Sales professionals have it tough. They really do.
For all of the skeptics out there, selling is not all about wining, dining, and collecting generous commissions after getting a round of golf in with a prospect. Sure, there might be a little wine. And yes, golf too. But there is a lot of administrative duties required to keep the gears turning; activities that are far less than glorious and often don't make the cut as line items in the typical sales executive's job description. Unfortunately, these activities are now more than ever revolving around the use of the organization's CRM, which I personally can't stand. Weren't CRMs created to make our lives easier? To have better access to more insightful data? To keep sales managers and CFOs at bay? One would think, but we've come to realize that the software innovation we've come to depend on has also become our own worst enemy.
The following things are what all salespeople love to hate, and should have nothing to do with someone's day-to-day activity in a sales role (if they don’t have to):
- Manual lead input
- Relying on personal notes to remember details of past calls
- Changing and updating contact properties
- Searching for a company’s contact information
- Searching for individuals that work for a company
- Creating reminders to follow up with leads via email in the future
- Searching through thousands of emails to reference past conversations
- Following up with leads that are no longer interested or ignore your emails
- Did I say manual lead input?
Well, there’s good news for all of the salespeople out there. HubSpot has developed a new tool to help salespeople spend less time doing these administrative activities, and more time doing what they do best… selling. Let me introduce you to my new favorite utility: Sidekick.
What is Sidekick?
Sidekick by HubSpot is a utility that assists with some of the more monotonous sales activities that have become necessary evils. In a nutshell, Sidekick caters directly to my bulleted list of sales pet peeves above. Nestled in your browser in a neat little drawer that emerges only when desired, it helps you take your relationships and prospecting abilities out of your email and into your HubSpot CRM.
One quick point of clarification: What good is any sidekick without the true hero by their side? Enter HubSpot’s new CRM. Sidekick natively integrates with HubSpot’s CRM, and when the two tools join forces, you can forget the tedious duties above and spend more time on actual revenue generating activities.
What software platforms is Sidekick available for?
Sidekick is a Google Chrome browser extension that latches on to Gmail, and Google Apps for Work. Sidekick can also integrate directly with Microsoft Outlook.
Why do we love it?
Most simply put, Sidekick saves us time. Various features such as the ability to instantly add contacts you have just received an email from to your HubSpot CRM with a click of a button without ever leaving your inbox make this tool an essential arrow in my quiver.
Another reason why we swear by Sidekick doesn’t actually make the official feature list of the product’s website. Because it is so easy to do things such as manual lead input, we find that these activities tend to get done more consistently than ever before. Let’s face it… opening up a new tab, going to your CRM, logging in, and filling out a form might be one of the last things you want to do after hopping off an hour long sales call. When that process becomes easier, it’s human nature to get them done more consistently.
Additionally, when used with Google Chrome, Sidekick can pull company and individual contact information for you, just by visiting their website. Try it for yourself. Upon accessing www.hubspot.com in Google Chrome with Sidekick installed you can easily see information about the company, such as their size of the organization and key decision makers there, such as Brian Halligan. Sidekick will even go as far as to give you the decision maker’s contact information. Apologies to Mr. Halligan for any additional emails received as a result of this blog post.
What is preventing me from starting?
There are no barriers to entry here, other than possibly upgrading to Google’s Chrome browser (which I highly recommend anyways). The product is free to use, however there is additionally functionality in the paid version, which is extremely affordable at just $10 per month. Premium features such as unlimited email open notifications and email scheduling are well worth your money.
All functionality aside, you can’t really put a price on your sales peoples’ time. Every minute they’re updating their CRM, they’re not selling. And every minute they're not selling, the organization loses potential revenue. Do yourself a favor; try out Sidekick, and get some of your day back. What you will do with the time is the only question left to be asked.
November 25, 2014