Before we get started, we would like to clarify: No, you can’t put your sales on autopilot. The ultimate success of your company will depend on your ability to tell your audience segments apart and adjust your campaigns to their needs. No tool will do that for you.
The success of account-based marketing and account-based sales development suggests that the future of sales is human-managed. Therefore, there is no point in waiting for an ultimate AI that will solve your sales challenges once and for all.
“Why do I even need sales prospecting tools then?” you might ask. Research and prospecting take a lot of time, especially when done by one person. If you want top-tier data, you have to browse dozens, if not hundreds of data sources. Everywhere, you go through one and the same routine of finding your prospect’s name in the data registry, picking out contact data, comparing it with the data you’ve already found.
Numerous sales prospecting techniques recommend tools that let you lower the monotony of searching for the data down to a tolerable level, enrich your hand-curated data, and reach more customer data platforms within a shorter time period.
Sales tools: common myths
“If I use the X tool, I score all the deals”
To many of us, this sounds as wild as the Flat Earth Society but since the Flat Earth Society actually exists, there is truly no limit to the things people want to believe in. In the case of “revolutionary sales tools” we also have lazy marketing efforts to thank for that widespread idea that just one tool can turn the tables on the entire sales process.
It’s much easier to hype up the product and pull on the strings of the consumers’ insecurity than base advertising on actual and relevant information. In truth, there are no one-for-all tools that fit almost any business. Every tool is as good as you use it.
“Sales tools are for rich companies, not startups”
Yes, you often have to purchase a tool before you use it — and lots of corporate tools are quite costly because they are designed for corporate use. However, it doesn’t mean that all startup owners have to condemn themselves to work with data on their own. Luckily, many tools are actually aware of the different types of companies that need their features, so some of them offer flexible pricing to fit any company’s budget, while others offer free but limited sets of features to let the users check out the performance and see if this is the tool they need.
“Sales prospecting tools are a scam, I only need my CRM”
Yes, that belief is also quite common. It mostly comes from the disenchanted Myth # 1 believers who go through the crisis of faith and condemn all sales tools.
Remember, If you are not satisfied with the performance of the sales tool:
- You can be using it wrong.
- You’re looking for the wrong type of data.
- You haven’t thought your KPIs through.
Your tools are an important part of your sales prospecting techniques, so you should pick them in accordance with your ICP and business goals.
Why do you need sales prospecting tools?
The less time you need to research how to find leads, the more B2B sales leads you generate. The more B2B sales leads you generate, the more prospects you qualify. The more prospects you qualify, the more customers you convert.
Sales prospecting tools don’t show you where your most profitable customers are — they help you accelerate your search and check every single bit of data for your outreach campaigns.
They save you from bounce rate
With many email verification tools at your disposal, you avoid sending emails to invalid or non-existent addresses. Therefore, you don’t risk your Sender Score every time you send a new batch of emails.
They map your market
Prospecting tools allow you to segment your prospects into groups by their company size, number of employees and other firmographic qualifiers, allowing you to outline your primary target audience and create a strategy that will work best.
They show where it hurts
If you can read the signs, you’ll always know the top of mind concerns of your prospects. Lots of open Android developer vacancies? Then your prospects would love to learn about your outsourcing options. Do they have anti-malware software installed? Your solution might be a better one. They are using outdated technology? Warn them about the dangers of doing so and suggest an alternative.
How to choose the right tool?
The right approach to choosing and using prospecting tools is defined after you answer the following questions:
- What are my goals?
- Who might need my services?
- What kind of budget do my services require?
- What kind of issues do my services solve?
- Who will be using my solution?
Usually, all these questions are covered by your Ideal Customer Profile, so if you started working with sales prospecting tools without one, make sure to stop what you’re doing and start planning your ICP right now. Every campaign, every new product would require you to create a new Ideal Customer or to review your existing one. Your objectives and goals change as you grow and carve a place for yourself in your industry — your ICP must reflect that.
At Belkins, we rely on a range of prospecting tools to facilitate our future communication with our prospects. Our set of prospecting tools can be divided into several groups.
The best email finder tools
When you know who your ICP is, you need to find their contacts. Here is a list of tools to help you find an email for your outreach company.
- Voila Norbert provides an intelligent lead generation tool that is designed to find corporate addresses as quickly as possible.
- Clearbit is the tool that refreshes your sales records by automatically updating your them with accurate prospect data (company info and titles)
- SellHack is an online platform that enables users to comb through social media profiles more efficiently, getting more email addresses and contact data for creating a successful introduction template.
- A CRM plugin for enriching your database with relevant B2B data, Lusha helps to establish fast, genuine relationships with potential buyers, contacts, and partners.
