The 20 Best Sales Productivity Tools for Startups in 2023
Sales leaders expect more from their teams in 2023.
AI is changing how we prospect. Predictive analysis can tell us what to say on sales calls. Chatbots are qualifying leads, so we don't have to. But with all of this tech, there's only one thing separating a winning deal and a lost prospect—a sales rep's human ability to sell.
The most successful leaders will find a way to pick the right sales productivity tools and integrate them into their sales process to take care of the boring stuff like data input or lead generation. But when it comes to closing, these tools will book the meetings and handle the contracts—but your reps are still the ones that seal the deal.
In this article, we'll talk about how sales has changed thanks to productivity tools and share our top picks to help you build a tech stack that still lets your team sell like a human. Let's get started!
What Are Sales Productivity Tools?
Sales productivity tools are software and apps that help salespeople maximize their efficiency and selling efforts to close more deals.
Now, sales productivity tools is a broad term, and there are a whole bunch of different tools that fall under it. Some sales productivity tools are designed to streamline workflows and automate tasks like data input, while others make it easier to talk to leads or get contracts signed.
So, why are these tools so important? 🤔
Here's a stat that will make most founders' blood boil: Sales reps spend just 35 percent of their days selling stuff. The rest of it? Well, it's sucked up by other tasks like emails, booking meetings, and even boring administrative tasks.
The right sales productivity tool(s) can take all this off your team's plate. It can automate repetitive tasks, help with pipeline management, and even give leads scores so sales reps know who they should be following up with. Letting tools take care of this work frees up your sales team's calendar to follow up with prospects and make sure no leads or opportunities fall through the cracks.
Remember, these tools all have one goal in common—to empower sales teams to work smarter, close deals faster, and hit their targets.
20 Best Sales Productivity Tools by Category
We've gathered our favorite sales productivity tools, from CRMs to scheduling apps and lead generation software, to give you an idea of where to start building out your stack.
Top Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems to Close More Deals
Whether it's automating follow-ups or keeping customer records accurate, using CRM software is one of the easiest ways to make your sales team more productive.
With so many sales CRMs around, we've narrowed it down to a top three👇
Note: Budget limitations shouldn't hinder CRM access. Discover how to create a self-management-focused CRM with our informative guide.
Of course, we had to put ourselves in top place. After all, our CRM is made by salespeople for salespeople. We know what sales reps need help with and which tasks they need taken care of so they spend more time with prospects to close deals.
Inside Close, sales teams can automate lead outreach and nurturing, create advanced sales sequences, automate follow-ups, and manage prospects in a single dashboard. It also handles deal tracking and pipeline analysis so every rep knows what is happening with every deal at all times. To ensure your sales team stays productive, they can connect with leads from inside Close, log calls, and get automated reminders about meetings and follow-ups.
It's all there under one roof, so no lead will ever slip through the cracks again.
Best Close Features
- Save time figuring out which leads to spend your time on with Close's pipeline views. Each prospect in your funnel is tracked by status, source, or deal viability
- Follow up with every lead with automated email sequences, call reminders, and real-time notifications
- Sync your calendar, keep call logs, and even dial multiple prospects at once using the power dialer—all under one roof
Close plans start at $99/month for three users
Mention sales productivity tools to anyone in the industry, and there's a pretty good chance Salesforce will come up in conversation.
It's one of the most popular CRM platforms in the game and is used by a ton of Enterprise companies to connect with and nurture customers. Sure, the dashboard is a little old school compared to some of the other CRMs on our list, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for once you lift the hood. Inside, you'll find powerful productivity tools like lead management, opportunity tracking, custom workflows, and advanced sales forecasting.
Best Salesforce Features
- Sales teams can create custom fields, workflows, and reports to suit their strategy and leads
- The platform has built-in AI that uses datasets and machine learning to give sales reps insight and predictions into which leads are more likely to convert
- Fits easily into existing tech stacks thanks to extensive integrations with popular sales tools
Plans start at $25/user/month
The next CRM tool on our list is HubSpot.
