Sales leaders need to leverage the best sales technology to outclass their competition. Modern sales tools empower your sales reps, help them make better decisions and vastly increase productivity and revenue.
Deciding which sales software to incorporate into your sales technology stack is a complex process. However, choosing the right software is crucial to boosting sales and avoiding overspending.
In this article, we’ll explore each of the major sales tool categories and why they’re so important, then give you the best sales tools for each group.
Businesses of every size and in every industry need Customer relationship management (CRM) tools. You can use a CRM to manage, track and organize your customer data, streamline customer interactions, enhance relationships and stay on top of sales efforts.
CRM solutions replace spreadsheets, databases and notebooks that businesses initially use to manage customer data consolidating all communication into a single dashboard so sales teams can access information when they need it.
Here is our shortlist of CRM tools for different use cases:
Best all-rounder: Pipedrive
Pipedrive is an intuitive, light-touch and easily scalable CRM system companies can use to manage customer data. Pipedrive is a cloud-based solution designed for marketing success and sales enablement.
Pipedrive’s full pipeline customization allows you to track your customers and collaborate on deals. It enables you to set reminders for when it’s time to act, segment your leads and get detailed reporting on all of your sales activities.
Pipedrive has four plans to suit every sales department.
Best basic tool: Trello
Trello is a list-based project management solution that improves collaboration between your teams. With easy-to-use drag-and-drop Kanban boards, sales and marketing teams can focus on what comes next.
Trello’s easy customization means users can turn it into a powerful CRM. Simply add boards to your workspaces to create sales pipelines and move these along as your relationships advance. Trello isn’t as scalable as a more dedicated solution like Pipedrive, but the CRM does integrate with Trello.
Trello offers a free plan that includes unlimited cards and up to 10 boards per workspace (at the time of writing).
Best free tool: Google Sheets
If you want to save money, a budget CRM solution like Google Sheets is a popular choice. It can take longer to set up and will never reach the full functionality of a dedicated CRM, but Sheets is a great starter option.
You’ll need some creativity to build the right custom CRM when using spreadsheet software, but plenty of templates are available online.
Google Sheets is available for free. To get the most out of G Suite, you can pay for a Google Workspace plan which includes extra storage, support and several other valuable tools.
Account-based marketing (ABM) tools
ABM software focuses on improving efficiency and sales strategy. The goal of ABM solutions is to target high-value customers (or “accounts”). ABM software helps companies provide scalable and unique experiences to specific customers.
It realigns your marketing and sales team away from generalized branding to center on crafting tailored buyer journeys for high-value targets. This means the features of ABM software vary.
Here are our top two picks for ABM software:
Best for all-round sales intelligence: Demandbase
Demandbase focuses on what it calls “ABX” or account-based experience. By integrating marketing, sales engagement and customer experience into one platform, Demandbase allows companies to optimize how they approach key accounts.
Demandbase makes use of your existing CRM and marketing automation data to help you identify key opportunities and orchestrate more effective sales and marketing activities.
Demandbase offers two subscription tiers: Professional and Enterprise. To evaluate pricing for your team, you’ll have to organize a demo.
Best for AI insights: 6Sense Revenue AI
6Sense is an extensive account-based sales and marketing platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to transform how companies manage their pipelines.
6Sense uses AI to analyze millions of customer data points and uncover key insights into customer behaviors. These insights allow companies to create higher-quality pipelines and improve their customer experience with tailored campaigns.
6Sense integrates with many other sales tools, providing these with AI-assisted insights to get the most out of your data.
Pricing for the 6Sense platform depends on user need, so personalized quotes are offered during a demo period.
Lead generation and sales prospecting tools
Lead generation and prospecting tools save companies time, generate more leads and focus on higher-quality sales prospects. Lead generation targets the top of the sales funnel, attracting qualified leads from several channels like social media, email and landing pages.
Lead generation software collects key information from people who have expressed interest in your product, enabling you to target them with more insights. It minimizes the effort you need to focus on the most profitable leads so that you can close deals.
Here are our top lead generation tool suggestions:
Best for centralizing data: Pipedrive’s LeadBooster
LeadBooster is Pipedrive’s essential lead generation tool, available as an add-on with any Pipedrive plan. An integrated conversational Chatbot and Live Chat mean you can connect with your customers anywhere, any time.
