Sales tools automate day-to-day processes, increase efficiency in all aspects of the sales process, and simplify various aspects of a sales rep's day to save valuable time — time that can be spent focusing on prospects and deals.
There are dozens of types of sales tools available today. And within each of those categories are hundreds of tools to choose from.
In this post, we'll review seven categories of tools with a few examples in each. But first, let's take a moment to review a few benefits that you'll get from using sales tools.
Why use sales tools?
It’s no secret that all members of sales teams — from BDR to Account Executive to Manager — are busy. There are many facets of the selling process that often require significant time and manual effort. Sales tools can make these processes more efficient and impactful.
Sales tools also help with...
- Productivity and optimization
- Lead generation
- Lead tracking
- Sales process automation
- Lead scoring
- Streamlining communication
Best Sales Tools
As mentioned, there are many types of sales tools. This article is meant to provide guidance around some of the most common options.
Note: Many of the tools below fit into multiple categories due to their array of features and integrations.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you manage all aspects of your relationships with customers.
A CRM serves as a single and central location where all information and data about your customers is stored for easy access by anyone in the business.
CRMs are important because they provide insight into the status of every one of your customer relationships and, as a result, insight into the health of your entire business.
1. HubSpot CRM
Best tool for: Creating remarkable customer experiences and aligning your entire business on a single platform that will scale with you as you grow.
Unique features: HubSpot isn't just a sales CRM — it's a business platform built with the customer experience in mind. It's meant to scale with your business while remaining easy to use so your business can grow better.
Due to its flexibility, customizability, and straightforward UI, you can architect HubSpot to complement the way your business is viewed by people. The CRM then serves as a single source of truth when it comes to all things related to your customers for every department and each employee.
With its combination of built-in and powerful tools — including Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub — as well as reporting and hundreds of available integrations, your team can align and create delightful customer experiences for the entire buyer's journey.
Best tool for: Automating lead prioritization and contact management with the help of a sales CRM.
Unique features: ActiveCampaign is a sales CRM for automating various aspects of the sales process including lead prioritization, contact management, and deal and pipeline monitoring.
ActiveCampaign automates other sales processes to save reps time such as when: 1) a lead submits a form, a new deal is created, and a campaign is shared with that lead, 2) deals are updated and tasks are created, and 3) a lead needs to be nurtured.
Best tool for: Automating sales pipelines and project management, aligning marketing, sales, and customer support
Unique features: EngageBay is not just a sales CRM. It offers a 360-degree view of customers and experience to help businesses increase the lifetime value of their customers.
EngageBay is designed specifically for small businesses and helps you scale your sales operations for an affordable price. Sales pipeline management lets sales reps close deals faster by automating follow-ups, proposals, and more.
Sales Automation Tools
Sales automation tools automate different parts of the sales process — such as follow-ups, sales pipeline management, personalized communication, data entry, scheduling, and more. They save reps time by eliminating redundant processes.
Best tool for: Closing deals, strengthening relationships with prospects, and managing your sales pipeline all through Sales Hub.
Unique features: Sales Hub is a powerful sales software that includes a flexible and customizable sales CRM, sales engagement tools, CPQ capabilities, and reporting and analytics.
Sales Hub also offers live chat, account-based marketing (ABM), quote creation, and sales management playbooks (e.g. battle cards and call scripts), as well as email templates, tracking, and automation.
Conversation intelligence pulls out key details from calls with prospects for you, while call tracking helps prioritize, place, and record calls.
Tailor Sales Hub to your team's needs by integrating it with any of the 800+ available apps and tools.
Best tool for: Automating direct mail and gifting.
Unique features: Postal.io is an automated direct mail and gifting software that integrates with your marketing automation and sales enablement platforms to increase customer engagement.
Postal.io uses mail and gifts as a way to help sales reps add greater value to their solutions for prospects — and as a result, help them attract more qualified prospects and close more deals.
The tool also aims to improve the sales process by adding triggers for personalized gifts and mail that are set in sequences you create.
Best tool for: Creating more engaging and personalized experiences by leveraging the power of automation and contact management
Unique features: BIGContacts helps sales executives build stronger relationships with prospects and customers by driving highly personalized interactions. The CRM tool brings all previous touches and upcoming events to one place in the form of detailed activity timelines. It enables you to keep track of sales opportunities using a custom sales pipeline with a drag and drop interface.
BIGContacts makes sales management significantly easier with lead prioritization, instant alerts, automated workflows, and powerful integrations. You can nurture more leads into customers by creating drip email sequences using the marketing automation capabilities of this tool.
This CRM tool has a robust reporting and analytics module that helps you stay on top of your sales activities and optimize their performance. The tool allows you convert more prospects into long-term customers by automating redundant tasks and adding a personalized touch to every engagement effort.
Sales Enablement Tools
Sales enablement tools ensure reps have the materials, resources, processes, information, technology, and data that they need to successfully convert prospects and close deals.
Best tool for: Creating engaging content for the entire sales process and then appropriately timing when reps share that content with prospects
Unique features: Seismic helps sales teams offer memorable customer experiences by providing sales reps with real-time insights and recommendations on how to engage and interact with prospects.