Although it's essentially a CRM built for marketing automation instead of sales, it still has enough comprehensive features to make it a solid choice. Inside the tool, you can nurture prospect relationships, organize contacts, track sales interactions, and automate tasks like email follow-ups.
It also has a decent analytics dashboard so you can see where your prospects are coming from and how long your average sales cycle is!
Best HubSpot Features
- Sales-ready email templates that can be added to automated sequences and tweaked to your needs
- Keep notes for every prospect so every SDR can stay in the loop with where a deal is at
- Schedule sales meetings straight from the HubSpot dashboard
Limited free plan available. Paid plans start at $45/user/month
If you LOVE the look of HubSpot for marketing and want all of the sales features that come with Close… Why not join forces? Check out our native Close + HubSpot integration.
Best Sales Communication and Collaboration Tools
The backbone of any deal is effective communication.
Using the right communication and collaboration tools can not only speed up the sales cycle but also build trust with the prospect along the way. Here are our four top picks 👇
Zoom is more than just a powerful video conferencing tool to host meetings and demos with prospects.
The company has invested in AI to help sales professionals connect with leads. Sales teams can now analyze interactions with prospects to learn what makes them tick, thanks to Zoom's new customer intelligence software. These insights, like what questions to ask or how long a sales rep spends talking, can help improve your next meeting with a prospect and make it more productive.
Zoom Best Features
- Host virtual meetings, webinars, and demos with prospects from anywhere in the world
- Easy-to-use interface with high-quality video and audio functionality
- AI integrations to help sales reps learn what strategies work best with prospects
Free plan available. Paid plans start at $14.99/month/user
Picture this: every lead in your pipeline has already been qualified, nurtured, and is halfway down your sales funnel.
With Drift, it's possible. The chatbot uses sales playbooks and automated conversations to qualify leads based on the custom criteria you set. Once they are qualified, Drift can link to a rep's calendar and find a slot, book a meeting, and send a notification to let them know.
A qualified prospect is now ready for a demo, and it's all done on autopilot, thanks to Drift.
Best Drift Features
- Engage with every website visitor and qualify suitable leads in real-time
- Customize out-of-the-box sequences or playbooks to meet your qualification criteria so every prospect is a good product fit
- Drift automatically remembers previous website visitors and picks up where the conversation left off to build trust
It's not cheap. Drift plans start at $2500/month.
Miro markets itself as a digital whiteboard for team planning, but if you dig a little deeper, it's clear the tool has so much more to it than that.
Sales teams can use Miro to create pipeline roadmaps, share interactive whiteboards, and brainstorm sales cycle improvements. It can also get your team on the same page regarding efforts like sales processes and quarterly goals.
Miro Best Features
- Pre-made templates for sales meetings like standups, retrospectives, and huddles
- Map out key processes and strategies in a virtual meeting (ideal for remote teams!)
- Use it to create lively interactive client pitches and ditch the Powerpoint presentation
Free plan available. Paid plans start at $8/person/month.
Asana is a project management tool that allows remote teams to track tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate.
The board feature works like a sales funnel. When a task is completed, it moves down the funnel and helps everyone see what the next steps are. If you are moving a prospect down the pipeline, they will get moved from stages like demo or contract sent to onboarding— and you can keep track of it in real time.
We actually use Asana at Close to power a lot of stuff, including our content machine that drives lead generation and helps our sales team find prospects. Each task has deadlines, deliverables, and notes attached to it. And team members who are responsible for these are tagged to get updates. It's a simple way to keep our entire content production team on track!
Asana Best Features
- Assign SDRs tasks and deadlines for deals and prospects
- Automate tasks like sales handoffs once a deal reaches a certain stage in the pipeline
- Use custom fields like deal size and close dates to keep track of important deals in your pipeline
Free plan available. Paid plans start at $10.99/user/month.
Top Sales Analytics Tools
The right sales analytics tools can make all the difference for sales management who want to spot what their teams are getting right—and wrong.
Here are three platforms we recommend 👇
Fathom uses in-depth analysis to turn complex sales metrics and customer data into easy-to-understand visuals.
