Behind every great sales organization, is a smart tech stack. Did you know nine out of 10 companies use at least two lead enrichment tools for prospecting, while Sales Development Reps employ between 5 - 6 tools to up their game?
It’s no secret that inside sales tools can make life easier and give you an edge over your competitors. But how do you choose the right ones for your sales team?
With nearly a thousand vendors offering various technology solutions to enhance every aspect of your sales process, it may seem overwhelming to formulate a winning sales stack. Not to worry because we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll cover the best tools for:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Sales intelligence
- Outbound lead generation
- Sales communication
- Sales reporting & analytics
- For finalizing the sale
Building your inside sales stack
Before building your stack, imagine you’re a bespoke tailor and are creating a custom set of inside sales tools to fit your workflow perfectly. Begin by making a list of your core business needs and then determine if you need simpler tools to automate tasks like scheduling meetings, or a suite of integrated tools to take you to the next level.
Your final design should reflect your formal sales process and be built around your inside sales reps’ workflow. It should also include opportunities to track data in order to optimize your funnel.
A word of caution:
It does not make sense to invest in multiple tools with overlapping functionality. Choose carefully and remember that fewer tools can actually lead to a simpler and more efficient workflow.
We’ll now share six types of tools that make up a solid inside sales stack and our favorite individual tools that help streamline processes and increase revenue.
1. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
CRM software is one of the most crucial components to help you manage and maintain relationships with current and future clients. It collects and stores customer information including personal details and preferences from multiple sources and channels, and it provides you with an overview of all sales activities, allowing you to stay on top of your pipeline.
According to Business News Daily, CRM solutions today “straddle several areas of business customer relationship management, marketing, analytics, communication, and even lightweight project management.”
Here are three of the best CRM solutions:
The pioneer of cloud-based CRM, Salesforce offers an impressive amount of advanced customizable features including AI, social collaboration, and complementary software to help grow your accounts, find prospects, and close deals faster. This is one of the more expensive choices, but in-depth reporting, sales forecasting, workflow automation, and detailed lead management make it worth it.
Hubspot, popular for automating inbound marketing leads, provides CRM capabilities along with effective lead generation tools, live chat, advertising and helpdesk tools, and web forms that are all simple to set up and use. The core CRM features are free but as your company grows, you may want to upgrade to their premium products. Note: this includes free versions of Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, and Service Hub products.
A viable alternative to the bigger players (Salesforce and Hubspot), Zoho’s intuitive interface, handy integrations such as Google G Suite, and reasonable price points make it stand out. If you’re already using G Suite for email and scheduling, this would make perfect sense for you.
This tool is one of the best alternatives to standard CRMs if you want to organize your sales prospecting. noCRM makes the difference with its simplicity & fast data entry. It also has a clear separation in the qualification of unqualified prospects and follow-up of hot leads. The innovative lead management software platform also provides free tools such as the sales script to excel in cold calling.
2. Sales intelligence tools
Sales intelligence technology works around the clock to collect in-depth data on potential prospects, allowing you to reach out to the ones who are most likely to respond. The best sales intelligence software will help you determine your prospects’:
- Current challenges that your product and service could alleviate
- Preferred communication channels, and
- Level of interest
Through sales intelligence, you’ll have access to your prospects’ emails, phone numbers, business goals, purchase history, and digital footprints. Here are some tried-and-tested tools to get you there:
DiscoverOrg offers over 100 data points that are refreshed and verified by staff every 90 days. Marketing and sales teams can better target prospects using information like industry, company size, job type, tech stack location, department org charts, keywords, and more.
Available via the web and mobile app, this SaaS solution helps you track the business, social media, and financial activities of key prospects. Sales teams are equipped with real-time insights on accounts, territories, and verticals, enabling them to uncover new business opportunities.
MatterMark extracts data from millions of websites and news articles daily using web crawlers, machine learning, natural language processing, and primary sources. It integrates directly into Salesforce and facilitates the automation of prospecting by creating saved searches with over 80 possible data fields.
3. Outbound lead generation tools
Inside sales teams need prospecting tools to help identify the right leads and send them messages via outbound channels like emails and phones. For some, outbound lead generation is considered an old-school approach, however, the method works effectively when combined with savvy tools and tactics - a perfectly timed, personalized approach.
As outbound lead generation typically requires more time and effort, this is a good area to invest in the right software to free up your inside sales team for other important tasks.
