Imagine being told you have to dig a hole in your backyard 🕳
Doesn't seem too hard, right?
Oh ... but you can't use a shovel. In fact, the only tool you have at your disposal is a toothpick.
Suddenly, this job doesn't seem so easy.
Similarly, your business's inside sales team needs the right technology to be as productive and impactful as possible. Without it, simple tasks become complex and efficiency dwindles.
Not to mention, just because the tools and tech you have in place for your outside sales team work well for their needs, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be an ideal fit for your inside sales reps, too.
By ensuring your inside sales reps have the tools they need to operate, your business success and growth will be in reach thanks to improved efficiency, visibility, communication.
The good news is there are a plethora of inside sales technologies in existence today. The bad news is it can be daunting to find the right tool(s) for your team because of the number of options available.
That's why we've put together this guide — to provide you with a look at today's must-have inside sales tools.
Inside Sales Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Sales Automation Tools
Appointment and Scheduling Tools
Sales Calling and Tracking Tools
Video and Screen-Sharing Tools
In addition to what's likely the most obvious necessity for reps — a smartphone (let's face it, reps can't do their jobs without the ability to call, text, email, video call, merge calls, browse the web, etc. at their fingertips) — here are some other must-haves.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Whether you're a startup or an enterprise-level company, a CRM, like HubSpot CRM, is an integral tool for growth. A CRM allows all of your business's information and systems to live in a central location.
This improves organization-wide collaboration, alignment between Sales and Marketing (and Customer Support), communication among sales personnel, and engagement with prospects and leads.
Plus, CRMs like HubSpot, often automatically provide access to a multitude of other sales tools, many of which we'll touch on below. For example, reps who use the strategy of social selling can take advantage of HubSpot's social media tool that assists in reaching, marketing, and selling to target audience members on various platforms.
2. Sales Automation Tools
Sales software — like HubSpot Sales Hub and CRM — often offer automation tools. Sales automation removes various tasks from the sales cycle to free up valuable time for reps.
It also simplifies complex tasks for reps such as prospecting (which we'll touch on next), lead enrichment, contact and deal creation, email, meeting scheduling, and proposal creation.
3. Prospecting Tools
Considering most, if not all, of their roles relate to remote and virtual engagement, a strong prospecting process is critical for inside sales reps.
Sales prospecting tools and software, such as LinkedIn Premium, offer a variety of functions to help reps identify and engage prospects. These tools work in real-time to track the prospects who visit your site, point out your most-engaged visitors, create customized email notifications, and set up email sequences to engage prospects.
(HubSpot's sales automation and prospecting tools are automatically included with Sales Hub and CRM.)
4. Appointment and Scheduling Tools
Rather than sending email after email or playing phone tag to find time for a meeting with a prospect, there are tools that can make this process seamless for reps.
For example, HubSpot's free appointment and scheduling tool integrates with reps' Google or Office 365 calendars and eliminates all back-and-forth communication — it allows prospects to choose a time that works for them on reps' most up-to-date calendars.
This way, prospects make appointments that work with their schedules, on their time, without any hassle. Meanwhile, reps can focus on other tasks and prep for their meetings with prospects.
5. Sales Calling and Tracking Tools
Sales calling and call tracking software offers features for reps to place and record calls directly from their browsers, log calls automatically, and create email digests and notifications to share with team members.
(As HubSpot users, reps can prioritize their sales calls using contact data from the CRM.)
These tools, such as Zoom, make tasks like sharing product demos, marketing and educational content, webinars, and detailed explanations simple. They also empower reps by making relationship-building and communication with prospects straightforward.
Wireless headsets are a must — reps can multitask, log calls, take notes, and bring others on the line all while chatting with prospects. There are many options when it comes to wireless headsets, including some with Bluetooth functionality.
8. Multiple Monitors
Inside sales reps need at least two monitors — one to take notes and log all prospect information and another to simultaneously look into the camera and chat with a prospect. This keeps engagement between reps and prospects organized while promoting genuine, one-to-one interactions.
9. Reporting Tools
Sales reporting software helps your sales managers and reps track a variety of customizable metrics and data points. This is how your team will monitor their individual and combined successes, areas for improvement, sales tactics that are working, and sales tactics in need of modification.
If you invest in a CRM or sales software like HubSpot, you'll have a reporting and analytics tool or dashboard included.
(Here are some sales reports we recommend you keep an eye on across your entire sales org.)
10. Productivity Tools
When selling remotely or virtually, it's easy to get distracted by things like surroundings, to-do list items, and communication with other reps and team members.
Grow Better With the Right Inside Sales Technology
One of the best ways to discover the right inside sales tool(s) for your team is by doing your homework. Don't be afraid to experiment with different technologies to determine the right one for you.
Who knows, you might discover a combination of technologies or a single tool is the ideal solution for your team and business needs. So, begin growing better today by determining which technology your inside sales team needs to support their efforts.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 28, 2020 8:30:00 AM, updated April 28 2020