The way we conduct business today is vastly different from how we did it even just a few years ago. Yesterday’s top-selling tactics like door-to-door or telemarketing are pretty much outdated now. And this is all thanks to developments in technology, especially automation.
Sales professionals in the 21st century need to rely on many different kinds of software. Whether it’s to generate more leads or follow up on prospects, there’s a sales tool out there that can make you more productive and more effective at your job.
Read on for our full guide to sales intelligence and a round-up of the best sales tools for lead generation.
Sales intelligence is the practice of collecting and analyzing data which aids sales professionals in their day-to-day. The term is broad enough to include a wide range of activities and technologies, with the common goal being to improve the sales process.
A sales intelligence tool is designed not just to get you more information, but better and higher-quality information. This “intelligence” provides sales professionals with the insight they need to find new opportunities, lead more customers down the pipeline, and close deals.
To wrap it up, an intelligence tool must fulfill the following criteria:
Automation takes care of the menial tasks so that you don’t have to. Sales tech can schedule your meetings, generate customer info, and track leads down the pipeline for you. So instead of wasting your time, you’re redirecting your energies to where it matters the most, like closing deals.
Never go into a client meeting unprepared ever again. Sales intelligence can give you valuable insight into your prospects even before you reach out for the first time. This allows you to personalize your approach and speak to each client’s specific needs and concerns, putting you in the best possible position to make a sale.
Sometimes, clients take a long time to go from lead to customer. And every minute you spend trying to close a deal with one customer is one less minute you have to sell to another. Sales tools can help you identify the most qualified clients so that you target the right customers at the right time, speeding up your sales process.
At its best, sales intelligence tools provide you with the information you (or your higher-ups) need to make informed business decisions. The more information you have, the more effective your strategy can be. And the more effective your sales strategy, the more money you can bring in.
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to find the right tool is because different sales tools are designed to do different things. The tool you need largely depends on your niche, sales strategy, and the tools you already use.
Generally, sales intelligence tools fall into one of the below categories. Keep in mind that sales tools can be part of more than one category, and the most powerful programs may even fall under all of them.
Prospecting and generating leads is the first stage of any sales process. It’s also one of the most crucial. Sales intelligence tools that specialize in sales prospecting improve your ability to identify your ideal customers, find clients, and qualify those that fit the profile.
Once you have your leads, you need to nurture them so that they become paying customers. Lead nurturing and behavioral analytics tools give you insight into which leads are most likely to convert and what you need to do to get them there. These tools help you understand your customers better so that you can better address their needs.
These tools are less focused on your customers and more focused on you and/or your team. Sales professionals have to deal with dozens of emails, several tasks, and a handful of meetings every day. Pipeline management software helps you focus and prioritize your work so that you’re working as efficiently as possible.
Every business needs a way to track its sales, get detailed reports, and forecast customer trends and behavior. These tools will help you gather and understand data that will eventually help you make key decisions about your sales strategy.
Identifying your ideal clients and narrowing down your prospects is one thing, but actually reaching out to them is another. And you can’t reach out to someone if you don’t have their contact information. These intelligence tools focus on finding your prospects’ email addresses and phone numbers so you can easily make that first connection.
Technically, B2B sales aren’t that much different from traditional sales, except that you’re selling to an entire company instead of the customer. These tools are specifically designed for that purpose and include extensive company databases, corporate profiles, and analysis on brand behavior.
Best for: Integrating Salesforce with email, calendar, and surfacing customer insights
Price: starts at $9/month. Free for up to two users.
If you use popular sales CRM Salesforce, then you know how difficult and tedious it can be to use. ZynBit doesn’t replace Salesforce, but it does make using it so much easier. It integrates right into your email (whether you use Gmail, Outlook, Office 365) connecting your Salesforce database and adding incredible functionality right into your email.
Few tools are as truly all-in-one as ZynBit. Besides Salesforce integration, you also get easy client scheduling, transparent and up-to-date data, accurate email tracking, and access to all of it even mobile. At the time of thiw writing, ZynBit is also planning to roll out new features like team calendars and powerful sales templates for that perfect email.
Best for: prospecting and gathering data on potential clients
Price: starts at $79.99/month for an individual/professional
While the LinkedIn platform is free, the Sales Navigator is a paid tool that can turn the social networking site into a great place for prospecting. Use the targeted search to find prospects that fit your ideal customer profile and learn valuable information about them even before you even schedule your first meeting.
Best for: finding a prospect’s contact information
Price: first 50 searches are free with paid plans starting at $49/month
It can be frustrating to find the perfect prospect but not know how to contact them. Voila Norbert has a huge database of corporate contacts, giving you access to clients’ emails, social profiles, and more with just one click.
Best for: tracking what prospects do with your emails
Price: starts at $9/month for up to two users
Do you know what prospects do with your email? Are they opening it immediately, or do they immediately hit “delete”? Knowing how your clients engage with your emails is crucial to understanding them.
Yesware helps you track what happens after you send your email. This gives you the insight you need to craft better marketing emails in the future and even create special “trigger campaigns” that send emails based on your prospect’s behavior.
Best for: crafting effective sales messages based on client personalities
Price: limited free version with unlimited access at $29/month
Everyone has a unique personality and therefore will react differently to your sales efforts, and the wrong messaging can turn off even the most interested clients;
Crystal solves that problem by pulling from a wide variety of sources to present you with an accurate customer personality profile. You’ll also get suggestions on how to tailor your emails to better appeal to each client.
Sales intelligence technology is designed to support you and make your job as a sales professional much easier. These tools help you collect and analyze the data you need to be more effective at every stage of the sales process.
While each of our top tools deserves a spot in your sales arsenal, the best all-around app you can have is ZynBit. It makes all of your other tools (like Salesforce and Gmail) even more powerful than they already are. So if you only have space (or budget) for one sales intelligence tool, we would recommend ZynBit in a heartbeat.