B2B Sales Prospecting Tools You Really Should be Using in 2019
It’s 2019, and there’s a sleuth of B2B sales prospecting tools out there, each more promising than the next. But before you write that check, take some time to think about your business and how the sales team fits in the bigger picture.
There are four types of sales prospecting tools that I believe every team should have available, and can’t be successful without them. These essential tools are: sales cadence, contact database, contact guessers and dialing tools.
The sales tech stack is ever evolving. New companies are popping up every month with great new solutions. In this article, we’ll focus on sales prospecting tools for B2B companies. We’ll break down sales cadence tools, B2B contact database tools, contact guessers and dialing or phone tools.
Contact Database Tools
The most important part of prospecting tools is having clean contact information. Bad data is at the root of many sales team’s failures. If you don’t have the right phone numbers, emails, social media links, or mailing addresses – it doesn’t really matter what other type of tools you have.
Prospects change numbers, they change jobs, they might even move laterally in companies. OR they might be using your competitors, or give you the wrong contact information on purpose (you know, to avoid those pesky telemarketers).
There are so many options on the market when it comes to clean B2B contact data. We’ve identified two main types of tools that sales reps shouldn’t do without, and these are contact database tools and scraping tools.
The most reliable database tools on the market today are Discoverorg and Zoominfo (recently acquired by DiscoverOrg). These prospecting tools allow you to search contact data for a prospect based on different variables. You can search prospects by specific companies, industry, employee size, revenue, location, etc.
Database tools not only allow you to find contacts, but will also keep their contact information up to date. People subscribe to these services because they are calling, emailing, and doing the research work to keep this information up to date.
Sales Cadence Tools
Sales cadence tools are one of the most critical tools for sales prospecting. They help sales people manage multi-touch outbound marketing campaigns. But more importantly, they allow sales reps to use omnichannel communication with their prospects.
The Power of Omnichannel Communication
There’s around 6.8 people involved in any one B2B solution purchase. Each of these stakeholders will have its own preferred way of consuming content and of communicating with vendors. Targeted outreach needs to include this type of personalization. The time of sending random emails or making one-off calls is over. Sales reps need to work on ongoing, consistent and relevant outreach to specific targets. And this means using personalized messaging in a multi-touch cadence.
Multi-touch will use a series of outreach methods (email, calls, voicemails, social media, text, even chat or video) over a period of days or months.
For example, you may decide over a 25-day period that you’re going to reach out someone seven different times. You’ll use a mix of email, cold calls, direct mail, LinkedIn connects, or whatever works best specifically within your niche. To manage this outreach, you need a tool that helps organize exactly where prospects are at in the outreach process. B2B prospecting means that at any given point you might have 50-100 prospects enrolled in specific sales cadences. The process cannot scale and get meaningful results unless you get the right sales prospecting tools for your sales team.
My two favorite sales cadence tools to manage multi-touch campaigns are Outreach.io and Salesloft. Both of these tools are highly configurable and integrate directly with your email client (Google or Outlook). They will help you accomplish a few key things:
manage outreach to hundreds of people
ensure sales reps are consistently following up
make sure leads don’t slip through the cracks.
These tools also integrate with Salesforce and a few other CRMs. They cost around $100 per user/month, and they are an essential tool in a B2B sales rep’s prospecting arsenal.
Cold calling still works, although it’s changed a bit since the old days of telemarketing. There are three main types of technology salespeople use today when making phone calls:
The first is your normal phone or cell phone. You dial one by one, try to have conversations, and when you finish the call you move onto the next person and make the dial. Most sales reps fall into this bucket, they pick up the phone and just dial.
Call automation allows you to upload a list of contacts to a calling software. When you hang up with one person, the system can automatically dial a second person.
A dialer with calling automation will also include functionality such as:
Click-to call for sales agents efficiency
Recording calls for compliance or training purposes
Whisper to make sure managers can help sales reps on calls
Drop voicemails so you don’t have to repeat the same voicemail over and over.
One of our favorite calling technologies in this second group is a tool called Frontspin. These types of tools are fairly inexpensive, think under $100 per user/month most of the time. By using this type of tool, you can typically speed up dialing by 3-4X.
Multi-Dialing Technology or Service
Finally, there is a third type of technology which speeds up the calling process for sales reps even further. Multi-dialing allows you to call multiple people at once. When someone actually picks up the phone, they are transferred into your headset. It’s been a boon for B2B prospecting lately, and sales development reps around the US are raving about this technology.
It means you don’t waste time with phone trees or dialing anymore. Once the right person actually picks up, you focus on the conversations. Some companies in this space have actual people who are calling around and transferring once you get to the right person. Others are just now starting to use technology.
Regardless, this has been ground-breaking. You can make hundreds of calls per day and focus in on the actual conversations. The largest player in this space for B2B companies is Connect and Sell. But there are other technologies coming up that are much more affordable such as Dialbot.
For these technologies you usually pay per dial, which can get pretty expensive. But imagine how much more productive you could be if you were only focused on having conversations – no dialing, no phone trees, no admins.
Prospecting tools that work outside the CRM like Seamless.ai and LeadIQ will allow you to get updated contact information for your leads. To use the tools, you download a Google Chrome plugin that will allow you to easily create a list of contacts that you’re interested in. The tool then “guesses” their contact information through a carefully thought-out algorithm.
To be fair, these tools are much better at pulling contacts spreadsheets then they are at guessing the right contact information. Database tools like DiscoverOrg and Zoominfo have much better accuracy, but they are also a lot more expensive.
Regardless of the type of tool you are using, there is typically still a level of validation needed. At OutboundView we take validated phone data from these tools and call all the way through them to ensure the phone numbers are accurate. For email addresses, we use Zerobounce.net to validate email bounces.
The most important database for B2B companies is LinkedIn. If you are a B2B company, you should most likely have LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
This is an amazing tools which gives you additional access to search, find, and filter for the right types of people or companies. At only $100 per user/month, LinkedIn Sales Navigator truly is the most cost effective B2B sales prospecting tool out there.
Conclusion: B2B Sales Prospecting Tools That Rock
B2B sales prospecting is not easy. At any given time, sales reps need to follow these four steps:
know who their best prospects are
have the right information for them
call them at the right time
reach them with the right messaging.
Only the best and latest technology can empower them to speak to each prospect’s need in such a way as to get a win.
At Outboundview, we help your sales team get equipped for success. Tell us more about what you’re looking for!