8 B2B Sales Tools For Prospecting, Lead Generation & CRM
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you're looking for more clients or customers for your business?
You're probably thinking of a database, a networking platform, a CRM, a prospecting tool, or some other sales tool. That's the power of sales tools. They help you find, qualify, and close leads quickly and efficiently, which increases your sales. Sales prospecting, however is a bit more involved as an overall process.
Now, with the myriad of sales tools on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. For instance, there are currently over 800 CRM tools listed on G2:
And that's just CRM tools!
So, to make your life easier, we've compiled a list of eight of the best sales tools for prospecting, lead generation, and CRM that B2B businesses should consider.
Before we go into that, let's dig a bit deeper into how B2B sales tools drive revenue.
How B2B Sales Tools Drive Revenue
When used strategically, B2B sales tools can help you reach your target market faster and close deals more efficiently.
They often work differently than B2C ones, in that they:
- Simplify complex B2B sales processes by automating repetitive tasks
- Provide detailed insights into your customers’ behaviors and buying patterns
- Help you identify key decision makers within your target companies
- Track the progress of your sales cycles and campaigns
- Organize your customer data into actionable segments for targeted outreach
With the right B2B sales tools, your team can save time and resources while gaining new customers in the process.
What Types of Sales Tools Does My B2B Business Need?
If you're not sure which sales tools you need for your B2B business, here's a list of the most commonly used tools. Keep in mind that different B2B businesses have different needs. Some businesses might need more sales-focused CRMs, while others might want to focus more on automation.
1. CRM Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools allow your salespeople to store and manage leads, contacts, and information all in one place.
This way, you’ll never miss a sales opportunity because you can easily access all the necessary information you need to close a deal.
For instance, let's say you've just finished running a cold email marketing campaign where you reached out to 1000 potential customers. At the end of the cold emails, you ended up with 200 qualified leads. They've replied to your email saying they're interested in knowing more about your product.
Using a CRM, you can easily:
- Collect and store lead contact details
- Track their movement along your sales process
- Remind yourself when to follow up with them
- Send relevant follow-up materials
- Help your sales team collaborate and make sure no sales opportunity is missed
So, if you're serious about growing your B2B business, one of the first sales tools you should look into is a CRM system.
Learn about the features that set the best CRMs for contractors apart from the rest in the contracting sector.
2. Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting tools help B2B companies identify leads quickly and easily, saving you time and effort in the process.
We'll be sharing a few specific prospecting tools down below but prospecting tools can help you:
- Search for potential customers based on their industry, location, etc.
- Automatically gather contact information for prospects
- Find intent data showing if they’re in the market for your product or service
- Measure your success rate and campaign effectiveness
There are a lot more benefits of using prospecting tools. But all in all, they help you find prospects (including their email addresses and phone numbers) and reach a larger, yet qualified target audience.
If you are interested in finding out how intent data providers can revolutionize your conversion rate strategy, we've got you covered.
3. Lead Generation Tools
Lead generation tools help sales reps and marketing teams create forms, landing pages, and other resources to gather contact information from qualified prospects.
A typical example is the exit-intent pop-up forms on websites that show up when you're about to leave a webpage. Or inline forms that appear in the middle of blog content, like this one in Chanty's articles:
You can use these lead generation tools in various ways, including:
- Collecting a user's information when they click on a button or link
- Prompting the user to fill out a survey or questionnaire
- Showing targeted forms based on the user's activity
- Sending personalized emails when a user takes a certain action
Bottom line: lead generation tools help you capture more leads, so you can nurture them and eventually convert them into paying customers.
4. Social Selling Tools
Social selling tools help sales reps tap into vast networks of potential customers on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
With these tools, B2B sales teams can:
- Identify potential leads by searching for people with specific job titles and companies
- Use detailed filters to narrow down your list of leads
- Monitor conversations with potential customers
- Gain insights into the interests of your target market
- Track the performance of your social selling efforts on social media
In short, these tools help you make the most of your social selling strategy while saving time and effort.
5. Sales Automation Tools
If you need to automate some mundane parts of your sales processes and get more out of your sales reps, consider investing in a sales automation tool.
For example, say you have a team of 50 sales managers or reps, and each one spends an hour a day entering data into your CRM. That's an awful amount of time wasted on menial tasks. They'd be better off spending that time actually selling. And that doesn’t include the myriad of other tasks salespeople waste time on.
Sales automation tools can automate parts of the sales process, so sales reps can focus on tasks that require human intervention–like outreach.
But let's drop an important note here: there’s not really one, single automation tool that can do everything. Rather, automation is an element in many sales tools. For instance:
- CRM tools can automatically import data from external sources quickly and easily.
- A sales enablement tool can automatically send personalized emails to prospects at scale.
