We’ve all heard the saying that time is money. But, when it comes to sales, this is especially true. The more time salespeople spend engaging with customers and closing deals, the more money a business (and each sales rep) stands to bring in.

This is why arming sales reps with productivity tools can be a great strategy to reduce repetitive administrative tasks and arm reps with the content and resources they need so they can focus on engaging more new customers and winning business.

Don’t just take our word for it; Research from Dooly found that 41% of the workday is not spent selling. And it doesn't get better when you consult other data sources. Salesforce conducted a study of 7,700 sales reps from 38 countries. Their data showed, “As selling gets increasingly difficult, many reps have limited time to connect with customers. Reps spend just 28% of their week actually selling, with the majority of their time consumed by other tasks like deal management and data entry.”

But throwing sales productivity tools at the problem doesn’t make it disappear. The salesforce study also showed that “Sales teams use an average of 10 tools to close deals. However, 94% of sales organizations plan to consolidate their tech stacks over the coming year to boost productivity.”

Does this sound like your organization? If you or your sales team are overwhelmed by administrative burdens and a large, complex sales tech stack - this article is for you!

We’ll look at some of the most popular cloud-based sales productivity software on the market and some emerging technology so you can evaluate and streamline your tech stack and determine what tool or tools will work best for your unique sales scenario.

What is sales productivity software?

Sales productivity software is the subset of software sales teams use to become more effective. It can save reps time by automating sales processes, including scheduling, outbound prospecting, and creating proposals, quotes, and personalized sales collateral. It can also support sales reps with actionable insights or help them better prioritize and complete the project management tasks associated with running large and complex deals.

Sales productivity software might include sales enablement, sales intelligence and sales tools that can help sales reps spend less time on segmentation or funnelling leads to the right business unit or sales rep.

A CRM tool is also part of the sales productivity software umbrella. It houses leads and contact information, and it can remind sales reps of milestones in the sales process, like follow-ups, or important milestones for their prospects, like birthdays or work anniversaries.

How do you choose the right sales productivity solution?

With so many options on the market for all facets of sales productivity, how do you optimize your technology and choose the right software for your business or sales team?

how do you choose the right sales productivity solution

One place you could start is to look at the weak links in your current sales process. Does your team struggle with documentation, or are they finding it challenging to write compelling messages when it comes to cold outreach or following up with prospects they’ve already been engaging with? There are tools that can help in all of these scenarios.

As with any other investment in software, you want to look at the cost vs. the benefits the tools will provide your team. Investing in pricy software just to say you use a specific tool, or because a sales rep managed to convince you that the tool will help your sales team and boost your bottom line is never a wise idea.

When evaluating software for your team, you want to choose tools that will enrich your sales process and make sales reps’ jobs easier by removing complexity or administrative burdens rather than adding to them.

Features to look for in a sales productivity solution

The features or benefits you want to look for in sales productivity solutions include integrations, automations, notifications, and functionality that aligns with your sales process. You also want to pick tools that are customizable so you can ensure they support your sales process instead of creating additional work.

For example, when choosing a customer relationship management tool, you want to select one that integrates with your virtual workspace, dialer, meeting scheduling tools, and even your chosen proposal software.

Allowing contact records to be updated automatically as reps complete sales activities and meetings throughout the sales process ensures both the rep and sales leaders have the most accurate information. This can help track progress to quotas and give insights into sales forecasting for the business.

The 12 best sales productivity tools in 2023

When it comes to productivity tools for modern B2B sales, these 12 will help sales teams step up their game in every way. Whether you’re looking to learn more about your prospects, clients, and the industry at large or automate some of your most repetitive tasks, these are the tools you need.

Linkedin Sales Navigator

A table summarizing Linkedin Sales Navigator's features

Primary use cases: Sales Navigator highlights three primary use cases: To find and drive more qualified leads, gather and manage insights for smarter outreach, and collaborate with your team.

Standout features: Sales Navigator has two product offerings, Sales Navigator Core and Sales Navigator Advanced. The core version allows sellers to find leads and accounts in their target market, get insights for warm outreach, and build and nurture relationships with prospects and current customers. The advanced version adds the ability to unlock prospect activity, engagement, and interest data from LinkedIn.com, upload and manage your book of business share content, and track engagement.

