How To Shorten Your Sales Cycle With Signals


shorten-your-sales-cycle.jpgShorten-Sales-CycleHave you ever noticed that there seems to be a never ending supply of internet tools for marketers, yet seemingly an amazing lack of effective tools for salespeople? Well, you aren’t alone, recently HubSpot addressed that particular issue by launching a free tool called Signals.

Signals is not a CRM. CRM’s are designed for VP’s of Sales to track sales efforts, but Signals is designed for Salespeople to help increase sales productivity. Plus, you don’t even need a CRM to use Signals; it resides in your browser and client e-mail, and can be integrated with either, depending on your preference.

I have been using HubSpot Signals for several months now, as a strategic way to assist in closing sales and am happy to share my personal review of its effectiveness, and how I’ve actually been applying it for your consideration. Signals has actually helped to shorten our sales cycle. 


Spoiler alert - I love Signals! It has become a permanent part of my sales tool kit.

What Exactly Is Signals?

Signals is a Chrome extension, which as of this post, integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Nimble. It provides alerts in real-time, with updates about email opens, forwards, and clicks as well as the website activity your leads are taking, and any team connections. Again, these options are current as of the time of this post, but HubSpot has promised to keep adding more features.

The price point of Signals is ridiculously low. The e-mail features are free, with up to 200 open and click notifications per month, and only $10 per month for the full range of features, which include unlimited notifications and incorporate Salesforce e-mail tracking and lead intelligence, along with website visit notifications.

Installation is simple and effortless, with one click for Google Apps, and the program doesn’t take up space by featuring a small surface area.

What Makes Signals Such a Great Tool for Salespeople?

Let’s look at a typical sales scenario:

One of your prospects has requested that you send additional information. So, before you can initiate the next step in your sales process, you shoot out an email including the attachments, or containing the necessary links they require. But then what? Should you call them the same day? Maybe the next day? If they haven’t opened your email yet, and you call too soon, it could be detrimental. This is what HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan, refers to as the salesperson’s existential crisis.

Let me share a story with you about this:

I was working with a prospect in NYC that needed more information about how my company would work with him - let’s call him “John.” I sent John a beautifully formatted document to read on Thursday, by Friday afternoon around 3 pm I received an alert on my desktop from Signals that John was reading my email. Should I call him? No. Why not?  And this is the really cool part.


He is not ready for a call yet - I know this because Signals also informed me that John was currently reading my email on his cell phone. I knew he was not going to open the document I sent him on his cell phone, so there was no need for me to call him yet. But it even gets better. Signals also told me that he was not in his office. It indicated that John was in the Hamptons, which made perfect sense, it was Friday, and he had headed out to the Hamptons for a long weekend.  Very cool, but it even gets better.

On Monday morning I received another alert from Signals, informing me that John was reading my e-mail again and that this, time he had clicked on the link I had sent him. It also showed that John was viewing it on a desktop computer in NY City. Now I knew that he was in his office, so I gave him ten minutes to read the information, and then I gave him a call. Guess what he said?  He was ready to discuss what I sent him.


Creepy? Maybe a little. Useful? Incredibly!  Let me ask you this, if you were John, would you rather get interrupted by a follow up call when you were busy doing something completely unrelated? Or, would you rather get that call at an appropriate time so you can handle it efficiently?

Something that has always frustrated me in my sales role is how everyone handles their e-mail so differently from myself. Some people respond right away, while others may take days to respond. I just never understood what that was about. Did they read my email and then decide not to respond for a week, or did it take them a week just to read my email?

When I have my sales hat on, I tend to live in my email inbox, because this is where all the action happens. If there is a new lead, it will show up in my inbox, and when a prospect gets back to me, it will show up in my inbox. If a prospect has a question or needs additional information, it will show up in my inbox. My average email response time can be measured in seconds. I know that sounds a little sick doesn’t it?  But I imagine other salespeople behave in a similar fashion. After all, where else are your sales opportunities and communications going to appear?

But here is the problem with us sales people, or at least me. I expect everyone else to respond as quickly to their e-mail’s as I do, which, when you think about it, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I primarily communicate with business owners and CEOs, not other salespeople, and because most business owners and CEOs are not living in their inboxes, likely they have more important work to do; my expectations always lead to some frustration.

Signals eliminates that frustration by alerting me when someone has read my message, and it allows me to follow up in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, Signals also alerts me when my prospects are on my website, informing me about what they are viewing, and it does all of this right from my browser. I don’t even need to have my email open.


You can get Signals for free by going to If you do, I would love to hear about your experience with this highly effective sales tool.

Signals Quick Facts:

  • Signals is a chrome extension. It seamlessly integrates with HubSpot, Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, and Salesforce.
  • It is an innovative tool that operates whether your email is open or not.
  • CRM’s are designed for VP’s of sales to track sales, but Signals is designed for Salespeople, to make sales.
  • As a notification tool, Signals offers effective insight for when and how to engage your leads and customers.

With Signals, Salespeople Can:

  • Use behavioral intelligence to effect a more contextual, relevant conversation.
  • Determine a prospect’s engagement level with sales emails.
  • Know when cold leads re-awaken and appear back on your website.
  • Spend their time more wisely, making decisions based on data, and essentially, closing more deals in the process.
  • Click on the company to see who else inside your company is emailing other people inside that company with their LinkedIn link. Similar to building a social network inside your company
  • Connect at the right time, with the right context.
  • View the status of viewed e-mails and be alerted when someone clicks the link in your email.

In addition, the installation is simple, with one click for Google Apps, and since Signals has a small surface area, it doesn’t take up any space on your screen.

Signals is free right now. Get it at

If you’re already using signals and you have a story, share it in the comments. Don’t forget to share this post on social media. If you sign up for Signals as a result of this post, share a thought in the comments and come back to share a success story later. 

Here is another article on Signals from my friend Rick Roberge

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