Closing deals is an art. At least that’s what it feels like for most sales teams. Filling up the sales pipeline, however, is a daily grind that can be painful. We know that to close deals we have to be exposed to lots of prospects, but the process of finding them can be difficult, costly, and time consuming.
Luckily, there are dozens of new sales prospecting tools out there to help you bring in the right customers and significantly cut down on the time you spend in research and preparation.
What Are Sales Prospecting Tools?
Sales prospecting tools help you determine whether a given prospect is a good fit for your company and let you build your prospect lists faster. You can use them to gather data and effectively engage with prospects to close more deals.
You can identify at least six different types of prospecting tools:
- Finding target companies
- Finding prospects within companies
- Finding specific prospect data
- Gathering intelligence on prospects
- Improving the engagement process
- Qualifying prospects with the highest purchase intent
Let’s go over some of the best apps for each type of prospecting with the highest potential of moving your sales upward in 2021.
1. Finding Companies: Mattermark
The first step to any list building is to actually find the companies that fall within your target audience. That means you’re often constricted by sector, industry, company size, geography, capital, and more.
Mattermark is a powerful company directory built with salespeople in mind. Using a variety of filters, you can have your perfect list of companies in minutes — no hours of internet searching required. The app integrates directly into Salesforce, so you can build lists automatically, without doing any extra manual work.
ZoomInfo is another B2B database that is able to provide you with up-to-date information on any company or prospect. Since it utilizes different algorithms from Mattermark, it’s good to cross-check the data accuracy in both apps.
If you predominantly sell to startups, there are two free company directories you can use as well: AngelList and Product Hunt. AngelList is considered to be an investment platform, so it contains lots of data on funding and employee count. Product Hunt showcases upcoming businesses that often make good candidates for nurture campaigns, before they sign up for any of your competitors.
2. Finding Prospects: LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Once you have a list of companies you want to go after, the best way to find relevant contacts within those companies is on LinkedIn, the largest professional social network in the world.
With the Sales Navigator plan, you have access to advanced search features and the ability to message over 500 million people, even if they aren’t connected to you. All the prospecting data can then be synced with your CRM.
FollowerWonk is another app that can help you target prospects on Twitter. You can filter people by titles in their bio and create lists based on other criteria as well (e.g. location, interests, followers), and then connect with the ones that interest you most through direct messages.
3. Data Enrichment: Prospect.io
Even when you know a company and a prospect you want to contact, finding their email is not always easy.
Prospect.io is a sales automation platform that not only helps you find emails but also verifies them before you even try to send a message. Correct emails are then automatically synced with your CRM; and with a Google Chrome extension, this process happens without distracting you from your work at all.
A few more apps with limited free email lookups are Voila Norbert and Hunter. Voila Norbert pulls up addresses by the name of the person you wish to contact. Its Gmail plugin also lets you schedule emails and send automatic follow-ups. Hunter works as a Google Chrome extension and provides you with a pattern of associated email addresses for a specific company, so you can guess any contact’s details.
4. Prospect Intelligence: Detective
Everybody knows that even if you know a prospect’s email address, cold emails sent without any personalization don’t work very well. For personalization to be authentic, you need to spend lots of time in research.
Detective is an app that could do all the necessary research for you. Just upload your prospects and Detective will continuously monitor every bit of relevant information about them, from the blog posts they are writing to the deals they are closing, to the general news about their company. Then you can easily incorporate this critical intel into your personalized messaging.
5. Sales Automation: HubSpot Sales
These days, writing personal emails to every potential contact is probably not the most effective use of your time. Instead, you need to develop email sequences, utilize templates, assign leads to your coworkers, track open and click-through rates, and much more.
HubSpot Sales helps automate dozens of sales processes and manage your sales pipeline while spending just a fraction of the time it takes to do the same things manually. Built on top of the free HubSpot CRM, HubSpot Sales doesn’t require you to get yet another app — manage everything your sales team needs under one roof.
Chances are you’re using Gmail for your sales prospecting, so why not add a few useful sales prospecting tools that integrate right into your inbox. Boomerang would help you master email scheduling to reach all prospects at their ideal time. Rebump would take care of all the follow-ups and track the progress of each email.
6. Prospect Qualification: Bloobirds
Bloobirds sits on top of your CRM and offers sales enablement, engagement, and intelligence features all at once, with the goal of assisting your BDRs at every step of the sales process.
The most valuable product feature, however, might be the real-time messaging assistance, which integrates smart content templating, helps navigate through qualifying and profiling questions, and suggest personalized content to increase engagement rates.
Bonus: Identify Anonymous Prospect Buyer Intent
What none of the prospecting tools cover enough is how to identify anonymous website visitors, which could make up to 98% of your traffic. If you get enough website visitors to overwhelm your sales team through online chat, you’re sitting on a potential gold mine, but don’t realize it yet. The prospects are already on your website. The next step is to evaluate their buyer intent.
Lift AI is a buyer intent solution that leverages a unique machine-scoring model to qualify every website visitor in real time, even the ones not previously recorded in your sales tools. In fact, Lift AI will, on average, find the 9% of your traffic that has the highest likelihood to buy and connect those prospects directly to your sales team via chat. Everyone else could be either delegated to a nurturing bot or shown a self-help guide.
Simply using Lift AI to identify anonymous website visitors could increase your conversion rates anywhere from 2 to 10 times within 90 days. Try Lift AI on your website right now — the 30-day trial is free and you can use it together with any chat platform, so your team doesn’t have to relearn anything. Considering the potential ROI, it just might be one of the best prospecting tools out there right now.