Your sales stack doesn’t need to be complicated to be comprehensive. In fact, for many sales teams, less is more.
That’s because having the right tools for the job is always better than having more tools.
So, whether you want to boost revenue, reduce costs, or improve productivity, let’s look at how putting together a powerful, lean sales stack can help you get there.
What is a Sales Stack, Exactly?
Put simply, a sales stack is the collection of software used by your sales team.
Depending on the size, needs, and goals of your business, your sales stack might include a range of specialized tools or a few basic SaaS products. Today, we’re focusing on how to create a lean sales stack – that is, the essentials your sales team needs to do their job as efficiently as possible.
How to Build a Sales Stack
A typical lean sales stack includes one tool for each stage of the sales cycle: lead generation, lead management, demoing, and closing. You might also want to add more tools as you scale your team.
The key to building an effective lean sales stack that supports your team is to ask the right questions.
Stage 1: Lead Generation
A steady stream of fresh leads is crucial to sales success, but it takes a ton of time, energy, and resources to continually strum up new leads. That’s where list-building tools and sales intelligence platforms come into play.
When selecting a lead generation tool for your sales team, ask yourself:
- Does it help generate qualified leads more quickly?
- Is the information it collects accurate and detailed?
- How long does it take to return X number of leads?
- What’s the cost per lead?
Stage 2: Lead Management
Once you’ve got a list of leads, you need a tool to keep them organized. The best bet for most businesses is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
Since there are several options to choose from, here’s what you should consider when choosing a CRM:
- Is it easy to manage leads and import contacts?
- Will the platform reduce time spent on data entry?
- Does it integrate with my existing sales tools and email client?
- Will it help me run cold email campaigns?
- Does it offer detailed analytics and forecasting?
Stage 3: Product Demo
The product demo stage consists of two parts: Scheduling and executing. Using a dedicated scheduling tool removes the back and forth emailing normally involved in this stage, and you’ll also need a tool to actually show your product.
When sizing up a scheduling tool, ask:
- Does it integrate with my calendar?
- Is it quick and easy to share access with clients?
- Does it help prevent scheduling conflicts?
When considering a tool for the actual demo, consider the following:
- Does it let you share your screen easily?
- Can your prospect easily join via phone and/or computer?
- Does the prospect need to download software to join?
Stage 4: Closing the Deal
The final step is getting your prospect to sign on the dotted line.
Here’s what you should ask at the proposal stage:
- Does it allow me to easily create, edit, and send proposals?
- How much of the proposal process can be automated?
- Is the service secure and reliable?
- Is it simple and intuitive for prospects to use?
A Sample Five-Piece Lean Sales Stack
Creating a lean sales stack means finding tools that allow your sales team to excel without breaking the bank. Let’s look at some examples of SaaS tools you may want to include in your own sales stack.
1. Clearbit Connect for Lead Generation
This free platform helps you find new leads and learn more about prospects. It collects accurate data about potential leads, including their email address and other contact information, location, personal details, social media profiles, and business details.
2. Propeller CRM for Lead Management
The only CRM platform built specifically for selling within Gmail, Propeller manages your contact data so you can focus on making sales. Propeller CRM allows you to easily visualize your pipeline, generate custom sales reports, and run cold email campaigns.
3. Calendly for Scheduling
Want to make a great impression before your product demo? Calendly’s free scheduling app lets prospects choose a timeslot that works based on your calendar, so you never have to deal with scheduling conflicts again.
4. Join.me for Product Demos
This is a lightweight screen-sharing and conference call app. It lets anyone in the world listen and watch your screen—just by entering a code into their browser, no need for the buyer to download anything.
5. HelloSign for Closing the Deal
Using a secure, trusted eSignature service like HelloSign will streamline your proposal and closing process. Not only does it allow you to create legally binding contracts for free, but it’s also easy and intuitive for your prospects to use.
EXTRA: CrystalKnows for Relationship Building
Once you’ve got your basic sales stack lined up, you’ll probably want a tool to help build stronger relationships and optimize your customer lifetime value. Where one customer might appreciate friendly chit-chat, another might prefer emails that get straight to the point. CrystalKnows is a free tool that analyzes your contacts’ personality so you can write emails that match their communication preferences.
Build a Sales Stack that Works for Your Team
Although your own sales stack might not look exactly like the one suggested above, the basic concepts still apply. The goal is to improve efficiency, boost productivity, and automate as much of the sales process as possible.
Remember to ask the right questions so you can select the best tools for improving your sales process and allow your reps to focus on selling at every stage.
Sales teams are much happier, productive, and organized when you hand them the proper tools to do their jobs well – build your own lean sales stack to see for yourself!
Emily Bauer is a content writer for Propeller, a CRM built to make selling in Gmail easy. A running and travel enthusiast with a passion for all things written, Emily is primarily powered by Earl Grey, yoga, and tofu.