5 Categories of Sales Tools to Beat Your Competition on the Market

Michael Maximoff
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There are fewer and fewer salespeople who rely on paper-based ledgers and three-ring binders to store customer information. Today, most businesses use at least one kind of sales automation in their day-to-day operations. However, literally each manual operation can have technology-enabled sales tools, making representatives’ work easier and more productive. 

  • Are you still punching in all customer information with your own hands?
  • Does it take you hours to fumble with spreadsheets and sift qualified leads through customer data?
  • Are your company’s marketing and sales teams unaware of each other's actions?
  • Do your reps rummage through leads’ social media pages in an attempt to personalize their pitches?

Even though many large-scale enterprises would answer “no” to these questions because they have used marketing and email automation for years, there are still many executives that are simply unaware of the benefits sales tools can bring to their sales force and their businesses’ revenues. 

You would be surprised if you knew how many salespeople personally bring the paperwork to their customers to sign instead of using e-signature tools; how many businesses cannot stop business leads from leaking their sales funnel and lose clients because they fail to see opportunities for cross-sell and upsell.

Statistics show that most salespeople are aware of the fact that over 70 percent of leads are not sales-ready while more than 80 percent of customers are never offered upsells and cross-sells. Software for sales exists to address these issues and more.

In addition to providing software sales jobs across the board from SDRs to software sales executives, the sales tech market facilitates daily operations for millions of salespeople in all possible areas across the globe. The companies that for some reasons fail to modernize their operations will simply lose their top sales talent. No matter what you sell – insurance products or outbound lead generation services – you will find something to address your own needs.  

Sales software categories

The sales software market is huge and has so much to offer. First of all, sales software solutions solve the most typical challenges of all salespeople: сentralizing data storage and helping different teams to collaborate. Next, software for sales deals with specific tasks from sales funnel management to sales gamification. Finally, sales automation software reduces the time reps spend on repetitive tasks by automating email sequencing, appointment setting, task creation, and so on.

1. Sales CRM Software

Centralizing customer and b2b sales lead data is probably the most essential technology companies can invest in. By accomplishing that, they do good not only to their reps but to customer support and marketing, too. Contacts, personal preferences and details, interaction histories, contracts and whatnot are crucial pieces of information that will enable salespeople to answer questions and offer relevant solutions quickly.   

To improve and facilitate the customer relationship, good sales CRM software includes: (1) storing account and contact information; (2) task management; (3) email integration; (4) marketing automation; (5) notification; (6) price quoting; (7) reporting; etc.

2. Sales Management Software & Sales Automation Software

Another essential technology is tracking and monitoring the performance of the sales team. Sales management software allows sales managers to oversee sales activities and workflows; predict future sales based on leads data, past deals, and larger trends; track task completion; analyze sales performance and spot sales opportunities. Sales automation allows managers to do it in a more modern and technological way rather than by hand, especially when it comes to applying mobile sales software. While there are many single-purpose tools, it is possible to find leading solutions with the features that manage both customer relationships and sales.  

3. Marketing Automation

This type of software should be in the marketing department rather than in sales. However, each company has its own way of assigning tasks; marketing and sales are known for overlapping duties at least in the area of B2B sales lead generation. Marketers run campaigns and generate leads using automation tools while reps nurture leads using the CRM database. The two bleed into each other and can mutually enhance each other. Many CRMs already have some marketing automation features integrated, for example, automated follow-ups and bulk email, but a more advanced approach demands a standalone marketing automation platform with the features like: 

  • auto-responders; 
  • A/B testing; 
  • content personalization; 
  • templates; 
  • landing page builders; 
  • custom channels, etc. 

Marketing automation is especially helpful in content production because it can facilitate with delivering messages across the board, running social media campaigns and launching an online bot and so on.

4. Business Intelligence

Business intelligence software is able to process all the company’s data in any shape and form and generate business predictions and insights. Companies are in dire need of BI tools to make decision-making easier for sales managers and lead nurturing for SDRs. 

Making use of successes and failures, business intelligence helps SDRs prioritize where to direct their energy while all analytical, reporting, and planning features cut down costs manifolds.

The most common BI features include (1) predictive analytics; (2) interactive dashboard; (3) smart insights and alarms; (4) data exploration; (5) real-time reporting; (6) modeling scenarios; (7) profitability analysis, and so on.   

 5. Sales Gamification

Gamifying sales is not a must-have but many sales managers see their team’s spirit soar and KPIs go through the roof after reps start getting points, scores, and rewards for their mundane activities. Powered by competitiveness, sales gamification software adds a pinch or two of fun to such tedious tasks as dialing leads, booking meetings, jotting down contacts, etc. It also increases the visibility of the performance of each team member. In the old days, reps used to lose motivation to compete early in the contest but now seeing their results in real-time on the dashboard, they are motivated day in and day out.

Sales lead software

Most leading solutions for b2b lead generation are part of all-in-one CRM platforms, such as HubSpot, Zoho, SalesForce, Insights, and others. It is possible, however, to have sales lead software tailored to a company’s specific purpose, such as building landing pages to channel leads to the website, lead scoring, sales funnel monitoring, etc.

Sales funnel software

Sales reps leverage sales funnel software specifically to visualize and monitor each stage of a customer’s journey. From creating a landing page and payment options to following up and dropshipping services, sales funnel tools assist representatives in guiding business leads and customers into a purchase. Some platforms have an option of enabling upsells, others facilitate handling social media and hosting webinars.  

Are software sales on the rise? Choosing software for your business

The days of old-fashioned sales are definitely gone. From now on, the role of tech in sales is getting bigger, and the software market is growing. To sell more and earn more, salespeople need as much support as they can get: Investing in a CRM is half the battle. Being basically sales database software, a good CRM always needs integrations and add-ons to cover all the needs and requirements of sales teams. At the same time, the configuration of the team, the existing technology, and the scale of the company will direct your choice in sales software.

At Belkins, we have worked in technology-enabled sales for many years and are always ready to share our experience in articles on the website or during a personal consultation.

Michael Maximoff

Co-founder and Managing Partner at Belkins
Mike has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing and technology sector selling to SMB internationally. Michael leads Belkins' sales force and is responsible for biz development and new partnerships.