There are few people more powerful than a prepared salesperson, but preparing is not as easy as it sounds.

For many sales teams, working remotely is a fact of life. Prospects can be found at a coffee shop down the street or on a flight across the country.

They never know what conditions they’ll be in when it’s time to make their pitch, and not having the right tools at their fingertips can mean the difference between a random stranger and the next top client.

Sales team briefing
photo credit: iStock

To be prepared for these eventualities, sales teams can use a combination of apps and simple hacks that will completely change their on-the-go experiences, helping them to secure more leads and close more deals with minimal friction.

1. Get an app to scan business cards into your CRM automatically

If you’ve ever had to painstakingly enter contact details into a CRM or spreadsheet after a big conference or networking events, you know just how time-consuming and frustrating this can be. The time you spend on manual entry could be used to quickly follow up. And every minute wasted is a minute that your lead could forget about you – or even worse, go with your competitor.

It’s time to get rid of that altogether!

For businesses that use the more popular Salesforce, it’s easy enough to get a Salesforce business card scanner app that uses the smartphone camera to scan and read business cards, then enter the data automatically into the CRM. If you aren’t on Salesforce, there are other options for you as well.

2. Create a mobile-friendly cheat sheet for pitching on-the-go

If your sales team still has to walk with a big binder to every sales call, they are way behind the times. Even whipping out the laptop to bring up slide decks and demos can feel a bit outdated at this point. Not only is it cumbersome and time-consuming in most settings, if they happen to leave their gear behind at any point, that becomes a missed opportunity.

It’s time to make your sales pitch mobile-friendly. A deck that’s simple and easy to showcase on mobile, along with quick links to demonstrations, testimonial videos, and other useful resources, means that your salespeople can use their phones, which they always have on them, to win over potential clients on the spot.

Additionally, if they want to take it up a notch, they call also pack a super-lightweight pocket projector that can connect to their smartphones and give them the power to switch into presentation mode almost anywhere.

3. Pull contextual data to help them close deals in real time

The true power in a sales pitch is in building a relationship with the client and showing them how your product can solve their needs. Sales pros typically rely on generic “customer personas” to get this done, but what if they could actually get into the customer’s mind and use actual information about a specific lead to create a personalized pitch?

Thanks to the Internet, many customers already have a lot of data about themselves readily available and accessible online. From social media bios and updates to past interviews and news stories about their business and industry, there’s a treasure trove of data that, in the right hands, can tell a salesperson exactly what they need to know to seal the deal and close the sale.

Again, popular CRMs like Salesforce have this “Social CRM” functionality built into the product. Others typically have a plugin or third party automation product, like Zapier, that allow you to track customer data and interactions online and plug it into your CRM.

Salesperson meeting with a client

4. Attach notes to calls to remember discussions

Another extremely useful tactic to build relationships in sales is to make the client feel like you’re invested in their personal success, and they’re not just another target on your list.

One of the best ways to do this is to simply make notes about the information they provide on a sales call so that whenever you follow up, you can make reference to something previously discussed. This single tactic can go a long way with a client in helping them to feel comfortable and trust that you have their best interests at heart.

However, taking notes in a CRM can be a difficult task to maneuver on a phone, and a time-consuming one if you’re writing and manually entering them into a CRM after. A better way to do this is to use a phone app that allows you to take notes during the call. With this method, you’re simply one tap away from making notes, and they’ll even show up on your screen the next time you get a call from that client.

5. Store files and forms on your website for clients

It’s a given that after a sales meeting, your sales team will give a potential client some collateral to review or forms to fill out if they’re ready to buy. What’s not a given is making the client wait until whenever the salesperson gets back to the office to get such files.

Rather than giving these to your salespeople and having them pass it on, why not store it on your website for easy access by all who need it? It gives the customer back the control to move as quickly as they want, without being hindered by a salesperson’s schedule.

Concerned about security? Simply password-protecting a page can ensure that it will only be accessed by people who have been authorized to view it.

6. Create back-in-office workflows

The tips and tools mentioned above free up a lot of time for your sales team once they get back to the office. They’ll no longer have to do the manual entry, research, and follow-up emails because these are already automatically done for them.

That doesn’t mean they won’t have anything to do, though! From restocking on business cards to reorganizing their pitch material, and even creating reports, they’ll still have a few critical things to do to prep for their next offsite sales run.

Help them out by preparing a simple, yet comprehensive workflow that covers everything they need to do. You can even include those automated tasks, just in case they missed out on it in a busy rush, or there’s an automation glitch. It’s better to have it listed and not needed than to not list it and lose potential clients as a result.

Effective sales team

Putting Everything in Place

It may be a bit overwhelming to think about putting these tools and hacks in place. Getting them done initially may require some time, but that’s the nature of any good automation software or technique.

The important thing to remember is that once you’ve put in the work on day one, it will save your sales team so much time and bring such higher results, that it will absolutely be worth it in the end.