23 Best Sales Tools in 2023: CRM, Automation, Outreach & More

23 Best Sales Tools in 2023: CRM, Automation, Outreach & More

Here’s what an average day at work for sales professionals looks like:

Sending follow up emails, browsing social media accounts of leads, performing data entry and other administrative work, etc.

But wait.

What about pitching prospects and closing deals?

Well, if you’re like most sales reps, only one-third of your day is actually spent on selling to prospects. Ouch!

Before you ask — YES, there’s a more effective and efficient way to manage your sales pipeline.

You just need to integrate relevant sales tools into your sales process. They can automate tedious manual tasks, ensure your sales workflows run smoothly, and improve your relationships with prospects.

In this article, we will list tools across various sales software categories to streamline different aspects of your sales cycles. Let’s start with the basics.

What are Sales Tools?

Sales tools are a group of software and technologies that offer automation and help salespeople streamline tasks. The most basic tool is a sales CRM to manage client relationships and provide sales intelligence based on customer interactions. But each part of your sales process — from lead generation to qualification to closing deals — can use tools.

Sales teams can now function remotely and succeed thanks to sales CRM built for global teams. For instance, Close can handle the following sales tasks to power your outreach efforts:

  • It lets sales representatives email, call, and text prospects from a single platform,
  • It comes with email automation features for personalizing your messages,
  • There’s a predictive dialer that can dial multiple numbers and connect sales reps only when there’s a human answering a call.
What are Sales Tools?
  • Further, sales managers can use the CRM to monitor their KPIs and the overall health of their sales pipelines.
What are Sales Tools?

Benefits of Using Sales Tools

Today, sales teams can access customer data about every touchpoint in the sales funnel. But how can sales reps leverage it to improve their sales strategies? That’s where sales technology can help to streamline your workflow and automate tedious tasks.

Here are the top benefits of integrating sales tools in your sales pipeline:

  • Prioritize important leads: If you can implement a lead scoring system, your sales team can spend more time with high-value leads. Further, the low-priority leads can go through an automated (self-service) sales process.

At Close, we’ve created this kind of qualification process with tools such as Zapier and ConvertFlow. This keeps our small sales team focused on leads that actually have the intent to buy.

Benefits of Using Sales Tools
  • Monitor sales processes and improve your sales productivity: How much time are the reps spending on actually selling? Sales management software can help sales leaders monitor the important KPIs for their teams. Further, with tools such as power dialers, sales reps can double their outbound call volume.
  • Stay in touch with multiple leads at once: Email automation lets you send personalized emails at scale to your prospects. Sales CRM tools come with email sequences, automated follow-ups, and other features to build better relationships with prospects and clients.
Benefits of Using Sales Tools

In the next section, let’s look at a vetted list of sales tools you can consider integrating into your workflows.

23 Best Sales Tools for Sales Reps & Managers by Category

High-performing companies are two times as likely as underperforming companies to describe their sales processes as automated. But with the plethora of tools in the market, how do you determine your ideal sales stack?

Below are a few chosen sales tools serving different functionalities in the sales process. You can integrate them based on your needs to shorten your sales cycle, save time, and close more deals. Let’s begin with the most common category.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

When you talk about sales tech, CRM software is the default tool that comes to the mind of salespeople. This tool alone is sufficient for performing sales operations and managing customer relationships effectively. Or at least, the CRM tool is the primary software where most sales reps and leaders will spend their work day.

Here are the top sales CRMs:

1. Close

Lead Page in Close

For SMB sales teams, Close excels as an all-in-one platform that lets you call, email, and text from a single place. It enables you to organize and filter through a large lead list quickly. Small business leaders love Close reports for their actionable insights on their sales pipeline health and individual sales rep's productivity.

Further, the learning curve and onboarding of new customers are smooth — given that Close has one of the fastest adoption rates as a CRM. It also caters to the specific needs of your sales process and integrates with a bunch of specialized software (that may already be a part of your day-to-day work).

Watch a free demo of the Close CRM, or start your 14-day free trial to test its features.

ACCESS YOUR FREE TRIAL →

2. HubSpot

Sales Tools Hubspot

Another market-leading CRM software that gives you real-time, visual insights on your sales activities is HubSpot. They have a user-friendly interface and probably the most generous free plan on the market. Its Sales Hub offers email templates, tracking, call recording, custom reporting dashboards, etc.

