Sales prospecting tools have transformed the work lives of sales reps everywhere, across all industries.
To think reps once cold-called from business directories, crummy lead lists, or worse — the Yellow Pages — well, it’s a wonder anyone ever sold anything at all.
Luckily, choosing the right mix of today’s B2B sales prospecting tools will make your sales team exponentially more productive and effective.
They automate time-sucking repetitive tasks and pinpoint contacts in an organization with the decision-making authority and the money.
This means your salespeople will have more time to devote to converting the most promising prospects.
There are literally hundreds of tools for every step in the sales process. But we’re only going to focus on those that fill the pipeline.
But first, let’s clear up any confusion.
Sales prospecting involves identifying potential buyers for the solution you’re selling. It’s what sales reps do and it involves cold-calling, email outreach, social selling, etc.
Now sales prospecting and lead generation are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably.
But they are two different things.
Lead generation involves generating interest about your company and the solutions you provide. It’s typically handled by the marketing department and it includes content marketing, trade shows, event marketing, etc.
Of course, both activities are important and prospects and leads must be nurtured.
9 Quota-Busting Sales Prospecting Tools for Your Sales Team
We’ve chosen nine top-performing sales prospecting tools for building your pipeline. Each is equipped with integrations to your CRM, either natively or through Zapier. In either case, you won’t have to waste your time with data entry.
And by the way, we’ll focus on sales automation, sales enablement tools, and sales scheduling tools another time.
Here are nine of the best sales prospecting tools.
ZoomInfo’s recent acquisition of artificial intelligence-powered B2B data company, EverString, gave sales managers and reps everywhere a reason to rejoice.
Together they provide precise records for over 100 million companies. With company news, insights, tech stack details, and verified contacts, reps can quickly home in on the folks who have a need for the solution they provide.
And once searches are saved, ZoomInfo will send alerts whenever a new contact meets the specified criteria so reps can get right on it. And it will make recommendations for other accounts to contact too.
Sales reps’ lives would be a whole lot easier if website visitors left their contact information behind. Unfortunately, about 98% of them don’t.
NetFactor’s sales prospecting tool VisitorTrack makes anonymity a thing of the past. It’s like having caller-ID for your website, but it’s much more in-depth.
Their Company Surge® capability provides more than contact details and pages viewed. It tracks your visitors’ movements across the web so you’ll know who’s most likely in an active buying cycle.
So your reps can deliver the right message at the right time to the right people.
Your organization is already using LinkedIn in some capacity.
And with over 57 million companies and 756 million members represented, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is worth considering as your sales prospecting tool.
Of course it has advanced search capabilities, alerts on your target searches, and the ability to create and export lead lists for sales reps to run with.
But its Sales Spotlights provide even more valuable information.
One spotlight highlights job changes. That can mean low-hanging fruit potential if a current customer makes a move.
Another spotlight identifies shared experiences. Reps can leverage those commonalities as they build relationships with prospects.
The TeamLink spotlight uncovers prospects who are connected to fellow employees.
And that’s just touching on a few.
It’s sort of surprising that there’s still a market for B2B lead lists. They’re often outdated and inaccurate and not tailored to your target prospect or buyer persona.
Still, sales organizations continue to buy them — and pay a lot for them.
Why do that when you can generate your own with Clearbit’s sales prospecting tool instead.
With 100-plus unique fields and a database of 20 million companies and 200 million contacts, you can create highly targeted lists that provide a well of qualified opportunities.
And you don’t need to be concerned with outdated and inaccurate data. Clearbit Prospector updates their database in real-time and its users report a 94% email deliverability rate.
Of course, sales is a numbers game. The more opportunities you have in your pipeline, the more deals you’ll close.
Reply.io helps fill pipelines by automating and scaling your reps’ outreach efforts so they have more time to focus on closing business.
With multichannel support, they can connect with prospects via their preferred platforms whether it’s email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.
And they can set up personalized bulk messages and automatic replies to save time — so they can do more prospecting.
As their manager, you can leverage the reporting and analytics to see which outreach sequences produce the best results.
Sometimes you just need to come right out and say it.
“Sales prospecting is boring.”
Prospect.io boldly declares their sales prospecting tool will make your reps love this part of the sales process.
They can build quality prospect lists lickety-split with their email finder and verification tool, then automate the entire outreach process.
From personal emails to social outreach, to follow-up calls, reps can build relationships through the channels the prospect prefers.
Daily task lists help reps maintain focus and keep campaigns moving. And you’re able to monitor and measure your team’s effectiveness through the reporting and insights feature.
VoilaNorbert finds email addresses for your prospects.
For a separate charge, it can verify and enhance them too — with job title, company location, and known social profiles.
Your reps can use the Gmail plugin for added productivity or automate the entire outreach process with Norbert’s partner, Mailshake.
Pricing is simple and flexible. You can buy a subscription or prepaid credits. Or you can give Norbert an entire lead list to verify and/or enrich for a one-time fee.
It’s a good point and worth repeating.
Sales reps are far too talented and expensive to be wasting time doing research.
That’s why you should consider leaving that task to Detective, the automated reconnaissance tool for sales reps.
It provides them with the intel they need about their prospect before cold calls, outreach, and meetings so they can speak with authority and sell with value.
So they can go in a lot less “cold” — like this.
It may not be ideal, but your reps may have to manage the research component of prospecting.
And if they’re targeting growing companies and startups, they’ll find a treasure trove of information with Crunchbase’s sales prospecting tool, Crunchbase Pro.
With access to potential buying signals like leadership changes, hiring, acquisitions, and funding — plus advanced search capabilities — you can expect prospects will be high quality.
And Crunchbase Pro will keep them informed about key events in their target accounts so they can be Johnny-on-the-spot, ready with a value proposition.
Now no one will say sales is easy, but it sure is a heck of a lot easier than it used to be.
And it’s largely because of sales prospecting tools.
Take some of our suggested tools for a spin and see how they improve your reps’ productivity and effectiveness.
We think their pipelines will be churning and burning in no time.
Oh, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Chili Piper for your scheduling tool. You’ll need it when all your new prospects are clamoring to see your solutions in action.