Sales leaders can keep an eye on key metrics like conversion rates, sales pipeline, and revenue growth in real time. It can also track other metrics like commissions, expenses, and sales forecasts to help you make smarter decisions with your budgets.
Fathom Best Features
- Use one of the ready-made report templates to track metrics instantly
- 90+ customizable charts to visualize your metrics
- Schedule fresh reports to be created whenever you need them
Plans start at $39/month
Uncover the link between CRM and revenue growth in our in-depth article.
Gong is an AI-powered sales analytics platform that helps close more deals using sentiment analysis.
The concept is simple: Gong automatically records your team's sales calls and meetings, analyzes them, and then gives you valuable insights to improve their performance. It can also tap into your team's overall sales efficiency by tracking everything from pipeline health to win/loss rates.
Gong Best Features
- AI tracks topics discussed in a phone call and analyzes any questions asked to predict future dynamics with the prospect
- Predict future revenue using Gong's sales forecasts
- The tool coaches reps and gives them pointers on how to approach their next sales call
It's a bit hush-hush. You must contact Gong's sales team to get a custom quote
Clari is another sales analytics tool that uses AI and automation to give you real-time insights into your team's sales efforts.
It tracks sales forecasts, pipeline health, and deal execution from any tool you plug into it. Clari then uses this data to pinpoint which leads you should target, identify deals that are at risk, and make more accurate revenue forecasts.
Clari Best Features
- Detailed view of your entire pipeline through intuitive dashboards
- Sales activities and deals are tracked in real-time
- Track each sales rep's movements to measure individual productivity
No public pricing is available—contact Clari for a custom quote
Top Sales Automation Tools
Sales productivity largely hinges on how many tasks you can handball over to the right platform to automate. And you can automate a lot—from following up with a prospect to sending out a proposal once a deal hits a certain stage, here are three sales automation tools we swear by 👇
Zapier is one of the most powerful tools to land on the sales productivity scene in the last decade.
It connects your tech stack and helps your tools talk to each other. Using Zapier, you can easily integrate your CRM, email marketing tool, and other sales software and then set up "zaps" to automate custom actions. This can be anything from lead generation to follow-up emails, custom pipeline actions, and data tracking.
Again, our sales team actually uses this tool. Our Director of Sales Nick Persico walks through it all here.
Zapier Best Features
- Instantly obtain new prospect information and send it to your chosen sales tool
- Automatically route leads to certain sales pipelines or individual SDRs to follow up with
- Integrate your email marketing platform with Zapier and put prospect nurturing on autopilot
Forever free plan available. Paid plans start at $19.99/month
Mailshake automates email outreach campaigns and helps sales teams engage with promising leads.
Inside the platform, you can build personalized email templates and customize follow-up sequences to connect with more prospects. But the tool goes a step further than that. Thanks to advanced features like A/B testing and analytics, it's possible to track every email and see what your prospects respond to.
Mailshake Best Features
- Reach out to prospects with bulk email campaigns
- Customize email send times depending on where your prospects live
- Built-in training to help onboard your sales team
Plans start at $58/user/month
13. Process Street
Process Street is part sales automation, part workflow management.
Use it to standardize your entire sales process and automate the boring bits to free up your sales team's calendar. Inside the platform, you can create checklist-based workflows for every sales task involved in a deal like sending out contracts or handing a new customer over to your customer success team. Not only does this keep sales cycles on track, it ensures none of the important stuff falls through the crack.
Process Street Best Features
- Easy-to-use interface with a minimal learning curve
- Automate approvals and route deals based on conditional logic
- Use AI to generate tasks and workflows
Plans start at $100/month for startups
Best Sales Scheduling Tools
These tools need no introduction—they make it easier to book a slot on your calendar to make meetings more efficient and close more deals.
Here are some of the sales scheduling tools you should try 👇
Calendly cuts out the painful email back-and-forths with a client when you are trying to find a suitable meeting or demo slot on their calendar.
Just customize the calendar to show your availability, and prospects can choose a slot that suits them. It plugs into any existing calendars you use, like Google Calendar or Outlook, to make sure you don't get double-booked.