Three tools to consider:
This prospecting and outreach tool helps you discover and verify key details about your prospects (emails, phone numbers, job titles, etc.) and contact them using a range of templates and drip campaigns for follow-up. The Google Chrome extension makes this super easy to use. Tracked data and smart integrations empower your team to focus on other areas of the pipeline.
LinkedIn is a natural choice for salespeople looking to find prospects and an organic way to reach out to executives, as opposed to calling or emailing. This tool includes an advanced search filter, more details on prospects (including contact info), qualified lead recommendations, InMail credits, and the ability to save leads into your CRM directly from LinkedIn.
Datanyze helps you discover new prospects based on what technology they use. Their prospecting tools provide one-click access to the company, social and technology insights. You can also locate contact details to export to your CRM for follow-up.
4. Sales communication tools
Inside sales teams must find smart ways to communicate to their prospects remotely, especially when presenting a winning demo presentation or pitching to a key decision-maker on a conference call. These tools will help you deliver a memorable sales meeting experience and provide data with insights to improve your pitches.
Demodesk is an online sales meeting tool that moves beyond typical screen sharing and video conferencing, with features like pre-built playbooks and battle cards, real-time sales assistance, controlled screen sharing, virtual conference rooms, and custom automated scheduling, invites, and reminders. The 100% web-based virtual display requires no downloads (access is gained by simply clicking a link) and is compatible with any browser or device. Seamless integrations with Salesforce, Google, Outlook, Zapier, HubSpot, and more.
Set up your own call center from anywhere in the world with this cloud-based solution. Easy set-up and features like PowerDialer, click-to-dial and real-time sales coaching capabilities result in smarter sales calls. Integrates with CRM, and helpdesk solutions and also monitors key metrics so you and your team can come up with improvements.
Gong records and transcribes your sales calls using AI technology, then provides insight on how to enhance your pitches. We like having the ability to share meetings or snippets of calls with other people on the team. A great tool for coaching purposes and getting teammates up to speed on client requests, technical questions, and more.
5. Sales reporting & analytics
All these tools generate a lot of data that can be analyzed to help you improve the performance of your team and each individual. Different tools offer different types of analyses, so it’s critical you identify what you want to measure and how you want it visualized before choosing a tool.
Using patented technology from Stanford University, Tableau enables companies to connect, visualize and share data quickly. Collaboration features can be accessed from all desktop and mobile devices. Tableau describes its platform as “designed for the individual, scaled for the enterprise.” Clients like LinkedIn, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, and Lufthansa enjoy their robust visual analytics and data drilling tools.
This highly-rated tool helps business leaders, sales managers and teams make better decisions through actionable, real-time intelligence on sales and marketing KPIs. InsightSquared takes in data from your CRM and then generates visualizations and reports to help you set goals, decrease pipeline bottlenecks, and close sales.
6. Tools for finalizing the sale
As an inside sales team, you will likely never meet your prospects in person. Every interaction happens virtually, even when you close the deal. When the time comes to finalize the sale, these tools help you create your proposal, obtain a signed contract and get payment without ever leaving your desk.
Create and manage your sales documents including proposals, quotes, and contracts. Reps can customize pre-built templates with images, text, and numbers while the customer can make comments directly within the proposal to make revisions quick and easy.
DocuSign removes the hassle of sending a contract via PDF for the customer to print, sign, scan, and send back. The CRM integration lets you send contracts directly to prospects with their specific opportunity details automatically populated into the form, allowing you to get your service agreements signed right away.
Stripe is a financial tool that allows you to receive payments online and through mobile apps. It provides several integrations with your sales stack and automates subscription payments so your customers are billed every month without you having to worry about reminders.
Choosing the right inside sales management tools
Sales technology veteran Jill Rowley humorously stated, “A fool with a tool is still a fool. A fool with lots of tools is an even bigger fool.” Her point is simple: sales tools are only as effective as the people using them. Tools are meant to enhance your sales activities, not replace them.
Once you’ve defined your sales process and started to build your inside sales team with the right people, you can then identify which tools make sense for you and your organization.
Before you commit, remember that most inside sales tools offer free trials and in-depth product demos to give you a product experience tailored to your specific business needs.
At Demodesk, we invite you to chat with us to see what use cases we can help you target and even try our platform for a free trial period. Contact us to test-drive all the features for yourself.