How Sales Tools Increase Revenue
Sales tools are the technologies sales professionals use to carry out and streamline their activities so they can close more deals. Research shows that the average seller uses around six different tools. Such tools increase revenue by:
- Boosting efficiency: Sellers spend less time on tedious tasks and focus more on selling
- Improving effectiveness: Sellers can identify the best prospects from new leads and deals most likely to close, heightening focus and prioritization
- Increasing adoption: Top-performing sellers are more likely to use sales technology, but the more tools you add to a seller’s tech stack, the lower the rate of adoption.
Below, we’ll look at the B2B sales tools most commonly used by overachieving sales teams and how a comprehensive sales engagement platform, like Salesloft, can help you avoid overloading your tech stack.
Avoid the Trap of Too Many Sales Tools
In early 2021, the types of B2B sales tools available grew to around 1,200. And while there’s no denying the need for diverse digital sales tools, many companies are actually losing productivity by incorporating too many tools into their tech stack.
Sellers have so many disparate tools that they’re wasting time juggling multiple systems. It ends up none of the tools are used to their full potential, which means enterprise, mid-size, and even small businesses are losing money on these sales tools. Eventually reps just stop using some of the most valuable tools because the don’t want to have to constantly keep up with new technologies.
Our suggestion? Consolidate your sales tech stack. Instead of using separate apps for dialer, email, SMS, call recording, conversation intelligence, and revenue intelligence, use one platform that meets all these needs and more.
The best sales tools solve multiple problems, so you can:
- Improve CRM and tool adoption
- Keep reps focused
- Save on hard costs like licensing
- Save on soft costs like downtime (less chance of multiple apps going offline) and support (legal, procurement, and IT have fewer apps to review)
9 Types of Sales Tools Top-Performing Teams Use
Sales tools are a necessity in the modern sales process. To avoid overwhelming your sellers with new solutions, we recommend keeping your tech stack slim and consolidating for a smarter workflow—starting with this list of sales tools.
1. Sales Engagement Tools
According to Forrester, sales engagement is “solutions that help sales, marketing, and post-sales personnel understand and manage their omnichannel touchpoints across the buying cycle.”
Sales engagement tools are specifically designed for sales reps to help them succeed. Most sales tools in this category include engagement workflows that deliver personalized one-to-one experiences to prospects—with many incorporating a range of capabilities that makes life easier for sales teams.
A sales engagement platform, should help sellers:
- Close deals faster with workflows to scale best practices and standardize sales strategies
- Reach more prospects with multi-channel, multi-touch communication (social media, phone, email, etc.)
- Surface next best actions to help sales managers and team members shorten sales cycles
- Enhance pipeline visibility, real-time insights, and provide seamless integration
Remember our warning to avoid adding too many point solutions? It’s easy to think you need a sales engagement tool for call recording and conversation intelligence, but then you’ll need another one for a dialer, and a third tool for communication workflows. All of these tools are intended to help sellers, but end up wrecking havoc on productivity and technology costs.
Choosing a comprehensive sales engagement platform, like Salesloft, will not only include all of the functionality above, but also incorporate the following five tools (prospecting, automation, productivity, forecasting, and coaching). Imagine one vendor instead of six: one contract, one service team, and one cost.
2. Sales Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting is a heavily-involved process that takes time out of a seller’s day. Sales prospecting tools can reduce the amount of time sales reps spend on this task. Here are some of the ways sales prospecting tools can help:
- Workflows to guide sellers on your organization’s proven prospecting process
- Reach more prospects with multi-channel communication (ability to make calls, send emails, SMS, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Simplify processes with in-app email integration with Gmail and/or Outlook
- Use dashboards and reports for goal progress, activity tracking, and team benchmarks
- Increase response rates with gifting platforms, video, and enhanced contact information
A sales engagement platform, like Salesloft, offers many of the sales prospecting tools you need. But, Salesloft data shows that the most popular integrations with the platform are related to prospecting. Apps that find prospect data in real-time, add videos to email, and enhance workflows are some of those frequently used.
3. Sales Automation Tools
Sales automation tools refer to sales software that speeds up administration and eliminates manual tasks. Automation is a key component of sales pipeline management tools and a prime feature of larger sales engagement platforms.
You should look out for the following capabilities in sales automation software:
- Automatic prioritization for improved task management (AI identifies and ranks the most important tasks based on team-set criteria)
- Ability to re-route prospects based on call outcomes
- Automated communication based on various factors (so you can follow up faster)
- Email tracking (total emails sent, opened, links clicked, etc.)
- Lead scoring functionality and AI to surface hot leads and push notifications
- Automation of lead handoffs, such as marketing-to-sales or sales-to-service
Sales automation is a tool that sellers can get excited about. It takes some of the guesswork out of their jobs and gives them more time to do what they do best: sell. Choosing a sales engagement platform with extensive automation capabilities, like Salesloft will reduce your tech stack and costs. This consolidated approach, focused on automation, can speed up the most time-consuming aspects of the sales team’s days and allow them to focus on developing personalized experiences for future buyers.
4. Sales Productivity Tools
Sales productivity broadly refers to any tool that helps salespeople get more done in less time. This may include anything from a tool for scheduling meetings to an e-signature service and report generation tools.
Here’s an example of productivity-boosting features top-performing teams need:
- Email templates and scripts that can easily be personalized (why reinvent the wheel everytime?)
