Outreach is to use interns for large portions of this new account sourcing. It’s not exactly a “technical” solution, but it’s certainly worth considering.
This tech sort of goes hand-in-hand with Salesforce as Datanyze is the program that Outreach uses to pull the information that will be stored in Salesforce. But we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
After Outreach started using Datanyze, activity on Outreach.io and requests for demos of the product increased by 50% after just two weeks.
There are multiple functions with Datanyze, but here are the two most important in this context:
1. Retrieving the tech stack of a website
Entering a URL in Datanyze will pull up all the tech that a website uses. For example, if you enter Outreach.io, it will tell you that the page uses AdRoll and Salesforce.
This list is added to the account information on Salesforce so that the sales reps can see what is already in use.
2. Locating points of contact for the accounts
Queries are important again here as you’ll want to look for multiple titles and variations of those titles to find the most promising contacts within the target company.
Once the title search has found likely candidates, Datanyze has an extension that works within the browser for accurately guessing email addresses for the person.
If the email guess turns out to be a dud, there are other options such as Email Hunter and Rapportive. Both have free options that would probably suffice, as the Datanyze extension is usually reliable on its own, but it’s good to have backups.
The third piece of tech in the Outreach sales stack is the cloud-based customer relationship manager Salesforce.
Basically, it’s where all of the information for each account and contact is stored.
Once all relevant data like contact information and the tech stack for the account is gathered, it can be scored and tiered based on the number of salespeople with the account, types of technology they utilize, etc.
This information can all be kept in a simple Google Sheet for ease of reference. And it’s all stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed by representatives anywhere.
Once the accounts have been located on LinkedIn, and the information has been gathered with Datanyze and entered into Salesforce, it all gets synced with Outreach.io.
Outreach will tell you what your best sales process is and help build out the different steps for optimal communication. There are different sequences for contacting potential clients based on personas, industries, companies, etc.
There are several options for making the process either more automated or more manual based on your company’s needs. The user interface for completing tasks on the to-do list provides all the necessary information on the contact so your sales representative is prepared for that call/email/LinkedIn connection.
Having everything laid out helps representatives complete tasks at two to three times the rate of a representative operating without this kind of technology.
A major benefit of Outreach is the ability to do A-B testing inline. For instance, you can compare the effectiveness of a manual versus an automated email and figure out what your sales process really needs.
Finding the ideal sales stack requires trial and error.
Depending on your company, maybe more technical solutions are the answer. Or maybe you require just a few finely tuned programs to bolster the growth of your business. After all, the sales stack presented here is pretty lean, but it’s certainly been enough to help Outreach.io grow in a short period of time.
The really important part is finding tools that match your process.
Listen to the episode that this post was based on here:
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).