Updated on April 23, 2022
Getting people to buy your products is a skill and you need salespeople who are masters at persuading. But skilled salespeople alone cannot do much for your business unless they have the right resources to their aid. Sales teams are busy and usually under tremendous pressure. After all, we’re talking about a direct impact on revenue here. With so much on their plate, it is only natural for productivity in sales to dip, as employees face burnout if you don’t optimize the process. That is what sales automation tools are built to prevent.
Automation tools can help take a big chunk of the load off your sales team’s shoulders. In 2016 itself, Salesforce revealed in its State of Sales report, that high-performing sales teams are 2.7 times more likely to have outstanding process automation capabilities compared to underperforming teams. And in these past years, technology has advanced faster than ever. So, if you are not using automation tools to your advantage, your sales team cannot be blamed for performing below par.
Why should you invest in sales automation?
Sales automation can be rightfully considered as one of the key differentiating factors between high-performing businesses and non-performing businesses. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Let’s take a look at these statistics instead.
- According to HubSpot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, 61% of businesses that use automation in sales in 2020 reported exceeding their revenue targets for the year.
- The High Growth Study 2021, published by the Hinge Research Institute, states that firms witnessing exponentially high growth recently are more likely to have a very mature sales automation strategy compared to low growth firms.
- A November 2019 survey by McKinsey shows that 44% of firms using AI and automation in different areas of business have seen a significant reduction in costs. Especially AI adoption in marketing and sales has given 80% of respondents an increase in revenue as well.
These are just a few of the many reasons why sales automation is crucial to a business.
But choosing the right automation tools to boost your sales performance is not easy, given the range of choices at your disposal. To make your job a little easier, here are 8 different tools we’ve picked that will equip your sales superheroes with multiple superpowers.
#1. Sales.Rocks – Prospecting and Cold Outreach Automation
Gathering data about your leads and prospects is probably one of the toughest tasks in sales. It is both time-consuming and effort-intensive. But what’s more worrying is that if the data collected is not highly relevant or useful, you could be wasting all of that time and resources. This is why every sales team needs an automation tool for business database management that gives accurate information about their leads and customers.
Sales.Rocks is a business database that gathers data from thousands of different online sources to give you a complete overview of your target and existing customer accounts. It provides over 50 filters on company and contact data to ensure you only see what you’re looking for, helping with accurate customer profiling and outreach.
It also lets you create hyper-personalized drip campaigns via email outreach, LinkedIn, custom tags, and more. The platform ensures the high deliverability of your emails with its Email Warmer feature as well.
#2. Narrato – Content Creation & Workflow Software
Content plays a key role in the buyer’s journey as it can help them learn more about a product from a product demo video or compare it with competing products from a well-written product comparison. Sales enablement content can also assist the sales team with all the necessary information and data on products, customers, market, competition, and more. So with great sales enablement content by their side, salespeople can approach their prospects a lot more confidently.
But the real challenge here is creating good sales content. Content creation is a time- and effort-intensive process, be it for sales, marketing, or copywriting for a website. It needs the right tools to achieve the desired quality in minimum time. Also, sales enablement content needs inputs from a lot of stakeholders including marketing teams, product teams, and others. Collaborating with everyone can be a pain without an effective collaboration platform. Automating content creation and enabling seamless collaboration can yield some good results for your sales team.
Narrato is a content creation, collaboration, and workflow management software that will do away with all your content woes in sales. Narrato has a powerful content editor offering optimization suggestions to improve your sales content quality. It also has an AI writing assistant that automates content creation and speeds up the whole process. All you need to do is type in a few words for context and the bot will do the rest of the work for you. The tool also has a Content Improver feature where you can enter the original text, choose the tone you are aiming for, and generate a better version crafted by the AI. These features can be very helpful especially when you are crafting tons of sales enablement content with little time to spare.
You can create and save custom templates and style guides that can be applied to content tasks to automatically structure them, also creating effective content briefs for writers. All the content you create can be saved on the platform itself under neatly organized Projects and Folders. You can also track the status of content projects using the content calendars or Kanban boards.