- A sales forecasting tool can generate automated forecast reports for upcoming deals.
In the end, sales automation tools help you save time and money while ensuring your sales professionals are working at peak performance.
There's a wide range of sales tools that can help streamline your sales processes and increase revenue.
You can also use a comprehensive tool—like Close—that brings all these different tools under one roof and offers access to powerful features like lead management, sales forecasting, sales coaching, email automation, and more.
Top B2B Sales Tools to Increase Close Rates + Save Time
Now let's take a look at some of the most popular sales tools in the market and how they can help you increase close rates and save time.
Psst... Need more leads? Dive into our expert tips on real estate prospecting.
1. Close: A CRM for Small Businesses and SaaS Companies
Cost: Paid plans start at $99/per month, billed annually (includes 3 users)
Small businesses and SaaS companies need a CRM that can handle their unique sales processes.
For example, a typical sales cycle for many B2B SaaS companies looks something like this:
- Capture a new lead
- Qualify the lead
- Nurture them to get a demo scheduled
- Give a demo
- Set up the contract
- Send an invoice
- Close the deal
Not every CRM can meet all these needs, but Close can. Our CRM comes with powerful features like automated lead scoring, email automation, sales forecasting, and more.
These features help small businesses and SaaS companies like yours manage their entire sales process in one unified system and save time.
Moreover, Close integrates seamlessly with other popular sales and marketing tools, like Zoom, Calendly, Slack, and so on. So, if you're looking for a powerful CRM that can help you optimize your sales process, give Close a try.
- An all-in-one pipeline management platform
- Easy onboarding for large sales teams
- Single sign-on (SSO) functionality
- Integrated cold calling, emailing, and SMS systems
- Rapid customer support (according to several users)
- iOS app available: Close offers a mobile app for iOS, allowing you to manage your sales process on the go. This feature is especially beneficial for small businesses and SaaS companies that require flexibility and accessibility in their CRM solution.
- Workflows: Users can build unique sales workflows using Smart Views, Email Workflows, and Dialers, simplifying processes like email outreach, calling cadence, and social media engagement.
- Not suitable for non-SMBs
2. Salesforce: Software for Marketing, Sales, Commerce, Service, and IT
Cost: $30 to $300 per user/per month
Trial? 30-day free trial available
If you've been in the sales environment for a while, you've probably heard of Salesforce. It is one of the most popular CRM and sales automation tools in the world.
Its customer 360 platform helps organizations build stronger customer relationships, while its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud tools help organizations manage customer data, sales processes, and customer service. So if all of that fits your current needs, Salesforce is the right tool for you.
Although it is best for large, well-established businesses due to its comprehensive and powerful features, it can also be quite expensive. Therefore, it is important to keep your budget in mind when considering this tool.
- The user interface can be improved and modernized
- Low learning curve as many reps are familiar with the platform
- Easily create filters based on your team’s needs
- Less need for integrations as it has several built-in features
- Use modules to customize almost anything
- Some advanced modules attract extra charges
- Not one of the easiest CRMs to use if you're not familiar with the platform
3. HubSpot: Software for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service
Cost: Paid plans start at $30 per user/per month (up to $500 per month/user)
Trial? 14-day free trial
HubSpot is a household name in not only sales but also marketing. It's an all-in-one platform that helps you attract leads, convert them into customers, and nurture them with personalized service.
So it's a great option if you're looking for a sales platform that houses those three functions. This also means you won't need to spend extra to integrate different third-party tools because almost everything you need is in one place. It also comes with a Google Chrome extension that lets you fully integrate your HubSpot CRM with Gmail and perform CRM activities right from your inbox.
HubSpot also comes with playbooks, which are guided workflows to help your team execute sales processes quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful if you're a sales manager and need to onboard and train reps quickly.
- Easy-to-use intuitive interface
- Excellent task sequencing capabilities
- Lots of training and product support resources
- Seamlessly use integrations almost like they're built-in
- Access to HubSpot's community of users
- Some activities take a bit of time to sync
- So many features and tools in one platform can feel daunting sometimes
4. Leadfeeder: B2B Lead Generation & Sales Intelligence Software
Cost: Starts at $199 for 3 seats
Trial? 14-day free trial
If you've ever wondered who's been visiting your website and how you can turn them into leads, Leadfeeder might be the tool for you.
It helps you identify, qualify, and nurture leads through its AI-powered lead intelligence software.
And because it's integrated with analytics platforms like Google Analytics, you can also track important sales performance metrics like which paid or organic keywords bring high-quality leads to your site, PPC costs, session duration, and so on.
This way, your reps are armed with so much relevant data that they can easily personalize sales campaigns and increase lead conversion rates.