Overall, HubSpot is great for teams with 100+ sales professionals that rely heavily on its marketing software and make very few sales calls. As it offers scalable tools for your marketing, sales, customer service, content, and operations departments, your company can rely on it alone for customer relationship management. However, HubSpot has a couple of limitations:

  • It can have a learning curve, and you may have to pay for configuring the CRM to your needs
  • The pricing is complicated and rises steeply as you bundle multiple hubs

Explore our HubSpot vs. Close comparison to learn which software better suits your business needs. You can sync your Close data while still using specific components of HubSpot (such as its marketing platform) by using our CRM’s integration with HubSpot.

3. Pipedrive

Sales Tools Pipedrive

Another top web-based CRM focused on helping you visualize and manage your pipeline is Pipedrive. It has various features for automating sales tasks, synchronizing calls and emails, and creating an intuitive deal-driven workflow. Its mobile apps are an excellent addition for accessing your sales data on the go.

Its pricing is steep for its features and the tool can have a learning curve, though. Learn the difference between Close and Pipedrive to see which better suits your business needs.

Another leading CRM software that’s a fit for a large enterprise is Salesforce. It’s capable of handling everything that Close does, but you may need to pay a sales consultant to set it up.

Sales and Marketing Automation

An inside sales professional often has to perform data entry tasks resulting from their customer communications via calls, video conferencing, and emails. Automation of such tedious tasks can save a lot of their time. Close seamlessly syncs your emails, has an inbuilt calling feature, and is focused on improving your productivity.

However below are additional marketing automation tools you can consider to level up your sales processes.

4. Zapier

When you think about automating your lead management and customer communication, it’s hard to ignore Zapier. It can connect different tools and share data across your sales stack where direct integration is unavailable.

Without involving a developer, you can create ‘zaps’ to automate specific steps in your workflow. For instance, you can subscribe or pause an email sequence for a user based on predefined triggers, track lead custom field changes, etc.

Start automating Close with Zapier.

5. Process Street

Sales Tools Process Street

Want to ensure that your sales department follows a uniform process for every incoming lead? Process Street is a great tool for documenting your team's knowledge and ensuring consistency. It’s an SOP software that lets you create checklists and manage your recurring workflows.

You can use it to create checklists for specific tasks such as qualifying leads, onboarding new clients, etc. Its integration with Close can also bring the checklist data back into Close.

6. ActiveCampaign

Sales Tools ActiveCampaign

Marketing teams that are serious about nurturing leads through email love ActiveCampaign. It has templates for automating your marketing, managing lists and contacts, and even deals if you use their CRM software.

You can use the tool to send various types of emails, such as autoresponders, newsletters, triggered messages based on visitor action, etc. Where it stands out, though, is its 500+ automation recipes across different functions.

With its Close integration, every new contact in Close can become a subscriber in ActiveCampaign. Or vice-versa.

Email Management

A top CRM tool syncs sales emails from different clients, has inbuilt email templates, comes with email automation features, etc. (Of course, I’m talking about Close!) However, if your company is deep into email marketing, here are additional email management tools you can add to your workflow.

7. QuickMail

Sales Tools QuickMail

Cold emails often suffer the fate of low delivery rates. There are ways to improve your open rates, but QuickMail ensures that your emails don’t go to the spam folder. It comes with a free auto-warmer to boost the sender's reputation.

You can also scale your email marketing campaigns by adding inboxes, personalizing and A/B testing your messages, automating follow-ups, etc. What’s more? With QuickMail’s Close integration, you can sync your interactions and data seamlessly with Close.

8. Email Analytics

Sales Tools EmailAnalytics

Once you connect your email with EmailAnalytics and add your team members — which is as simple as logging into your Gmail or Outlook account — it starts email tracking in the background. It can help you visualize your team’s email activity and monitor KPIs such as:

  • Average email response times
  • Emails sent
  • Email activity by the hour of the day and the week

The resulting team’s email insights can reveal your top performers and help you improve your response times.

Sales Productivity

Close is built to increase every individual rep’s output and help your sales team increase productivity. Managers can track and compare important sales activities inside it, such as cold calls, opportunities, the number of sent and received emails, etc.

Activity Comparison in Close

Alongside leveraging our sales automation and CRM features, here are some additional sales productivity tools to assist your team:

9. SavvyCal

Sales Tools SavvyCal

By embedding SavvyCal directly into your website, you can let your prospects schedule meetings with your team. Its interface is intuitive, and lets schedulers overlay their calendars on top of yours. The booking software can also automate round-robin lead distribution and shows the collective availability of your team members to recipients.

You can set your preferred times to meet and create time blocks to control your availability. Best of all, SavvyCal integrates with Close and can update your Close contacts when a prospect books a meeting with your team.

Close and SavvyCal Integration

Close also has a Meeting Sync feature to streamline tracking your meetings. It auto-synchronizes with your Google Calendar and logs all of your past and future meetings with a lead.

