Sales Tools for Modern-day sales reps
What are Sales Tools?
Sales tools are digital tools that sales professionals use to make their jobs easier. Customer relationship management (CRM), sales intelligence and prospecting, sales acceleration, and data connectors and integrations are just a few of the technologies covered by the term ‘sales tool.’ Sales and marketing tools integrate massive amounts of data, compile critical customer information, automate email campaigns and scheduling processes, and much more. These tools are necessary for success in today's sales environment.
Sales tools assist salespeople in determining which prospects are most likely to be successful with their product or service, when to contact those prospects, and what to discuss with them. They save time on time-consuming administrative tasks and can focus on what is most important: providing value to people and businesses.
A reason to invest in sales technology is that employees have begun to demand greater access to a broader range of modern tools. This means that companies that use conservative or old-fashioned sales methods risk losing sales and their best sales talent. According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales 2021, 94 percent of sales professionals say sales tools help them close more deals, highlighting the importance of sales tools.
Features to look in Sales tools
When selecting specific sales software, there appear to be infinite options. Consider these four characteristics as you search for the best sales tools for you and your company.
Sales tools should allow everyone to spend less time doing things than previously. Sales tools can improve workflows by providing email templates, automated chatbots, and other features.
Boost sales productivity
These tools should help to streamline the sales process and increase productivity. Instead of introducing decision-makers at each stage of the sales funnel, sales tools automate and expedite low-level tasks, freeing you and your team members up to focus on the more critical aspects of your jobs.
Complement other tools
Your various sales tools should all work together seamlessly. For example, you might want important pricing information transferred from one app to another. Scheduling, data, intelligence, and social selling tools should be able to share resources. Information integration is critical to sales success.
Ensure premium customer experience
Your tools should make customer sales interactions as simple as possible. Their functionality should inspire confidence in doing business with you and your company. Intelligent sales tools should assist you in connecting with customers who want to speak with you about your product, whether through automated email marketing campaigns, qualified lead generation, or something entirely different.
Sales Tools your team should be using right now
Customer relationship management (CRM) software aids in the management of your company's customer relationships. It assists you in keeping track of existing customers, improving customer relationships, increasing customer retention, staying on top of sales and marketing efforts, and automating communication.
For most businesses, a CRM is the first investment they make in sales technology, and it's understandable why: According to LinkedIn's State of Sales 2021, 68 percent of respondents said their CRM system was "critical" to closing deals.
CRMs have evolved into complex, multi-tiered support systems due to technological advancements and ultra-competitive markets. CRM software now includes a plethora of features that assist salespeople in optimizing their sales processes, such as real-time updates, advanced lead scoring, and automated repetitive tasks.
Most CRM solutions today are SaaS platforms where you pay per user, per month. On-premise installations are rarely required because most CRMs can be accessed online through a web browser. Some vendors charge a flat monthly fee for a certain number of users, but larger packages or additional fees are required for other users.
Data connector and integration tools
Our increasingly digitalized world has many fantastic tools to help make our lives easier. One disadvantage of such a diverse set of tools is that they are frequently independent and not easily accessible from a single system. Data connectors and integrations come in handy here.
A data connector is a tool that connects various systems to allow data to be transferred between them. This means that the data is now accessible through a single system, significantly improving the quality of life.
Data integration tools are distinct because they combine data from multiple sources into a single system rather than simply allowing data to move between systems. Sales and marketing teams must be able to combine data from various programs and spreadsheets.
Sales analytics software refers to tools and systems that enable sales professionals and managers to effectively track, evaluate, and improve the performance of their sales activities while predicting trends and results and uncovering relevant insights. They give sales managers a granular view of sales, breaking them down into manageable chunks for reviewing where salespeople, products, and campaigns are performing best and where they should improve.
Sales analytics has become an essential component of every sales report in the age of big data. Instead of gathering analytics manually through a tangle of spreadsheets, sales analytics software allows sales managers to access it systematically in one place.
Sales analytics systems are typically built on top of CRMs and use algorithms based on existing data to uncover insights. However, some serve as the CRM system of record and analytics tool.
The use of sales analytics software is rapidly spreading throughout the business world. Historically, this type of technology was used mainly by giant corporations. Adoption of sales analytic tools in this segment has recently increased due to the rise of SalesOps roles in small and medium-sized businesses.
Analytics tools help manage customer data, aid in sales forecasting and provide many metrics to plan your overall sales strategy for B2C and B2B sales. The better you can analyze and visualize data, the easier it is to manage your sales pipeline.
Sales intelligence and prospecting
Sales intelligence refers to various technologies that assist salespeople in locating, monitoring, and comprehending information on prospects' and existing clients' daily operations.
