Xobni (inbox spelled backwards) for Outlook is a free add-on that I recommend to all of the lead generation specialists and sales teams that I work with at our expansion stage portfolio companies. While I am obviously a big advocate of sales people using the telephone to communicate with clients (you can’t hide behind your computer screen all day and expect to close sales!), there is really no avoiding the fact that you MUST engage in quite a bit of emailing during the day to keep your sales processes moving forward swiftly.
You’ve got plenty to send your prospects/clients. And (hopefully) they’ve got plenty to send you. So how can you access any interaction that you have had in the past with out digging around in Outlook for precious hours out of your week?
The answer is Xobni.
Using Xobni will make your life easier by allowing you to extract all emails/documents from your email chains much quicker — not only that, but you can track the analytics of your email interactions with each individual you have conversed with via email. How many times have you emailed them, vs. how many times they’ve emailed you? How long does it take you to respond to a particular individual? How long does it take for them to get back to you?
If you are emailing your client 10 times more than they are emailing you… perhaps you should reconsider your sales strategy. Call me crazy, but you are most likely overwhelming this person.
Xobni will also help you get to know your clients through their social networking sites — directly from your inbox. As I have discussed in recent blog posts, it is always a good idea to connect with your top prospects and clients on LinkedIn. By doing so, you can stay up to speed with their updates, and you can also peruse their professional network for potential leads. Xobni allows you to see information from the person’s profile, but also to request him/her without having to re-navigate to linkedin.com. Big time-saver.
When it comes to social networking, another feature that I love is the Twitter feed option. Follow your prospects tweets directly from the Xobni toolbar. You can learn A LOT about someone and their priorities through their tweets. Again, having all of this social information in one centralized spot will keep you focused.
I pulled this Xobni sidebar (to the left) directly from Outlook. Corey, my coworker who I email quite a bit during the day, was easy to find through Xobni. To access her information in the sidebar, I simply added her name into the Search function at the top of the bar and her profile popped up with 1 second. You can see from my screenshot, that Xobni features all of her contact information (which has been extracted from her linkedin, skype, email signature, etc). If I wanted to give Corey a quick call, rather than digging through emails, I could easily access her phone number directly through Xobni. Also as I noted earlier, if I were looking for a recent spreadsheet that Corey had sent to me as an attachment, it would be easily accessible to me via this “Files Exchanged” section within seconds.
If you haven’t already downloaded Xobni, I say give it a try. It will bring a whole new life to your Outlook Inbox… and hopefully help you stay organized to sell that much more efficiently.
What other tools do you recommend to keep sales people organized? Please share your suggestions! OpenView Labs provides strategic consulting services to our portfolio, and I focus on lead generation services. I am always looking for new tools to recommend to our lead generation teams.