Are you looking for ways to take your prospecting efforts to the next level?
Do you feel like you’re not reaching as many decision-makers as you could with the effort you’re giving?
Sure, there are thousands of tips and tactics available to you, but you only have so much time in a day–and prospecting isn’t the only thing you do day in and out.
Since companies lose between 10% and 30% of their clients each year, it’s important for the sales force to be top notch prospectors too. Constantly filling up the pipeline is the key to continued success.
If you want to make the most out of your time prospecting, you need to know the best tools to use for each task in your prospecting process.
In this post, we’ll take on 40 tools that you could use to research, qualify, reach out to possible leads, and expand your pipeline.
Building a targeted prospect list
Arguably the most crucial part of prospecting, building a targeted list increases your chances of finding clients whom you can offer the right product, at the right time.
Finding prospects who are a good fit and are potential buyers of your product increases your team’s productivity while blindly shooting for appointments and meetings with random businesses with no means to filter at all will be quick to waste a whole sales floor’s time.
If you’ve been getting a lot of no-clicks and no-replies, it’s most probably bad prospecting.
Here are some tools that should help you seek good prospects and put together a highly-targeted list.
LinkedIn is Facebook for business people, executives, and professionals. Many sales teams who are doing it right can attest to the power of LinkedIn to help you put together a list of decision makers in your target niche.
If your prospecting team is not using LinkedIn Premium yet, you’re missing a lot. You have unlimited searches and can drill down to the location, job description, and other filters that will be handy when putting together a prospect list.
One of the newest players in the outreach game, NinjaOutreach is as much as a tool for the sales department as it is for marketing. NinjaOutreach makes it easier for you to seek influencers in your target niche. You can search either across social media or through websites. Influencers and companies are ranked based on several signals including their website’s Domain Authority and the number of followers they have on social networks.
While looking for prominent influencers probably isn’t your main goal in building a targeted list, the search feature on NinjaOutreach allows you to search through Twitter bios, meaning you can search for job titles and niche keywords. You can search for “CEO” or “IT executive” easily, and find prospect names you could put on your list.
eGrabber has an array of different products you can use for prospecting purposes. For building lists, I suggest taking a peek at ListGrabber. It captures the name, company, email address, and other information of prospects from publicly published company databases on the Internet.
Capturing many lines of info at a time is a good first step before filtering through the list.
Use this in partnership with corporate directories, associations, and listings. LeadGrabber automatically inputs the data into a CSV or excel files.
CrunchBase is one of the leading online databases of growing companies and innovative startups. For salespeople, it provides excellent search function with filters like funding rounds, date of establishment, category, and date of establishment. It also enlists some contact information and the organizational structures of most companies in their database.
When you’ve filtered out your searches, CrunchBase allows you to export your search results into CSV files. Just exercise your filtering skills and your prospect list shouldn’t need that much cleaning before qualification. Then you’d have more prospects than you’d know what to do with.
Mattermark, like CrunchBase, is also a business database that makes it very simple for salespeople to start researching prospects to build highly-targeted lists. Their filters allow you to drill down on their data through lots of criteria. You can filter by geography, company size, industry, business model, b2b/b2c, certain search keywords, funding rounds and amounts, and even growth metrics!
Mattermark CEO Danielle Morrill attests they use Mattermark to find customers for Mattermark. How’s that for proof?
Another option in the database space is Data.com. Arguably the biggest player and the most popular, Data.com is a staple in many prospectors’ toolkits. What with its seamless integration with the top cloud sales solution Salesforce, Data.com provides insights into prospects and helps salespeople find targets to put on their list.
Data.com uses business data and industry intelligence to supply sales forces with enough information to create highly-targeted lists. This information is also crucial and handy when it comes to outreach as Data.com allows reps to prepare for engagements and calls through the relevant info they provide.
What sets LimeLeads apart from other database companies is the accuracy and quality of their data. They give sales and marketing people a chance to take a look at their database before they purchase the service. LimeLeads provides CRM integrations, data quality guarantees, and claims to enable salespeople to put together a list in 30 seconds or less.
The LimeLeads team are veterans in the B2B data industry, a bit of a boost knowing that they can relate to the frustrations dealt with by sales and marketing people when it comes to available data.
Datanyze is a sales acceleration software that provides full-suite services for prospecting. For building lists, Datanyze provides salespeople with a free Chrome extension that pulls up information from social networks, Datanyze’s own data platform, Alexa, and other sites on what tools the website is using.
