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A Card Can Go a Long Way

Today's sales teams focus on email, phone calls and social touches to get in touch with prospects, but some prospects require a "retro" touch. Find out how sending cards with PipelineDeals and Thankster can help your sales messages stand out.


Showing customers appreciation can be challenging - especially when that customer-base is growing with your business. Nurturing contacts through automated email campaigns tends to be the primary method for maintaining those vital customer connections. Recently, marketing experts have been gravitating towards integrating a similar automation technology, like Thankster, as a way to complement email campaigns with customized handwritten cards. 

It seems that our love for handwritten cards has been conditioned through years of birthday cards and checks in the mail from Aunty. We love the feeling of ripping open a card that was personally addressed to us - and most companies love to give that feeling to their customers.

Traditionally, the downside to producing handwritten card campaigns was time and energy spend to write them. Sending out 500 handwritten cards could take months. And while those cards would yield higher conversion rates, the execution process would be grueling.

The solution is to automatically incorporate custom handwritten cards into the systems your company is already using to manage contacts. Zapier.com lets you link your PipelineDeals with Thankster to make this possible. This way, when certain conditions are met, a card will be sent in the mail the next business day with heavy card stock and a first class stamp.

Set-up is easy:

Step 1: Create your project in Thankster. Upload your own custom logo and handwriting or choose from existing ones.

Step 2: Head over to Zapier to connect your Thankster account to your PipelineDeals account. Here you can set up the right conditions for a card to be mailed out.

Voila! You are now automatically sending customers handwritten cards!

There two Zaps currently setup for Thankster and PipelineDeals. One option is to send out thank you cards to new contacts that get added to your PipelineDeals account. A second option is to send out thank you cards to people associated to new deals that have been added to your account. Both options can work in tandem with your other outreach efforts to improve your overall connection rate and close more business.

8 Essential Apps For Contractors

Contractors rely upon cutting edge apps to keep their businesses running. Here are 8 essential apps being using by contractors to win more business and delight their clients.

By David Baars, Marketing Manager at PipelineDeals


In the last few years, businesses have begun to embrace employees bringing smartphones into the office. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the specialty contracting trades. Estimators, field sales, crew leaders, and crew members alike have benefitted from the ability to stay connected via smartphones and the App ecosystem.

With more than 64% of American adults using smartphones according to a Pew Research Center study, specialty contracting businesses can no longer avoid the presence of smart phones. More importantly, the strength of the App ecosystem is a boon for contractors who choose to implement these apps.

Below is a list of Apps that many of our customers are currently using. Some of these apps allow customers to work entirely remotely on the road or jobsite, while keeping in close contact with co-workers in the office.

PlanGrid 

A construction app that lets contractors, owners, and architects collaborate with all their project plans, specs and photos on the iPad.

What are users saying about PlanGrid? -  “Fulfills the idea I had from day 1 of owning a tablet to make it the resource to hold all docs to take to a job. Still requires a little thinking ahead to update the pad while near WiFi before leaving the office rather than 4G from the field. The searches are fast, easy to flip between drawings and/or the live links”

Photo Measures

The perfect app to help you save and share measures and dimensions on your own photos.

What are users saying about Photo Measures? - “Perfect, This app is just what I needed. I work in construction, and this gives me the perfect tool to convey exact dimensions to the detailer or project manager with clear and visual intentions.”

TSheets

TSheets is time tracking software with built-in mobile time cards for construction and field workers. According to some estimates, TSheets saves contracting businesses 2% on average for gross payroll costs.

What are users saying about TSheets? - “It's the Holy Grail of Time Tracking!” Quite the endorsement.

Photo Measures App

This app makes it dead simple for contractors to mark-up photos on iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. Mark the dimensions within the app, callout specific features in the photo, and magnify for better accuracy.

What are users saying about Photo Measures App? - “Been using the app for over a year in my business. I measure Windows for draperies and have stopped writing notes on paper. The text feature works great along with all the styles of lines and colors. The export feature to Dropbox or email is great, as they have added exporting more then 10 photos. I refer the app to all my designers I work for.”

Docusign

Docusign provides a simple and secure way to electronically sign documents and collect signatures from others. The app eliminates the hassles, costs, and lack of security in printing, faxing, scanning, and overnighting documents for signature.

What are users saying about Docusign? - “This is the best ever! As a Realtor, this app is priceless for my out of town clients, and even in town ones! What used to take days now only takes minutes!! I can send a document to 3 clients all in different states, get it back the same day, signed- all without having to print and scan!”

Joist App - Painting Contractor Estimator & Billing Tool

This tool is a complete estimating, quotation and bid app for all types of painting & decorating contractors.

