It wasn’t that long ago that sales reps had little more than cold calls and cold emails to fuel their prospecting and lead generation activities. Thankfully the days of relying on these antiquated tactics to fill your pipeline are long gone.
The internet and social media have ushered in countless tools that have made the sales process more efficient, automating tasks that allow you to focus your efforts on leads that have the best chance of converting into sales. And you’re able to find out more than ever about a sales prospect before you’ve made that first contact.
There’s an overwhelming number of sales tools on the market, from the robust that manage every aspect of the sales process to industry-specific analytical tools. But we’re going to focus on highlighting key sales prospecting tools, the most important weapon in your arsenal as a salesperson.
What is sales prospecting?
Prospecting is the process of identifying potential customers for the solution, service, or product you’re selling. It’s the first stage of the sales process, and the objective is to find as many contacts as possible that have a need for your product (whether they realize it or not is another story).
Sales is a numbers game, and prospecting plays a critical role. Reps with strong prospecting skills are able to pack their sales pipelines with qualified leads. And reps who build large pipelines tend to meet their sales quotas.
13 Best sales prospecting automation tools
There are countless software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers that develop tools to help sales professionals like you fill their pipeline. And most either integrate directly with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions like Salesforce or or can connect to them through Zapier.
Here are 13 highly rated tools that simplify or automate sales prospecting part of the sales process.
Sales reps need a business phone system they can depend on — whether they’re in the office or working remote. That means it must be accessible from any device or platform through an easy-to-use interface.
With OpenPhone, the sales team can share a single phone number to ensure that inbound calls from potential customers are always taken care of. And if your sales territory spans across multiple area codes, you can purchase multiple phone numbers. That way you can project a local presence while you’re cold calling prospects.
Also, OpenPhone’s intuitive interface allows you to whip through calling lists of new leads with a single click per call, making prospecting a breeze. Following up with potential customers is easy too with automated or on-demand SMS and MMS messaging directly from the app.
OpenPhone offers two pricing plans starting at $13 or $20 per user per month.
With 740 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network. And with metrics on over 55 million companies, its paid sales solution, Sales Navigator, is worth a look.
It simplifies your prospecting efforts by identifying the most worthwhile prospects in your target market. Then, you can uncover decision-makers, create prospect lists, and engage directly with new contacts within LinkedIn’s InMail platform.
Pricing starts at $64.99 per license per month.
ZoomInfo is a B2B sales intelligence and prospecting tool that draws from a vast database representing over 95 million companies. You can easily uncover company information, key contacts, organization charts, and more to inform your strategy for turning a prospect into a customer. Intelligence tools will help you determine which prospects have the most potential too.
Call sales to obtain pricing.
Hunter.io is an email finder that verifies the professional email addresses of the people you need to reach in an organization. As a sales rep, you can export new searches or synchronize lists for updated information for use in targeted email marketing campaigns.
You can perform up to 25 searches per month for free. Plans start at $49 per month for up to 500 searches.
This AI-driven tool automates and simplifies the lead qualifying process. The virtual sales assistant nurtures leads via your company’s website through email, SMS, or website chat. Then, you’re provided lead quality scores to help determine whether or not to take further action. If given proper direction and feedback, Conversica can actively manage follow-up with the prospect too.
Call sales for pricing.
This sales intelligence platform provides valuable insight based on a prospect’s technology platforms and past buying decisions. With Datanyze, you can learn which tools a prospect already uses in-house to help inform your sales strategy going forward.
The ability to provide a powerful value proposition on the first contact — like positioning a replacement of a competitor’s inferior product or a pitch to leverage a solution they’ve already invested in — is an effective inroad to a sale.
Datanyze is free for up to 10 credits per month. Plans start at $39 per year.
This two-in-one tool provides prospecting and outreach capabilities by leveraging its database of over 100 million decision-makers. Punch in your ideal customer profile, and Growbots will return a list of prospects that includes contact information and social profiles. Then, you just select and pay for the contacts you want. The exported list can be used for an email campaign or call list.
Contact sales for pricing.
If you’re targeting startups or growing companies, you’ll want to check out Crunchbase. It provides insight into which companies are getting funding, their investment stage, and who’s hired leadership — to name a few. It helps you determine which prospects are primed and ready for purchasing and will notify you when big changes happen.
Pricing plans start at $29 per user per month.
Think of Crystal as your “sales approach coach” to help you decide the best way to engage with a prospect. It’ll provide intelligence based on the well-known and respected DISC behavioral framework as well as the prospect’s social media profiles, including their likes and dislikes. An alternative to the generic data points other tools offer, Crystal provides a more nuanced, relationship-centric approach to the sales process. Because sales is all about relationships, right?
Contact sales for pricing.
This smart little tracker uses a custom script to identify website visitors and collects data about what they’ve been up to. Albacross helps you distinguish between the visitors who are kicking tires and those who are ready to buy, so you can devote time and energy to prospects that are most likely to convert.
Contact sales for pricing.
Leadfeeder is a tracking tool that leverages Google Analytics to reveal more information about visitors to your company’s website — and the keywords that brought them there. It enables you to identify the pain the prospect is experiencing so you can tailor your pitch accordingly.
Leadfeeder offers a free plan and paid plans starting at $63 per license per month.
With a sales engagement platform, like Outreach, you can manage all your prospecting activities through a common interface. By integrating with your CRM and sales intelligence tools, Outreach maps the best way to engage with a particular prospect. Known as “sequences,” these actions represent the formula to close the deal.
Contact sales for pricing.
It can be difficult to get a prospect on the phone, much less agree to an in-person meeting. But when you incorporate Vidyard’s video tool into your prospecting efforts, you differentiate yourself from other sales reps — you know, the ones who are sending boring boilerplate prospecting emails.
By showing your solution in action with a link to a pre-recorded demo or one customized for your prospect, you’ll always be a step ahead. And with Vidyard’s analytics and reporting, you’ll know which prospects watched your video, so you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
Vidyard offers a free plan and paid plans starting at $15 per month.
Set yourself up for sales success
The life of a sales rep has improved dramatically as tools have been introduced to automate the prospecting process. And these 13 top sales prospecting tools allow you to focus on closing business.
But no matter how many tools you use to simplify the first step of the sales cycle, sales will always be about relationships. And without a modern business phone that you can use anywhere from any device — well, no deal is going down.
OpenPhone is the No. 1 business phone app trusted by thousands of professionals. Give it a try with a seven-day free trial. You’ll be up and running in about a minute.
Amy is a professional B2B writer who drives results for SaaS and marketing brands. Like a chameleon, she instantly assumes a brand’s unique voice and delivers content that never bores readers.