- Datanyze is the #1 technographics provider with the technology insights that let more than one B2B lead generation company accelerate their account-based marketing.
- Improver is a simple and user-friendly Chrome extension that makes your social media platform research a lot more productive.
- GetProfiles provides plenty of tools for automatizing your list building. It provides in-depth data on your prospects’ company structure and technology.
- FindThatLead is the LinkedIn extension that makes every moment you spend prospecting people on LinkedIn count.
- AnyMailFinder was developed to find business emails of the people who work at the company you’re interested in.
- RocketReach is a Chrome extension that dives into the professional networks to fish out contact data for you.
- Anyleads is a lead generation infrastructure that makes building email drip campaigns easier for companies of any size.
- LinkedIn Email Finder and Outreach extension by Reply search for prospects’ business emails in seconds, free of charge, and automates sales outreach. The email research success rate for the US market is up to 80%.
The best email verification tools
Before we start sending emails, we must be confident that we have the right address. People don’t always update their LinkedIn profiles, so there is always a risk of sending to the recipient who is no longer connected to the company of interest.
- Voila Norbert is an intelligent lead generation tool designed for data enrichment. It lets you find anyone's corporate email address, saving time on the manual search, and letting you start working on increasing your conversion immediately.
- With Hunter.io, finding, and verifying professional email addresses from domains and companies became a matter of one click.
- Bounceless.io is an irreplaceable tool for digital marketers who design and manage multiple email campaigns. It provides a bulk email verification option, so you won’t have to waste time, checking emails one by one.
- ZeroBounce is an email validation and email verification platform that lets you inject transparency into your email outreach by ensuring that all emails in your list are valid and belong to legitimate business domains.
- As the name implies, the Email List Validation tool exists to let you validate lists in bulk, removing deleted email accounts or emails that can reduce your Sender Score.
- MyEmailVerifier is an online email verification service that lets you verify any email promptly. You can try its features in a demo version or start verifying emails on the spot.
- Blaze Verify is a SaaS-based solution and simply a must if you have a large email database. Its bulk validation feature saves you hours of work.
- Email List Verify lets you remove non-existent emails and decrease the probability of hard bounces in your outreach.
- DataValidation is an email verification tool that can be easily integrated with your preferred email service providers to let you validate emails directly in your inbox.
- DeBounce is the service where you can upload and validate lists of emails without wasting time or compromising your data security.
- QuickEmailVerification is an option for those who need to verify emails quickly to ensure that their campaign goes smoothly and their IP reputation is secure.
- If you want a fast turnaround time, NeverBounce is the service for you. It’s a hybrid solution that provides a real-time email verification without making you waste hours on manual search.
- MailboxValidator helps you keep your emails clean from invalid emails, non-existent email addresses, and other potentially dangerous content.
- UseBouncer is a fast and secure API that allows verifying emails in bulk. You can easily integrate it with MailChimp and other email service providers, injecting more precision into gathering email databases.
The best data enrichment services
After we validate the contact data, we think about the content of our sales message. What are we going to talk about? How do we get our recipients’ attention? What would keep them reading our messages?
To glean as many useful insights as possible, we use the following tools:
- Datanyze. It’s a tool that compiles data from a massive range of sources: Alexa.com, connected social media, registered technologies, tools, and extensions. With Datanyze, you get foundational website data (traffic, monthly visits, Alexa Rank), firmographic data (number of employees, company type), technology data (tools for web analytics, marketing automation), and contact data (emails and Skype). All that data builds an image of your potential customer and lets you understand what they would like to learn from you in your first message.
- Discoverly. With this tool, you get a close look at your prospects’ social media data. Discoverly works for LinkedIn (mutual connections, users in the network), Facebook (mutuals, titles in the network), Twitter (tweets and mutual connections), allowing you to explore your prospects’ communication and find any titles that can help you connect with your intended recipient.
- Glassdoor. This source shows you if the prospect’s company has any open vacancies. If those open vacancies are relevant to your services or products, you receive ammunition for your first B2B sales email.
- AngelList. This source contains multiple companies that can be filtered by a wide range of qualifiers: from funding stage and organization type to the number of investors and employees.
- SimilarTech. This source provides you with the data on your prospect’s tech stack: from software to web technologies. SimilarTech is particularly useful for dev companies since they provide insights on their prospects’ current status concerning technology and yield possible data on competitors.
- Wiza. This Chrome extension lets you turn your LinkedIn Sales Navigator searches and leads into a list of contacts, complete with verified emails. With a click of a button, you can find accurate contact info for hundreds (or thousands) of leads at once.
- Clearbit. Clearbit automatically updates your sales records with the accurate, verified company and contact data. With best-in-class data at your fingertips, you’ll have better insights into your prospects and more time to connect with them.