Best Calendly Features
- Save a lot of effort (and frustration) trying to find a suitable time to meet over email
- Sales professionals can create custom meeting types. Demos may block out 45 minutes on your cal, while initial conversations may only schedule a 15-minute chat
- Custom calendar link that's easy to add to email signatures and social media profiles
Limited free version available. Paid plans start at $8/user/month
Very similar to Calendly, SavvyCal is another scheduling tool that makes it easy to book a meeting with prospects.
Create personalized booking links to share with leads, add buffer times between meetings just in case you run late, and get a reminder about upcoming appointments with email notifications.
SavvyCal Best Features
- Easy to use. It looks and feels like a Google Calendar!
- Automated reminders so you never miss another meeting
- Create round-robin meetings so multiple sales reps can jump on a call or demo
Plans start at $12/user/month
16. Google Calendar
The OG of scheduling tools. Google Calendar is arguably the most popular platform to book meetings and schedule a sales rep's day.
It doesn't just create events on your calendar. You can integrate it into Google's other productivity tools, like Gmail and Meet, so when you book a meeting it automatically creates a video call link. Once a prospect accepts the meeting, it's added to your cal and you'll get an automated reminder before it starts. Easy!
Google Calendar Best Features
- Works well with Google Suite tools
- Automatically creates meeting links and blocks out appointment slots in your calendar
- Invite multiple people to the same meeting
Free for personal use. Google Workspace plans start at $6/month/user
Top Sales Prospecting and Lead Generation Tools
Sales productivity tools are like rocket fuel for lead generation and prospecting. They can scrape social media platforms, find prospects that fit your ICP, and even reach out to them automatically.
Here are two sales prospecting and lead generation tools worth investing in 👇
17. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Adding LinkedIn Sales Navigator to your sales toolkit is a no-brainer.
If a prospect is worth your time, there's a (pretty big) chance they have a LinkedIn profile. Thanks to LinkedIn Sales Navigator's advanced search filters, you can scrape thousands of profiles instantly to find leads that fit your ICP.
These prospects are then added to your sales funnel, and other productivity tools can follow up automatically.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Best Features
- Tweak advanced search filters depending on the prospects you want to target
- Send direct messages to leads instantly using InMail
- Create custom lists to save promising leads and then transfer them to your CRM
Sales Navigator requires a paid LinkedIn plan which starts at $79.99/month.
Want to supercharge your leads? Get started with LinkedIn lead generation.
Marketo is a super-powerful tool that teams can use to build, automate, and track lead-generation campaigns.
The tool is mainly targeted towards Enterprise-level companies, but if you have the budget—it's definitely worth a look. Alongside AI profiling, sales teams can use predictive analytics to send prospects the right content assets and speed up the sales cycle.
Best Marketo Features
- Account insights are powered by AI and intelligence
- Advanced lead segmentation to target prospects based on custom characteristics
- Detailed analytics and reports track prospecting campaigns
It's a secret—contact the Marketo sales folks for a custom quote ( 🤑)
Most Efficient Sales Documentation Tools
A lot of the time, prospects will want to look at a proposal or sign a contract remotely. Use these two sales documentation tools to make the process seamless 👇
DocuSign allows your sales team to create and send proposals, contracts and other important documents to prospects remotely. As the tool is cloud-based, once a contract is signed, each party will be sent a copy and then the documents are stored securely in the cloud for whenever you need them!
DocuSign Best Features
- Use pre-built templates to create professional contracts and proposals
- Converts PDFs into signable forms and automatically adds signer fields
- Add your real signature with the drawing feature
Plans start at $10/user/month
PandaDoc is another sales documentation tool that enables you to create professional-looking proposals and contracts and track their progress automatically.
This is why it's important for sales productivity tools to plug into your other tech stack like your CRM.
PandaDoc integrates into Close so our reps can create quotes and proposals to send straight to prospects from our dashboard. If the prospect wants to go ahead, we send them over a fresh contract and get their signature electronically. PandaDoc even tracks if they open the contract and alert us when they've put (digital) ink to paper.
Seriously, can it get any easier?
