The team at Ebsta live and breathe sales apps that improve the way we work. They help us to collaborate our sales and marketing efforts, streamline our workflow and empower the team to make informed decisions.
Here are 8 of our favourite sales applications:
Needs no introduction. It’s fast, highly customisable (by non techies), social (we’re all addicted to Chatter) and integrates with all our favourite tools in just 2 clicks. Hats off to Mr Benioff!
Pardot (email marketing on steroids!) joins Ebsta’s Sales and Marketing teams at the hip. Our BDRs are able to reference Contacts and Leads in Salesforce and see which marketing emails they’ve received and what pages of our website they visited. Reps can also add people to a range of marketing campaigns, from newsletters and product announcements to specific nurturing campaigns. Pardot’s automation functionality means Ebsta can guide prospects through the various stages until they’re Sales Ready?.
We really believe that LinkedIn is an undervalued Sales tool. Whilst they’ve made a push to monetize certain areas of the site, you can still get an obscene amount of functionality from a free account. We use LinkedIn to gain further insight into prospects we are targeting and to investigate the likely decision making unit. In many cases we use a LinkedIn Connector called “Who Works At” (www.whoworks.at) to see this information when we are on a prospect’s own website.
Lead Forensics is a new addition to our toolkit. It gives our Reps details of each company that comes to our website and what they searched for using reverse IP look-up technology. How does that work for us? Well, imagine knowing that someone from ‘Acme Inc’ searched for ‘Ebsta’ in Google, hit our website, viewed the Ebsta for Bullhorn Page, looked at Pricing and then left. Admittedly, we don’t get know who at Acme Inc came to our website but it does give us enough information to start making some advances in the obvious areas.
Ebsta is the integration bridge between our online Sales tools and Salesforce. It’s worth noting that many of these tools have their own Salesforce Connectors; LinkedIn have a Salesforce connector that allows you to see LinkedIn data inside Saleforce, Lead Forensics have an API that allows you to push data into Salesforce, other systems like Inside View offer a premium CRM package where you can do similar things. With any of these ‘advanced’ integrations you need an ‘advanced account’ which means multiple “advanced” subscription prices. Ebsta allows us to view, create and update Salesforce records from any web page or online system, saving us the time and money of going down the alternative route. An added benefit is BDRs can work in whatever environment they wish and still have a window into Salesforce. If they choose to start using new Social Networks or Data websites, no additional integration is needed to sustain our current workflow.
Outlook is the hub of our Sales Reps’ world outside Salesforce and we initially used the new Salesforce for Outlook Connector to integrate these two environments. Our Head of Sales is in San Diego, our Marketing Director is in London and our CTO develops in a cave somewhere in the Nordics (or Surrey, we don’t really know). To effectively manage our teams we maintain a hard stance on “If it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist”. We find that whilst the Salesforce for Outlook Connector is free and pretty good, it doesn’t offer the breadth of functionality available in Ebsta, meaning some core tasks were very repetitive and time consuming. An example of that is you can’t select for an email to be added to Salesforce when you’re sending it. You have to send, go to sent items and then attach the email from there or deal with it later amongst Salesforce’s Unresolved Items. Additionally you can’t create, edit or update a contact record without leaving Outlook – the very place where the vital data is and you no doubt want to reference.
All these points have been noted so you can expect to see something come out of our labs in the not too distant future. Watch this space!
We do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with GoToMeeting. When it works, it works really well and, in all fairness, that’s the majority of the time. GoToMeeting doesn’t charge you for people dialling in to your calls (and beware others do), the functionality contains everything you need (changing presenter, muting controls, sending invitations) and it has a brilliant integration with Outlook (so there is no excuse for missing a meeting!). The negative part centres around people having to download and install their application – clients sometimes can’t download the app to begin with, others don’t have permissions to install it and even if it’s installed on your machine, you have to reinstall it every time you join a new call.
Ebsta use Skype a lot to connect with colleagues and clients who are based in all four corners of the world. One of the best features for the UK office is Premium Numbers. Many of our Reps, for instance, have a US based number so when they call US companies, it looks like a local number calling. You’d be amazed by the difference it made in the number of people answering – something like an 800% increase in the first few months! Another thing is that it’s super cheap for international calls. You can do share your screen but it’s not of the same quality that we’ve come to expect with GoToMeeting – both the visual and audio.