Tracking & analytics: Data can be exported as a CSV. Advanced users can also integrate with Tableau, Power BI, or InsightSquared.

Integrations: Per LinkedIn’s help documentation, “Sales Navigator is built to integrate seamlessly with your team's daily sales and relationship workflow. Sales Navigator is available both as a viewable embedded profile within your CRM and can also be actively synced with your CRM to move important information like leads and accounts from CRM to Sales Navigator. The sync is also enabled to write back specific Sales Navigator information to your CRM.”

Customer support: Use the help center for basic questions, submit a ticket, or live chat for more advanced support.

Pricing: The core level pricing starts at $63.99/month when billed annually, and the advanced starts at $131.25/month when billed annually. Month to month pricing is also available.

Outreach.io

A table summarizing Outreach's features

Primary use cases: According to its website, “Outreach gives sales leaders a complete picture of the entire sales cycle so they can increase deal velocity, pipeline conversion, and rep productivity. At the same time, sellers have all of the capabilities and insights they need to build pipeline, run meetings, navigate buying committees, and manage deals to close.”

Standout features: Outreach is a comprehensive platform offering sales engagement, mutual action plans, conversation intelligence, rep coaching, deal insights, pipeline management, and forecasting.

Templates: In Outreach, “Templates are a framework to standardize processes and ensure the right sales events and communications are conducted to build the sales pipeline and close deals.”

Tracking & analytics: Robust analytics and reporting capabilities. With Outreach, you can run a report efficiently within analytics by filtering down any field that is attached to revenue (opportunities) in your database. Reps and sales leaders can zoom in on account attributes, decision-maker titles, and any custom or standard field across any object.

Integrations: Over 90 integrations are supported, including HubSpot, LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, Sesimic, HighSpot & Chorus.

Customer support: Outreach provides a robust customer support team which is based on subscription level. At the most basic, they provide access to Outreach University Courses, monthly best practice webinars, and access to their support portal with extensive documentation and technical resources. When live assistance is needed, support is available via web ticket. For premium users, more customized and personal support options are available.

Pricing: While actual pricing information is not provided on the pricing page, different packages are explained with a button to request pricing. The pricing FAQ says, “Outreach is licensed on a per-user basis, which includes frontline sales- and customer-facing teams, sales managers, and leaders. You pick a single package for your organization and pay a single per-user fee across your users.”

Gong

A table summarizing Gong's features

Primary use cases: Gong gives sales reps and sales managers valuable insights across workflows in the sales process. It records and analyzes sales calls, providing actionable data to reps, and helps sales leaders coach better and make data-driven decisions.

Standout features: Gong captures comprehensive customer interactions, including telephone and video calls, emails, and more. It uses AI to analyze these interactions and provide insights that can be used to coach reps and shorten sales cycles.

Templates: Gong has rounded up 20 popular templates that sales teams can leverage to win more deals. They also offer a robust resource hub with data gleaned from analyzing hundreds of thousands of sales calls, emails, and communication.

Tracking & analytics: Gong provides robust analysis and insights into your sales communication. This may include how much of a sales call the sales rep spent speaking vs. listening or at what point in the meeting the pricing conversation was introduced.

Integrations: Integrates seamlessly with almost any sales tech stack. Integrations include Calendly, ChiliPiper, HubSpot, Slack, Zoom and many other tools.

Customer support: The website directs users to a self-service help center with the option to contact support from there. There is also a user community to connect with fellow customers.

Pricing: Details about pricing are not publicly available on their website. The pricing page has some information and a short form for interested prospects to fill out and get pricing data based on their use cases and number of users.

Qwilr

A table summarizing Qwilr's features

Primary use cases: Qwilr's web based proposal software helps create media-rich sales proposals, collateral, and quotes. Qwilr can be used by sales teams, marketing teams, sales operations, and revenue officers.

Standout features: Qwilr offers a robust content library that helps sales reps create content quickly on the go. Within a document, prospects have the ability to accept a proposal with the click of a button making the proposal a legally binding contract.

There are easy-to-create and populate pricing tables so that sales reps can provide variable pricing or custom package options for prospects—the data updates to reflect the final price in an easy-to-understand way.