PandaDoc Best Features
- Prospects can sign documents remotely on any device using an e-signature
- Automated reminders to sign documents before they expire
- Create professional-looking proposals, contracts, and quotes with customizable templates
Free plan available. Paid plans start at $19/user/month
Key Features to Look for in a Sales Productivity Tool
Not all sales productivity tools are made the same. And with so many different options available, it can be hard to choose the right tool for your business.
Our advice? Start with a checklist that looks at features like how easy the tool is to use, scalability, integrations, customer support, and yes—cost. This checklist can get loooooong, and in our opinion, any sales productivity tool worth its salt will have a couple of non-negotiable features:
🔌 CRM Integration. A good sales productivity tool seamlessly integrates with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) system to keep data accurate. Not only will your sales team have access to up-to-date contact information like sales history and communication logs, but team leaders get a 10,000-foot view of every prospect in the pipeline.
📋 Task Management. Efficiency is the backbone of a team that wants to stay organized and focused. Look for a sales productivity tool with features like task tracking, scheduling, automated reminders, and deadlines. This keeps everyone accountable and makes it easier for them to stay on top of their daily to-do lists.
📞 Communication Tools. You need a way to talk to other team members, right? A decent sales productivity tool should include some kind of communication features like email or real-time messaging so you don't have to jump on a phone call or walk to their office to touch base.
📊 Reporting and Analytics. Data-driven and actionable insights are invaluable when you need to optimize your team's sales process and scale your business, contributing to sales performance management. Look for a tool that tracks metrics like sales performance and conversion rates, along with analyzing your pipeline to see how effective your SDRs are at driving growth.
When choosing a sales productivity tool, check these features off first. Then you can move on to the nice-to-haves, like scheduling, automation, and lead generation.
For those of you who've been in the sales game for a while, all of these tools will almost seem like cheating. Let's take a trip down memory lane to remind ourselves why swapping our Rolodexes for reporting tools and CRMs has been a game changer 👇
The Evolution of Sales Productivity Software
Yep—I just mentioned rolodexes. But we don't have to go that far back to see that the evolution in sales is closely tied to digital tech and the willingness of sales teams to give it a go in hopes of closing more deals.
The Traditional Approach to Sales
Remember the days of cold-calling numbers out of a phone book and shaking hands at networking events to book a meeting?
Looking back, the traditional approach to sales seems like such a huge lift. While these methods were effective (to some extent), they were time-consuming and limited us in how many prospects we could connect with. I mean, it was normal for a sales rep to spend hours scoping out prospects and nurturing leads manually, which left less time for actual selling.
Because all of this was done manually, it was also nearly impossible to track and analyze sales activities to see what was working and what wasn't. Which then made it really hard to tweak sales processes and improve workflows. All in all, traditional sales is a memory that goes hand-in-hand with missed opportunities and pretty shitty productivity.
Then, the sales world started to test the waters with sales productivity tools.
The Shift Toward Digital Sales Tools
Imagine telling a sales rep from the 90s that a piece of software could find them qualified leads or send out automated messages… And they wouldn't have to lift a finger.
Can you picture their reaction? 😂
But that's the reality of sales in 2023.
The evolution of sales productivity tools has undoubtedly transformed the sales landscape, enabling sales reps to work smarter and achieve better results. And the digital shift in our industry has been swift. The right tools can now automate pretty much anything data-related. They can follow up with leads, measure metrics, and even book meetings in our calendars.
One thing these tools can't do is talk to prospects and close deals like a human can. Technology can't replace the powerful persuasion techniques of a killer sales rep on a demo call. But if your sales reps use these tools to improve their daily selling efforts, you can get some pretty amazing results.
Close More Deals in 2023 with the Right Sales Productivity Tools
Adding sales productivity tools to your team's tech stack is no longer a luxury—it's necessary.
The way we sell has changed dramatically over the past decade, and for the better. Sales reps can now use tools like AI, remote document signing, and automated email workflows to nurture prospects, say the right things, and get contracts signed instantly.
Remember, you don't have to buy every productivity tool to feel the benefits. Just pick out a couple that will speed up your sales process and fit your budget—and get selling.
Want to see why Close is the best tool to improve sales productivity? Try it free for 14 days here.