Updated: December, 2021:
Closing deals is an art. At least that’s what it feels like for most sales reps. Filling up the sales funnel, however, is a daily grind that can be painful. We know that to close deals we have to do lots of sales calls and be exposed to lots of prospects. Still, finding potential customers based on ideal customer profiles and then searching the internet as well as social media profiles for relevant contact details can be difficult, costly, and time consuming.
Luckily, there are dozens of new sales prospecting tools out there to help you zero in on your target market and bring in the right customers, significantly cutting down on the time you spend in research and preparation.
Why Your Sales Pipeline Needs Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting tools provide sales professionals with hard-to-find marketing insights and help them determine whether any given prospect or job title is a good fit for their company. As a result, you can build your prospects lists much faster, gather key data for drip campaigns, and engage with potential customers more effectively to close more deals.
You can identify at least six different types of prospecting tools:
- Finding companies within a predefined target market
- Finding prospects within companies
- Finding a specific prospect’s contact details
- Gathering customer insights 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 that can help fill up your sales funnel in 2022.
1. Finding Companies: Mattermark
The first step to any list building is to actually find the companies that fall within your target market. That means you’re often constricted by sector, industry, company size, geography, capital, and more.
Mattermark is a powerful company directory built specifically for sales professionals. Using a variety of filters, you can get your perfect list of companies in minutes — no hours of internet searching required. The app integrates directly into Salesforce, so you can build lists of potential customers automatically, without doing any extra manual work.
ZoomInfo is another valuable B2B database for sales reps 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 your ideal customer profiles for 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 drip campaigns, before they sign up for any of your competitors.
2. Finding Contacts: 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 within the network’s social media profiles, including job titles, 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 marketing CRM.
FollowerWonk is another app that can help you target prospects on Twitter. You can filter people by job titles in their bio, 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: Hunter
Even when you know a company and a prospect you want to contact, finding their email and phone number for sales calls is not always easy.
Hunter 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 browser extension, this sales process happens without distracting you from your work at all. Best of all, there’s no trial, you get 25 requests a month, every month, for free.
A few more apps with limited free email lookups are Voila Norbert and Lusha. 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. Lusha has a convenient Google Chrome browser extension and boasts high accuracy rates in providing specific contact details, such as email and phone numbers. Plus, you can do five customer lookups a month for free.
4. Prospect Intelligence: Detective
Everybody knows that even if you know a prospect’s email address, cold email drip campaigns sent without any personalization don’t work very well. For emails to seem authentic, you need to spend lots of time researching and incorporating various marketing insights.
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 changes in their social media profiles, to the general news about their company. Then you can easily incorporate this critical intel into your personalized messaging.
5. Marketing Automation: HubSpot Sales
These days, writing personal emails to every potential contact is probably not the most effective use of your time if you’re trying to increase sales funnel conversions. 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 and marketing 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 your sales reps are using Gmail for 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. Sales Funnel 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 sales professionals 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 suggests personalized marketing 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 gold mine of potential customers, but don’t realize it yet. The prospects with ideal customer profiles 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 or LinkedIn Sales Navigator. 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 for online chat 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.