LeadBooster provides the Prospector tool, where you can discover your next hot lead in a database of over 400 million profiles and 10 million companies. It also includes Web Forms so that your inbound leads have an easy way to share their contact information with you.
LeadBooster is available as an optional add-on to any Pipedrive CRM plan.
Best for lightweight lead generation: Leadfeeder
Leadfeeder combines your sales and marketing data to show you who visits your website, how they discovered you and what they’re interested in. Using machine learning, Leadfeeder uses Google Analytics and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to provide more information about the leads who are most likely to convert.
Leadfeeder offers a limited free plan that identifies a max of 100 companies and can only access data from the last seven days (at the time of writing).
Sales forecasting and analytics tools
Sales forecasting software predicts how much demand there is for your company’s offerings based on detailed data analysis. By accessing historical first-party data and your current sales pipelines, the software estimates your future sales.
Sales forecasting tools help decision makers manage inventory, resources, staffing and sales strategy more effectively.
Here are two of the best sales forecasting and analysis tools:
Best for user experience: Salesloft
Salesloft eliminates time-consuming, error-prone sales forecasts and delivers predictable revenue with AI and real-time human insights. Salesloft helps sales reps gain full visibility of their pipelines, enabling them to meet quotas and improve their sales processes.
With actionable insights and intuitive pipeline visualization, salespeople can easily target the most important KPIs, identify bottlenecks and streamline sales management.
Salesloft offers three plans: Essentials, Advanced and Premier. Pricing is based on your company’s needs, so you’ll have to book a demo to get an estimate.
Best for robust analytics: Outreach Commit
Outreach Commit is a sales tool that provides sales forecasting and analytics. By leveraging real-time data and AI functionality, it gives your sales team instantaneous insights.
Some of the core features include:
Forecasting that incorporates past shortages and surpluses
AI that monitors and reports on potentially at-risk deals
A scenario planner to help salespeople simulate best- and worst-case scenarios
Pricing for Outreach Commit is only available on request.
Sales productivity tools
Sales productivity software helps sales professionals streamline their activities. From more effective pipeline management to email automation, better integrations, workflows and onboarding, these tools are essential for companies to scale.
However, these tools come in many shapes and forms and rarely provide every possible productivity-boosting feature.
Here are two of the best sales productivity tools on the market:
Best for complex scheduling needs: Calendly
Small businesses and large enterprises alike use Calendly for meeting scheduling.
Similar to Pipedrive’s Scheduler, sales reps plug their availability into Calendly, then share it with customers and prospects when they want to set up a meeting. The prospect schedules an open slot, and Calendly syncs this information between calendars automatically.
This speeds up the time it takes to schedule meetings, something which can be time-consuming if contacts work in different time zones.
If you use Pipedrive, Pipedrive’s built-in scheduling tool lets you organize meetings without a separate calendar subscription.
Best for quick signatures: DocuSign
Getting signatures is essential in sales. However, acquiring physical signatures can be challenging, with people juggling emails, printers and scanners.
DocuSign is an e-signature software solution that enables people to produce legally binding digital signatures. It can easily process digital signatures in minutes, increasing productivity and speeding up the sales cycle. Even better, you can save money and the environment by cutting out paper.
Alternatively, e-signature features and document tracking in Smart Docs are included with Pipedrive from the Professional plan upwards and can also be purchased as an add-on.
Customer success tools
Customer success is the process of boosting retention and loyalty by proactively addressing challenges and providing solutions. Customer success tools analyze your customer satisfaction rates, generate ideal customer profiles and help you work out where to focus your efforts to boost customer happiness.
Here are the best customer success solutions:
Best for B2B: Custify
Custify is a customer success platform designed specifically for software-as-a-service (SaaS) B2B sales businesses. It analyzes product usage, as well as first-party data from integrated CRMs, customer support tools and other systems, and provides easy-to-understand metrics in an intuitive dashboard.
Custify uses these insights to identify growth, renewal and upsell opportunities. It alerts you when a customer is at risk of churning so that you can send a follow-up. It also provides workflow automation to cut down the manual work required to increase customer satisfaction.
Strikedeck provides 360-degree visibility over your customer health in a single unified dashboard. Using APIs, Strikedeck can integrate with multiple data sources to provide real-time reporting on customers.
