Sales Prospecting Tools that Will ROCK Your World
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: including those that have a free plan and paid versions. All will surely turn heads and help you get the best out of your sales team.
Finally, I’ve given you my wrap up at the end which includes the Best Sales Prospecting Tools to use in 2021!
But before we start, let’s define what sales prospecting is.
What is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the act 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, and this should be in the sales plan.I learned how to communicate easier w/ my buyer by using sales #prospecting tools to find my target buyer and initiate conversations or engage with them. Great @GoModernSelling ep. w/ @M_3jr and @kurtshaver #GoFlyMSG Click To Tweet
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, are a good fit between them in the long run. That’s why we created the PVC Method, a sales methodology that focuses on prospecting.
Prospecting is not to be confused with lead generation and prospecting tools aren’t lead generation software.
What is the Difference Between a Lead and a Prospect?
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. We like to think of them as a hand raiser or often considered a qualified lead.
- A prospect is someone who needs to be qualified because they are aligned with your target persona, they may or may not have a business pain you can solve, and or may or may not have engaged with you in some way, shape, or form. It is commonly referred to as outbound sales prospecting.
Both sales 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.
To help you on this topic, I encourage you to 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 repetitive tasks, so your sales reps can save time engage 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 should help your sellers get closer to 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.Now I got new sales #prospecting tools that help me gather more info, move faster, target the right people and engage prospects in a more meaningful way to close more deals. Fantastic @GoModernSelling ep @M_3jr @kurtshaver #GoFlyMSG Click To Tweet
Sales Prospecting Tools to Find Contact Details
Within the realm of sales prospecting tools, there is a myriad of use cases, designed for specific tasks. Here are a few tools that allow sellers to find contact details:
- Seamless, Prospect.io, 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. In all cases, users can use the Chrome extension to instantly search for contact information for your B2B decision-makers within a domain name. Within seconds a salesperson can save a POC, synchronize their contact information to their CRM, and begin sending cold emails (which is not a prospecting technique we recommend as a first outreach), place a cold call, or engage directly on LinkedIn.
- 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 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator messaging directly to HubSpot.
Tools to Qualify Prospects
A second category of sales prospecting tools I’d like to dive into is 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 latter 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 version of 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 on the web and summarizes anything —from the 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.
Tools for Scheduling Sales Meetings
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:
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.
The Best Sales Productivity Tool
FlyMSG – This is one of my favorite sales tools as it falls not only under the sales productivity category but is also a sales engagement platform.
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 FlyCuts (aka shortcuts) users won’t have to look through old emails, Google Docs, Evernote, Notepad or their sticky notes to find their favorite content or sales message.
The tool is a SaaS-based application leveraging a Chrome Extension and it will instantly increase your team’s sales productivity and uniformity across your sales messaging. You can include links, sales videos, or images and embed them into your messages.
Here’s a use case example. Say a buyer has requested to schedule a meeting with me. Instead of looking through the last email, then copy and paste or having a to type a message out for the individual, I simply type into my reply email or into a LinkedIn message a simple FlyCut literally this word: “bookameeting”. Upon typing that into the message area, that word would be converted in milliseconds to:
“To make life easy I have placed my entire calendar online so we can avoid email scheduling volleyball. Here is the link: https://vengreso.com/our-team/mario-martinez-jr – Please click on that link and schedule a 30 min meeting when both of our calendars show free. Does that work for you? I look forward to chatting.”
These sales messages can be instantly pulled up using an abbreviation virtually everywhere online! Talk about increasing sales productivity. Learn more about FlyMSG via this one-minute video. And don’t forget to download the Chrome extension for FlyMSG as we are offering only a free plan right now.
I already added FlyMSG Chrome extension, and what a great text expander tool for the #ModernSeller to increase sales #productivity and create uniformity among #sales messaging! Great @GoModernSelling ep w/ @M_3jr @kurtshaver #GoFlyMSG Click To Tweet
This tool is great not just for sellers but also for sales leaders and marketers who wish to increase productivity, especially during the remote selling era where every minute working from home counts.
Sales Automation Tools (aka Sales Cadence)
Within the sales automation realm, there are many cadence tools but the big four that come to mind and that majority of our Vengreso customers use are:
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 bring 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 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.
The modern buyer expects a personalized experience, supported by relevant content. That is exactly why we recommend for sellers to always include the V for “value” from our PVC Sales Methodology. These content engagement platforms help to bring together marketing content right to the fingertips of your sellers giving them the opportunity to tell better stories, be relevant, and show value using content.
Gift and Direct Mail Marketing Tools
This next set of prospecting tools are really some really effective ways to connect with customers and drive revenue. Using these tools you can at scale send personalized gifts, branded swag, eGifts, Cameos, virtual experiences, and even send “hand-written” notes to your prospect by way of hand-writing software.
Thesre are a few others in the market that are out there but these two are the most common ones amongst our customers and most well known to me. Both are known as gift and direct mail marketing tools. These are used by sellers to engage with their buyers offline through sales gifts making it possible to build stronger, deeper, and more trusted relationships with your B2B buyers.
Sales Video Tools
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 the big 6 video sales engagement platforms are:
These tools allow sellers to not only create and send videos but some also allow your sellers to add various filters to make them more engaging, content within the page, and rich deep analytics that allows your sellers to see who, when, what, and how many times their videos and content assets 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 and Chorus.ai – Both record meetings as well as take notes for you. These sales intelligence tools are extremely important to sales coaching with your sellers thus improve anything from their confidence, presentation abilities, salesmanship, even cold calling abilities.
Tools for Social Selling
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, are tools that are also known as employee advocacy platforms 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 the top social selling tools 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 LinkedIn connection request thanking them for viewing my profile. Here is what fills in the message on LinkedIn when I use that FlyCut:
“Hey FIRSTNAME! Thanks for viewing my LinkedIn profile. I looked at yours and thought based upon our mutual passion for sales and marketing it would make sense to connect. I’d be honored to have you in my network. Open to connecting? Also, feel free to let me know if you had any questions. Mario”
The Best Sales Prospecting Tools to Use in 2021
I’ve gone over quite a few sales prospecting tools over the course of this article and via the podcast, but to wrap this up, I’d like to summarize the best sales prospecting tools to use in 2021 according to my picks.
If you have a limited budget, no worries! Look for the ones that say FREE Plan Option next to them.
- 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. (FREE Plan Option)
- 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.
- Calendly – My favorite tool for booking those sales meetings. (FREE Plan Option)
- Seamless.ai – For finding contact details this is my favorite tool.
- Seismic – For sales content engagement platform, Seismic. One of the 800-pound gorillas in this segment.
- Postal.io – For gift marketing and direct mail. (FREE Trial Option)
- 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. (FREE Plan Option)
- 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.
- EveryoneSocial – For social selling and content sharing.
With remote selling setting the stage for inside, outside, and field sales teams to be transformed, well, a new line of sales prospecting methods will continue to keep popping up. I predict that within just 6 months’ time, we might just be adding to this list of tools, so stay tuned.