If you’re selling anything tech or software, this is a good way to find out if the company you’re looking at is a good prospect to qualify. The Chrome extension can also find email addresses and export them to LinkedIn and Salesforce.
BuiltWith helps salespeople find companies that use specific types of software and technology.
If for example, you’re selling an up and coming software in the space or even a big market player, you can search for companies who use your direct competitors or tools that provide the same but incomplete service as your company. BuiltWith provides you a list depending on the tools you search.
Begin digging by choosing the technology, and the platform will return with all the companies and sites that use that particular tech. Like most databases and prospecting tools, BuiltWith also provides you with lots of filter options including traffic, geography, phone numbers, and even searching by particular contact details.
Searching for emails
Now, you’ve got your list. What’s next? These names would mean nothing if you don’t have their best contact info. Of course, reaching out to people through contact forms on their site could work but it’s improbable for decision-makers to take anything through contact forms seriously.
You need the best email for each of your prospects.
Here are some tools that will help you find just that.
VoilaNorbert is a simple and sleek email search service that asks you for a first name, last name, and a company website. From those details, it will dig up the email address you’re looking for. Button saying “Work for me, Norbert” adds a quirky touch. They also provide an enterprise-level service, the VoilaNorbert Massive Search tool.
SellHack is a platform built for salespeople and businesspeople who are interested in automating prospect list building so they can use their time to close deals. A big problem of most sales forces is the time wasted in non-selling activities. Automating time-consuming tasks like list building allows teams to drive revenue more efficiently.
SellHack’s best feature, however, is its capability to pick and verify emails right from LinkedIn.
Although primarily used in marketing, BuzzStream’s Buzzmarker service is useful in pulling up contact information, social profiles, and even metrics. Salespeople can download the BuzzMarker browser extension that allows you to just go ahead and bookmark as many links to people you’re interested in prospecting. From there, the tool digs up info for you.
You know a certain company definitely needs your solution but you can’t find a single contact detail, much less the direct email address of the decision maker?
Looking for a contact point to a decision maker in a big company is tough. Actually, even in smaller companies, there are times that it might feel like they’ve hired a professional treasure keeper to hide their contact details
EmailHunter helps you out simply by asking you to input the domain name of the company’s website. From there, it digs up all publicly available email addresses associated with the company. Neat? Neat.
Another tool that is particularly good in conjunction with LinkedIn is LeadFuze. It gathers information on your prospect list, particularly those on LinkedIn, and enables you to turn them from contacts into prospects.
When you’re at the end of your rope looking for emails in every rational place to look, LeadFuze offers their email finder tool that uses dozens of third party resources to find the email you’re looking for. Not only do they find an email but they say they find the most accurate email possible.
Emails4Corporations is another resource you should use. Lots of salespeople swear by it. Best of all, it’s free.
According to their site, “Emails4Corporations is a free resource that provides the business email address patterns for over 1000 companies of all shapes and sizes. What is an email address pattern? It is how the corporation structures the email addresses for its employees, also known as the email address format. Almost every company employs an email address pattern for their corporate email addresses, so once you discover the pattern, you will be able to correctly guess the email address for every person you meet or come across at a particular organization.
AeroLeads allows salespeople to do quick web searches and find emails for their prospects and even add to their current prospect list. This software returns information like business name, contact person’s name, email address, phone number, location, whois information, and even social media profiles. It uses a special algorithm that returns the best results.
It scrapes the whole internet for all relevant contact information for you. You can do it by prospect or bulk. What makes it easier is that you can download the results by bulk in csv format as well. AeroLeads integrates with CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, making it easier to transfer emails from your searches to your CRM.
Researching prospects before first contact
Be on top of all information about your prospect. Use Charlie. According to their site, “Charlie is a tool that compiles one-pagers on the people you’re about to meet with before you see them. Minutes before every meeting in your calendar, Charlie makes sure you walk in with the intel you need to make a killer impression: breaking news on their company, the passions, and hobbies you both had no clue you shared, their professional history, and much more.”
Every bit of information is important, especially for big-ticket sales. Mention is media-monitoring made simple. If a prospect’s company just celebrated a milestone, or a prospect received an industry award, being one of the first people to congratulate them will surely put you on their good side.
Mention also allows you to monitor your company throughout all social media and media platforms. If people are talking about you, you would know. And that opens opportunities to gather more leads and prospects who already have initial interest.