Templates: Qwilr offers over 100 professional, varied proposal templates, including an enterprise sales template, mutual action plan, marketing proposal, and many more.

The template library also has generic templates that align with popular sales methodologies like BANT, MEDDPICC, and proof of concept selling.

Tracking & analytics: Sales reps and their leadership teams can see who engaged with the shared content and what they looked at when clicking. This can help sellers create better proposals in the future and include the information that matters most to prospects.

Integrations: Qwilr integrates with many popular CRMs and sales tools, including Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack and more, to help reduce the administrative burden on reps and allow them to have the most up-to-date information about each deal's sales cycle stage.

Customer support: 24hr customer support on weekdays with limited support on weekends and holidays.

Pricing: Qwilr offers business and enterprise plans starting at $35 per user per month when paid annually. Take advantage of a 14-day free trial before committing.

Chili Piper

A table summarizing Chili Piper's features

Primary use cases: Chili Piper is used for automating appointment scheduling. It also helps sales reps route leads and schedule meetings.

Standout features: When using Chili Piper, prospects have the ability to book meetings with a single click. The tool can also be used to route leads to the right sales rep automatically. And they provide a solution that allows leads to be qualified directly from a form.

Templates: Chili Piper offers templates that can be updated using your company branding. These templates can be used for sending follow-up emails, booking meetings, and creating different meeting types. They can also be used to share meeting agendas, pre-reads, and create follow-up tasks after the meeting is complete.

Tracking & analytics: Chili Piper can track the number of leads who book meetings, the number who no-show or cancel scheduled meetings, the average meeting length and the most popular meeting times. It can also be used to create reports that show how different meeting types perform, how leads are routed to each rep, and how individual reps are performing.

Integrations: Integrates with CRMs, Zapier, Zoom, Twillio, Unbounce, and many other popular sales tools.

Customer support: Chili Piper offers multiple options for customer support, including a self-service knowledge base, live chat, email, and phone support.

Pricing: Chili Piper’s Pricing is based on features and starts at $15/user per month when paid annually. They also offer some feature bundles for customers seeking a more comprehensive solution.

Apollo.io

A table summarizing Apollo.io's features

Primary use cases: Primarily used as a sales engagement platform that helps businesses find and connect with potential customers, nurture them into leads, and close more deals. It can also also be used to generate leads by sending cold emails and follow-up emails. Another primary use is that Apollo can act as your CRM and provide insights into customer behavior.

Standout features: Apollo boasts a large database of over 250 million potential customers and allows targeted outreach to specific industries, company sizes, and job titles. Sellers can personalize their communication by using names and other company information. It can save time and effort by automating tasks, including sending emails, booking meetings, and following up on sales leads.

Templates: Users have access to a variety of templates to help them get started with sales engagement and lead generation. These templates include email templates, LinkedIn templates, and social media templates.

Tracking & analytics: Sellers can get detailed tracking and analytics on sales engagement and lead generation performance. Each rep can see how many leads they have generated, how many emails they have sent, and how many meetings they have booked.

Integrations: Integrates with popular CRM platforms, such as Salesforce and HubSpot. This allows you to easily track your sales engagement and lead generation performance from within one platform.

Customer support: 24/7 customer support is available via email and chat.

Pricing: Apollo.io offers a free plan with limited features. Paid plans start at $49 per user per month.

Emerging sales productivity tools

While we’ve looked at some of the industry's best and most popular tools, these up-and-coming tools are already proving their value to sales teams and may even be starting to change the game.

If you’re an early adopter or just looking to try something new to up your game, you might consider adding one or more of the following tools to your tech stack.

UserGems

A table summarizing UserGems' features

Primary use cases: UserGems can be used to collect and analyze user feedback to improve your products and services. It can also be used to improve customer support by helping you to understand customer needs and identify potential problems. Sharing is caring, so if you invest in UserGems, you can loop in your marketing team so that they can use it to improve your marketing campaigns by helping them to understand your target audience and create more effective content.

Standout Features: UserGems uses AI to analyze user feedback and highlight key themes and insights. It’s user-friendly platform makes collecting feedback easier than ever. And, it allows sales and marketing teams to work together on user research projects.