What are users saying about Painting Contractor Estimator & Billing? - “Very specific to the painting business (but would work for other trades) with many methods to calculate estimates. Different labor and material factors are very cool. This app has really helped my business It’s so easy to estimate that my revenue has actually increased since I can add my services with just a few taps. Also saves time of manually generating estimates”

iBend Pipe

iBend Pipe is a niche conduit bending application for iPhone. You can use this app to help calculate bends using the English or Metric measurements.

What are users saying about iBend Pipe? - “I'm a commercial electrician (9 years), I do a lot of bending (Rigid & EMT) and my work is always complimented. I'd say this app is my secret weapon. If you do commercial or industrial work, buy it. It speeds up the process, reduces the "bone yard" of attempts…”

PipelineDeals

PipelineDeals is a contractor oriented CRM that helps you manage contacts, track your sales pipeline, and close more deals. Get organized and grow your sales pipeline with the simplest, most effective CRM for contractors around

What are users saying about PipelineDeals? - "PLD is the best CRM I've come across. It's easy to use and offers powerful reporting features. It also allows me to track my selling activities. The Android app helps me stay connected while I'm on the road. Plus, their support is amazing. I highly recommend this app"

What apps are you using?

Do you have another app that you love? Share in the comments section below.

Outside Sales Is Coming In: A Hybrid Approach To Sales Success

Field sales has long been the de facto king of the sales ecosystem with undisputed dominance of the profession. Now field teams are going back to the drawing  board to find ways to use new sales technologies and maximize their yield. 

BY Zen Newman, MARKETING ANALYST AT PIPELINEDEALS

Field sales is coming inside with the arrival to digital tools. 

Most field sales reps are familiar with the added stress of being in the office for too long. On top of the knowledge that the field is where they make their money, there is often a strong stigma attached to not getting out the door fast enough.

 

Within the existing methodologies of most field reps, the imperative to “get out the door” is understandable. Even so, this operating structure limits reps by reducing their flexibility. This ultimately reduces the quality of their presentations and in some cases hinders their productivity and response rate to new opportunities.

 

In response to these limitations, and in the face of the tremendous strides enjoyed by inside teams in recent years, many field teams are moving towards an increasingly hybrid approach to selling.

 

Sometimes a face to face meeting is more effective

The truth is that there are certain situations where a face to face meeting is overwhelmingly more effective than other methods. There are many other customers, however, who would just assume deal with sales through other channels. Meeting in person is time-consuming and often inconvenient for today’s busy leaders.

 

Traditionally, field reps engaging the later will still push for a face to face meeting. While less useful in this case, that is what they are optimized to do.

 

In addition to the organizational and cultural constraints preventing field reps from utilizing other channels, there is often a technological element as well. Remotely presenting requires additional tools to become effective. Inside reps are well acquainted with programs such as screen sharing and calendar scheduling tools. While not often utilized by field reps, they can be added to their arsenal to broaden their ability to operate remotely.

 

These tools are exactly the direction that many field sales teams are beginning to go. Technology is changing the game across the sales profession. For roles like field sales where customer face time has always been the barometer of success. Now, new tools are changing the game and along with it, what activities contribute to success.

 

With multichannel prospecting tools such as Salesloft, reps aren’t limited to pounding the phone and going door to door as their only means of demand generation. Likewise, remote presentation software like Join.Me and GoToMeeting give salespeople the ability to tailor their presentation methods to the needs of the client.

 

These technologies also give salespeople the ability to maximize their productivity. Email and social prospecting provide the capacity to automate multiple touch points on leads even without committing to a block of time for cold calling. Even better, once those leads have been contacted a couple of times by email, they become more likely to engage positively when phone outreach does occur.

Inefficiency has always been the enemy of sales. Driving everywhere for meetings is a serious constraint on available time in the day for selling. Veteran reps develop, out of necessity, the ability to schedule appointments that are geographically close to minimize windshield time and maximize their productivity. The ability to also handle meetings remotely give salespeople added flexibility in responding to customer needs.

 

As with many professions, technology is blurring the line between different sales functions. The salespeople who will inherit the earth will be those who can quickly adapt their selling activities to utilize new technologies as they emerge.

the ability to utilize new technologies will be a major determinant of success. 

 

For salespeople, this means updating their skill sets and being willing to step outside their existing mode of operation to quickly accommodate new strategies and techniques.  

 

Managers play a central role in supporting the transition of field sales teams. They are well positioned to guide their teams towards utilizing multiple channels of sales growth by equipped to be ambidextrous between presentations face to face and remotely. Equipping teams with the right skills, tools and culture is a vital part of guiding this transition.

 

The teams who manage to make this transition have a lot to gain. Recent advances in effectiveness by inside teams show the impact that these new technologies can have. The sales professional that will continue to emerge as the dominant player in the coming years will be the one who can blend these methods to maximize their impact across a territory. Likewise, succeeding at a team level is now about finding and empowering these individuals to do what they do best.