Google Search has done a great job providing us with information we want right when we want it. However, spending hours just googling isn’t very productive when you’re prospecting. If you’re trying to look for news and updates in a certain niche, you can automate that by setting up Google Alerts for certain words and phrases. Use your company’s name, your executives’ names, industry, niches, and more. Google will send you an alert when a keyword you input comes up in the news.
Finding the best way to make the first touch with a prospect can be tough. Cold emails are not always the first tactic to use. Conspire helps you with that. It takes your Gmail and Google Apps email contacts and uses big data analytics to find the best route through the most reliable chain of mutual connections between you and the prospect. It uses LinkedIn to show you this chain.
Their pitch tells it best: Conspire tells you exactly how to get the best introduction to whoever you want to meet — a customer, employer, or investor.
One of the biggest roadblocks in appointment setting is finding a mutual time for you and the prospect. Decision maker get hundreds of emails a day, if not thousands! When you get a bit of airtime with them when they open your email, you have to make it count. Of course, following basic techniques like always having an ask–be it soft or hard–in your emails is something you need to be consistent with.However, say, you want a meeting. How do you make the ask? The best approach is to make it extremely easy for your prospect to agree and set a time to meet with you. Here are some tools that will help you do just that.
Doodle MeetMe is a straightforward way to set one-on-one meetings.
Here’s how it works: Connect MeetMe with your Google Calendar or Outlook and it provides you with a MeetMe URL. The MeetMe URL shows your available times. Send the link to a prospect and they can just click the most convenient time for them. When you see it and approve, the meeting is set and the details will be sent to them as well. Simple and quick.
Here’s the app’s pitch: Book meetings with one email. No back & forth. No double bookings. And it’s free!
Okay, we all want that.
When you’re trying to schedule calls with prospects, you want it to be quick and easy! The back and forths could potentially be detrimental to your prospecting efforts.
Assistant.to integrates with Gmail. When setting up meetings, all you have to do is click on the Assistant.to icon inside your Gmail account and it pops up with your calendar. Select several timeslots that you are available. Once you’re done, assistant.to will populate your email with the options. Send the email and your prospect just needs to choose. Assistant.to will send the calendar invite to both parties.
Another meeting scheduling tool, Calendly allows your prospects to book a time with you on the time that is convenient for them. Simply set your availability on Calendly and they can book time slots.
This ensures that you and your prospect have blocked the time off, preventing any schedule overlap. When a time slot is scheduled with Calendly, it automatically blocks the time off of your calendar.
TimeBridge is a meeting scheduler similar to Doodle. It’s simple but comes with a few added features. With TimeBridge, there are more options for choosing the best time to meet. You can choose up to five timeslots that you are available or the people you invite can check their available times then the system will pick a schedule that will not clash.
TimeBridge can connect with Google Calendar, iCal, and Microsoft Outlook’s calendar. You can also post links to availability right on social media so other team members and prospects can arrange a meeting with you quickly.
You already write good emails. With the right tools, you can get more prospects and better results. These tools do not only save time, they allow you to track your progress so you’ll do better each and every time.
Boomerang is a Gmail plugin that boasts of a number of key features that could help you better organize your days and connect with your prospects through email in a better manner.
Boomerang allows you to send emails at a later time. In sales, timing is a big influencer of success. A prospect checks emails in the morning but you won’t be able to get up that early? Boomerang it. You’ve had a good back and forth with a prospect and you don’t want to seem over excited? Boomerang it. There are many uses for this feature for all salespeople. Boomerang also has a feature where it can send an email back to you if there was no response or if it hadn’t been opened.
Want to achieve Inbox Zero? Here’s a cheat. Boomerang allows you to schedule to read emails at a later time! This can work around your schedule and how you block your hours.
From the marketing giant HubSpot comes Sidekick, it is a browser and email extension for emails that makes prospecting that much easier for salespeople. What it provides you is context.
Context is extremely important in sales. Sidekick gives you a quick backgrounder on the contact you got an email from or you’re emailing. For each contact, you can see professional history, information, location, mutual contacts, and your conversation history. You can also click further and see their company’s information. All that, right in your inbox.
It works with Salesforce, Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail.
Yesware is an amazing email tracking tool that uses real-time analytics to help you make the right emailing decisions. Yesware gives you detailed and precise insight on how well your emails are performing, how many clicks your links are getting and who’s clicking them, and which templates are getting the responses and engagement you are gunning for.
