Connecting with buyers in a digital world
Sales is a lot more complicated than it used to be. With the rise of social media and remote work, business takes place across more channels and geographies than ever before. This provides sales and marketing teams with many new, personalized ways to connect with prospects and move them through the buyer’s journey. It also means that they need to use more technology tools to support the process.
Innovative B2B sales tools exist to maintain sales efficiency and effectiveness throughout the buying process, offering opportunities to build greater collaboration between teams and drive a unified sales strategy that closes deals.
Let’s dive into sales tech and how it can up-level your team.
What are sales tools?
Think of sales tools like a super-powered assistant for everything your team does. They can support both top-level strategy and everyday tasks—from pipeline planning and digital sourcing to personalized outreach, training, and engagement. The top sales software uses cloud-based technology, automated processes, and newer approaches like artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize and improve your sales team’s efforts.
Some categories are well known, such as customer relationship management software, which Salesforce brought into the mainstream. Other tools are just emerging into the space, with features like digital sales rooms, AI-powered enablement, and sales coaching.
One thing’s for sure: Whatever your team’s existing pain points, there’s a tool out there to help.
The benefits of sales tools across organizations
Once upon a time, sales was a very manual process. From the first cold call to the signing of the contract, making a sale took time and effort from numerous people. Now, despite more complex sales cycles, sales technology supports workflows and drives improvements across teams including:
- Improved efficiency: The best B2B sales tools often use automation to streamline workflows, taking the place of tasks that were once performed manually. Tools also keep track of customer information, pipeline status, and internal processes like new-hire training.
- Better collaboration between teams: A lot can get lost in email or Slack messages. With one source of truth for marketing and sales teams, everyone can keep track of things like email campaigns, sales enablement content usage, and ultimately, their impact on the funnel.
- Personalized experiences: Nothing is worse than a generic outreach and communication. Sales tools allow sellers to easily tailor messaging for specific buyers or accounts and leverage relevant content tied to the buyer’s stage in the customer journey.
- Scalability: When bringing on team members or targeting a new industry segment, you’ll need to scale your content, sales processes, and reporting. Tools allow you to easily train new teammates and maintain existing processes against new initiatives or projects.
Essential tools for sellers and GTM teams
With an extensive list of sales tools to choose from, it takes a lot of research and intentionality to figure out what software your sales reps need and will benefit most from. We can help you get started, so let’s look at the different types of sales tools to choose from, how they help your team, and a few examples of the top sales tools for each.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
With sellers managing thousands of relationships at any given time, CRM systems create a central repository of information on each customer, including contact information, past outreach, pipeline status, and much more. Salesforce is the major player in this space, but many other CRMs, like Microsoft Dynamics and Netsuite CRM, are also worth considering.
Productivity + collaboration
While not sales-specific per se, tools like Google, Microsoft Teams, and Slack are critical for internal collaboration and productivity. In fact, a study from Slack showed a 32% reduction in emails and a 23% reduction in meetings from users with the tool. If increasing sales effectiveness is a major concern for you, take a look at our list of 50 sales productivity tools that can help.
Tools in this space allow for the collection, segmentation, and nurture of leads that come in through sourcing, inbound marketing, and demand gen efforts. In B2B businesses, which often have longer sales cycles than e-commerce, lead nurturing can take weeks, months, or even years – so these platforms ensure nothing falls through the cracks. HubSpot is a major player in this space, ensuring automated nurture follow-ups that keep leads warm until they’re ready to buy.
Account-based sales and marketing
Account-based strategies have taken the business world by storm, and now software for sales reps helps organizations tackle account lists with highly personalized selling and marketing strategies. If an ABM tool sounds like what you need, dig in further with our list of 26 ABS tools to consider.
Between decks, collateral, and demos, sales and marketing teams produce a lot of important content. A sales content management platform, such as the one offered in the Seismic Enablement Cloud™, creates one home for all of your sales content.
Never stop growing.
Sales engagement tools accelerate deal cycles with fast delivery of hyper-targeted content, such as those offered by SalesLoft, Outreach, and Groove. Best of all, once content is sent to the prospect, these tools can track content views and engagement.
Sales readiness: learning and coaching
Sales readiness ensures that team members are ready for buyer interactions through engaging training, coaching, and skill assessments. These tools are especially helpful for onboarding new team members on the organization’s product, brand, and selling culture.
Sales and leadership teams need a unified view of reporting on current and future performance. While many tools like Seismic bake analytics into each of their tools, there are also many sophisticated business intelligence platforms, such as Domo, to help you forecast.
Important considerations before making a purchase
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the thousands of top sales tool options when researching vendors and tools. Consider this roadmap to narrow down your options:
- Ask your sales team: Understand their current pain points and where they feel they could be better supported for success. This can be done at scale, with a survey, or through a focus-group with sellers.
- Review the existing metrics: Weak points are likely to exist in your sales funnel. For example, is there a major drop between marketing-qualified leads and opportunities? Hone in on areas that need improvement to help you choose tools that can serve your team and your business goals.
- Future-proof your GTM teams: Are you hiring rapidly? If so, training and alignment is a valuable investment. Are big changes coming to your industry? Education and enablement materials might be key. Think about not just today, but where you are going — and find the right tech to support the journey.
- Do your research (and demos): Before committing to any platform, make sure you’ve gotten a clear lay of the land in that category. Is the tool easy to use? Easy to train on? Cost-effective? Spend time on the research before you sign the contract. Talk to vendors directly or chat with other organizations that use the solution you’re considering.
Ignite growth with Seismic
While having the right sales tool at the right time is critical, it’s even better to have a unified solution that enables your entire sales process. That’s what we strive to do with the Seismic Enablement Cloud™. It empowers entire GTM teams with the skills, content tools, and insights they need to grow. Featuring integrations with all of the best GTM technologies that we covered earlier , the Seismic Enablement Cloud™ includes sales content management, learning and coaching, buyer engagement, personalization, and intelligence sales tools, all in an incredibly intuitive user interface. Join the 2200+ organizations that use Seismic to save reps 400+ hours per week and improve win rates by 35%. Get your demo here.