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  • Linda Pophal

Essential sales tools every team needs to accelerate growth

From reducing manual processes to increasing account intelligence to improving sales predictability, sales technology helps both salespeople and sales managers to be better at what they do. Whether your goal is to accelerate growth, optimize sales outcomes, or scale your team, an investment in the right sales tools gives your organization the foundation to succeed. 

Sales is an interesting profession that has evolved far beyond the experiences of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, or the iconic imagery of the door-to-door salesperson and “Avon ladies” who were representative of a time when sales was all about person-to-person interactions and the human touch.

Today, sales success is dependent to a large degree on the tech tools that salespeople avail themselves of. And yet, despite the fact that technology is a must-have for salespeople of all stripes, the human touch still makes a difference— even when that human touch is exhibited in a digital environment where prospects and customers may be hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.

While personality and paying attention to prospect needs are still must-haves for salespeople in the 21st century—so are a wide array of sales tools that can help salespeople accelerate growth.

What do we mean by sales tools?

Sales tools is a phrase that can be used to refer to a wide range of tools that sales teams rely on to help them connect with, keep track of, manage, and analyze the effectiveness of their sales efforts. Sales automation tools have become increasingly important to salespeople and the organizations they work for. And, in fact, prospects and customers also benefit from these tools to expedite and improve the sales process and offer ongoing access to historical information about buyer preferences and order history.

Sales tools can refer to anything from customer relationship management (CRM) systems to proposal software to sales engagement tools, and more.

In 2021, LinkedIn published a Global State of Sales 2021 report based on input from 7500 buyers and sellers in 11 countries, in addition to data from LinkedIn’s own platform. They identified “seven key trends that are shaping the future of sales.” One key finding: “74% of sellers say their organization plans to spend more on sales intelligence tools in the next 12 months.” They also note that 94% of salespeople say that sales tools help them close more sales. If you’d like to win more deals, there are some key steps you could take to amp up your success.

Here we take a look at some of the most essential sales tools to drive sales success. How many do you have at your disposal?

CRM

We’ve already alluded to the widespread use of CRMs or customer relationship management tools. Some of the more widely used CRMs (and shameless plug, integrate quite well with Qwilr) are Salesforce and HubSpot. A CRM helps salespeople and the companies they work for track outreach and interactions with prospects and clients, manage and automate communications.

CRMs have become fundamental for any serious sales organization. Today, these complex, highly functional tools are generally available as software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms managed in the cloud and paid for based on a per-month/per-user fee schedule.

Additional noteworthy CRM platforms include Zoho and Pipedrive.

Sales intelligence tools

Today’s technology puts big data into the hands of salespeople at organizations of all types and sizes. Some sales intelligence tools help salespeople gather knowledge. When deeper insights are needed on an account, data enrichment tools are beneficial for researching, evaluating, and gathering insights on both the lead and organizational levels.  Want to know when a company receives funding or when a contact changes jobs? Sales intelligence tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo, LeadIQ, and Clearbit can help. 

Still, other sales intelligence tools focus on performance improvements, providing insights to help sales teams improve the effectiveness of their outreach activities. From analyzing call data to optimizing phone, email, and web interactions with a buyer, sales intelligence tools like Gong and Chorus help identify the behaviors that make your top salesperson more successful, so you can apply the knowledge to uplevel team performance and outcomes.

Data connector and integration tools

In today’s complex sales and business environment, it’s unlikely that any one system or tool will meet all of an organization’s or salesperson’s needs. Yet, organizations and salespeople need to be able to manage information across systems, ensuring that data isn’t siloed. Connecting technologies allows each tool to “talk to each other” so no piece of data is lost or overlooked, and all available data is leveraged appropriately, from prospecting to sales to performance analysis.

Data connector and integration tools enable advanced intelligence into business processes, connecting different systems so that data can be moved easily between them and aggregated for better (and faster) decision-making. Some examples of data connector and integration tools include SnapLogic, Jitterbit, and Boomi.

Sales analytics tools

Crunching the numbers doesn’t mean the same thing today as it did even a decade ago. Without a doubt, we have significantly more data at our fingertips than ever before— and the volume of information can be overwhelming and unwieldy to manage, let alone leverage.

Today’s sophisticated sales analytics tools help salespeople gain deal insights, activity stats, and monitor every aspect of the sales cycle. Sales managers can use this data to measure team performance, identify customers poised for their next sale, and predict sales trends.

No more pen-to-paper or Excel spreadsheets for today’s sophisticated sales organizations. Today, sales analytics systems, which generally work on top of a company’s CRM integrated through data connector tools, offer big data insights at the touch of a fingertip or a few mouse clicks.

As technology has evolved, sales analytics tools now also offer the sophistication of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, not only providing salespeople with historic sales data but alerting them to prospects with a high propensity to buy and predicting future sales opportunities.

Some examples of sales analytics tools include Clari, MaxG, and Zoho Analytics.

E-signature and document tracking

Salespeople prepare a lot of proposals, gather and store a lot of signatures and documents from prospects and customers located in multiple locations. Tracking all of these documents is critical for any sales organization and today’s technology makes the process simple and seamless.

E-signatures now allow documents to be legally signed electronically, reducing the time required for mailing or faxing documents back and forth. In addition to collecting signatures and storing documents, this technology also helps alert or prompt salespeople with notifications for critical dates and next steps to be taken with their accounts. 

E-signature and document tracking tools are typically used for contracts, which may be separate from other sales collateral or the actual proposal. Document tracking, of course, is a big part of the value of these tools which allow for seller follow-up as well as document security.

Some examples of e-signature and document tracking tools include HelloSign, DocuSign, and AdobeSign. Additionally, e-signature is also offered as part of many proposal software tools, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Quote and proposal software

Also sometimes referred to as configure, price, quote (CPQ) proposal software expedites the process of preparing customer quotes and sales proposals. Quote and proposal software is widely used by organizations to help accelerate the sales process and simplify the buyer’s experience throughout each stage of the sales process.

As every salesperson knows— at least those who had to plod through the preparation of proposals the old way— the proposal process can consume a lot of time, slow down the sales cycle, and in some cases, even result in losing a deal. Quote software fixes all that— and more.

Today’s quote and proposal software isn’t just functional— it also enables sellers to create beautiful, personalized, and interactive proposals, without needing a designer. Additionally, proposal software tools include e-signature capabilities, to streamline getting the buyer’s approval. Whether you’re a start-up SaaS company or a large enterprise organization, quote software can help a team scale, improve sales efficiency, and increase closed/won rates. If you create proposals of any kind, chances are good that you could benefit from quote and proposal software.

Some examples of quote and proposal software tools include Qwilr, Proposify, PandaDoc and HubSpot Quotes. And, because proposal software might look “all the same” on the surface, those seeking to make a purchase might find this third-party unsolicited review of Qwilr helpful.

Scaling sales with the right sales tools

Sales tools help sales teams to be more effective. From reducing manual processes to increasing account intelligence to improving sales predictability, sales technology helps both salespeople and sales managers to be better at what they do. Whether your goal is to accelerate growth, optimize sales outcomes, or scale your team, an investment in the right sales tools gives your organization the foundation to succeed. 


Curious how Qwilr sales proposals can help your team save time, stand out, and win more business? In just 15 minutes, we’ll show you how. Schedule a personalized demo now.

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