Today’s business landscape looks a lot different than it did just a handful of years ago. Inflation, leaner staffing and other factors have created new challenges for sales teams. In fact, 69% of sales professionals say their job is harder than ever. Thriving today means sales leaders can maximize productivity by tearing down business-slowing silos and doubling down on team selling.
We spoke with influential leaders about how they use Slack to tap into their productivity potential and strengthen customer relationships, and they share their general advice for succeeding in sales. Meet Samantha McKenna and Morgan J. Ingram.
Building human relationships with colleagues and clients
Samantha McKenna has over 20 years of sales experience working for a variety of enterprise companies, ranging from ON24 to LinkedIn, as a sales leader, investor and advisor. In 2019 she founded #samsales Consulting—an all-women consultancy team that works with growing startups to established enterprise companies—and has been sharing her deep sales knowledge as a speaker and through her company’s videos, social media and newsletters.
What is your favorite Slack feature?
Huddles is by far my favorite feature. Working with an all-remote team, with many people I haven’t met in person, huddles gives us a chance to collaborate, to get to know one another, to do multiple screen shares simultaneously—mimicking how one looks over multiple shoulders. It lets us efficiently communicate and team build, and then return to our respective work.
How do you use Slack to build relationships with customers?
There’s something magical about how quickly you can build a more human relationship with a buyer using Slack. The messaging feature feels less formal and allows people to put their guard down. It encourages people to share personal information, perhaps about one’s pet or an article they came across. It’s also significantly less noisy than email, and allows for quick-hit communications. We love using Slack to keep in touch with buyers undergoing complex initiatives with us and our partners.
What’s your best piece of advice for sales reps who work remotely?
Get out of your house every so often. Pack up your gear, head to a coffee shop with headphones or pods in hand, and break up the monotony of your environment.
What are the best books or resources you’d recommend for people in sales to help advance their career?
At #samsales, we get countless requests for one-on-one training, from business development reps to execs, so we created #samshorts, which are super-short, tangible sales practices that will help you up your game on email responses, negotiating raises, having the perfect discovery call, how to not get ghosted, how to write better—and everything in between.
Another resource is one of my favorite sales books, The Transparency Sale, by Todd Caponi. It talks about up-front transparency and honesty in sales and gives great tangible practices for new and experienced sellers alike. Bonus: Todd is pretty funny.
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Closing deals fast and nurturing client loyalty
Morgan J. Ingram is a leading sales influencer, amplifying the people you know best—your executive employees, customers, and sales teams—to expand your brand narrative through content marketing. In 2020 he created the successful Muffins w/Morgan, a LinkedIn Live show answering your burning questions about sales, marketing and content creation. He’s currently building Ascension Media Productions centered on B2B Influencer Marketing and content creation. His work has been featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Sales Hacker.
What is your go-to Slack feature, and how do you use it?
My go-to Slack feature is using clips to send voice notes. I could send a one-minute voice note and give so much context, compared to maybe hopping on a call with you or even having to get a lot of people involved. The voice note could be as simple as, “Hey, you have feedback on this?” and you can respond quickly with your own voice note. No tone gets misinterpreted—that’s why I really like the voice notes in Slack.
How do you use Slack to build relationships with customers?
Working with customers in Slack Connect, we can share things using clips with its video sharing feature in a shared channel. If I have an exciting development that we’re working on or a new product update that’s coming out, I’ll send over a clip: “Hey, here’s a quick two-minute video with a product update.” Or maybe it’s “Hey, here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about.” The goal is to continuously have conversations and get the client excited about working with you. Also, if you’re selling, you want to get them to feel great about the buyer experience.
Being with them in Slack Connect means you’re not in their email all day long. You’re in Slack, you’re communicating at a high velocity, the engagement is there. And as we always say in sales, “Time kills all deals”—so if you’re continuously having conversations in Slack and you’re going back and forth, that’s only going to help you close deals faster, and that will tighten the relationship with the client so they’ll stay with you for the long term.
What’s your favorite (or signature) Slack emoji?
My favorite Slack emoji is the prayer hands. If someone’s like, “Morgan, good job today!” I react with :prayer hands:. I just want everybody to stay blessed out here. I just love the prayer hands. It’s a good answer to most things that are happening, right? Sending out the prayer hands means we’re having a good day.
Learn more about how Slack can support your sales teams by visiting our Sales solutions page.
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