Make smart use of the best technology tools out there, and a winning aged leads sales strategy is likely to follow. If you haven’t set up Google Apps yet — with applications Gmail, Hangouts, Google Docs, and more — you’re missing out.
This suite of tools has a place in nearly all parts of the sales process — prospecting, qualifying, marketing strategy, follow-up surveys, even working remotely with your sales team. Here’s how to put it to work in your business.
1. Work on Documents Collaboratively With Your Sales Team
If you manage a sales team, you are likely passing internal documents back and forth by hand, or by email if your team is offsite. Edits, questions, comments, and revisions — whether for sales plans, call scripts, blog posts, trade show plans, etc. — take longer to complete the old-fashion way.
Using Google Docs, you can share your document with your team, get feedback with inline comments, even edit the document together simultaneously. You can also share the document with a direct link with a vendor contact or a contractor, even if they don’t use Google Docs, and restrict access to read-only or comment-only when necessary.
2. Keep Important Sales Documents in the Cloud
Often you realize you need access to a document when you’re out of the office, on a sales visit, or travelling. Google Drive provides gigabytes of free and secure storage to users of Google Apps. Sales professionals can access all their documents with Drive on the go, from any computer or from their mobile device.
3. Store and Share Marketing Collateral
Google Drive isn’t just for your Doc word-processing documents. Marketing collateral, such as graphics, images, videos, and PDFs, can all be stored and shared via the cloud. The application also lets you store and share Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents, though those items can’t be opened or edited in Drive without conversion to the proper file format.
4. Conduct Video Conferences, Webinars, and Sales Trainings
Google Hangouts allows you to conduct video meetings, such as conference calls, webinars, or trainings, from any computer equipped with a webcam, which is nearly all computers these days. For salespeople, this app can be particularly useful for communicating with your remote sales team, either for weekly checkins or more in-depth training. Conferences, interviews, and customer consults are also possible.
5. Meet Your Sales Spreadsheet Needs
If your sales business makes use of spreadsheets in the course of your business, consider using Google Sheets. The spreadsheet app has just as much functionality as Microsoft Excel with the added bonus of Google Apps’ collaborative properties. The app is great for managing trade show plans, prospecting for clients, or working with marketing campaign plans.
6. Use Forms to Qualify Prospects and Collect Client Feedback
Google Forms survey tool is one of the easiest such systems to setup and use. You design forms and share them with your target audience via a link. After your respondents complete your form, you can work with the results in a Google Sheets document that is automatically generated as people respond. It’s even possible to track responses in real time. For sales professionals, this app can be used to qualify prospects by directing them to fill out your form, or, it can be used after the sale to collect feedback on customer satisfaction, referral recommendations, and more.
7. Build a Team Site Intranet
Google Sites gives your business an easy way to plan meetings, share internal information, and collaborate on projects. Businesses can build and maintain a Google Site intranet portal to host common templates or collateral files, answer employee FAQs, and communicate with the group without having to send an email blast.
8. Plan and Give Sales Presentations
Google Apps offers its own presentation app, called Slides, which can be used to create, collaborate on, share, and present a professional presentation. Presentations created in other software can be imported into Slides, giving you the power to share your slide deck with customers, colleagues, and sales audiences.
9. Create a Sales Calendar
The Google Calendar app has many uses, personal and professional. For sales, the app can be employed to track sales agents’ work schedules and vacation schedules, project deadlines for vendors or employees, or marketing promotions and communication campaigns.
10. Take Advantage of Google Email
Gmail is one of the oldest apps Google has and one of its most successful. Many sales professionals enjoy being able to manage their work Gmail on the go with their mobile device. Gmail’s search features are also hard to beat, meaning you can track down an old client email in a matter of seconds if need be.
A basic version of Google Apps is available to anyone with a free Gmail email address — this includes 15 gigabytes of storage on Drive for free. Google Apps for Work is Google’s professional version of its app suite, which offers professional email addresses and a wider suite of apps, for an affordable rate of around $5 per employee per month.
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