A sales department is more than its managers and salespeople – often, businesses deploy a wide variety of sales and marketing software to help their employees complete their activities. These are called a company’s tech stack.
But a common problem for companies is buying too many software tools that don’t provide enough value, bloat the tech stack, and needlessly increase costs. If you’re looking to optimize your tech stack with the best sales tools, which ones are worth the price? Here are the five best sales tools fundamental to any sales organization in 2023.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
First and foremost is the sales tool that engulfs all other sales tools, the ubiquitous customer relationship management (CRM) software system. These platforms track customer interactions through the sales process and act as a database of customer information, allowing sales reps to create personalized interactions with customers and speed them down the sales funnel.
As businesses grow and gain more customers, a CRM system is integral for keeping track of all the different customers flying about and ensuring that each one has a wonderful sales experience. This improves customer relationships, leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention in turn.
Nine out of ten—almost all—companies with ten more employees use CRM software, so it’s safe to say that it’s one of—if not the most—popular sales tools in 2023. Thus, if your business is purchasing its first sales tool, a CRM system is probably the safest investment to make.
Though CRM systems are powerful tools, there are a whole flood of options to choose from. If you’re stuck trying to pick one, makingthatsale.com has extensive guides to help you determine which CRM system is best for you and leverage your CRM platform to its fullest potential.
Next up is lead generation software, or lead gen software for short. These sales tools automatically collects and qualifies leads for your business, freeing up time for your sales reps to actually make sales.
There are two types of lead gen software: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead gen tools help attract leads to your business by automating processes such as social media posting and website data collection, providing you with data on people who are interested in your business. On the other hand, outbound lead gen tools can do things like find email addresses and trawl through social media and databases for potential customers. Once a lead has been found, the lead gen software can analyze the lead’s profile and actions to determine how closely they meet your ideal customer profile, in a process called lead scoring.
In short, lead gen tools saves your reps from the arduous task of looking for leads themselves and ensures that the people your reps process are already well on their way to becoming customers.
Once a lead has been found, sales automation can help reps nurture the lead into a sale. Sales automation software helps sales managers assign leads to available sales representatives, and sales reps manage multiple sales conversations at once.
If your company has several sales reps per territory, a large point of stress and contention for managers might be assigning inbound leads to reps, ensuring each rep has enough leads but isn’t overwhelmed or burnt out, preventing favoritism and bias, matching up leads to the most qualified rep, and more – all while a hot lead gets colder by the second.
Rather than waiting for a manager to manually assign leads to reps, sales automation software automatically receives inbound leads’ information from your marketing channels and assigns the lead to reps based on pre-determined rule sets. It guarantees that leads are distributed quickly, fairly, and equally to qualified sales reps. With a streamlined connection between reps and leads, sales will be closed faster than ever!
On a more individual level, sales automation software also helps sales reps by automating workflows, reducing the time spent on boring, menial, and repetitive tasks while ensuring they get done. For example, if a sales rep sends an email to a lead but receives no response after three days, the automation software would remind the rep to follow up with the lead. Some automation tools even include AI and ChatGPT features, letting the system create and send out customized marketing and sales messages to nurture leads on its own.
Most companies have a website — but whether that website actively contributes to a wonderful sales experience is another matter entirely. Even if your website looks good enough, website integration tools can take your website a step further, turning it into a powerful tool for collecting leads and amazing customers.
As we mentioned earlier with lead generation software, some sales tools can help you collect lead data from your website. This is done through lead magnet tools, which are website popups that prevent visitors from accessing a valuable article, tool, or infographic unless they put in their personal information. If you’ve ever encountered a popup asking you to input your email to access an article, that’s a lead magnet hard at work!
With the information collected from a lead magnet contact information form, sales reps can research and follow up with a potential customer whose desire for your lead magnet indicates interest in your product or industry. With luck, your sales rep can nurture that interest into a closed sale.
Another important sales tool to install on your website is a chatbot. Whether AI-powered or manned by a real sales rep, a chatbot integration on your website can serve as a first line of defense for customer questions and concerns. This helps them come to a purchase decision faster, and establishes your company’s reputation for excellent and speedy customer service.
Beyond lead magnets and chatbots, there are plenty of other website integrations that could benefit any business. With some careful consideration and application, you could turn your website from a stagnant page into a dynamic tool for collecting lead information and serving customers.
Call Tracking Software
If a customer calls a business, it usually means they’re highly interested in purchasing and just need a few more details or an expert opinion before they’re ready to move forward. As such, the phone call they place is a decisive moment in their sales journey. It’d be a shame for the sales rep on duty to fumble the call, make a poor impression, and lose the customer.
Call tracking software helps take a business’s phone sales campaigns from good to great, providing a wide variety of insights and tools that help sales reps manage sales calls better.
As the name implies, call tracking software tells sales reps exactly which marketing or sales source an inbound caller is coming from – whether they found your phone number through a Facebook promotion, a newspaper ad, an informational article on your website, or more. The call tracking software then provides a voice whisper before connecting the call, telling the receiving sales rep these details.
With a clear idea of where the lead came from and what they were looking at when they decided to call in, sales reps can deduce the customer’s demographics and needs, switching to an appropriate sales script. With this short briefing, sales reps can focus more on determining the calling lead’s budget, purchasing authority, and relevant need for the product, streamlining and tailoring their sales conversation for a faster sale. Managers can also use the tracking information to objectively determine which marketing campaign yields the most callers.
If your business relies heavily on phone communications, this tool becomes a necessity for optimizing and expediting your sales phone call campaigns.