Manage episode 279262786 series 1337811
With digital selling taking over traditional sales methodologies, there has never been a more exciting time to be in sales. Leveraging technology, social selling and sales prospecting tools has ushered in a new era for anyone pursuing a career in sales.
For the first time ever, buyers and sellers are completely aligned. Buyer behavior and selling motion are completely in sync and it is through correct B2B prospecting that we can succeed in this always-evolving field.
However, with so many sales prospecting tools out there, how do you know which ones are worth your time and money?
To help you out, I’ve put together a compendium of my favorite B2B sales prospecting tools: a list of both free and paid tools that will surely turn heads and help you get the best out of your sales team.
But before we start, let’s define what sales prospecting is.What is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the art of searching for customers, buyers, and potential long term clients to help you grow your team’s sales pipeline. It is the art of finding those who most resemble your target buyer and initiate conversations or engage with them.
When scouting for a sales prospect it is important to identify those who are the best fit for your offerings. Traditional sales methodologies were heavily focused on closing deals and not much on identifying whether or not, both the buyer and the organization, were a good fit between them in the long run. That’s why we created the PVC Method, a sales methodology that focuses on prospecting.
This is one of the most common misconceptions among those just entering the sales field. I’ll quickly elaborate on both.
- A lead is someone who expresses interest in your product or service, visits your website, watches your videos or even fills out a form. It is often associated with the inbound sales process.
- A prospect is someone potentially qualified, aligned with your target persona, that has engaged with you in some way, shape or form. It is more outbound related.
Both leads and prospects need to be nurtured and driven down your sales funnel in order to ultimately become buyers. Now let’s dive into sales prospecting tools.
Listen to Episode #161 of the Modern Selling Podcast where I talk with Vengreso’s CBO and Co-Founder, Kurt Shaver, about my favorite sales prospecting tools.What are Sales Prospecting Tools?
In any industry, the competition is high when it comes to finding potential buyers and convincing them to buy your product or service. This is a challenging task, and in order to achieve your sales goals, it is critical to be open and knowledgeable about new strategies, tools, and technologies that can level up your team’s prospecting game.
A sales prospecting tool is any software that helps you automate small, repetitive tasks, so your sales reps can save time and deliver the right messaging to your prospects.
These tools will give your sales reps all the necessary information, as well as help you make the best decision to determine whether a person is a good fit or not for your organization. It helps with sales productivity and efficiency that will leverage the engagement with your buyer persona.
Prospecting tools will essentially help you gather more information, move faster, target the right people and engage prospects in a more meaningful way in order to close more deals.Sales Prospecting Tools to Find Contact Details
Within the realm of sales prospecting tools, there are a myriad of use cases, designed for specific tasks. Here are a few of tools that allow sellers find contact details:
- Seamless and Zoominfo - Often called the Google of contact searching, these tools allow sellers to not only search for prospects’ email, website, and contact info, but also export these newly found prospects into a CSV.
- Prospect.io - By using their Chrome extension, sellers are able to instantly search for decision makers within a domain name. Using AI, Prospect.io pulls up a list of emails, phone numbers and other relevant information within any organization. Additionally, with Prospect.io you can save a contact or, within seconds, send them an email. If you’ve sent an email, prospect’s tracking tool allows you to see if they’ve opened it, replied, and even converted on your website.
- LinkedHub - Instead of spending time on data entry from LinkedIn to Hubspot, this B2B prospecting tool allows users to synchronize all info and messages directly into HubSpot. This beats the hassle of copying and pasting with the possibility of skipping valuable information. It tracks and synchronizes sales messaging from LinkedIn.
A second category of sales prospecting tools I’d like to dive into are those tools that help B2B sales teams qualify prospects. These tools help sellers assess how likely it is that a person will eventually buy from their organization.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn - LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are two separate tools. The later features a more powerful set of search capabilities and personalized algorithms to help your sellers reach the right decision maker. Learn more about the difference between the free LinkedIn and LinkedIn Premium, including Sales Navigator.
- Crystal Knows - This is an AI sales tool that allows your sellers to get an inside scoop on any prospect before they reach out. This somewhat eerie tool reads all the information on the prospect that is available in the web and summarizes anything —from latest news to the kind of tone a prospect prefers to be reached out. For example, should the seller greet “Hey Mario” or “Dear Mario;” should they use a “best friend voice” or sound casual. Crystal Knows allows sellers to decipher how to reach out before they actually do. It’s like having their own crystal ball before they contact a prospect.
Once sellers have the contact information and have qualified these prospects, they need to book a meeting because, let’s face it, the end result of successful prospecting is starting a conversation and eventually booking a meeting.
Nevertheless, there are often instances where there are more than two people involved in a sales meeting. In order to successfully schedule the availability of several parties, here are a few of my favorite tools to complete this task:
- Time Trade
- Hubspot Meeting Links
Many sales professionals will incorrectly send their info and expect a prospect to instantly engage and book a meeting with them. Instead, I recommend using one of these tools, sending a link and have the prospects choose the best time for them.
