If you run a small business that’s trying to crush its goals, the tools you have in your arsenal can help you succeed.
The right ones will support the entire sales process — from identifying prospective customers to closing the deal.
There’s a staggering number of sales tools and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions out there, and it would be a herculean effort to sift through them all. But there are some categories you should focus on. We’ve detailed those and suggested a tool or two that may be right for you.
Why your sales team needs digital sales tools
Door-to-door sales and sales prospecting primarily through cold calling and mailers is thankfully a thing of the past. So is maintaining physical customer files and sending hard copies of proposals and contracts via courier. (Thank goodness!)
The world has gone digital, and even the smallest businesses need to hop on board. Incorporating today’s sales tools will save you money, improve productivity, and streamline the sales process so you can focus on the close.
9 types of sales tools to grow your business
Here are the nine types of sales tools you should consider for your business processes.
1. CRM software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a powerful tool that will store all your client information and catalog your interactions with prospects and existing customers. Customer data gathered from your own website, marketing channels, chat, phone, and social platforms can be used to inform your business’ strategies (like customer retention and how to drive more sales).
Salesforce is the industry-leading solution (and worth checking out). For something simpler, Pipedrive provides an affordable lead tracking and sales pipeline visibility solution. And, HubSpot offers some great free CRM tools.
2. Invoicing software
Choosing an invoicing tool is pretty important — it’s how you initiate the payment process after all. It should be easy to use, integrate well with your other tools, and provide robust reporting, like income and expense tracking (to name a few). And, pricing should be structured to accommodate your business as it grows — because of course you’ll knock it out of the park!
Wave is a free option in this category. It includes robust invoicing, accounting features, and receipt scanning. Plus, for a fee, you can add payment services and payroll management.
3. Workflow automation
A workflow solution moves information between your web-based apps automatically. It eliminates manual tasks so that you can focus on the important stuff — like finding boatloads of new customers. There are all sorts of personalized tasks you can automate. Here are a few:
- Loading data into an excel spreadsheet for a monthly sales report
- Uploading webinar attendees into a CRM
- “Listening” for social media mentions of your brand or products and pushing them to your business communication platform
4. Video prospecting
When you think of using video as a sales tool, you probably think of video conferencing on Zoom. But, did you know you can use video for prospecting?
A video prospecting tool will set you apart from your competitors and will establish a personal, human connection with potential customers from the get-go. It can also be used for follow-up, for product demos, or to welcome a new client.
A tool like Vidyard can help your business keep the sales process moving along so you can close more business. Here are a few of its functionalities:
- Video creation: Record your videos in a flash — no complicated high-end video software needed.
- Video sharing: Easily send your videos in just a few clicks.
- Data and analytics: Get insight into your most engaged prospects and share the information to your CRM (so you can figure out where to spend your time and resources).
Oh, and Vidyard even offers a free plan.
5. Marketing automation
Marketing automation tools allow your business to more effectively manage campaigns on multiple online channels and to put repetitive tasks on auto-pilot. So, you can take that much needed coffee break while you let these tools send your email marketing campaigns and post to social media. Some will even help guide prospects through the sales funnel (ideally to conversion 🏆).
HubSpot’s solution is an all-in-one tool that can help your marketing team simplify and automate its strategy.
The back-and-forth over Gmail or Outlook when you’re trying to schedule meetings or product demos can really slow down your sales cycle — especially when numerous decision-makers need to participate. Automated scheduling software keeps the process moving along. A tool like Calendly (with free and paid options) can manage all the nitty-gritty.
A scheduler can also do your prospecting for you by engaging directly with visitors to your site. Embed a link to your scheduler with a clear call to action for potential customers to schedule an appointment — and it will be added to your calendar automatically when they do. How cool is that?
7. Sales intelligence and lead generation
Sales intelligence tools help your sales reps identify qualified leads so that they can close more deals. With access to valuable real-time data and metrics — and way more information about a company than just key contact information — salespeople can uncover the most active buyers in their target market.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator leverages your current LinkedIn presence by finding ideal buyers and decision-makers to fill your pipeline.
8. Proposal software
If you create a lot of proposals or contracts, you may want to consider a sales tool to help simplify and streamline that process. Let’s face it, using slick proposal templates can help set you apart. And, it makes you easy to do business with. Having a cloud-based process for easy sharing plus support for e-signatures may be that one thing that gives you an edge over your competition.
Adding proposal software can provide huge organizational and productivity benefits inside your business as well. (You can say goodbye to filing cabinets filled with paper, and save the trees.🌲)
Email tracking features also keep you informed of where you’re at in the sales process, so you know when to follow up. This can help you predict when the deal will close. Proposify is one option that can take you to the finish line.
9. Call management
Communication is key in any relationship. That applies to customers too. Your call management tool will do a whole lot more than handle your inbound and outbound calls.
Think about it. An inbound call could be a prospect’s first interaction with your company. And first impressions are important. If you provide a great experience, you’re more likely to earn their business.
But, not every solution is created equal, and you need more than a call tracker or router. A complete business phone solution, like OpenPhone, streamlines all your company’s communications. And, it makes your employees wildly productive, so they can focus on driving more sales.
The sales tool secret weapon you weren’t expecting
When you consider that your first touch point with a potential customer could involve your call management software, you’ll want to choose wisely.
OpenPhone could be your secret weapon within your sales tool arsenal, the secret sauce that gives your business that edge over your competitors.
You’ll find there’s a lot to like:
- Price: Our plans are simple, straightforward, and downright affordable (wait till you see our low international rates).
- Robust call management features: We’ve got everything you’d expect and more — including your own business phone number. 💪
- Unique advanced features: From voicemail transcription to snippets and auto-replies, this app will do more for your team than place sales calls.
- Easy to use: Make your first call in about a minute. We’re serious.
- Killer interface: You’ll be delighted at how quickly you can get started — without any training.
- Customer support: Building the best business phone system is all we do. It’s our No. 1 focus, and it shows.
- User reviews: Our customers dig us. They’re delirious — deliriously happy that is. 😜
And, don’t worry, now that you have a stack of helpful sales tools, OpenPhone connects to many of them, saving you even more time. You can sync your OpenPhone account with apps like Zapier, HubSpot, and Slack. Plus, Salesforce and Pipedrive integrations are coming soon.
Give it a whirl
Choosing the right sales tools can have a direct impact on your bottom line. They provide your business with new leads and sales opportunities. They also make your sales team more productive and streamline your business processes.
All nine sales tools are important. However, the way you manage your first touch point with a customer needs to be truly fantastic. That’s why it’s critical to pick the right call management tool.
Spend a few minutes checking out OpenPhone, and see what it can do for your small business. Start your free trial today.
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.