- Linkedin Sales Navigator. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an advanced sales tool that aids sales teams, organizations, and individuals to build and nurture customer relationships on the network. This also enables them to enhance their performance regarding sales and business leads to boosted profits. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users can reach the right kind of customers by using the search and filter features. The application also provides actionable information and insights that pave the way for a deeper understanding of business to business leads and prospects. This way, they can engage with them at a more personal level by offering personalized and tailored content and offers.
- Enrich Belkins App is a tool we came up with to make your search faster and free of non-valid emails that can increase your bounce rate. It works online and takes only a click to access our features for accelerating your email research and upgrading your email database.
- ZoomInfo provides accurate and actionable B2B contact and company information to accelerate the growth of sales and marketing teams.
- UpLead is a B2B prospecting platform that lets you glean B2B contact data from over 200 countries. The tool offers more than 50 search criteria, letting you achieve max precision and find only the leads that matter.
The best outreach automation services
After you gather all the information you need, it’s time to start sending emails and building schedules for your follow-ups. Below you can find a list of sales engagement tools and platforms that can let you do that just without any setbacks.
- Reply.io lets you automate your sales. For example, you can put your email campaigns on autopilot, saving more time for personalizing your messages.
- Lemlist is your little outreach helper. Fully compatible with Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zapier, and other sales platforms, this tool provides a wide range of cold email templates and options to create dynamic emails, complete with text and images.
- SalesLoft is a massive platform for sales engagement that covers every aspect of your sales, from automating your cadence to calendaring.
- Outreach gives you better control over tracking your emails’ progress, email cadence, and the way your recipients interact with your email campaigns.
- Mailshake allows building email and phone cadences. A good option if you manage a tone of email campaigns every day and need automation to help you out.
- Close CRM is the perfect fit for small enterprises and startups. It’s like a digital Swiss army knife - lightweight, intuitive in use, and full of tools that can help you with anything.
- Persistiq is an email automation tool that provides a wide range of customization options, letting you insert more individuality into your sales and customer outreach.
- In spite of its name, Woodpecker.co is a smart tool designed to help you create non-invasive yet regular B2B follow-ups.
- Snov.io is a tool that helped us out on many occasions. It allowed us to reach max deliverability in our email outreach by improving our lead research and gleaning out the most relevant leads.
- Outplayhq is another massive platform for sales engagement., complete with features for sales outreach, Open Rate and Click Rate monitoring, and dialer automation.
- Quickmail is a fast and smart tool that lets you schedule your outbound emails and follow-ups easily. Since building the right schedule for sending emails is highly important, Quickmail is a life-saver.
- Within Prospect.io, you can build email lists, create meaningful campaigns, and get full reports on the end result of each campaign.
- With Followup.cc, sales professionals get more flexibility since it lets them organize their emails and manage their connections directly in their business inbox.
- SalesHandy lives up to its name by being immensely handy in use. You install it as an extension in your Gmail or Outlook inbox. From there, you get fast email tracking and automation.
- If you’re looking for a sales automation platform that lets you pick up the speed with your lead generation without losing sales predictability out of sight, Growbots is the place to go.
- Manually crafted emails are a must. But you can entrust a high-quality email automation service to do it for you. FunnelBake provides great compatibility with a wide range of ESPs and is intuitive in use.
What kind of sales prospecting tools would we recommend?
Aside from providing feedback on the tools we’ve worked with personally, we wouldn’t say that any of them is a must for you.
We can only provide several basic tips to help you with choosing the best tools for sales prospecting.
Extensions are your friends
Tools that can pull data from online platforms directly into your inbox are insanely comfortable to work with. They let you view everything in one place, without opening thousands of tabs and new windows, which we came to appreciate after years of dealing with tab overloads.
There can’t be only one tool
Never be satisfied with the data you receive from one or two sources. All of them get updated at a different pace, so you might be using obsolete data. Better spend extra time looking up your prospect across several other sources instead of jeopardizing your entire outreach.
Don’t forget about website research tools
Your prospects’ websites are your primary source of sales data and outreach fuel. After you explore its every page, peek into its traffic data, SEO data, activity data, and plugin data to get an HD picture of your potential B2B buyer.
With great data comes great responsibility. Your campaigns fully depend on the quality and relevance of your data profiles — and whether you were able to draw the right conclusions and plan your strategy in compliance with your research.
Since there are no ultimate, sales performance management tools, you must let your goals and needs drive you in your choice of sales prospecting tools and techniques. So look closely, choose wisely, and don’t hesitate to test and compare results until you find the tool that fits your business goals like a glove.
If you want to learn more about what kind of tools we also use, send us a message. We’re always ready to talk.