The tool helps reps create immersive and engaging content for the entire sales funnel — Seismic then makes recommendations based on key insights it gathers about when reps should share that content.
Seismic's reporting and analytics pinpoint what your top reps are doing well and help your team scale that knowledge across the sales org.
Best tool for: Monitoring the effectiveness of your sales enablement team, highlighting best practices, and training new hires.
Unique features: Gong is ideal for data-driven sales teams that are looking to identify actionable insights that lead to opportunities for growth. The tool is ideal for ramping new sales hires as well as helping reps improve upon their performance.
Gong allows your sales enablement team to manage and monitor the effectiveness of your sales training as well as highlight and scale best practices across the team.
Sales Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting tools help reps identify potential leads, qualify leads, reach out to prospects, and prioritize high-quality accounts.
Best tool for: Identifying qualified leads on LinkedIn and personalizing outreach on the platform.
Unique features: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales tool that helps reps identify qualified leads on the platform and then create engaging and personalized outreach to target those prospects.
Advanced lead and company search capabilities ensure reps are being guided to the most relevant prospects. LinkedIn also provides information about the right people at your specific target accounts to reach out to.
Integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator with your CRM to log and align all of your prospect and account data.
Best tool for: Capturing and sequencing outbound prospecting contact information.
Unique features: LeadIQ is meant for capturing and sequencing all contact information gathered from outbound prospecting.
With LeadIQ, you'll first identify a target account and locate it on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Then, narrow down your list of contacts. LeadIQ will research those contacts and save their information for you.
Sales Engagement Tools
Sales engagement tools help manage every interaction between reps and prospects. This may include interactions across various channels such as email, voice call, or video call.
Sales engagement tools may also offer contact centers, sales dialers, SMS, and virtual conferencing as well as personalization and automation features.
Best tool for: Artificial intelligence-powered calling, conferencing, and sales dialing.
Unique features: DialPad is an AI-powered, cloud-based communication platform with calling, sales dialing, conferencing, and contact center capabilities.
The sales communication features also include video conferencing and SMS so your entire team can rely on a single, shared tool for all interactions with prospects.
Native CRM integrations exist to automate contact and data entry. You can also track call volume and sentiment, and create a list of sales call "hits" for your team to learn from and use for coaching.
Best tool for: Establishing revenue communications on your team.
Unique features: Troops is revenue communication software for sales, customer acquisition, and customer success. It connects all of your messaging to your CRM so contacts and communications are stored in a single location that everyone has access to.
Troops monitors all of your databases and systems of record. It then notifies your team if anything happens that could potentially impact your revenue so reps can take action.
Sales Management Tools
Sales management tools track KPIs and metrics that matter to your team to help reps and team leads understand performance and how you're tracking against your goals.
Sales management tools may overlap in definition with sales enablement tools because sales management tools can also provide access to content and materials reps need to guide prospects through the buyer's journey.
Best tool for: Streamlining the sales process to help reps sell more effectively.
Unique features: Zoho Sales Management and Tracking Software is a comprehensive sales management tool meant for helping reps effectively sell.
Zoho brings together all of your business data in a single tool so sales reps have all of the knowledge and context they need to close more deals.
The tool comes with different modules to streamline the sales process — examples include modules for lead tracking, account management, inventory, and your CRM.
Best tool for: Customizing and supporting your sales process without the need for any code.
Unique features: Monday.com has a sales and project management tool that's fully customizable and can support all parts of the sales process including lead tracking, pipeline management, customer onboarding, and report creation.
There's no code necessary and you can integrate Monday.com with all of the sales and business tools your team already uses, such as HubSpot.
You can also create a team knowledge base where important topics and information reps should be aware of are organized into easily accessible groups (e.g. customer service, financials, invoices). Documents, training content, sales enablement materials, and more can live in your knowledge base.
Sales Forecasting and Sales Analysis Tools
Sales forecasting tools predict future sales and revenue based on a variety of intel and information such as team performance, market trends, buying processes, and customer behaviors.
Sales analysis tools provide a detailed look into how your sales team is performing and/or how your competitors are performing.
Best tool for: Managing revenue intelligence for your entire business and integrating that data with your CRM.
Unique features: InsightSquared is a revenue intelligence platform for sales, marketing, and customer success. The platform automatically syncs deal and engagement details in your CRM to make it easy to review and analyze the sales process.
InsightSquared uses machine learning to combine information about rep-to-customer conversations (e.g. transcripts or talk time) with lifecycle data so you can better understand how the various aspects of your business (e.g. sales forecasts and product roadmaps) are working.
Use the Guided Selling feature to automate real-time and customizable sales coaching for everyone on your team.
Interactive reporting and AI-powered forecasting ensure your sales efforts and reports are data-driven and accurate.
Best tool for: Visualizing the sales metrics your team cares about in real-time and sharing those reports.
Unique features: Looker is an analytics platform that provides sales teams with actionable data.
