Best Sales Tools for Sales Directors
Sales directors have an important role, responsible for overseeing all the sales activities in an organization and making key decisions on what sales strategies and frameworks they’ll use. If their team isn’t getting good results, it’s their job to work out why—otherwise they might not have a job for long.
To ensure they’re getting the best out of their reps, sales directors need to have the right tools for the job; software that lets them see exactly what’s going on in the sales process, what’s getting the best results and what needs to be changed.
Read on to find out what type of tools you need, along with our top recommendations in each section.
While you might have once been able to get away with mass email blasts and aggressive sales tactics, things have changed. To get your prospective customer’s attention, your sales team needs to engage with them and build relationships. A sales engagement platform enables you to plan, carry out and analyze that engagement across your team.
As the sales landscape has evolved, so has Reply. Having started off as an email automation solution, Reply has now grown to become a multichannel sales engagement platform, allowing your sales team to engage with your prospects over multiple channels. Other features include tailored messaging, LinkedIn automation, A/B testing, and custom schedules.
Try out Reply in your sales organization with a free 14-day trial
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
For many years, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been viewed as essential to a successful sales organization, with dedicated CRM software often seen as the most important part of a sales stack. For sales reps on the frontline, recording and tracking details of potential customers and where they are in the sales process has to be a priority, especially when different departments will deal with the same prospects. However, a CRM system is also invaluable to sales directors, who can use it to see the current state of the sales pipeline and forecast future sales.
From when they were originally founded back in 1999, Salesforce has established itself as one of the biggest names in CRM software. Their integrated CRM platform is designed to give all departments—including sales and marketing—a 360° view of every customer. It’s a massive platform with lots of options, for everyone from small businesses to enterprise teams.
Hubspot has made a name for itself with great content, becoming synonymous with inbound marketing. They offer a selection of marketing, sales and service software, including their Sales Hub™ sales CRM software. Features include sales engagement tools, quote creation and analytics. One of the big appeals with Hubspot is that they have a free plan to get you started, making it a popular choice with small businesses and startups.
Rather than trying to cater to every department, Close describes itself as an all-in-one CRM built just for sales teams. It collates and automatically updates all the information you need on your contacts in one central sales hub, as well as dynamically tracking all your team’s sales activities. This makes it ideal for sales directors who want to see all the engagement, ongoing tasks and upcoming reminders in one location.
It’s easy for frontline sales reps to get caught up in the process, working through their leads one after the other. Sales directors need to be able to stand back and look at the sales activity as a whole. What’s working? What isn’t? If sales is a numbers game, then sales directors need to know those numbers inside out. Sales analytics software allows you to measure and analyze your sales data, using it to guide future strategies and other decisions.
Sales directors need to know which sales activities are getting the best returns and which ones need to be reviewed. People.ai makes that simple with their automated solution, capable of analyzing years of sales activity to pinpoint what works and then using that to define your personal sales playbook. The platform also helps managers and directors create leading indicators that can be used to benchmark performance and see who on your sales team might need additional coaching.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell the future? 6sense may not be able to let you know next week's lotto numbers, but for sales directors, it does the next best thing. By helping your team identify accounts that are looking for similar solutions, identifying the most important contacts within an account and predicting where customers are on the buyer journey, 6sense enables sales directors to prioritize their team’s efforts to get the best results. Their AI even makes suggestions on what your team’s next best actions are, such as who to contact and key talking points.
To be valuable to sales directors, analytics have to be based on accurate information and lead to meaningful insights. InsightSquared helps on both counts. First of all, it automatically syncs all deal activities back to your CRM, so you can see what your sales team has been up to and how prospects have responded. It then uses machine learning to assess your customer journey to help you gain a better of how your activities will impact results. With additional features including conversation intelligence and ‘virtual assistant’ personalized coaching, InsightSquared can help sales directors drive predictable growth.
Meetings and Conference Calls
With more sales teams switching to remote work, the way those teams communicate with each other and their prospects has to be a key consideration for sales directors. While you might have been able to get away with informal chats around the water cooler in the office, that’s no longer an option for many directors. Having the right software turns those meetings from a technical nightmare into productive outcomes.
While Zoom has been around for many years, it surged in popularity in 2020, going from 10 million users in December 2019 to as high as 300 million users in 2020. As it became the video conferencing app of choice, many sales teams also turned to Zoom to help them stay connected. Thanks to the new-found public familiarity with the platform, it’s also a great choice for arranging sales calls with prospects. For sales directors who are still looking for a video conferencing solution, Zoom is an affordable platform—you can currently have group meetings for up to 40 minutes, a good incentive to keep those meetings short and concise!