- Calendaring functionality, advanced scheduling and lead routing
- Automation of repetitive tasks like manual data entry in-app and across multiple platforms
- Dashboard, pre-built reports, and visualization tools for complex and granular data
It’s ironic that sales teams add sales productivity tools that when combined, actually make them less productive because sellers are bouncing between apps and functionality overlaps. To avoid this, choose a comprehensive sales tool that includes sales productivity along with other features, such as sales engagement. When sellers have calendaring alongside multi-channel communication, it just makes sense.
5. Sales Forecasting Tools
Sales forecasting tools help sales managers and leaders make more accurate predictions of future revenue. Rather than rely on gut instinct and clunky spreadsheets, sales forecasting tools analyze credible data and offer real-time insights.
Your sales forecasting tool should:
- Combine hard data and human insight to triangulate a forecast
- Surface deal data and follow relevant KPIs so you can understand the impact of a forecast
- Eliminate Excel spreadsheets and offer seamless CRM integration
- Provide at-a-glance visibility of your entire forecast
Sales teams that use sales forecasting tools are better positioned to meet quotas, drive predictable revenue, and make data-backed decisions. When forecasting is included in your sales workflow, it is simple to drill down from the forecast into deal data saving sellers and managers from painful forecast calls. It also helps to surface deal gaps and allow sellers to take action right from the forecast, for example sending a quick email to the prospect. A comprehensive sales engagement platform, like Salesloft, offers forecasting right within the sales workflow.
6. Sales Coaching Tools
Sales coaching tools allow sales teams to learn from customer interactions, develop playbooks, and replicate the actions of top-performing sellers. As coaching nurtures the skills gained during training, having tools to facilitate coaching helps retain your best sellers and hit quotas consistently.
Sales coaching tools should help sales managers:
- Provide feedback during and after sales calls
- Track seller outcomes, set team-wide and individual goals
- Identify specific challenges of each seller and coach accordingly in one-on-one sessions
- Build playlists of recorded sales calls and best sales plays (ideal for onboarding)
There’s certainly room for improvement in sales coaching: 62% of sales professional individual contributors in B2B organizations report feedback and coaching from their first-line managers is effective and improves Performance (Forrester Planning Guide 2023: B2B Sales Executives).
Implementing sales coaching software is a great first step, but it is even more effective if coaching dashboards and goals are right within the sales workflow. Imagine the time it would take to add deal data to coaching software, then to your pipeline software, and also to your CRM. It’s far more efficient and provides better insights when coaching is part of a sales engagement platform, such as Salesloft.
7. Sales Enablement Tools
Sales enablement tools provide content management, usage analytics, and resources that sales teams need to sell more effectively. Many platforms provide sales enablement to some degree.
We recommend that you look out for the following features:
- Real-time metrics that report on the data you’re most interested in
- Easy-to-use organization and delivery of content
- Cloud-based/dedicated repository of customer data (contact information, customer interactions, objections, seller notes, etc.)
- Integration with CRM, research software, and other tools
Given the amount of info reps need to build meaningful customer experiences—all while managing multiple leads at a time—sales enablement tools are used by many top-performing teams. As you’re considering vendors, look for functionality gaps and overlaps to determine the best addition to your existing tech stack.
8. Sales Intelligence Tools
Sales intelligence tools help salespeople harness, analyze, and act on data. Sales intelligence improves and enriches your perspective so you spend less time on poor-fit prospects and more time with decision-makers who are more likely to benefit from your business.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the most popular sales intelligence tools – in fact it is the most used integration among Salesloft customers.
Here is some of the functionalities you can find in your next sales intelligence tool:
- Reach more buyers with prospect data, including employee contact information, in-depth company profiles, and more
- Conversation intelligence (call recording, transcription, analysis, etc.) so sellers can watch previous calls and prepare better
- Identification of demand and buying intent signals to identify the right accounts at each point of the buyer’s journey
Sales intelligence tools have broad applications across the revenue lifecycle and are crucial for prospecting, sales reporting, lead nurturing, and lead generation.
9. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are the bread and butter of digital selling. Sales CRM software manages your seller’s relationships and interactions across the sales cycle.
There’s a wealth of CRM tools available today, but of the features to look out for, automatic sync with sales tools is absolutely essential.
This automation ensures that sales intelligence, buyer engagements, and data from the buyer’s journey are in one centralized database so other members of your organization (e.g. marketing teams) have access to the same customer data.
Additionally, choose sales tools that integrate with your CRM allow sellers to work within their CRM with access to all needed data without having to bounce between screens. Choose tools that support functionality with the most popular CRMs like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and HubSpot.
Use Salesloft’s Comprehensive Sales Tools to for Greater Functionality and Less Headache
Juggling multiple sales tools makes selling tedious and unnecessarily complicated. We understand the allure of shiny new technology—but why keep incorporating new tech when you can add a staple system that does the work of five apps?
By switching to a cohesive, all-in-one sales engagement platform that integrates with more than 150 apps, you can deliver more functionality and fewer headaches.
From lead generation to customer support, Salesloft simplifies and streamlines your tech stack. Sellers can spend most of their workday in a single system, automate workflows, and craft personalized customer experiences—all without sacrificing integration, flexibility, visibility, or productivity.
Contact us today to see Salesloft’s comprehensive platform in action.