The tool offers real-time sales forecasting and quota management — it visualizes these reports and metrics for you in real-time, too. Then, Looker sends automated reports with this data to your team for transparency.
Looker integrates with a variety of sales and business tools so all of your data is in one place. This data is accessible to your entire team from anywhere thanks to Looker's cloud-based design.
Best tool for: Gathering competitive intelligence data that your sales, product, and leadership teams can apply.
Unique features: Crayon offers market and competitive intelligence tools — specifically, it tracks over 100 types of market intelligence to give you a 360-degree view of your competitors (from their website, social media, app, review sites, and more).
Create battle cards that automatically alert you with new competitive intelligence. Then, analyze your battle cards with the usage data the tool provides.
You can also choose to receive competitive intelligence alerts for events like pricing updates or newly added reviews to keep an eye on what your competitors are up to and what’s working well for them.
Sales Productivity Tools
Sales productivity tools are those that support the day-to-day activities of sales team members such as placing calls, scheduling meetings, sending follow-up messages, managing documents and proposals, and recording details from all conversations and interactions with prospects.
Best tool for: Creating interactive sales quotes to simplify pricing conversations.
Unique features: FastSpring Interactive Quotes (IQ) makes it easy to build personalized, interactive quotes that empower prospects to pick and choose what they want — then accept, sign, & pay directly from the quote. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth conversations, accelerating your deals straight to close.
Unlike traditional proposals, spreadsheets, and slide decks, IQ connects your pricing, quoting, e-signatures and payments all in one place, reducing sales flow friction and leading to higher win rates.
IQ’s real-time analytics also lets you know exactly how prospects are engaging with pricing and what packages they’re exploring – for more efficient follow-ups and valuable deal insights.
Best tool for: Automating the processes of creating, signing, and approving secure sales documents.
Unique features: PandaDoc is a proposal, contract, and document solution that helps you create, track, approve, and electronically sign sales (plus marketing, revenue ops, and customer success) documents.
The software is meant to assist with the creation of proposals, interactive quotes, contracts, and e-signatures as well as the collection of payments.
There are templates you can customize, brand, save, and reuse. After sharing your documents, review PandaDoc’s real-time analytics for details about when your document was opened, how long it was viewed, and when the recipient completed the document.
Best tool for: Creating personalized and branded sales proposals.
Unique features: Proposify is a tool for making proposals, agreements, and contracts — it helps you ensure your messaging, pricing, and workflows are consistent and on-brand.
Proposify also has a library of templates to speed up the process of creating proposals, content, and image libraries.
The tool provides insight into how prospects are spending time with your proposals, section-by-section.
Best tool for: Designing and creating B2B sales proposals, quotes, and documents.
Unique features: Qwilr helps B2B sales teams create tailored proposals, quotes, client updates, and other documents, all with a mobile-friendly design.
A variety of pre-built templates and an easy-to-use document builder exist so you never need to enlist the help of a designer when creating proposals and quotes.
Provide prospects with interactive quotes so they're able to choose a package on their time, without having to go back and forth with a rep.
Qwilr's analytics tell you how prospects work with your documents including when they view and accept your documents as well as how much time they spend in them.
Best tool for: Scheduling appointments and sales calls, and automatically syncing calendars.
Unique features: Calendy is an online appointment and scheduling software.
Reps tell Calendy what their availability is and share a link with prospects via website or email — whatever time a prospect selects then appears on the rep's calendar, eliminating the need for any back and forth.
The software supports all types of meeting scheduling including one-on-one, group, and round-robin. You can also integrate the tool with your other calendar software such as Google, Outlook, or iCloud so all schedules are up to date and accurate.
With Calendy, calendars are always aware of time zones. The tool also creates buffers between your meetings so you always have time to organize notes from your last meeting and prepare for the next one.
Sales Mapping Tools
Sales and account mapping tools visually represent data points and the relationships between them.
Sales mapping tools visualize prospects, customers, and sales territories while account mapping tools visualize the people who work at a specific account.
This information provides insight into specific areas that are performing well or need attention as well as who the key players are at a target account.
Best tool for: Geographically mapping, identifying, and locating business opportunities and qualified leads.
Unique features: GeoMapper is a geographic-mapping tool that you can use from within HubSpot — it helps you plan business trips, increase attendance rates at events, and manage geo-marketing campaigns.
Identify potential business opportunities around current customers and prospects. And since GeoMapper integrates with HubSpot, you’re able to use your CRM properties to geographically locate contacts and opportunities.
Best tool for: Creating organization charts for your HubSpot data and mapping sales persona relationships.
Unique features: OrgChartHub is a tool for building and storing org charts and mapping sales persona relationships all from HubSpot. The org charts provide a visual understanding of an account’s stakeholders and the relationships between them.
Add sales personas to your org charts as a way of showing the level of risk every deal has. On each of your org chart’s contact cards, include the contact properties that matter most to your team.
Grow Better With Sales Tools
There are many sales tools available today — decide which area(s) of the sales process you need the most support in and consider the offered features, integrations, and pricing. Then, get started using your new sales tool!
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.