In this post, we go over some of the top sales tools and technologies that are currently on the market. The first goal is to identify what each tool does, because, honestly, deciphering some of their jargon isn’t the easiest thing to do. Secondly, we also want to show you some of the amazing things you can do with each tool, as well as provide valuable resources related to each one.
You could call this the “sales stack for 2019”. It’s somewhat framed for SaaS technology sales teams. But chances are this stack will be helpful for most sales teams regardless of what industry they are in.
Hubspot for Startups
Sometimes the more established CRMs out there are a bit cost prohibitive. Especially for a bootstrapped business or new startup. One thing a lot of businesses don’t realize is there will usually be additional technical support costs that you’ll have to cough up just to get your CRM working the way you need it to.
Thankfully, Hubspot has developed a CRM for businesses that are in their startup phase. And the word on the street is it’s pretty darn good!
For companies that have taken private equity, you get a special discount:
- Seed-stage companies get 90% off all Hubspot software
- Series A startups get 50% off all Hubspot software
The discount program is exclusively for funded companies or those who are working with accelerators and or incubators. However, for bootstrapped companies we were told, “it never hurts to apply”. So what the heck – if that’s you, give it a shot.
Now just being sold a CRM and being sent on your way (“good luck!”) can be a very dangerous situation for a new company. Thankfully, Hubspot offers a ton of extra value with their offer:
- Technical Training
- Startup Specific Onboarding
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Access to Hubspot’s Education Academy
- Promotional Credits from Hubspot Partners
If you’ve ever had to fidget with a CRM to get it to work the way your organization needs it to…it can get daunting. And it’s been this way for decades. Pipedrive tackles these problems so your team can sell and not tinker (or worse, wait for some nerd to come tinker with it).
One of the ways Pipedrive makes things easier is it takes care of a lot of necessary CRM add-ons, whether it’s plugins or integrations, right out of the box. For example:
And that’s why they market Pipedrive as a CRM for “scaling teams”, and if we had to guess, startups. It’s a tool that gets you selling, has everything you need to do it, and there’s no constant tinkering required.
Yeah, we know, you’ve probably heard of Salesforce. And while there’s plenty of love and hate felt for this CRM giant, what makes it win at the end of the day is simply the enormous ecosystem that has developed since its inception.
Any solution you could possibly ever need to make your CRM and sales process work exactly how you need it has been developed. You can find and install these solutions into your Salesforce CRM thanks to their AppExchange.
In case you’re wondering, we spent some time in the AppExchange trying to find the most popular free and paid apps. Here they are:
The Top Five Free Salesforce Apps 2019
- Adobe Sign (3,173 reviews, 4+ stars) – Sign, track and send agreements quickly.
- Jitterbit Data Loader (558 reviews, 4+ stars) – Data migration tool. Allows you to import and export flat files and databases. If you needed to import contacts into Salesforce, you’d use this tool.
- Dataloader.io (508 reviews, 4+ stars) – A cloud-based data migration tool.
- Zynbit (378 reviews, 5 stars!) – Integrates your Gmail or Outlook into Salesforce as well as providing sales insights. Apparently, people love it!
- RollupHelper (294 reviews, 4+ stars) – Helps you do the tedious task of rolling up data to create nearly any metric you would need out of Salesforce.
The Top Five Paid Salesforce Apps 2019
- DocuSign for Salesforce (4,578 reviews, 4+ stars) – Why not integrate one of the most popular document signing technologies into your Salesforce stack? Chances are your customers and prospects are already used to using it.
- Conga Composer (767 reviews, 5 stars!) – Great for generating quick quotes and proposals.
- MapAnything (670 reviews, 5 stars!) – This is the app for organizations that have people in the field. Map territories, optimize travel routes, build better geographic marketing campaigns.
- Geopoint (669 reviews, 5 stars!) – Similar to MapAnything. Also tracks vehicles and assets, mobile friendly.
- LinkPoint (535 reviews, 4+ stars) – If your organization spends more time in Outlook, this is the app you need. It brings all your Salesforce data into Outlook.
If you haven’t stopped by the AppExchange in a while, it’s a good idea to visit the marketplace every so often. Chances are you’ll come across a new solution or learn about a new CRM technique that you may find helpful for your sales process.
For those who like to email prospects, Outreach.io is a fairly intuitive email outreach tool. Its main claim to fame is it lets you create prospecting “sequences”. Here’s an example sequence:
- Day 1 – Send out a manual or personalize email to a prospect.
- Day 3 – An automated, pre-crafted email is sent out to the prospect. Still personalized, you just don’t do anything manually this day.
