Understanding the Role of Sales Planning Tools and How to Use Them

When you get on the phone with a prospect or meet with a new client face to face, do you start spouting off whatever comes to mind and hope it results in a sale? Of course not!

All successful sales organizations have carefully mapped out the buyer journey. They understand the steps they take for each prospect at each stage of the buying cycle to help guide clients to successful buying decisions. They’re committed to tailoring their sales processes to the client based on lead quality, interests, needs, budgets, and other factors.

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Sales planning tools are a crucial part of this ecosystem. The right tools empower sales reps to do their best selling at the right time. They rely on tools to make connections and build relationships that will lead prospects along the buying journey.

But what exactly are sales planning tools and how can you use them to their fullest potential?

Let’s take a closer look at the value a sales planning toolkit brings to your organization and how you can implement them into your sales process.

The Role of Sales Planning Tools in Your Organization

Could your sales reps benefit from 25% more selling time with clients? You don’t have to add hours to your workday to make it happen. A study by Harvard Business Review found that the amount of time sales reps spend on non-sales-related work is up more than 20%. This comes at the expense of direct selling time with your clients and prospects, which has declined roughly 26%.

In short, sales reps are spending more time on activities that have nothing to do with selling, yet are still critical to the sales process as a whole.

Sales planning tools help to eliminate much of the time reps spend away from clients, giving them more time to sell with less focus on non-sales-related activities. These tools are designed to free up more time for the sales rep through automation, organization, and process-driven functionality.

As a result, sales reps have more control over how they spend their time and can maximize their time spent with clients and prospects.

How Sales Planning Tools Improve Sales Performance

It’s no secret that sales planning tools throw reps a much-needed lifeline, but how exactly do they improve sales performance?

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Consider the following ways that sales tools can improve the overall experience:

Lead Qualification

Studies show at least half of your prospects are not a good fit for what you’re selling. Reps are wasting half their time on leads that will never close when they could be spending more time with qualified prospects. Lead qualification helps to remove poor quality leads before they reach the sales rep for a more efficient process.

Lead Scoring

Not all qualified leads are equal. Some may be ready to whip out the credit card, while others will need more information before making a decision. Lead scoring helps remove some of this guesswork so sales reps can focus on those most likely to convert first.

Lead Distribution

Once leads are qualified and scored, they must be assigned to the appropriate sales rep. This can be a time-consuming task when done manually, which is why many companies are opting to automate this process. Once a lead’s parameters are discovered, they automatically go to the sales rep who has the best chance at closing the deal.

Sales Tasks & Alerts

Sales is a task-heavy field that that requires careful attention to every detail, and those details can easily slip through the cracks. Automating tasks and alerts lets sales reps know when their prospects are taking action so they can react accordingly.

Sales Tracking

Sales reps who know where their performance stands are more empowered to take control of their results. Sales tracking tools give direct insight into performance, revenue, and activity so reps can see where they need to close the gaps.

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Sales reps in the field should have the same planning and organizational capabilities as those in the office. The better prepared they are, the better they’re able to respond to an active sales funnel.

How to Empower Your Reps with the Right Planning Tools

It’s not as simple as investing in all of the tools mentioned above and handing them over to your sales reps. If you want your reps to be successful in using planning tools to improve their performance, it’s important to first identify the tools that will strengthen your strategy.

Think about how adding a sales planning tool will impact your sales team:

Will it further complicate existing processes, or will it add value to what you’re already doing?

Will teams be able to onboard with the new processes quickly, or will it take several weeks or months to master before you start to see any tangible benefit?

If you don’t get the desired results you expect, will you be able to easily revert back to your old way of doing things?

The best-case scenario is to try new sales planning tools for yourself to see how they integrate with your sales organization. From there, you’re more informed to make the right buying decision and enjoy the results.

As a leader in sales planning tools, LeadSquared makes it easy to start gaining the benefits of better sales processes without risk to your sales organization. Click here to start your free trial and see how LeadSquared is helping sales teams sell better and more often.

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