Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

There’s a specific stage that all growing sales teams go through. They hit a point where their ambitious growth goals necessitate a rapid surge of lead generation, so they hire a swarm of outbound prospectors to help fill their pipeline. They train them (usually briefly), hand them a phone, and wait for the leads to come pouring in.

And wait.

Most often, these sales teams never get the influx of leads they’re expecting. It’s not because they hired the wrong reps, or that their product isn’t up to snuff. No, nine times out of ten, it’s because the sales leaders didn’t arm their new reps with the necessary sales prospecting tools for the job. These sales organizations learn the hard way that an outbound prospecting team is only as effective as the tools it uses to get the job done. And most outbound teams simply don’t have the sales prospecting tools they need.

Why aren’t sales leaders giving their prospectors the right sales prospecting tools? The short answer is because it’s hard. There are thousands of vendors out there, all vying for your company’s money. And it’s incredibly hard to discern which of these vendors are peddling snake oil, and which are offering genuine game-changers.

Well we know a lot about sales prospecting tools (and we’ve bought more than a few ourselves), so we thought we would make your lives a little easier by paring the list down to the essentials, and offer a brief description about why you should strongly consider them.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best and most current tools on the market, sorted by phone tools, email tools and social prospecting tools.

Find Out How to Build a Prospecting Team»

Phone Tools

The majority of an outbound lead gen rep’s day is spent on the phone, so it makes sense that the tools that help these reps make calls more efficiently can have an enormous impact on your team’s success. Utilize some of the following tools to optimize your team’s production:

InsideSales.com

Makes phone tools that automate the dialing process, helping your reps connect more quickly to the best leads. Allows your reps to each make 200-300 dials per day.

ConnectAndSell

Utilizes a network of “virtual assistants” who help your rep navigate complex phone networks and gatekeepers, allowing your SDRs to better use their time and connect with more decision makers every day. Used in tandem with specific tactics for getting past gatekeepers, this can help your reps drastically increase the number of times they actually get a hold of the person they’re after.

Five9

Makes cloud-based virtual call center software that enables your reps to easily and automatically connect with as many leads each day as possible.

Uptivity 

Allows sales managers to record their reps’ calls so they can provide better coaching opportunities and regularly monitor call quality.

Email Tools

The telephone may be the primary tool for lead gen reps, but email is not far behind. Your prospectors will rely on email to connect with and nurture leads. Here are a few tools that will allow your reps get the most out of the emails they send.

Hubspot Sidekick

Helps your prospectors engage leads by providing pertinent updates about when they open your emails, what links they click on and even when they update their LinkedIn profile.

Yesware

Provides essential information – open rates, click-throughs, etc. – about every email your reps send.

WiseStamp

Allows reps to customize their email signatures for different markets and prospects.

Vsnap

Allows SDRs to send short, easy-to-share videos to prospects, which helps them make a more personal connection and stand out from the field.

Xobni

“Inbox” spelled backwards, helps prospectors organize their address books and quickly view all the information they have about a specific prospect or company.

Social Prospecting

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have become valuable resources for prospectors looking to find pools of high-quality leads. Tapping into these resources can help your team quickly grow your pipeline, so it is essential that you know how to tap into this growing resource. Luckily, there are several tools that can help you do this.

SalesLoft

Lets you easily track leads across various social networks – like when one of them changes a job status on LinkedIn – and connect these with your CRM.

InsideView

Helps your reps better understand and reach out to their prospects through social networks and online profile consolidation.

Postwire

Allows reps to easily share documents, pictures and web links with prospects.

Rapportive

Helps reps better customize their emails by providing more context and social information about prospects.

Newsle

Notifies your reps any time someone in your network is in the news, which helps them build rapport with prospects.

WhoWorks.at

An easy way for prospectors to discover connections and learn about the contacts they’ve made.

 

Even when arming your reps with all of these great outbound prospecting tools, it is important to remember the adage, “A fool with a tool is still a fool.” It’s not enough to simply give them these tools and leave them to their own devices. Training on these tools and on prospecting best practices is still very necessary. But, give a well-trained and highly skilled rep these tools and you’ll see them do amazing things.
 

 

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Mike Baker
Mike Baker is the Content Strategy Manager at InsightSquared, where he helps distribute original eBooks, articles and guides about data-driven sales and marketing. He has a BA in English and Journalism from Oberlin College.
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Comments
  • Salessavvy

    Great article Mike. We’ve worked with a range of the tools you’ve mentioned. Our sales team has finally settled on the following combination (this decision has been made based on integration – ease of use, affordability and how well the applications can and do scale).

    1. Streak CRM. This is basically a CRM inside your gmail inbox. A top bit of kit and works extremely well as you do not need to navigate away into other applications.

    2. Found.ly. This works similar to Salesloft. It is currently on an invite only until July 2015 I believe but finds and builds targeted lists of leads including their email and contact details for our sales team to then profile and engage with. It’s an affordable per user fee also.

    3. Rapportive. As listed above this embeds into our sales reps gmail account and provides some additional insight into the prospect.

    As I mentioned, we’ve spent a while trialling and experimenting with various prospecting tools and or relationships these have with CRMs and the above three are a killer-combination for us.

    I hope the advice is of help to other viewers!

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