If you’re in the market for meeting software, then GoToMeeting might be the solution you’re looking for. With the standard video conferencing features for online meetings, mobile-friendly design and the ability to draw on shared screens, GoToMeeting is an ideal collaboration tool for your remote sales team. You might also want to consider some of the other solutions in the GoTo family, including software for webinars, training, and hybrid conference rooms.
Unlike the other video conferencing solutions we’ve discussed here, Demodesk is specifically designed to help sales teams be more productive and close more deals on their prospect calls. Features such as automated scheduling that syncs up with calendars and email reminders make it more likely that the prospect will turn up, while CRM integrations mean your records are always up to date. However, Demodesk adds to that with some innovative features such as preloaded playbooks and ‘battle cards’ that can be set up in advance and then used in real-time to help your reps deal with any objections or questions that come up on the call.
There’s an old saying that knowledge is power. That’s certainly true for sales teams, who need to have access to product information, sales playbooks and more in order to be effective. However, for many that knowledge is hidden away, either with individual salespeople all working in their own silos or with an unorganized collection of documents stored in a folder structure that no one understands. By using a dedicated knowledge sharing solution, sales directors can make sure that everyone on their team has access to the information they need to excel at their role.
You shouldn’t need to be a coder to understand and use a knowledge base. Slab helps everyone on your sales team by presenting shared knowledge in a clear and easy to understand format. Rather than trying to organize everything in folders or with tags, Slab goes further and uses ‘topics’ to provide context on entries and. Sales teams can use Slab to build a sales playbook that lays out your sales process, whether that’s for new reps or those who’d like a quick refresh. Other potential uses include sharing case studies and testimonials that match your prospect’s situation. For smaller teams of up to ten people, Slab is free.
Guru has been designed to give your sales reps the knowledge they need when they need it. By acting as an easily accessible source of information that can be used in the middle of their workflows, your teams will be able to quickly call up sales assets and top-performing templates without missing a beat. As a result, they’ll be able to confidently answer questions, build stronger customer relationships and close more deals. In addition, you can analyze what details are more useful to your reps and to your clients. Their pricing structure also makes Guru attractive to smaller companies, with a free starter plan and unlimited ‘Light’ users (who can view information that’s been shared with them) for free.
Along with the easy to understand structure and organization you’d expect from a knowledge sharing solution, Slite also makes it easy for your teams to collaborate around that knowledge. You can work on documents together, get feedback on your suggestions and plan out your processes and procedures together. Sales directors can also benefit from the library of templates for sales teams, from product specs to company handbooks—including a ready-to-use SDR playbook template, courtesy of Reply.
While sales can be an incredibly rewarding career, it’s also a challenging one. When reps are struggling to hit their sales targets, it’s unfortunately not uncommon for them to burn out. This is even more likely to occur when a sales team is remote, where the warning signs that a rep is feeling the strain could easily be missed until it’s too late. As a sales director, part of your role includes making sure your sales team is motivated and performing at their best, and using the following tools can help promote a positive attitude.
While your sales teams need to engage with your prospects, it’s important that sales directors engage with their teams. Bonusly describes itself as an employee engagement platform, encouraging engagement across your teams. Employees are given a monthly allowance of points that they can use to give recognition to fellow teammates for their actions and contributions. In turn, those points can be exchanged for rewards, such as digital gift cards, donations and more. By showing your team members that their efforts are appreciated, you can build a strong culture and encourage positive actions.
Sales is a competitive business, and LevelEleven plays on that to motivate your sales team. By holding sales contests and creating scorecards for your sales team, the software uses gamification to foster a healthy sense of competition in your teams and drive positive behavior. The built-in analytics makes it easy to see how your team is performing, with real-time KPI tracking and actionable feedback.
Sales directors have an important role with a lot of responsibility. Fortunately, there are plenty of sales tools out there that can make your life easier. By building a stack of software that allows you to oversee and analyze sales activity, as well as empowering and motivating your sales teams, you can make smarter decisions, help your teams get better results, and ultimately steer your organization to sales success.
A strong sales engagement platform is a key part of any sales directors role. Find out how Reply can help you and your team create and manage multichannel campaigns with a free 14-day trial.
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