One thing that many salespeople dread is prospecting, yet it is necessary in order to be successful. Luckily, there are a lot of great tools out there these days that can facilitate the process. I am going to talk about 5 of my favorite online tools to use when prospecting.
1. Using LinkedIn Advanced Search to Search Prospects
The first tool that I use quite often is LinkedIn. Maybe this is an obvious choice to some, but I still run into people who either don’t have a LinkedIn or are just unaware of how it can be used as a tool. I mostly use the advanced search option when prospecting. This allows me to filter contacts by job title, location, industry, among other things. It is a good way to find prospects that are in your target market and who have the specific title you are looking to connect with.
If you upgrade to Premium, then you can also send InMail directly to these prospects. Just use discretion when using this feature. Make sure that you have something of value to say to the prospect before direct messaging. Maybe there is an informational webinar that could be of value to them, or a relevant event to which you want to extend an invitation. There is nothing worse than getting unsolicited, sales-y spam in your LinkedIn messages.
2. Finding Emails Instantly With Hunter
Email is becoming more and more of the preferred mode of communication for most people. Not to say that we should stop making phone calls altogether, but a good balance of both should be used. A tool that I use to help me find emails that I do not have is Hunter. Hunter allows you to search for emails in a couple of ways.
You can enter the company domain to get results for the entire domain. You can also search for individuals if there is a specific email you are seeking. It integrates with LinkedIn and Google Chrome so that when you are viewing someone’s profile you just need to click the Hunter button and it will search for you. It also will come back with an accuracy percentage based on how accurate the system believes the email is.
3. Using HatchBuck CRM for Automation and Tracking
CRM is a mandatory tool for most salespeople. It can also be used to help with your prospecting. It is worthwhile to do some research to make sure that you are aware of all the tools available to you within your CRM. Currently I am using a CRM called HatchBuck, and it has many automation, tracking, analysis and reporting tools that can help with prospecting.
With HatchBuck, I can send targeted email campaigns to prospects using the automation features which saves a lot of time and increases my reach. I also use it to track daily activity metrics, such as emails that were opened, website visits, etc. That way I can set my priority follow-ups accordingly.
4. Using Crystal Knows to Set Email Tone
Being a good writer is crucial when it comes to emailing prospects, writing proposals, SOW’s etc. However, not all salespeople are English majors. There is a tool that I use to help me find the tone that I want to use when approaching a prospect called Crystal Knows. This tool shows you personality insights as you browse LinkedIn profiles, Salesforce leads, and in Gmail. Although it is great for writing it can also prepare you for a meeting. It syncs with Google Calendar and can send you a daily report on all your prospects that you are meeting with that day. Although a bit creepy, it is a valuable tool nonetheless.
5. Using Charlie App to Research Prospects
Perhaps the most important thing when prospecting is doing research. There is nothing more annoying than getting an unthoughtful email that has zero relevance to you or your business. One tool that I use that helps to speed up the research process is Charlieapp.com. This app will give you a briefing on each prospect before reaching out or meeting with them. It also syncs to your Google calendar and can automatically send you updates prior to meetings. This allows you to be more prepared, and speak to things you know are relevant to your audience.
These are just some of the tools that I have found to be useful for me when prospecting. Like the sales process, the tools are always changing and I like learning about what else is out there. Are there any that have worked well for you that are not on this list? Please feel free to share!