I was born into a family of entrepreneurs. My father started his IT Networking company in a small office out of in our garage in Northern California. Seventeen years later, he is still committed as the first day in our garage. What was originally a one man show has since developed into a team of fifty out of Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon, California. But behind every successful man is a successful women. She not only is an incredible mother, but she was the catalyst of my father's startup. My mother is the ideal, hardworking salesperson.
Without her, my father's energy to create an innovative, technology driven company and the resources behind him would not have all come together. People seem to forget that salespeople, and not necessarily the CEO or founder, are the ones who help funnel the growth of any given company, product, or idea. My mother helps prove that “a company is only as good as its people." Needless to say, my mom has endured years of selling in good and bad economies and has been a key component of my father’s success at his company.
Silicon Valley History
My mother started working in Silicon Valley in 1985. At this time Silicon Valley was booming and exciting. Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Apple, and many more companies were starting up. HP and IBM were already established as the companies to beat.
Most of the entrepreneurs in the valley came from Stanford, and other local California Educational Institutions. Women in sales were a minority at that time in Silicon Valley. The fax machine had just been purchased at my mother’s company and they considered it a marvel to get a "Purchase Order" from a customer within the same day, as opposed to waiting for the US Postal System. Most communication, contracts, Master Service Agreements and Purchase Orders that took as long as 5-7 days through the US Mail system. It was just not as instantaneous as selling today.
Most sales were closed via phone calls and face-to-face meetings, and most appointments were set up by calling the customer from desk phones.
Selling was all relationship-based and you scheduled many lunches and dinners with your clients. The sale was generally written on a cocktail napkin.
Email communication was just starting up, and there was no internet to speak of in the 1980s. The carphone was considered a luxury: you could close a sale while driving to and from work and at the same time check in on your family on your two hour commute. My mother emphasized that most salespeople worked until 10PM at night and enjoyed it. It was necessary to work long hours to reach your sales goals for your company.
Working at that time was considered a career, not a job. Multi-tasking was the key to success at that time. There was no wireless phones and no corner Starbucks to work from. There was no telecommuting. There was no email communication, no software applications to track your sales and your customers, and no websites or social media on the horizon. Programmers were in high demand and considered "Gods” in that time period. You were expected to complete cold calls (100-200 daily) and schedule many outside meetings day after day. There was no Wireless Infrastructure or video conferencing, WEbX, or "Gotomeeting." No Google, no YouTube, blogging, or texting. And not to mention no ToutApp.
It was not a 24x7 real time world like it is today, and you were not constantly being interrupted or distracted as in today's fast-paced, complicated business world. As someone who sold in the 1980s and was lucky to live and be a part of Silicon Valley 's emergence in all its glory, I found the growing technology fascinating.
Today, technology is able to do so much more. We are far more interconnected globally than we were decades ago. We are able to reach a larger audience, more companies, and more decision makers in any given week. Entrepreneurs can grow their company in 1-2 years, rather than 10 years. More entrepreneurs have a chance to be just that.
What can we learn?
Although the art of sales has evolved over decades and had to change alongside its technology, it will continue to evolve at an even faster pace. A salesperson must always be ready to adapt... and they typically do, due to their resilience, drive, and passion for their work. Even if you are one of those in sales that do not consider yourselves as "technically savvy" just remember what really matters: where there is a will, there is a way. And in order for a company to truly be successful, they must have a strong, passionate, and hungry salesforce to bring them to success. A good salesperson has conviction that what they are offering will greatly add to the prospects’ life, belief that this is the best offer the prospect can choose and determination to communicate that they are right.
Our featured Team of the Week entry comes from Derek from Ambassador, writing this on behalf of his sales team. Every week or so, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.
At Ambassador, we help companies track and manage customer referrals. We'll let you reward your customers (or affiliates) for referring their friends, family, community, or users to you. Once you've tracked referrals, you can issue cash rewards using our integrations with Paypal and Dwolla. We're a hustling Techstars NYC startup in the one and only Detroit, Michigan. I'm managing our sales and customer service communications.
We LOVE ToutApp because we can see how effective our emails are at educating new customers about our product and its features.