- Day 4 – A LinkedIn message is sent to the prospect from the reps LinkedIn account.
- Day 5 – The rep places a phone call with the prospect with an established script.
Outreach organizes the sequences for your team and you can either see which sequences work best, or reps can clone sequences and make adjustments to see if better performance can be achieved.
For example, a rep may want to shorten the automated email by a few sentences because it feels like it’s a chore for the prospect to read. In this case, they would clone the sequence, make their edits and save that sequence for testing from that point forward.
If used right, this is a great tool to perform prospect sequence testing. You can test and compare what sequences generate more opportunities and sales. Just remember to do some statistical analysis to make sure you’re confident in your winning results.
Here’s a video from an Outreach.io user showing how she uses it to duplicate and modify sequences:
If you’re wondering why Salesforce doesn’t do this out of the box, well, Outreach.io automates this process. You can theoretically do this stuff using just Salesforce, but it would be all manual and you’d probably be doing a lot of spreadsheet jockeying. Alternatively, you could try to find the perfect combination of Salesforce apps – but that’s also cost and time prohibitive. So, as you can see, a tool like Outreach.io will save you a ton of time and headaches, multiplied across the number of sales reps in your team.
“Connect more meaningfully, respond more attentively, sell more confidently, consult more insightfully.”
Salesloft is one of the tools on this list that you’d have to use to really understand everything that it has to offer. It’s quite comprehensive and its intention is to make the day-to-day job for sales reps much easier and streamlined. Here’s a short list of what their product does:
- Prioritize lists of prospects
- Executes a cadence of personalized emails
- Monitors activity in your funnel
- Be able to understand your performance at a glance
- Social touchpoint scheduling
- Tracks all interactions
- Team analytics
And if you want a more visual perspective of this list, here you go:
Salesloft’s strong point appears to be analytics. You can view metrics and get insights like:
- Are we having meaningful conversations?
- Lead intelligence – time zone, activity history, personality disposition, relevant news.
- Identifies best channels, email times and best call times.
- Understand as a team what messages are working.
And honestly, one of the best ways to see the value of Salesloft is to view their videos. Again, the product does A LOT of useful stuff, but it takes quite a while to absorb it all.
SalesLoft Integrations You Should Be Using:
Executing Email Personalization At Scale:
Personalize Cadences to Fit Your Sales Development Style:
RingDNA is perhaps one of the best dialer tools around that integrates with Salesforce. Every interaction with reps and prospects is logged in real time into Salesforce. And of course, it being 2019, it goes beyond just logging calls – it logs texts and emails as well.
RingDNA is similar to the above two tools in many respects, except it’s, how would you say, more phone forward. If your sales organization leans heavier on phone calls and less on email, RingDNA might be better suited for your sales organization style.
One of its best strengths is its ability to transcribe calls and make it easy for your sales team to review all previous activity. Say, for example, the rep that last touched an account is out sick, it’s easy for anyone else on the team to jump in and pick up right where they left off with an account.
“I see that you wanted to talk to your team about our integrations to see if we’ll fit well with your technology stack. Were there any new questions you had regarding our integrations?”
Bingo. Your team is right on top of the closing statements of the last call without skipping a beat.
Here are a few things RingDNA does well:
- Call duration, time of day, all the important call metrics that will help you later refine your process.
- Transcribes audio at about an 85% correctness.
- Determines what outbound approach is driving opportunities.
- Best in class conversation analytics.
- Known for their Salesforce integration
And here is a free tip directly from their team: After digging through all their data, RingDNA found out that calls in the morning don’t yield as many wins. The theory is that people are just too busy in the morning and perhaps it’s difficult to get them to focus and keep them interested while on a call. It makes sense, most people have a days worth of stuff to do on their minds.
Psst: RingDNA has great response time. This can be a hint that they take sales seriously and they practice what they preach/sell. Sometimes this will be the deal maker when it comes to choosing a provider in this space.
Gong. There’s a name you won’t forget.
Well, imagine you had a huge gong in your office that your reps hit every time they closed a deal. Not a bell. A gong.
Here’s a fun video that explains what they are all about:
To recap, Gong.io records all your sales call, transcribes them and then determines:
- What topics are pain points
- What topics are objections
- What talking points are killing sales calls
- What talking points are winning deals
Here are a few things you should know about:
Whisper – The Holy Grail for Sales Leaders
You can think of it as an individual coaching plan for each one of your sales reps. Whisper ranks your sales team and shows you the talk tracks your top sales reps use during customer conversations that win deals. Then it tells your reps basically what to say and what to STOP saying. Boom.