Strikedeck provides custom workflows, letting you effectively target different customer segments with tailored marketing campaigns. Using these insights, you can generate reports in any format and enable streamlined customer communications with intuitive email templates.
Pricing is available on request.
Email management tools
Despite many sales tools offering built-in email capabilities, email management can remain a difficult task. This is where dedicated email management tools come in.
Email management tools help users declutter their inboxes and automate email strategy. This software can also provide templates for easy campaign generation, track key email metrics and organize recipients based on vital demographics.
Here are some of the best email management tools you can find:
Best for reducing email list duplication: Dedupely
Dedupely is a lightweight software that identifies duplicates in your email list so that you can remove them.
It integrates seamlessly with most major CRM platforms (You can find a Dedupely integration on the Pipedrive Marketplace) and automatically detects duplicates in real time. Dedupely also provides automated merging, prevents duplicates across multiple CRMs and has advanced filtering capabilities.
Best for CRM integration: Campaigns by Pipedrive
Campaigns by Pipedrive is Pipedrive’s fully featured email marketing software. It provides an intuitive campaign builder that uses drag-and-drop elements and ready-made templates for users to create great campaigns.
It includes powerful segmentation capabilities so that you can target your audience with personalized messaging. Further, with email tracking and analytics, you can analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
Campaigns by Pipedrive is available as a paid add-on for any Pipedrive CRM.
Best for customer support teams: Front
Front is email management software designed specifically for customer support teams. Support teams can deliver “one-to-one experiences at scale” using Front’s shared inbox system.
Cross-functional team members can easily collaborate on any support request, on any channel, with all communication brought together in one place. Front includes email, chat, SMS and social media ticketing for up to 10 users.
Sales mapping tools
Sales mapping software combines sales data with location data. Sales managers use this software to generate territories and visualize leads and customers on a map.
Sales reps can also use it to plan effective routes when scheduling sales meetings.
Sales mapping tools show you customers’ and leads’ locations, the distribution of customers in certain areas and how this corresponds to your sales team.
Sales reps can use Badger Maps to automatically plot the fastest route between customers, with live traffic updates to avoid delays. It includes visualization and data analysis tools to uncover new growth areas, identify neglected leads and find upsell opportunities.
It provides sales managers with the ability to track their salespeople in the field while keeping their sales teams in constant communication.
Best for geo-mapping sales managers: WeMapSales
WeMapSales labels itself as a geo-business sales intelligence tool. Using WeMapSales, sales leaders can optimize their sales territories, pair the right reps with the right accounts and increase productivity.
WeMapSales combines an interactive dashboard with powerful mapping tools to optimize sales activities. It provides sales data visualization and reporting to help uncover key insights and make better decisions. WeMapSales integrates with Pipedrive, as well as many other CRM solutions, and is available as a mobile app.
Pricing depends on your number of sales territories.
Communication and conferencing tools
Communication and video conferencing tools are crucial investments for any business as remote work becomes increasingly common. The best conferencing software gives sales teams the ability to remain in contact whether that’s by direct message or video chat.
Powerful communication apps also track and log key conversations and integrate with other apps for a seamless experience.
Here are the two best communication and conferencing tools available now:
Best for secure video conferencing: GoToMeeting
Video conferencing is vital for running sales calls and internal conversations. Customers now expect businesses to facilitate convenient, easy and secure video meetings.
GoToMeeting provides top-of-the-line encryption and security to ensure that conversations remain private.
It supplies users with essential tools to get the most out of their video chats, like background noise reduction, iOS and Android apps, commuter mode and screen-sharing capabilities.
Automated transcriptions and video recording abilities mean users can share meetings after the fact with anyone who couldn’t attend live.
GoToMeeting currently offers two pricing plans but large enterprises will need to contact the company for a quote.
Best for internal chat: Slack
Slack is one of the most well-known collaboration tools on the market. It enables easy communication between teams and customers for businesses of any size. Some of Slack’s features include:
Channels to organize conversations, files and people
Slack Connect to collaborate with teams at other companies
Top-line security to ensure your communications remain private
The right tools can maximize your sales rep’s productivity, speed up the sales cycle and boost profits.
Before choosing a tool, take your time to ensure it meets your business needs, goals and budget. List the must-have features and compare each solution until you find the one that matches your requirements.
Building a sales tool kit can be time-consuming, but if you do it right, you’ll be able to leverage it and scale your business.
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