10. Zoom

Sales Tools Zoom

Close has always been a remote company, but remote selling picked up steam during the pandemic. Video is now an integral part of the sales funnel, and Zoom makes video conferencing with prospects a breeze. It’s the default platform to get more face time with prospects, and our native Zoom integration lets you take calls in Close itself.

11. Better Proposals

Sales Productivity Tools Better Proposals

Want to easily create, manage, and send beautiful proposals to your prospects? Better Proposals is a great platform with 200+ templates for crafting persuasive proposals. It has an easy-to-use proposal editor to customize the customer experience and keep it on brand.

It also comes with a legally binding e-signature to speed up your sales process. You also get notifications when the prospect opens, clicks, prints, or signs on the proposal. What’s more? With Better Proposals CRM Integration, you can create and track documents from Lead Information within Close.

Along with activities like cold calls made, emails sent, opportunities created, etc. you can also consider time tracking for sales productivity. Toggl is a great tool for evaluating how much of your time is actually spent on selling activities vs. other tasks.

Sales Enablement

Providing your sales team with the necessary training, education, and content to close more deals can directly impact your bottom line. Here are a few sales enablement tools you can add to your stack to implement it effectively in your sales team:

12. Highspot

Sales Tools Highspot

Want to equip your sales team with relevant content to engage prospects, then train & coach your reps to leverage it? Highspot combines these with its AI-based sales enablement technology.

Your reps will get the right content for pushing prospects through the pipeline at the click of a button. Further, once you execute your initiatives with the tool, it can analyze how your prospects are responding and demonstrate the value of your enablement.

13. Showpad

Showpad Sales Tool

Showpad is useful for sales teams in two major ways. Managers can use it for training and coaching. They can deliver bite-sized learning experiences based on different parts of their sales process and evaluate their team with quizzes.

Also, its AI-powered recommendations can surface the right content from your entire content library in an instant for sales reps. You can also evaluate the effectiveness of different pieces in closing deals.

Customer Success

Sales-driven customer success is essential for sustainable business growth. Here are some tools to create more happy customers:

14. Catalyst

Sales Tools Catalyst

Catalyst is a customer success platform with automated workflows to retain and upsell to your existing customers. With its customer health profile feature, you can proactively identify churn risks and take appropriate actions.

Its customer insights can provide the necessary context to sales teams for closing more deals and even make the sales to CS handoff process effortless.

15. GetHarold

GetHarold pulls your prospect data from leading CRMs, then lets you monitor and search for it from Slack. For instance, you can search Close for leads, contacts, and opportunities from Slack via the GetHarold integration.

You can also get notifications on deal changes and celebrate the wins in Slack itself. This is a cool tool for teams that spend a lot of time on Slack anyway.

16. Zendesk

Sales Tools Zendesk

One of the most popular help desk software, Zendesk, provides a multi-channel ticketing system for offering customer support. It can act as the central hub for tackling your customer questions and issues submitted via email, social media, chat, voice, etc.

Built on the open Sunshine platform, it offers you a lot of flexibility and customization options. Also, its Close integration helps you log your important customer communication in Close.

Sales Tools Zendesk + Close

Sales Analytics

Sales needs to be data-driven, but the world of sales metrics can be quite confusing. How do you make sense of the massive amount of customer data? Which metrics should you track?

Any CRM worth its salt will provide built-in reports to monitor important KPIs, perform accurate sales forecasts, and derive actionable insights. With Close sales analytics features, you can monitor your pipeline health, get real-time leaderboards on the performance of your sales reps, etc.

Close Activity Overview

But you can consider adding the analytics tools below into the mix for specific use cases.

17. Google Sheets

Sales Tools Google Sheets

A growing startup typically relies on post-its & sticky notes and dry-erase boards. Once you start getting more leads than you can handle this way, the next organizational step is a spreadsheet CRM. Google Sheets is a cloud-based app, and it’s perfect for customer relationship management.

If your team uses Gmail, they can seamlessly collaborate using Sheets. You’ll find dashboard templates for lead generation, revenue growth, etc. And even integrate Sheets with other tools or export its data for further sales analysis.

Soon enough, sheets may not be sufficient for your team. Beware of the warning signs of a CRM spreadsheet so that you’re prepared to make a move to CRM software.

18. Gong

Sales Tools Gong

While folks declare cold calling dead, it continues to drive significant revenue in B2B sales settings. Gong provides conversation intelligence to sales teams so that you convert more of your pipeline into revenue.

