SalesLoft: Where, When, and How You Turn Leads Into Customers

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Michael Zunenshine
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Pick your pipe

The sales pipeline can be comprised of any number of stages, from a simple trilogy like lead, pitch, sell; to complex geometries with a dozen steps, substeps and sidesteps. 

The focus isn’t only about getting an overview of how many contacts are at each stage. Rather, it’s to visualize them moving through it. And yet, that emphasis on movement might sometimes work against you. When you’re too concerned with how to move leads to the next stage, you might not be treating them the right way at the stage they’re currently in.

SalesLoft is a sales engagement platform that not only helps you manage contact flow through your sales process but helps your sales staff be the best they can be with each client in the moment and at every stage. 

Proactively now

The platform uses machine learning to measure what works well with what type of contact, and what falls flat or on deaf ears. For example, SalesLoft will tell your staff the best times to get in touch, which communication method to use, and even the right way to communicate—that is, how to express your intentions and adjust your tone. It then keeps on fine-tuning the recommendations. 

Boasting over 2,000 clients, with the likes of Square, IBM, and Zoom, SalesLoft has certainly proven its ROI chops. The company has been recently valued at 600 million after clearing a series D without breaking a sweat. Even the New York Times thinks it’s on the way to a valuation of a Cool 10 Figures.

SalesLoft: A tetrad of selling machines

The platform is divided into four main categories or toolsets:

  1. Everything you need to email and call with precision

  2. Tools to help you improve how you talk on the phone

  3. Team collaboration features using shared contact info (CRM)

  4. A full stack of BI and analytics features

Sales Email & Dialer

Whether by email or phone, SalesLoft tells you the best time to reach out.

With emails, you receive shareable templates, which you can test out A/B style. 

The system sorts your incoming messages by the priority of the account, making sure you don’t drop the ball on those golden leads.

Sales team leaders can set up guides for their reps, or include checklists for them to go over before sending out an email, making sure each message is on-brand and perfect.

SalesLoft offers email tracking that notifies you when people open your email. It also detects an incoming email from a contact using a new or different address from the one in your records—then updates those records.

As for the phone, you can get a local caller ID number for whomever you’re calling, since, common sense assumes people are less likely to answer the phone when they see a strange area code.

There are tools to automate incoming calls so that higher priority ones come in first. Teams can also collaborate on calls.

Using SalesLoft Mobile gets you the basics of a good CRM platform, showing you all relevant information, and letting you sync call notes back to the customer’s file. 

Recording & Coaching

This set of features is quite sophisticated. SalesLoft records your calls, and while you’re on the phone, you can do live note-taking and tagging, which are time-stamped for later review. 

They have a phone call transcription tool, which is great for sharing with the team. You can also share recordings or just snippets of live chats among each other.

Then there’s Conversation Intelligence, which is part of how SalesLoft coaches sales teams based on their call performance. It makes it easy to review hours of chatter in a short time for valuable insights and creates a database of best meetings or conversations to be used as later examples.

Team leaders can listen to calls and add time-stamped notes for later review. What’s even more unique, coaches or team leads can listen in on calls and “whisper” advice—that is, talking so only the rep can hear and not the client on the other end

Cadence & Meetings

This stack is a bit more complex and really depends on the user and how much they plan on leveraging all the abilities here. Overall, these are automation tools, administration settings, and organizational features.

For example, you can set up a sales playbook, and then monitor your sales team to see who’s playing by it, who’s straying, and what deviations might turn out to be more effective for future playbooks.

Among the many automation tools, you get engagement triggers, which let you set up auto-responses based on a lead’s activity. Similarly, you can get auto-notifications based on a user’s tracked activity, so you can still decide what the next best step should be.

Intelligence & Analytics

Selling is like a dance between rep and lead. If the lead “takes the lead” the rep has to know and be ready with the right moves to keep the dance going. 

Now, to drop the metaphor: Sales reps must have all the best info, data and intelligence at their fingertips to never miss a step.

First SalesLoft gets you intel on your leads, like their basic CRM data and news updates, but also details about their personality disposition.

You can also create lead personas to use as models when planning how and when to contact people who fit that description. 

Analytics are also turned back around to size up your sales team. Some metrics include how many accounts each rep contacted, the volume of their activity, time to opportunity, and the number of engagements within a given period.

Sales reporting can zero in on individual reps, or show the figures for the group as a whole. There’s even a leaderboard feature to encourage healthy competition among your team.

In the end, no intel is wasted. Even failed sales generate “audit trails.” The AI reviews what the software suggested, and how the contact reacted to that suggestion, all with the aim of improving the next round of selling suggestions.

Loftier than “dumb databases”

While not a CRM in itself, SalesLoft works perfectly in tandem with Salesforce (they’re also making moves toward Microsoft Dynamics). Between these platforms, you’ve got a decent pairing of tools for before-and-after each sale—that is, engaging leads, converting them, and keeping them as happy customers.

Just as how a CRM makes managing your customers more personal, SalesLoft makes selling more human.

SalesLoft’s co-founder and CEO, Kyle Porter, has always wanted to build something better than basic CRM for salespeople, calling many CRM platforms “dumb databases or repositories.”  

“They are not focused on improving how to connect buyers to sales teams in sincere ways,” says Porter, continuing that “anytime a [CRM] company ... has moved into tangential areas like [sales engagement], they haven’t built from the ground up, but through acquisitions.”

SalesLoft is a 100% built-from-the-ground-up sales engagement software that doesn’t seek to replace CRM, but to give it that extra context in the early stages of a sales journey. 

No matter how simple or complex your pipeline, every sales rep and team leader has the same lofty ambition: to see those leads become loyal customers.

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