I’ve been using several dozens of cloud applications on a daily basis. In picksaas, for the past year, we have tested over 150 cloud applications just to know, which ones to recommend to our users. Knowing there are thousands of different products out there, it’s been quite a challenge to identify the ones which are outstandingly good in what they’re doing.

It’s not difficult to see that the best-in-class cloud products are great for managing one simple process and connect easily with other SaaS apps. These products are just great and thanks to apps like Pipedrive, Stencil or Monday, together with our users, we have been able to significantly boost sales, create beautiful graphics having no knowledge about professional design and manage projects in a way more effective way.

Get the most out of your cloud tools

Individually, these apps are great facilitators of daily work and there is probably no better way to be more effective, save time and sell more. But the true potential of cloud applications is visible only when you start connecting them all together, automating the flow of data between numerous different tools.

Then, you start seeing how much time you’ve been wasting on tedious, manual tasks which can easily be automated using just a few cloud applications, connected together using Zapier or a native app’s integration. Just to show you an example, we’ve experienced here in picksaas, we’ve been using Typeform to collect the submissions from SaaS vendors to feature their product at picksaas. After we receive a submission it takes quite some time to analyze the app and decide if it meets quality criteria to be featured on our platform. But the number of submissions started to grow pretty quickly so we had to structure it by using Trello to handle the requests and manage the testing process within our team. Copying and pasting the Typeform submissions into Trello became a tedious and unwanted task.

Typeform integrated with Trello

 

But why are we wasting time on this?! Fortunately, thanks to using Zapier, we were able to automate the process and right now, all of our Typeform applications are automatically turned into Trello cards in our “SaaS list” board. No more time spent on manual copying and pasting and that’s only one of the hundreds of ways of connecting SaaS apps to make your life easier than ever.

Structuring the sales process

There are two ways of reaching out to your potential customers. The best scenario is an effective, content-focused inbound strategy, where your customers find you, right at the moment when they need your product or service. But seeing the effects of an inbound strategy takes time and quite a lot of resources. If you don’t want to wait or want to take action in the meantime, while your content strategy becomes more and more effective, you can also turn towards outbound sales.

To make outbound sales happen, you basically need 3 things:

  1. Prospects/leads — a list of customers, potentially interested in your product or service, together with their contact details
  2. The way and process of reaching out to them-this might be a planned call script or email campaign.
  3. A plan to close a deal as soon as you identify the customer need.

Collecting the components of an outreach system

Leads’ database

Managing the database of prospects is a challenge. And while you can do it using a complicated external software, most often you will end up storing all the data in your excel file. So why to complicate it? With Google Spreadsheet, you should be able to handle the list of your prospects very effectively, adding as many information as you want and filtering the list depending on your preferred criteria. With Google Spreadsheet, you also get a huge advantage, which is connecting your database to other cloud applications. This gives you an endless opportunity to use gathered data in many different processes, including sales.

 
The prospects’ database in Google Spreadsheet

Calling vs. mailing

Interacting with your prospect is a crucial point in the sales process. The way you approach your customer for the first time has a huge impact on how he will perceive your company in further communication, even if he doesn’t decide to purchase your product. This is why personalization should be a priority.

“You need to personalize each email and voicemail to each prospect’s context and build on the overall message each time.” Mike Roberge, Sales Acceleration Formula

And while the preferrable way would be to phone call and email your customers one by one making the communication 100% personal, it’s not always the most effective scenario. What if you already have a database of hundreds of companies operating in the same industry with the direct contact with the executive who might be in need of your product or service? Maybe a good idea would be to email all of them, still maintaining personal touch?

This can be achieved, using a cold mailing app, like Woodpecker, which lets you send large batches of individual emails, schedule automated follow-ups and monitor the responses of your interested prospects, who might then be turned into your customers. Create email template, mark the fields which will then be replaced with the personalized information, select the prospects who will be the recipients of your campaign and your mailing is ready to go.

Email campaign in Woodpceker

If you don’t know how to write an effective outreach email, it might be worth to take a look at a comprehensive guide to cold email.

“It’s way more effective to send emails to small batches of companies, to keep the communication as personal as possible.” Cathy Patalas, CMO at Woodpecker

Managing sales to interested prospects

Still, sending hundreds of emails makes it quite probable, that dozens of them will reply asking for more details or your offer. So how to run further communication and contact after your email campaign?

 
Pipeline of deals in Pipedrive

This is where CRM system becomes a must. With Pipedrive or Salesflare, you will handle further communication using a simple pipeline of deals, planning the activities to be performed by each client. But the best thing about a CRM is that it integrates with your mailbox and calendar, letting you send emails directly from the app and adding any activities of your choice automatically to your calendar.

Automating the flow of data between your apps

So having all of these put in place, how to make them all work together? After all, you don’t want to waste time on copying the data manually from Google Spreadsheet to Woodpecker and then to your Pipedrive CRM. They should act as one, integrated system.

Fortunately, this is quite an easy thing. With Zapier, you can set up an automation, adding any new row in Google Spreadsheet into Woodpecker’s prospects’ list. Similarly, a contact who replied to your campaign can automatically be uploaded to Pipedrive, creating a new deal in your sales pipeline. With Pipedrive’s native integrations, you don’t have to worry about syncing your activities with your calendar. This is done automatically, through a native connection with Gmail and Google Calendar account.

 
The sales engine built using cloud apps

Connecting these and setting up the technology to support your sales gives a huge comfort in focusing on the most important tasks which are communicating with your customers and actually selling your product, rather than worrying about taking notes or remembering about contacting particular companies.

Setting up a sales environment is not the most difficult thing to do but it definitely requires some knowledge and especially, a mode of communication to the sales team, showing them, how to take advantage from what these tools can offer. Still, it’s definitely worth to spend some time or resources to put such a structured system in place as from my experience it often has a significant positive long-term effect on companies’ efficiency, time management and quantity and quality of sales pipeline.