Yesware touts itself as “email for salespeople” and it’s easy to see why. With these tracking functionalities, you will be able to measure your efforts effectively and, at the same time, get some insight as to what changes and adjustments can be made to further improve your email efforts.
To perform better, you need to know how well you’re doing right now. DocSend is another tool that helps you send the right files along with your emails.
DocSend CEO Russ Heddleston told TechCrunch, ““When you send a document to someone, you always wonder: did they look at it, did they forward it to someone else? We know all that, and we also know if they switched tab. We give you really nice controls if you want to set a password, allow downloads, update your documents and more.”
DocSend is perfect for prospectors. You’ll know who to put more effort in and which documents are giving you better results. It’s a robust analytics tool for documents.Now, every time you send a document to someone, you will know if he or she didn’t look at it for weeks. In other words, DocSend is an extensive analytics tool, but for documents.
Salespeople need to put their best foot forward all of the time. In emails, every bit of it is representative of you and your company.
You may have the right idea and message, but a big chunk of your performance lies on how you say it.
Grammarly ensures that you don’t make embarrassing (and even deal-breaking) grammar and spelling mistakes. It’s a Chrome extension that scans all your typed text around the web. It doesn’t matter where you’re writing your email from–as long as you’re doing it on Chrome, Grammarly will review and suggest corrections for you.
Ever sent an email that you weren’t supposed to? Get pissed that there’s no way to reverse it?
Well, now there’s a way. Undo Send on Gmail and Google Apps is your lifesaver. If you’re using Gmail or Google Apps Mail, just go into settings, scroll down, and enable the Undo Send function. Now when you send an email, a small temporary dialog box will appear on the top of your screen. It will tell you that your message has been sent–but will also have two buttons: view message and undo send. Undo send takes back the message back into your drafts.
Social media tools
Every salesperson has to be on social media. Be it for staying on top of industry news or using it as a tool to sell, it’s a non-negotiable part of your professional life. However, using social media for sales is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Use these tools to help you be a pro at it.
Sharing is caring, and on social media, this is all the more important and impactful.Aside from sharing content from your marketing and sales enablement teams, prospectors need to curate content from all over the web to share on their own social profiles. Why? First, it’s always a good idea to continuously consume good and helpful information. Second, self-promotion can bite you hard on social media. When prospects notice that you’re just mechanically sharing content that promotes your own product, they might not think any of whatever you share.
Buffer and Hootsuite both make it easier for you to schedule posts, see what’s working, and reach out to your prospects and audience across profiles on one platform.
So much content going around, so many interesting articles to read! If you’re struggling to stay on top of your reading list–news, industry updates, updates on your bigger prospects–Pocket is your friend! Pocket is a virtual bookmark plugin that takes all your “pocketed” content right with you.
Canva is a photo editor and graphic design app for non-graphic designers. Its drag and drop interface makes graphics creation a breeze for sales reps. And, it won’t eat up hours of their time!
When engaging with prospects on social media, the more visual you are, the better. However, with the speed needed when acting on social platforms, it’s tough to have to forward material to a graphic designer before having something to share. On LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, having visuals still get the most engagements.
Simplicity can never be beat. While some salespeople will need the features and intricacies of web video conferencing apps, there will always be space for simple video call software like Skype and Google Hangouts. Many prospects will be familiar with both these platforms, making it very easy to invite them to a call. Skype and Google Hangouts are also both free and with screen sharing capabilities.
It’s very important for salespeople to get as close as possible with prospects. Phone calls and email correspondence work, but there’s nothing to lose and all to gain when you push your efforts even further. GlobalMeet allows sales reps to meet with prospects online over HD video with file sharing and screen sharing capabilities. This is as close as you can get to face-to-face meeting with all the conveniences of not traveling and match schedules with your prospect. This puts you ahead most reps–your client will remember you and the level of effort you put in to reach out.
GoToMeeting is another video conferencing tool that sales reps can take advantage of. GoToMeeting allows sales reps to maximize their time by scheduling video calls with their prospects instead of having to go on-site for high-ticket prospects each time. It also supports a mobile app that lets you join existing conferences, schedule or host your own sessions right from your phone. GoToMeeting is extensively used in sales and marketing to hold multi-participant webinars and conferences. Through this function, you can set up a demo or even a benefits-driven with multiple prospects in your virtual audience.
This article originally appeared in Tenfold.
This article was written by Dan Sincavage from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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