Making quotas, prospecting, closing deals… they all come down to a single factor: the strength of your network.
A strong network can make a day at the office (even at the end of the quarter) a breeze–you come in, you touch base, you check in on different sales you have in the pipeline, and you collect your commission check. Weak networks, on the other hand, are the stuff that nightmares are made of.
With a weak, underdeveloped network, your day might look a bit more like this: arrive, pay LinkedIn for the privilege of searching hopelessly for people you think might want your product, make dozens of cold calls (while sending cold emails and InMessages) to people who are unreceptive to you, cry. It’s not a pretty sight.
And despite the fact that everyone knows we need to do this networking, it’s not always easy. As the social web grows noisier and the old modes of prospecting and collecting prospect intel become outdated, it’s more and more difficult to collect the information you need, make the impressions you want, and really build those relationships.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Right now, developers are hard at work building and refining tools to help you win the fight against the current situation. Here are 5 you’ll want to pick up immediately (in addition to the obvious standbys, LinkedIn and Twitter) if you’re looking for serious network strength.
Network Your Way To Sales Success With These 5 Networking Apps
Own social selling with Hootsuite
Though your marketing team is probably well-versed in Hootsuite, you may not be. But that has to change right now. Hootsuite offers a dashboard where you can connect your various social profiles, track keyword mentions, relevant industry content, and, in their paid versions, search by post sentiment related to industry keywords or competitors. What I’m talking about is this: you can search your competitor’s social media for negative comments and engage those unhappy customers right then and there with your business’ much better alternative. Enough said.
Find 2nd- and 3rd-level connections with Discover.ly
It’s so much easier to connect with people when you have a shared contact. With Discover.ly, you’re able to search Facebook, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and more and see how and whether you’re connected to a prospect you’re considering. Info like this can help you plan a strategy for first contact and turns awkward introductions into personal, meaningful contact.
Keep in contact with Contactually
Great business is powered by great relationships, and no one knows that better than Contactually. A scrappy CRM at heart, Contactually offers automated reminders about when and how to follow up with important contacts, pipeline tracking, and message templates that provide scalable personalization and allow for you to maintain a large number of relationships with ease.
Leverage your contacts’ key successes with Newsle
Ever think that, if you had a crystal ball and could see the exact moment something great happened in your network, you’d have it made? Newsle thought that too. This tool, that integrates with LinkedIn, searches for publication news about people you’re connected to. Did a contact just move into a high-profile position? A member of a major C-suite jumping ship? Newsle delivers relevant content to your inbox so you can reach out, congratulate, and leverage the good news to your advantage.
Never lose touch with CircleBack
I may be biased because I work at CircleBack, but everyday I hear from other salespeople that our smart address book is a dream. It works like this: you connect CircleBack to your iOS or Android address book, and CircleBack lets you know when your contacts change work phone numbers, emails, companies, or titles. That way, you know exactly when someone moves into a decision-making position, and can always reach out, even if you haven’t talked in a while. CircleBack also offers the best business card scanner on the market, email signature capture (to effortlessly add contacts from Gmail and Exchange), and direct export to Salesforce.
- 10 Tactics for Evolved Social Selling Mastery
- The Most Powerful Tool In Your Sales Toolkit
- How Social Networks Change The Way We Buy and Sell
Austin Duck is Content Marketing Manager for CircleBack and regularly contributes to StartupGrind and elsewhere. He lives in DC with his wife and army of cats.