Templates: Offers a variety of templates to help you get started with user research. These include surveys, interviews, and even usability tests.

Tracking and analytics: UserGems provides detailed tracking and analytics on your user feedback. You can see how many users have responded to your surveys, how long they have spent on your usability tests, and what key themes and insights have emerged.

Integrations: This tool integrates with popular CRM and analytics platforms, such as Salesforce and Google Analytics. This is important because now you to easily track your user feedback and manage your customer relationships from within one platform.

Customer support: UserGems offers 24/7 customer support via email and chat.

Pricing: Is not available online.

Lavender

A table summarizing Lavender's features

Primary use cases: Lavender is billed as the #1 AI-powered sales email coach. It can help you write better emails faster, personalize your outreach, and improve your response rates. Organizations can leverage their capabilities to improve their customer support emails by helping to write clear, concise, and informative responses. Outside of writing better emails, it can be used to generate creative content, such as blog posts, social media posts, and marketing materials.

Standout features: This toolanalyzes your emails and provides real-time feedback on your writing, grammar, tone, and clarity. It can provide personalized suggestions for improving emails which include adding more context, deleting unnecessary words and improving the overall flow of your message.

Templates: Lavender has a library of pre-written email templates you can customize and send to your prospects and customers. These templates are designed to help you with a variety of tasks, such as cold email outreach, follow-up emails, demo requests, closing deals, and opening customer support tickets.

Tracking & analytics: Leverage analytics capabilities to understand how many emails you've sent, how many have been opened and clicked, and how many have led to replies and conversions. Use this date to leverage the best-performing email content and continue to optimize your communications.

Integrations: Lavender integrates with popular CRM and email marketing platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Gmail. This allows you to easily track your email performance and manage your sales pipeline within one platform.

Customer support: 24/7 customer support via email and chat.

Pricing: Lavender offers a free plan with limited features. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Woodpecker

A table summarizing Woodpecker's features

Primary use cases: Helps send personalized emails at scale. It can also be used to generate leads via cold email and the corresponding follow-up. For teams looking to optimize their tech stack, Woodpecker can also serve as a CRM and track both email interactions and customer data.

Standout features: Personalize emails by adding relevant content like the recipient’s name, company, and job title. You also have the ability to set up drip campaigns at a frequency that aligns with your sales cycle. Woodpecker allows sales reps to automate their entire outreach process, saving time for other sales activities. The tool also includes a bounce shield to prevent sellers from reaching their send limit and a deliverability monitor that helps to predict and prevent sending issues before they happen.

Templates: Woodpecker has a library of pre-written email templates you can customize and send to your prospects and customers. These templates are designed to help you with a variety of tasks, such as generating leads, providing additional support, and even closing deals.

Tracking & analytics: Get detailed tracking and analytics on your email performance. You can see how many emails you've sent, how many have been opened and clicked, and how many have led to replies and conversions.

Integrations: Like many of the tools on this list, Woodpecker integrates with popular CRM and email marketing platforms, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Gmail. This allows you to easily track your email performance and manage your sales pipeline from within one platform.

Customer support: Woodpecker offers 24/7 customer support via email and chat.

Pricing: Woodpecker offers a free plan for seven days or 50 cold emails, whichever comes first. Paid plans start at $59 per month per email slot. (An email slot is defined as a place to plug in an email address. If you want to use Woodpecker to send from five different emails, you will need five email slots.)

SetSail

SetSail summary feature table

Primary use cases: SetSail ensures reps are always prepared for every sales conversation with AI-generated summaries, metrics, and insights. With its Slack integration, users can simply prompt SetSail's AI in Slack and receive an accurate, complete picture of the status of an opportunity or account.

Standout features: Not surprisingly, it’s SetSail’s AI features that are a standout to sales teams. With their AI solution, you can get questions answered on any deal, automate your deal analysis with popular methodologies like MEDDIC and Spin, and get recommended next steps.

Tracking & analytics: With SetSail, reps and leaders have access to analytics that go beyond traditional CRM metrics. Its predictive insights can forecast which deals are likely to close, enabling proactive decision-making. Reps can receive real-time feedback on their performance, allowing them to refine their approaches mid-course.