ToutApp also lets us see which attachments are opened, when people reference them, and when they go back to review them. Tout also lets us know that a follow-up email has been read or clicked, letting us know that it was compelling to the recipient. Really useful - I always have my Live Feed running!
Every week or so, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.
I spearhead marketing and PR initiatives for BabyList. We provide expectant moms the ability to add items from any store to one universal baby registry - it's just as easy to use as Pinterest. BabyList is currently a part of an accelerator program and one of our main goals is to increase user sign-ups. We have a niche target market of pregnant women so we are constantly thinking of creative ways to reach them.
We LOVE ToutApp because it provides us greater insight to how the editors and influencers we are contacting are responding to BabyList. Our emails typically contain several links so we are able to gauge where people are clicking...and what they are interested in. And, at the very least, we'll know that they viewed our emails and how frequently.
Recently, I noticed one email I sent was viewed 27 times - I just knew that the recipient was interested and would respond soon. And, sure enough, she did!
We have just started using ToutApp and are already fast fans. I'm sure as we start drilling into the additional bells and whistles that Tout offers, we'll be lifetime fans.
Sales relationships are tough. Let’s face it. We work hard to build connections and establish these relationships. We hate it when a lead goes sour, rejects us or simply falls through the cracks.
With the New Emails Tab Tout makes it a lot easier to nurture your email relationships and follow up with the people you care about most. Not only am I able to keep track of my Active Leads, I can even create a Tout group of "Lost Leads" so that I can email them a few months from now and see if things have changed -- all with a few clicks.
Today, I'm here to tell you how you can share Tout groups and your relationships within your team.
Rediscovering the possibilities with Tout Shared Groups. Much more than just a stagnant list of contacts.
I create a series of groups for myself. These groups help me keep track of my contacts, what’s the next step in communication and make sure I am always moving forward.
Jon shared a group with me last week after the launch of our Partner Program called “Thought Leaders.” Cool, now I have the names of some the most influential leaders in the sales space.
My day is filled with distractions. I need to remember who I need to coordinate schedules with, send invites from my Gmail calendar and most importantly train to become ToutApp experts.
I’ll grab the contacts from Jon’s shared group who I am emailing to keep track of my follow up. I can easily move people in an out of “Training for Thought Leaders” to keep my group up to date.
Three new ways you can use shared groups
Improve your team’s productivity. Share target groups across departments and keep communication up to date in one place.
Pass along groups of contacts within your team. Perhaps a group of qualified leads, hot leads engaged with your proposal or maybe a group of customers that needs some extra love from support.
- Target your emails with the right messaging. Share a group of relationship who did not engage with your previous campaign to redirect follow up.
Start sharing groups today. Check the Relationships Page and start sharing.
ToutApp's integration into Salesforce provides advanced email tracking and templates beyond what the standard CRM offers.
One of the biggest draws of our Salesforce plugin is that it lets you do all of your email outreach right from within Salesforce while ensuring your emails still get sent through your own email servers.
Once you've installed Tout from the AppExchange, Our Tout Outbox lets you see email analytics in Salesforce, and our "Email with Tout" button lets you send emails with Salesforce templates and tracking. ToutApp will also auto-BCC Salesforce on all your communications, even when you're emailing from Gmail or Outlook.
And now ToutApp for Salesforce is even more powerful, because we'll display email tracking and engagement information whenever you pull up a Lead or Contact.
So for those salespeople who live within Salesforce and can’t imagine needing to navigate away to look up email tracking information, we’ve got your back. Here's what our newest tracking info in Salesforce looks like:
For current Salesforce users, here's a video explaining how to update your Salesforce plugin to the latest version with additional tracking:
Also, if you're looking to take your sales communciations in Salesforce to the next level, here's a book we wrote with the 5 top best practices on how to make the most of Salesforce + Tout.
ToutApp's Email Templates and Tracking coupled with Salesforce CRM makes a killer combination for your sales team. In this book, we've put together five best practices on how to make the most of your sales communications process with Salesforce and Tout:
View PDF or iBook now (no pesky forms necessary)
Give it a try and email us your feedback or comment below!