Its audio analysis tools give sales managers full context of the customer interactions of sales reps. It can include:

  • the top questions your prospects are asking,
  • how they react to different opening lines,
  • the time the reps spend on subjects such as pricing, competitors, etc.

Gong integrates with Close letting you get text transcripts of your calls, analyze them, and even tag specific portions of the call to review later.

Sales Prospecting

The whole foundation of a sales funnel is based on sales prospecting to find new and qualified potential buyers. Gathering information on your prospects and streamlining this process with prospecting tools can make your job easier and quicker. Here are the top options you can consider adding to your sales process:

19. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

If you’re using LinkedIn for prospecting, its Sales Navigator is a great platform to track your lead activities. You can save lead lists based on your chosen criterion and get notifications at your desired frequency about your prospects.

The tool’s most popular feature, though, is probably its search filters for people and companies that let you discover new leads.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tool

You can consider adding the Wiza Chrome extension on the top of LinkedIn to get the contact info of your leads at scale. You can also add leads from your LinkedIn marketing campaigns to your Close sales pipeline via a Zapier integration.

20. LeadFuze

LeadFuze Sales Tool

Once you have narrowed down your target market, LeadFuze can further improve your lead generation efforts based on your criteria, such as job title, location, etc. After searching in its database of over 300M+ people, this tool returns the contact information for your leads, including their emails, phone numbers, etc.

Once you have found this info, the Close integration with LeadFuze lets you automatically add any online profile as a lead in Close.

21. Detective.io

Sales Tool Detective.io

Manually going through the social media profiles of your prospects to find personalized insights before your meetings is cumbersome. Detective.io can research people you are meeting with and provide a one-page brief with relevant insights on them and their companies.

The tool lets you become strategic in your sales prospecting outreach without spending hours researching your prospects.

Sales Engagement

Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) are technologies that help sellers effectively engage with prospects and customers. They go beyond automating your manual tasks, setting up sequences, etc. You can imagine a SEP to be a comprehensive platform with all the necessary tools important to close deals.

Close is a robust sales CRM that qualifies most needs of digital sellers through its system of tools or integrations with other software. But let’s look at two sales engagement tools you can consider:

22. Salesloft

Sales Tool Salesloft

A market leader in the SEP category, Salesloft is a comprehensive tool for enterprise companies. They have a suite of products for every stage of the buyer’s journey:

  • Cadence + Automation for pipeline generation, lead nurturing, and customer renewals
  • Dialer + Messenger for seamless sales calling and texting
  • Deals for managing sales performance and forecasting with greater accuracy
  • Conversations for call tracking, coaching, and evaluating the impact of sales conversations
  • Analytics + Reporting for understanding your revenue team’s productivity

Besides being expensive and requiring paid add-ons for features like email automation, Salesloft can involve a steep learning curve. There are free pre-recorded videos to get you started, but customized training and implementation for your team require additional purchases.

You can read our breakdown of Close vs. Salesloft if you’re considering buying one of these two platforms.

23. Outreach

Sales Tools Outreach

A self-proclaimed sales execution platform, Outreach can offer significant sales intelligence — specifically for a B2B sales setting. It applies machine learning on top of its B2B buyer-seller interaction data to provide revenue intelligence. Its email tools are also a hit with sales reps for automating and managing their sales outreach.

The tool, though, is best suited for enterprise-level sales reporting and insights. Outreach is often compared with Close, but they have different use cases. Close offers better value-for-money pricing plans and is better suited for small & medium businesses.

Are You Using the Best Sales Tools & Apps for 2023?

For tech-enabled sales teams, digital sales tools can significantly increase productivity and the company’s profitability. The list of the above software is a great starting point for automating different steps in your sales operations and improving your team’s performance.

Ultimately, you need to build a custom toolbox around your sales process to make your team more efficient and enable them to close more deals.

Close lets you manage the entire outbound sales process. It’s an all-in-one CRM tool that saves time for sales representatives by automating data entry and tedious tasks — letting them focus more on selling. Sales leaders also love the actionable insights from our sales reports.

Sales reps at Surf For Brands were focused on SaaS startup sales, and they loved using the templates and other Close features for account management. Customer.io automated the early stages of their sales process using it.

That’s not all. Our streamlined reporting has also impressed sales leaders. Here’s how Andy Flowe, Head of Operations at Boardworks, described his experience:

“In my past CRMs, I had to export the data into a spreadsheet to get the reports I needed. It was unnecessary manual work. Close’s reporting features are the opposite of that experience—they streamline our daily sales reporting processes, save us a TON of time and money, and help us motivate our teams.”

Sign up for a free 14-day Close trial to test these features and enhance the productivity of your team. You can also watch the Close demo to see the product in action.