Integrations: SetSail integrates with popular CRMs and B2B engagement platforms like Gong and Outreach.

Customer support: SetSail offers a comprehensive knowledge base for users to navigate its features. Live chat support is available for quick queries, and for more in-depth issues or training, there's an option to schedule calls with their team.

Pricing: SetSail operates on a tiered pricing model based on the size of the sales team and desired features. Exact pricing details can be obtained via a consultation with their sales team.

Tavus

A table summarizing Tavus' features

Primary use cases: Create personalized videos at scale. Grow and maintain your audience, create webinar follow-ups, and incorporate videos into your inbound leads.

Standout features: The ability to record your general message and add variables to allow for maximum customization and personalization. Tavus uses AI to clone your voice, allowing you to generate personalized videos without saying another word! The tool can also add personalized backgrounds, elements of brand identity, and custom CTAs.

Templates: Users have the ability to create templates that are easy to customize.

Tracking & analytics: Offers a suite of analytics, including the ability to view demographic information, monitor viewer device breakdown and track engagement on a per-video level.

Integrations: Integrates with the most popular tools, including Salesforce, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Klavyo, Constant Contact, and many more.

Customer support: Tavus offers a knowledge base and technical support for logged-in customers.

Pricing: Is not provided online. To get a quote, you must request a demo using a business email. Their scheduling tool notes that requests from personal emails will be canceled.

Read.ai

A table summarizing Read.ai's features

Note that this tool is similar to Gong, so if that’s already in your tech stack or something you’re considering, this may feel duplicative. But, based on reviews and the available features, it might be worth another look.

Primary use cases: Optimize meetings with Read.ai. This tool provides AI-generated meeting summaries, transcripts, playbacks, and highlights. It helps sales reps keep track of key questions and action items.

Standout features: Provides meeting highlights and detailed meeting notes with questions and action items. Meeting playbacks allow sellers to rewatch meetings, and the analytics dashboard provides trends over time across meetings.

Templates: N/A

Tracking & analytics: Analytics dashboards highlight trends across meetings. The tool can also report on key metrics like talk time and bias.

Integrations: Read.AI integrates with your calendar to help optimize meeting times and automatically records and takes notes. It also integrates with Webhooks, Zapier, and video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet as well as Slack.

Customer support: Read.ai offers a robust support center so users can self-service and get answers to common questions.

Pricing: Tiered pricing includes a free version with limited functionality. The pro level starts at $15/user per month when paid annually, and the enterprise level, their most popular option, starts at $22.50/user per month when paid annually.

Adding sales productivity tools and refining your workflows

With so many options, it’s critical that you choose the sales productivity tools that will enhance your workflows and allow you to make the best possible use of your limited time.

You don’t want to become a slave to your tech stack, and you want to ensure the tools you choose help you save time, become more efficient, and ultimately boost your bottom line!

It’s okay if a tool takes a little bit of time to set up or has a learning curve, but you want to make sure your investment in getting the tool set up pays off quickly.

We’ve designed Qwilr with sales reps’ productivity in mind. This is why it’s easy to set up templates that can be personalized for prospects and customers. Our software integrates with many popular CRMs to increase your efficiency.

Want to see it in action and determine if it’s the right proposal tool for your team? Book a demo in a few clicks (see, we make it that easy, too)!

About the author

Brendan Connaughton, Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan Connaughton|Head of Growth Marketing

Brendan heads up growth marketing and demand generation at Qwilr, overseeing performance marketing, SEO, and lifecycle initiatives. Brendan has been instrumental in developing go-to-market functions for a number of high-growth startups and challenger brands.

FAQs

The most popular sales productivity tools are CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, scheduling tools like Calendly and ChiliPiper, collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom, and AI proposal generation tools like Qwilr.

The number of sales productivity tools a sales team needs is contingent on many factors, including the size of the sales team, the number of customers they serve, and the complexity of the deals they manage.

At the very least, a sales team should consider tools that have the functionality to act as a CRM, send proposals, quotes, and contracts, and help manage to-dos. More complex sales teams may want to add scheduling tools (like Calendly or ChiliPiper), email automation software, and tools for more robust analytics.