- Catch high-intent leads with granular B2B data
- See if your marketing campaigns are attracting ideal buyers
- Qualify leads based on their activities on the website
- Easy integration with other sales, marketing automation, and analytics tools
- Free plan available for up to 100 identified website visitors
- Only detects IP addresses (instead of company names) sometimes
- Price is relatively on the high side for small businesses
5. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Sales Prospecting Software
Cost: Starts at $99 per month
Trial? Free 30-day trial
If you're looking for a tool to help your reps find ideal customers using advanced search criteria, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great option.
You can identify potential customers by using advanced search filters like job titles, companies, industries, or locations. Plus, you can even save searches and create lead lists to help your team quickly find prospects who fit their criteria.
One other smart feature—Sales Navigator allows you to see who from your company or LinkedIn network is connected to a prospect, so your team can reach out with more context and create warm introductions with decision-makers.
- Identify the right prospects quickly with advanced search filters
- Sends alerts and notifications to stay up to date with prospects
- Access to millions of accurate business profiles
- Flexible pricing options for teams of all sizes
- Access to data on almost any type of business or professional
- Last names of decision-makers aren't always visible
- Even though sales navigator is integrated with LinkedIn, it's still a separate platform, which may take time to get used to.
Want a competitive edge in lead generation? Explore our guide to generating leads with LinkedIn.
6. Clearbit: Sales Data Enrichment Software
Cost: Based on database size, number of contacts, etc. Contact for pricing.
Trial? Free (limited) tools, but no free trial.
Clearbit is a powerful sales data enrichment software that helps you get accurate information about your leads quickly.
It pulls in data from over 250 different sources and updates them regularly. But the real power of this tool is how it makes sure all the data in your day-to-day sales tools stay updated. It integrates with your sales tools and automatically updates them with new, accurate customer information.
Clearbit also recently released a new feature called "Reveal," which helps you identify potential buyers visiting your website, how long they were there for, which pages they visited, how many times they visited, and so on.
All these insights help your sales team create personalized outbound sales campaigns.
- Get accurate data from over 250 sources & millions of data points
- Segment leads using filters like company size and industry
- Quick customer or lead data update as soon as they enter your CRM
- Highly accurate contact email finder
- Powerful free tools if you're not ready to use the paid version
- Pricing info isn't publicly available
- A few instances where data is outdated
7. Seismic: Sales Enablement Software
Cost: Contact for pricing.
Ever felt like your sales team has a hard time keeping up with the latest product updates, pricing changes, and competitive insights? Seismic can help.
It's a sales enablement platform that helps your team create, find, and use sales materials in one central location.
You can easily upload all your content—presentations, sales decks, product brochures—and access them anytime. And with Seismic's powerful search feature, every rep can quickly search for the content they need without wasting time looking for it.
The platform's analytics also helps you track how your team is using the sales materials, so you can measure its success and make data-driven decisions.
- Real-time updates of content & materials globally
- Automated notifications when new content is available
- LiveSend functionality allows reps to send personalized content and see how recipients are engaging with it
- Measure sales reps' performance using powerful analytics features
- Easily search for content using powerful filters
- Sharing folders and large files can be a problem
- Advanced search can be challenging if you don't know the right keywords to use
8. Outreach: Sales Execution Platform
Cost: Contact for pricing.
Outreach is a powerful sales engagement and execution product that helps you plan sales campaigns and run them quickly and efficiently..
With its intuitive drag-and-drop automation builder, you can easily set up automated sequences and track their performance. Outreach also provides detailed analytics on each campaign, so you can measure its success and make data-driven decisions.
It integrates with popular CRMs like Close, Salesforce, and Hubspot, as well as other tools like Clearbit, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and more—allowing you to store and access customer data quickly.
Outreach also comes with a range of powerful features like customizable email templates, auto-follow-up reminders, and AI-powered insights that help reps make the most of their outreach campaigns.
- Simple drag-and-drop automation builder
- Detailed analytics to measure campaign performance
- Integration with popular CRMs and other tools
- Create customizable email templates
- Auto-follow-up reminders
- Duplication of contacts often occur
- Multiple users say UI needs improvement
Use Only Sales Tools That Matter
The right sales tools provide powerful benefits—from helping you source accurate customer data, to enabling your team to collaborate more effectively, to keeping them focused on their targets, and helping them close more deals.
But with so many options, it's important to choose the right tools specific to your business needs so you don't end up wasting time and money on tools that don't impact your bottom line.
Here are a few questions to ask your team when deciding on the right sales toolset:
- What are our biggest challenges?
- Which tools do we need to solve them?
- How much do the tools cost?
- What features do they offer that would benefit our team?
- Are there any free or trial options to test them out first?
Once you've identified the right set of sales tools, your team’s tech stack will be in a better position to maximize sales, increase productivity, and drive more revenue.