Updated August 10, 2023: We’ve updated the tools for 2023 and edited their descriptions and recommendations.
Closing deals is an art. Just ask any sales rep. Filling up the sales funnel, on the other hand, is a daily grind that no one looks up to.
We have to do lots of sales calls and find lots of prospects to close deals. But it’s not glamorous or easy. Researching potential leads based on ideal customer profiles and figuring out contact details is difficult, costly, and time-consuming.
Luckily, there are tons of sales prospecting tools that can help your team out in bringing the right leads into your funnel and cutting down on the time they have to spend in research and preparation.
What are the best ones?
Tip: Start your sales prospecting journey with Lift AI. Identify the best prospects as soon as they land on your website based on their behavioral indicators. No manual prospecting required.
Why Your Pipeline Needs Sales Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting tools cut down on the busy work associated with determining whether any given prospect is a good fit or not and finding their contact information.
When your team leverages sales prospecting tools, they can build prospect lists much faster, as well as gather important data and engage with more promising companies, closing more deals as a result.
There are at least six areas where different sales prospecting tools can help your team:
- Finding companies within a predefined target market
- Finding key prospects within companies
- Finding specific contact details
- Gathering actionable insights on prospects
- Improving the sales engagement process
- Qualifying prospects by purchase intent
Here are the best apps for each type of prospecting that can help you fill up the sales funnel this quarter.
1. Finding Companies: Mattermark
The first step in any list building is finding the companies within your target market. This can be difficult as you’re constrained by sector, industry, company size, geography, available capital, and more.
Mattermark is the ultimate directory for sales professionals with over 4 million companies and 20 million contacts. You can use various filters to get a great list of companies in a few minutes — without searching the internet for hours. Mattermark integrates with Salesforce, which means you can build lists of potential customers without doing any extra manual work, copy-pasting things around.
ZoomInfo is another valuable B2B database for sales reps to find up-to-date information on any company or prospect. Since it uses different algorithms from Mattermark, sales teams find it’s worth to cross-check data on your prospects in both apps.
For companies that sell to startups, there are two free directories that could be used: AngelList and Product Hunt. AngelList is an investment platform and contains lots of data on funding and employee count. Product Hunt showcases early-stage startups and products that could be engaged with drip campaigns before they sign up for any of your competitors.
2. Finding Key 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 LinkedIn Sales Navigator plan, you have access to advanced search features, such as job titles, connections, and qualifications. You also get the ability to message over 500 million people, even if they aren’t connected to you. All the prospecting data you find can then be synced with your CRM.
FollowerWonk is another app that can help you target prospects on Twitter. You can filter people by job titles in their bio and create lists based on other criteria, from location to interests and followers. After that, connect to all of them via direct messages.
3. Data Enrichment: Hunter
Even when you know the company and the prospect you want to contact, finding their email and phone number is not always easy.
Hunter is a sales automation platform that helps you find emails and verify their authenticity before you spend any time writing a personal message.
The app automatically syncs correct contact data with your CRM and if you use its Google Chrome extension, you don’t even have to get out of your flow. You get 25 free requests every month and pay if you need more.
A few more apps with limited free email lookups are Norbert and Lusha.
Norbert finds addresses using full names and even has a Gmail plugin for scheduling and following up on time.
Lusha has a convenient Google Chrome browser extension and boasts high accuracy rates in its specific contact details, such as email and phone numbers. Plus, you can do five customer lookups a month for free.
4. Prospect Intelligence: Detective
These days, knowing someone’s email and sending them cold drip campaigns without any personalization isn’t going to work. On the other hand, you need to spend a lot of time on research for your emails to be authentic.
Detective is an app that does research for you. As soon as you upload your prospects’ details, Detective starts to continuously monitor all the relevant information about them, be it articles, deals, changes in their social media profiles, general news, etc. That’s how you get the necessary information to personalize your communications.
5. Marketing Automation: HubSpot Sales
Writing emails to everyone on your prospect list is not the most effective use of your time if you’re trying to increase sales funnel conversions.
You need a system — email sequences, templates, teamwork, analytics, and more. In other words, you need marketing automation.
HubSpot Sales helps automate all sales and marketing processes, managing your sales pipeline in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually. Working on top of the free HubSpot CRM, HubSpot sales doesn’t require a separate app, further simplifying your sales process.
If your team uses Gmail for sales prospecting, you can add a few useful sales prospecting tools right into the inbox. For example, Boomerang helps schedule all emails at the right time, and Rebump tracks the progress of each email and manages follow-ups.
6. Prospect Qualification: Lift AI
If you get enough traffic, your sales team is likely overwhelmed trying to contact everyone through chat. But since they don’t know which visitors have higher buyer intent, they might be sitting on a goldmine of potential deals without having a way to verify it.
Ideal customers are on your website. You just need to know how to evaluate buyer intent to identify them.
Lift AI is a buyer intent solution that leverages a unique machine-scoring model to qualify every website visitor in real time. It works even with visitors not previously recorded in your sales tools or LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
On average, Lift AI will find the 9% of your traffic that has the highest likelihood to buy what you offer. Then, Lift AI will automatically connect them to your marketing stack (e.g. via online chat).
At the same time, other visitors can be greeted with a nurturing bot or a self-help guide.
Using Lift AI to identify anonymous website visitors could increase your conversion rates for online chat anywhere from 2 to 10 times within 90 days. PointClickCare improved its conversions by 400%, attributing $1M of extra revenue to its Lift AI integration. Formstack similarly increased its conversions by 420%.
Try Lift AI on your website — free for 30 days. Use it with any chat platform or other marketing tools. No complex setup required. This is technological sales prospecting at its best.