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Tools for remote sales reps and SDRs

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As remote work has quickly become a new normal – and the only way to keep your business afloat amidst the global lockdown – many teams are struggling to adapt to the change.

Luckily for us, here at Reply, we have been a fully distributed team from day one (for over 5 years now, long before the pandemic). This means the existing situation isn’t as hard on us – we have an amazing experience working remotely while having almost 70 employees.

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And our sales team, which I am proud to be a part of, is no exception. Despite living in different countries and timezones, we manage to stay productive as a team and hit our quota every month. One of the things that help us is the amazing toolset we’ve built over the years.

So, I’m super excited to share the tools that can help you reorganize your sales team while keeping the same level of productivity (or even increase it and make your employees happier). Here are some of my top picks (along with some handy tips and alternatives).

Slack – tool #1 for remote teams

Yes, yes, I know there’s been a lot of buzz around Slack, Microsoft Teams and similar platforms lately. But there is a good reason for that. The communication tools like Slack lie at the heart of any remote team. 

Be it daily standups, weekly check-ins, or simply watercooler chats – Slack helps us stay connected and communicate as fast as possible. It’s also way better than back and forth emails or endless meetings. 

What I like most about Slack is that it has tons of useful add-ons you can easily integrate into your team’s workspace to make your remote life even easier:

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Here’s how Slack helps our SDR and AE teams stay connected and work effectively together despite the 7 hour time difference:

– we use shared Slack channels to boost cooperation between our SDR team and account executives, so they can see a flow of incoming leads assigned to them in real-time.

– there are also dedicated channels for SDR-related topics like templates, incoming demo requests, team announcements, booked meetings to celebrate success, etc.

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Pro Tip: Use Slack for Gmail app to collaborate with your teammates, for example, when writing a response to the prospect (as in case of a complex objection or a technical question).

Pricing: freemium (perfect for small teams and startups); paid plans start at $8/user

Alternatives: Microsoft Teams, Flock, Mattermost, Swit.io

Zoom – effortless video conferencing

Zoom stock price keeps growing these days even though lots of tech companies like Alphabet and Facebook lost in their value.

zoom stock price

Moreover, the company has seen outstanding growth of daily meeting participants over the past few months – from 10 million in December 2019 to over 200 million in April 2020.

And that comes as no surprise. Zoom works perfectly for internal meetings, from daily standups to monthly/quarterly planning sessions or company-wide announcements, as well as one-on-one meetings with prospects, e.g. qualification calls, product demos, negotiations, etc.

Pro Tip: You can also start a call from Slack using a super simple command “/zoom”

zoom and slack pro tip

Pricing: freemium (perfect for small sales teams); paid plans start at $15/month

Alternatives: Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Uberconference

Vidyard – free screen recorder

Vidyard is a perfect solution for creating short, but sweet and clear-cut videos for sales reps, SDRs, support and customer success managers. 

You can simply download their extension, click a cute green icon, allow screen recording, and share the video with your prospects via the link or as a thumbnail via Gmail.

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And yes, it’s a 100% free tool.

But the main reason why I love Vidyard is that it natively integrates with Reply, so you can record personalized intros and add them to your sequences in just a few clicks.

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Pro Tip: While recording your screen, use the Cam option to add a video from your webcam as a small bubble on the left side. This will make your screen recording more personalized and human.

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Pricing: 100% free 🙈

Alternatives: Loom, Drift Video

Rebrandly – URL shortener and link management platform

Aside from videos, SDRs send emails with a lot of links. The problem is that most of those links look generic and lookalike because they are created the popular URL shorteners. 

If you want your links to stand out and get more clicks, use Rebrandly URL Shortener. This tool allows you to easily create and share branded short links. As a result, you can improve your brand visibility and awareness, build trust, as well as increase your email deliverability rate (as such links are less likely to get marked as spam).

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And the best part is that you can see exactly how each of your links performs with detailed click metrics, e.g. devices and time, that can help you further improve your outreach tactic.

Pricing: freemium; paid plans start from $29 /month

Alternatives: Bitly

Krisp – AI-powered noise cancelling

At Reply, we are all working remotely while visiting public places, so speaking to prospects and customers often means that they might hear lots of background noises, from people talking in a crowded Starbucks to a dog barking or children screaming. And that is totally ok – we’re only humans, after all! Sometimes this can even serve as a great icebreaker and bring people together. 

But there are situations when the background noise gets super-disturbing so you can’t focus on the agenda. 

This is where Krisp comes into play: it allows you to mute all the background noises (both coming from you as well as other people on the call) with a single button.

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Pro Tip: Krisp supports 600 apps including Zoom and Slack and works with any devices like microphones and headsets. So you can simply choose Krisp as a source in Zoom and Slack to cancel the noise:

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Pricing: freemium; paid plans start from $5/month

Alternatives: I haven’t seen any other great tools so far.

1Password – secure password management

When onboarding new employees, SDRs included, most teams usually follow some default steps, e.g. invite them to your remote sales tools like CRM, lead generation, email finding tools, phone calling systems and so on. 

That inevitably leads to confusion and questions like: “Could you please share login/password to {Software X}? I can’t find it in our knowledge sharing system?” or “Has anybody changed a password for {Software X}? I can’t log in.”