Tools for engaging your sales prospect
There are over 700 tools in the sales tech stack in the market today and many specialize in the function of engaging prospects. Which is why I’d like to further divide this category into sub-categories.Sales Engagement, Sales Productivity and Sales Efficiency
FlyMSG is the first text expander tool that was thought of and built for the modern seller. The tool was developed by us, here at Vengreso, and it allows sales pros (as well as marketers) to quickly pull up their favorite sales messages, emails and scripts using a few simple keystrokes. With these abbreviations (known as flycuts) users won’t have to look through old emails and notepads to find their favorite content.
The tool is a Chrome Extension that will instantly increase your team’s sales productivity and uniformity across your sales messaging.
Here’s a use case example. Say someone offered me the opportunity to guest blog for Vengreso’s blog. Instead of looking through the last email I sent a former guest blogger, I created a flycut where I've already copied and pasted the desired content. This email’s content can be instantly pulled up using an abbreviation.
This tool is great not just for sellers but also sales leaders and marketers who wish to increase productivity, especially during the remote selling era where every minute working from home counts.Sales Cadence
Within the sales cadence realm there are four main tools:
While a sales productivity tool like FlyMSG will help with 1 to 1 messaging, sales cadence tools will grab these individual messages they’ve created and throw them all together in a sequence, thus improving their chances of sending prospects directly down their sales pipeline. By harnessing the power of both types of tools, you’ll not only save time and create uniformity, but you’ll also become more organized in your sales prospecting techniques.Sales/Content Engagement Platforms
These tools help sellers look at the different pieces of content they have available from marketing and help them create 1 to 1 level engagement in prospecting. A great hub to save all of your content in one place and know what to use and when.
- Big tin can
The last two are known as gift and direct level marketing tools. These are used by sellers to engage with their buyers offline through sales gifts.Sales Video
Still within the realm of sales engagement, but worthy of its own category, video for sales prospecting has been huge in 2020 in the world of virtual selling.
We offer a selling with video training program specifically for this type of engagement platform. With in-person events postponed until who knows when, video (both synchronous and asynchronous) is the next best thing to have prospects see and build trust with sellers.
A few of my favorite video selling engagement platforms are:
These tools allow sellers to not only create and send videos but also add various filters to make them more engaging, as well as allowing sellers to see how many times their videos have been viewed.Tools for sales prospect meetings
Now that your sellers have a date for the actual sales meeting, they’re going to want to know what tools to use to host the meeting, what to do during and what to do after said meeting has finalized.
- Zoom Video Communications - The preferred tool to host virtual sales meetings.
- OrgChartHub - A tool that lets sellers build an org chart directly within HubSpot. Not necessarily a tool that is used with the prospect directly, but a tool that I use in every meeting. This helps bridge the gap between customer success, support and sales.
- Gong.io - Gong will both record meetings as well as take notes for you. A sales intelligence tool to both prospect and revisit meetings with your sellers thus improving their confidence and cold calling abilities.
A few sections ago I spoke about the difference between a lead and a prospect and how they relate to inbound and outbound sales respectively.
One of the ways to generate inbound traffic is by teaching your sellers how to share content on social networks thus, build credibility and visibility. It isn’t necessarily part of a social media strategy but it will help keep buyers engaged.
There are two types of content sharing platforms sellers can use. It can either be 1 to 1 sharing or one to many. On the one to many, we have tools that are also known as employee advocacy programs but are most commonly known as content sharing platforms. The content can be filtered by a plethora of categories to share both personal and business-related information. A few of our favorites are:
On the 1 to 1 content sharing, I’d like to highlight the benefits of FlyMSG. Sellers who notice a new view on their profile can instantly send a pre-created, tailored message to the prospect who has viewed their profile.
In this case, I have created a message for this particular scenario where someone has viewed my profile and, by using the flycut /thxview, within a blink I can send them an elaborate 289 character message thanking them for viewing my profile.The Best Sales Prospecting Tools to Use in 2021 if you’re a Sales Leader
I’ve gone over quite a few sales prospecting tools over the course of this article, but to wrap this up, I’d like to summarize the best sales prospecting tools to use in 2021.
If you have a limited budget or would like to narrow down the tools to only the ones that you can’t do without. Here is a list of my favorites.
- FlyMSG - For an all-in-one sales productivity, engagement and effectiveness tool, look no further than FlyMSG. Save time on tedious tasks and standardize your sales messaging and personalized emails.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator - For sales qualification and sales engagement. This platform isn’t a requirement, in fact, most of our current clients aren’t LinkedIn Sales Navigator users. But if you have the budget, we recommend you use this tool.
- LinkedHub - The best tool to find prospects and sync them directly on to HubSpot.
- Seamless.ai - For looking up contact details this is my favorite tool.
- Seismic - For sales engagement and content platform, Seismic. One of the 800-pound gorillas in this segment.
- Postal.io - For gift marketing and direct mail.
- OneMob - For video for sales, OneMob’s salesforce integration makes them my choice for top video for sales platforms.
- HippoVideo - Similar to OneMob but their integration to HubSpot makes them a sales leader’s favorite. Both HippoVideo and OneMob allow sellers to create custom, content landing pages which ensures your prospects engage with sellers directly.
- Gong.io - For meetings, I would leverage this tool as it not only records every call, but its ability to also take notes makes it well worth the investment.
- Calendly - My favorite tool for booking meetings.
- EveryoneSocial - For social selling and content sharing.
With virtual selling potentially setting the stage for a new line of sales prospecting methods, in just 6 months time, we might just be adding to this list of tools, so stay tuned.