for Selling
Professional Selling Online Tools: CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help businesses track sales from the initial lead all the way to sales and fulfillment. It helps you track to see how leads become prospects, prospects becomes sales, and sales become customers. It is an essential tool in standardizing and improving your sales process.

Most CRM services have a monthly cost - ranging from $20 to $60 per month. To compare services, search for CRM and sales force automation on the Internet.

Summary of benefits:

  • Helps you develop a consistent and professional sales program
  • Helps you evaluate your sales process and sales employees
  • Helps you forecast sales based on your pipeline size
  • Level of difficulty: High

    Steps to implement:

  • This software is important enough for you to view demos for various options and then test them before choosing a final service.
  • Search for CRM and sales force automation on the Internet. You may want to include "small business" with the terms - because there are very expensive CRM systems for large businesses.
Appointment Setting and Calendars

There are free or very low cost services that allow you to create and share your calendar with others. This software is often linked to smartphone devices so information is available wherever you are. Google Calendar offers a free program. Microsoft Outlook also has the capability to share calendars. Click here for information.

You should also consider giving customers the ability to schedule an appointment with you online. There are low-cost services that are easy to implement. Search for business appointment software.

Summary of benefits:

  • Shared calendars help everyone in your business coordinate activities
  • Allowing your customers to book appointments directly saves them time and sets up an automatic appointment reminder service

Level of Difficulty: Low

How to Implement:

  • Decide who you need to share your calendar with. If it is within a small group, consider a free service. If it is with outside customers, look for a paid service.
  • Search online for business appointment software and look at 3 or 4 options.
  • You will probably have to install a few lines of code on your website to install this software.
Powerpoint and Other Presentation Tools

With Microsoft Powerpoint, creating a sales presentation became easy and an essential business tool. Since then, online tools have been created to add sound, motion, better graphics, and zooming to your presentations. Some of these tools are low cost, others free.

Tips for developing professional presentation tools

  • Limit the number of slides to 12 to 15.
  • Put no more than 3 lines of text on a slide with as few words as possible.
  • Use a consistent background style that is professional and not overwhelming.
  • Use special effects to improve your message, not to distract your viewers.
  • 3 parts to your presentation:
    1. Preview what they will see.
    2. Tell them what you want them to know.
    3. Summarize what you told them.
  • Make sure contact information is included in your presentation.

Summary of benefits

  • A professional presentation is critical to many business' sales success.
  • Adding features that go beyond a traditional presentation can make it more memorable - or can be distracting to the message.
  • Regardless of the features - a presentation that has a clear, simple message is best.

  • Level of difficulty: medium to high - requires planning what want to say, editing it to 15 slides or less, preparing pictures and graphics.

    How to implement:

  • Determine a short message that you want people to know.
  • Put that message into 15 or fewer slides - including the introduction and summary.
  • Create a basic presentation, making sure that your branding and contact information is on the presentation.
  • Search on the Internet for presentation software and look at the features offered by various companies.
  • Decide whether any of those features would improve your presentations - without causing the viewer to be distracted from your message.
Create PDF Documents

PDFs are non-editable documents that can be viewed on any computer that has Adobe Reader (free). PDFs are important for business use because the documents cannot be altered. You can create a pdf from any document or spreadsheet. You can either download a program (some free) which installs like a printer driver - so you go to print and select the pdf option instead. You can also upload files to the Internet and convert files to pdf that way.

Summary of Benefits:

  • Documents such as legal contracts, price quotes, etc. cannot be changed.
  • If you pay for software, you can set up fillable forms.
  • PDF documents are smaller in size and easier to email and share than other documents.

Level of Difficulty: low

  1. How to Implement:
  2. Decide how often you will need to produce pdf documents and whether you want a free or paid program.
  3. Search on the Internet for "create pdf".
  4. Download the software or sign up for an online service.
Order and Sell Online

Online shopping carts are easy to set up - and virtually any business should have one. Usually you can get an online shopping cart through your website provider. You will need pictures of each of your products, product numbers, descriptions, and a price. You will also need to have procedures for shipping the items and a return policy and procedures.

Having an online shopping cart doesn't mean that you will automatically get sales. The Ten Secrets of Selling Online from Yahoo explains why.

Summary of benefits:

  • Customers want the choice of purchasing online or visiting a store.
  • Buying at an online store is not limited by hours or days of the week.
  • Usually the cost of an online sale is less because you don't have sales staff.
  • An online store opens your customer base beyond your local community.

Level of difficulty: Moderate. You need to have pictures, descriptions, and standardized prices. You need to have a way to ship your products and be able to process returns. You need to keep the online store up-to-date.

How to implement:

  • Take pictures, get descriptions, and set prices
  • Contact your web provider to find out about shopping cart options and pricing.
  • You will need to connect your shopping cart to a payment portal. This may be part of the shopping cart.
  • Include links to your shopping cart in all your communications, Facebook, etc.