Even long-time employees can face this problem now that they are away from their default computers and need to set up their home office from scratch.

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To prevent any confusion and make our passwords accessible to any team member who might need them, we’ve been using 1Password. This extremely useful tool helps you safely store and access your passwords on any device or browser (as well as generate strong unique passwords).

Pro Tip: Create separate vaults for different teams, to effectively manage the access rights and permissions.

 

 

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Pricing: freemium; paid plans start from $4/month

Alternatives: LastPass, Dashlane

Slite – collaboration and knowledge sharing

Slite is a space for teams to store and organize their knowledge which helps the whole company stay aligned and work together effectively.

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Back when I was the only SDR on the team, it was so easy to implement processes, build workflows, create prospect lists, and run sequences. There was no need to answer questions like: “How to find emails”, “How should I respond when they ask about pricing”, “How should I use {Software X}”. 

When we hired a few more SDRs (and when the company grew bigger in general), all working remotely, we faced an urgent need for a unified place to store our company’s knowledge. 

That was when we started using Slite. We gathered our company wiki, documents, playbooks, templates, notes, and ideas, migrated all the information to Slite and organized it into a structured workspace sorted by department or topic, so everyone can easily find the required information.

Pro Tip: Using Slite (or any other knowledge base software) to collect typical questions and objections your SDRs receive and prepare ready-to-use email snippets for all new teammates to use from day one.

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Pricing: freemium; paid plans start from $7/month

Alternatives: Slab, Guru, Tettra

Clockify – seamless time management

Back in the day – before I joined Reply and started working remotely – I was working as an SDR for a local IT-company. All of my teammates were in the same building (in the same room, actually 😃) with our managers and we always knew what everyone was working on. This constant surveillance made it so easy to stay productive throughout the day!

When I started working in Reply, my office space, in most cases, was my bedroom, kitchen, co-working spaces, and many other places like coffee shops, trains, hotel rooms, etc. This sounds absolutely amazing when it’s your first remote job. 

But there’s the downside of such freedom: based on my experience, it may ruin your productivity and working routine. So here are a few things I’d suggest you keep in mind while working remotely:

– your remote job is still a job: be 100% sure you are working 7-9 hours per day.

– Facebook, Instagram, memes, funny videos may disrupt your working habits, so don’t forget to limit yourself.

– try not to mix your personal and professional life: sometimes you start your day at 8 am, you work until 1 pm and then you decide to take a lunch break, watch Netflix, a couple of hours later you find yourself scrolling your Facebook feed and boom! it’s 9 pm and you still have some work to do.

One of the best ways to fight procrastination and adjust your working habits accordingly is by using some sort of time tracking and management software. For example, I use Clockify from time to time (usually when I feel I could use some additional motivation to stay on track) to make sure I’m working full 8 hours a day.

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What I love about Clockify is that it’s 100% free, works seamlessly on any device or operating system (web app, Chrome Extension, Mac and Windows apps, iPhone and Android apps), and helps you effectively manage and prioritize tasks using tags.

Pro Tip: If you are a Mac user, you can utilize the Screen Time app to limit apps and website usage. You can also enable “Do not Disturb” or “Focus” modes on your phone and pause Slack notifications when you need to stay focused on a certain task.

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Pricing: 100% free 🙈

Alternatives: Toggl

Donut – when remote teams meet for a coffee

When your teammates are located in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal and you live in Ukraine, the chances that all of you can meet in-person are super-low, to be honest :)

So that’s why we’ve started using an app called Donut. This small add-on integrates with Slack and randomly picks 2 or more team members to meet for a coffee (be it in-person or virtually). This gives you a great opportunity to get to know your teammates better, chat about your hobbies, personal life, or whatever you want, in an informal setting.

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Pro Tip: There is also an option to ask Donut to randomly pair employees into small groups. You can also set a different frequency for your pairings (we’re recently switched from bi-weekly to weekly meetings).

Pricing: freemium; paid plans start from $49/month

Alternatives: DiscoApp, Karmabot, Bonusly, HeyTaco!

Nike Training Club – your wellness coach

Ok, let’s face it: a fitness tracking app isn’t a tool you would typically expect to see in a list like this. However, SDRs often have to spend a few hours working on a certain task that requires concentration, e.g. building a list of prospects, calling leads, writing email follow-ups. As for the sales reps, they often have 3-4 demos in a row. 

This means, most of us would typically burn around 10 calories per day without any additional physical activity.

That’s why NTC has become an important part of my morning routine. I’ve noticed that a quick 15-30-minute workout can make a huge difference for your health and mood (as well as overall productivity).

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Pro tip: Follow suggested nutrition plans to complement your workout routines and feel even better throughout the day.

Pricing: free

Alternatives: 8fit, Freeletics

 

Conclusion

Sure, the list can go on! There are so many amazing tools for sales and sales development teams like CRMs, sales engagement platforms, lead generation, and prospecting software. However, those are pretty much a must for any sales team, not just remote ones. So, it’s safe to assume that you already have at least some of them in your stack.

As for the apps listed above, you should definitely try at least some of them :) I’m pretty sure my recommendations can help you level up your remote sales team and stay productive regardless of the circumstances.

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