Sales intelligence informs salespeople about who they should be talking with, what they should be talking about when they should reach out to them, and how to present all relevant information to them during that conversation. Contextual information about these contacts, such as purchase history, current contracts, business objectives, and digital footprints, is provided by sales intelligence tools.
According to LinkedIn's survey, 62 percent of sales professionals believe their sales intelligence software is "essential" in helping them close deals, and 74 percent believe their organizations plan to invest more in sales intelligence tools in the future.
As the name suggests, this category of tools helps to improve salespeople's productivity by providing a variety of automation and time-saving tools that allow sales professionals to focus on the more critical aspects of the sales process.
It refers to any tool that can assist salespeople in their daily professional activities and allow them to generate more sales. Such a broad definition implies that a diverse range of tools falls into this category, and as a result, sales productivity tools come in all shapes and sizes.
Sales productivity tools can assist salespeople in generating leads, making calls, scheduling meetings, writing proposals, creating pipeline reports, and automating other repetitive tasks.
Before the availability of sales forecasting tools, your best option was to stare at your previous sales data in a spreadsheet and consult your gut instinct for what to do next. However, by leveraging data and automation, sales forecasting tools remove the guesswork and allow for confident growth plans.
Sales forecasting software uses data from yesterday and today to create an accurate picture of what the future might look like. Quantitative sales forecasting tools analyze past sales data, identifying historical trends and patterns to forecast future sales performance if similar practices are followed. In contrast, qualitative forecasting examines current market trends and customer feedback.
Businesses using forecasting tools are better positioned to make data-driven decisions about hiring, inventory, territory expansion, and introducing new products or services.
Pipeline Insights Tool
Creating an efficient sales workflow usually entails building a pipeline sales tracker solution. Your pipeline is a visual representation of potential customers who are on their way to purchasing from your company. Salespeople in a well-structured pipeline follow clearly defined stages to guide potential customers to their destination—the sale. The best pipeline management sales tools are clean, well-integrated, and designed to facilitate quick communication so that customers don't have many opportunities to jump ship.
A spreadsheet can easily track a small number of transactions. Spreadsheets, on the other hand, can quickly become overwhelming and cluttered as your lead and customer lists grow. Pipeline software allows you to manage a growing volume of potential deals that don't tax your time or resources while providing a centralized view of where your efforts should be directed next.
Marketing Automation and ABM
Every transaction begins in two ways: the seller finds the buyer, or the buyer seeks the seller. Marketing automation and lead generation tools are designed to promote the latter. Companies can streamline marketing workflows and optimize their marketing strategy by automating marketing tasks such as email marketing, social media posts, and lead generation. These activities generate an extensive contacts database through conversions, especially when a person exchanges her contact information and possibly information about the company they work in exchange for valuable content from your company.
Building on this, account-based marketing (ABM) technology enables marketers to create scalable, personalized marketing campaigns, track their performance against key performance indicators, and demonstrate revenue contribution. Adopting the account-based marketing method entails focusing on high-value customers with highly targeted, personalized campaigns, targeting and marketing messages based on specific account attributes.
Sales acceleration is a strategic initiative that aims to increase the number of sales conversations, reduce the sales cycle, and close more deals. By automating administrative tasks and streamlining sales processes, sales acceleration software aims to increase sales.
Without control, speed is doomed to fail. As a result, sales acceleration technology assists salespeople in improving both efficiency and effectiveness by improving engagement and organization throughout the sales process. This is comparable to the purpose of sales enablement software. Conversely, the latter focuses on sales behavior and providing salespeople with quality materials, opportunities, and best practices. Despite this, some vendors use the terms interchangeably.
Some argue that sales acceleration is a catch-all term for all tools that assist B2B sales reps in locating the right companies to approach and enable sales outreach. This technology category includes coaching tools, email tracking software, predictive analytics tools, sales engagement software, and outbound sales dialers, to name a few.
Businesses use customer success software to ensure that their customers get the results they expect when they use their product or service—in other words, improving customer relationships and ensuring customer success. Customer success initiatives are critical for revenue retention and growth, increasing customer advocacy, and maintaining profitability and growth. Adopting account-based sales strategies and the appropriate technology is one way to increase customer success.
Customer success software offers businesses a detailed analysis of their customers' past behavior and a "health score" that estimates their level of satisfaction. Furthermore, customer success solutions will assist businesses in developing or identifying customer profiles, collecting customer data, history, and feedback, engaging customers throughout the lifecycle, providing input and customer success scores, and predicting future customer growth or red flags.
As you can see, sales tools cover various platforms with various features and functions: sales productivity tools and more. Every business will have different tech stack requirements, and each team will take a different approach to implement new software platforms. As you search for the perfect sales tool, keep in mind that your business software must serve your customers and your sales team. Before making a decision, honestly assess your needs and processes, and be willing to test your options.