By: Amy Sariego
If you work at an investment firm, you know that every meeting matters. What you do before, during, and after those meetings matters, though, too. In fact, at Dakota, we like to think that it’s the follow up after a meeting that can make or break a relationship.
Since 2006, the Dakota investment sales team has raised $40B for our partners, and in that time, have come to refine the tools that help us build relationships and set meetings.
We talk a lot about how important email is in the sales process, but we also know that there’s a lot more to it than that. Analytics, relationship management, and marketing automation tools also play a huge role in our day to day sales and marketing efforts.
In this article, we’re going to explore the eight things we think every firm can benefit from having in their tech stack. By the end of the article, you’ll know exactly where your firm can invest the time and money into building out your capabilities and enabling your sales team.
From data integrity to better client service, a CRM like Salesforce can transform the way you do business every day, adding time back into your day and making meetings more productive. But most importantly, they give you clean and accurate data and a way to act on it.
With over 150,000 customers around the world, and extremely customizable for the investment industry, Salesforce is one of the most widely-recognized CRM options available. There are countless use cases, customizations, and possibilities for you within their systems, and it can accommodate every team in your organization, from sales and marketing to IT. This makes it a flexible solution built for scale. At Dakota, we use Salesforce to ensure that we are consistently following up after meetings, and we believe this has been instrumental in our success over the years.
Slack is an instant messaging app that allows teams of every size to communicate, share updates, and in Dakota’s case, even log meeting notes. Because it can integrate with platforms like Salesforce, Google Suite, and others, nothing gets missed. Slack allows for your sales team to be in constant communication with other people in the firm, and ensures that they are as efficient as possible.
With over 86,000 customers, Hubspot is a well-recognized CRM and inbound marketing solution. Hubspot offers a free option, which allows companies to get a sense of the product and what it can do, as well as more advanced, paid solutions. The software can help all aspects of your business to run more effectively, with platforms that help with everything from marketing and sales to customer service.
Hubspot allows for website and content management, lead scoring, email marketing, and reporting that will help grow and track your pipeline. With Hubspot, you can empower your sales team through features like email sequencing, lead scoring, and data that enables them to make changes and optimizations to their outreach.
This software integrates with platforms like Hubspot and can run through full lists of contacts, delivering reports on all of your email addresses and determining whether they’re valid, invalid, or “catch all,” which means that no emails will be deliverable to that domain, even though you won’t get a bounceback.
However, while Neverbounce helps you find out whether or not a contact is still at a particular firm, it will not tell you if they are still in the same position at said firm. If they’re not at the firm (the invlaid or catchall email addresses) you can send them for further evaluation.
Two of the tools we use for further analysis of contacts that have already run through Neverbounce are Rocketreach and Seamless. These services will analyze data points like names and phone numbers to give you the person’s most up to date information. These tools also give you the ability to take the information they find and push it back into your Salesforce instance, instantly updating your data so that your sales team is equipped with accurate information when it comes time to reach out.
Both of these services help streamline the data maintenance required by companies big and small, and help enable your sales team to stay focused on selling. However, it is important to note that while these services will begin the data maintenance process, there is a layer of human interference needed to upload that refreshed data into Salesforce, and to review the lists as they move through the process.
This tool can be used to find out if someone has changed jobs, and help you identify where they’ve gone. This, too, can be synchronized with your Salesforce instance so that you can instantly update your contact information. By uploading a full list of your accounts and contacts, Sales Navigator will notify you when anyone on that list has changed jobs or roles. Like Rocketreach and Seamless, Sales Navigator gives you the opportunity to review the change, and upload it directly into Salesforce. Knowing which job title someone has is important because if someone was once a hedge fund specialist, and is now a private equity specialist, you know the kind of emails they’ll benefit from receiving. This also allows you to maintain relationships as former clients move between firms, making it easier to close deals as they move around in their careers.
This platform helps you break down any meeting by things like topics and speakers, and provides a transcript of the whole call that you can search through by keyword in order to follow up on specific things. It also allows teammates and supervisors to review calls and leave comments, which makes it a powerful tool for training and onboarding, especially as new people join the team. Rather than waiting and sitting in on five separate client calls, they can easily play through prior calls and determine the way the team speaks with clients and prospects, and can receive feedback after their own calls easily.
Gong also breaks things down by user, so you can see everything from calls attended, calls listened, average speaking times, etc. This allows you to really hone in on the behavior of your team, and to drill down into calls and meetings to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Fellow is a great tool to use before and during meetings. It gives you the opportunity to enter an agenda, talking points, and notes, so that everyone on your team knows their role before the meeting happens. It helps keep everyone on the same page ahead of time, and allows the meeting to run as smoothly as possible once it starts.
In addition to entering talking points and agenda, Fellow also enables your team to enter takeaways and next steps, so that follow up is never missed. You can also sync the application with your Google Calendar or Slack for an extra layer of accountability and transparency. Fellow is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and operating like a well-oiled machine.
We recommend that everyone starts out with a CRM, but where you go from there depends on your individual needs. If your team is struggling to communicate, Slack might be a natural next addition to your team. If you’re looking for ways to optimize email sends, a tool like RocketReach or Neverbounce could be for you. And finally, if you’re hoping to gain further insight into your marketing efforts, a platform like Hubspot could be a great investment.
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