How to Close Enterprise Deals Faster with Gong
Want to know what makes enterprise clients sign? Well, a tool like Gong.io lets you do detailed discovery call reviews and helps you identify what the customer is looking for. Then you can design your demos to win.
How SalesLoft Uses Gong for Sales Training
Speak of the diablo! In this interesting use case, reps would use Gong call analysis to review their own calls! And then ask their managers for feedback. Now that’s some next level sales process development.
Chorus automatically records, summarizes and stores customer conversations in real time. More importantly, it helps your organization focus and develop around the voice of your customers.
This brings up a great point. A lot of companies are heavily siloed. Sales is pounding phones all day, engineering is working on the product up into the wee hours. Marketing is pulling their hair out. Rarely, do internal teams work together and share insights on a daily basis. Having a sales tool that extracts customer language is a magical gift for all departments. If you want to create and sell a product that customers want – be sure to do this.
And with this said, perhaps you should give Chorus a whirl. Or at least see a demo.
Here are some other magical things it does:
- Coaching network analyzes your conversation cloud to find ways to increase deal size.
- Maps every conversation to your CRM.
- You can coach new reps quickly. It’s proprietary AI will find the best sales calls for teaching.
Finally, this tool actually kills two birds with one stone – simply because it’s a tool for marketing teams as well. Watch this video testimonial:
Automated Sales Development
OutboundWorks is an amazing service (yes, it’s more than a tool) that works with you to define your ideal customer profile and then uses it in conjunction with their proprietary AI to get appointments set. It continually crunches and refines its approach at opening doors for your company so you can improve your sales process.
Now, this may sound like it’s an SDR’s worst nightmare because it might replace their role, but in fact – it makes them more effective at their job. Most SDRs don’t last long and it’s rarely their fault. Most of the time, it’s because the sales process hasn’t developed enough to allow them to do their job well. This is the problem OutboundWorks really solves for its customers. When humans and bots work together synergistically, amazing things can happen!
We can’t rave enough about this service. Definitely schedule a demo this week.
Finally, Two Tools You Shouldn’t Work Without!
Often times, part of the sales “work” and interactions exists outside your CRM or your digitally controlled pipeline. Maybe in your case, texting potential clients and prospects does happen. You may meet people at an event or tradeshow and the communication just isn’t email based or doesn’t start in a digital pipeline.
Calendly is a lifesaver because it wrangles appointment setting pretty darn well. As more and more people are using it, it’s not an awkward request any longer to have someone set a time that works for them based on your Calendly openings.
Additionally, Calendly is starting to pile on some awesome integrations which feeds into your sales process much more seamlessly. It’s a must-have.
Here’s a nice productivity webinar by both Calendly and Zapier called “Calendly Zaps Proven To Create More Time For Selling”:
- Calendly to Slack – A backup system so you don’t miss meetings, or if you need to schedule team meetings, or if you’re in a situation where you want other salespeople to be notified to jump in an existing meeting.
- Calendly to GotoWebinar to Gmail – Say Calendly just scheduled a meeting with a prospect. With the use of Zapier, you can set up a Zap to send the prospect a GoToWebinar meeting link all formatted and sent to the prospect from Gmail. IF you don’t use GoToWebinar, there are Zaps for Join.me, Zoom and other conferencing tools.
- The Calendly Rule of Thumb – If you find yourself repeating the same processes with Calendly (like going in to update Salesforce after some kind of Calendly activity), there’s probably a Zapier Zap for that task.
We highly recommend watching that video above, (skip the first six minutes), and you learn all kinds of cool Calendly integrations that can streamline your sales process, save you time and get you selling more.
Data, especially contact data, is what feeds a healthy sales organization. All the tools mentioned on this list use contact data to improve the sales process. But you have to start with data to get going.
Now, you can manually find and enter data by scouring LinkedIn or surfing the web. Or you can get straight to the point and dial in your targeting and have LeadPorte spit out a targeted list of leads for your team to use.
With LeadPorte you can stop burning valuable time hunting on Linkedin, and just get straight to the point. Get all the contact data you need or build specific listed of targeted individuals for you and your sales team. Not only that, we have technographic information, firm size, every filter you can imagine. The possibilities are endless.
The smartest, most AI enabled tools the world has to offer won’t solve your core business problems or magically make you hit your quotas. All successful businesses need a sound strategy and company alignment as a foundation for growth. Great tools simply help you achieve your goals faster and easier. So, before you spend any money on tools, be sure your everyone in your organization understands the company’s roadmap for success. We highly recommend this webinar on company alignment:
Hopefully, you found this list useful. If you know of any other tips or resources related to these tools, please leave them in the comments section below.