Collaboration features on Narrato include –
- In-line comments and messages for sharing inputs
- Custom roles and access for users
- Freelancer payments management, if you work with freelance content creators
- Publicly shareable links to content
The platform is being updated with new features every other week and can be a promising addition to your sales tool stack.
Narrato also has a content ordering platform that delivers content crafted by vetted freelancers. If you don’t have an in-house content team, ordering sales enablement content on Narrato Marketplace can be a good alternative.
Pricing: Narrato is presently free for teams just getting started. Paid plans for content teams looking to scale start at $8 per user per month.
#3. Slack – Get more done with Slack apps and workflows
Communication with prospects is the only way to drive sales. Be it communication over a call or outreach emails. But with everything that they have to take care of, salespeople spend only one-third of their day talking to prospects. Yes, rule-based, time-consuming activities like data-entry tasks that can be easily automated are surely taking up their time without much output. But the multiple and disjointed sales engagement tools are equally responsible for low productivity in this area.
Managing all your sales outreach and communication on a single platform like Slack can give your sales team a huge productivity boost. Slack is a communication and collaboration platform where you can have your entire sales team as well as customers on board. It allows messaging, voice, and video calls. Slack also makes file-sharing easier without having to rely on emails every time.
The Slack Connect feature allows you to collaborate with teams outside your own company, including partners, vendors, and customers. This ensures that all your conversations are in one place and you don’t have to keep hunting for every old email sales pitch in your email inbox. You can also create different Slack Channels for different purposes/topics, and add only those members who need to be in the loop.
All your conversations outside of your organization are secure and adhere to your compliance standards, so you don’t have to worry about data security either. Slack integrates with other tools like Calendly, Google Drive, Zoom, Gmail, Outlook, DocuSign, and more. Slack can be your go-to sales engagement tool and help build better customer relationships.
Pricing: The free plan on Slack lets you save up to 10k of the most recent message and integrates with up to 10 apps. Paid plans starting at $6.67 per person per month, give you unlimited access and more storage.
#4. Pega – AI-powered Sales Automation
Process automation and predictive analysis are two key capabilities in sales that empower your sales team with intelligent solutions and actionable insights. Sales performance relies heavily on what your team knows about the prospect or how effectively they can predict buyer behaviors. This knowledge helps them build better strategies and decide the next steps in the sales journey. But carrying out this research and analysis without the help of an intelligent analytics tool is near impossible today.
This is where a platform like Pega can help. Pega is an intelligent sales automation tool backed by AI. It provides capabilities like AI-guided selling that gives you opportunity insights, next best actions, and more. Guided selling helps salespeople make better decisions on the right actions to take at relevant times.
Pega also has other interesting features. Partner Relationship Management helps enhance collaboration with your partners. AI Sales Coach helps train and develop your sales team with forecasts and insights into future team performance, and one-to-one coaching as well.
Pricing: The Standard Edition of Pega sales automation software is priced at $140 per user per month and goes higher as more features are added.
#5. Calendly – Appointment Scheduling Software
Having a huge number of leads in your sales pipeline is always an advantage. But it also means that you have as many meetings, sales presentations, and follow-ups to keep track of. There are internal activities to keep track of as well, be it getting the manager’s digital signature on a sales document in time or a team meeting to decide on the next steps in a promising deal. Unless you are really organized, it is easy to miss a scheduled meeting or a follow-up call, which could lead to a lost deal. This is why your sales team needs a scheduling tool that will remind them of all their appointments on time and every time.
When you talk of good scheduling software, there are very few tools that can compete with Calendly. Calendly is an online meeting scheduling tool that lets you easily set up appointments without having to go back and forth with emails. All you have to do is send your client/prospect a link to your calendar and they can pick a time that is convenient for both of you. You can set your own availability preferences too so that you are not caught in a tough spot after someone has booked a slot. You can keep your calendar open only for the days and times you are available.
Calendly ensures that none of your other calendar events clash. It also sends email reminders to both parties before a meeting and sends automated thank you notes to your prospects after the call.
Pricing: The basic features on Calendly are available for free. Paid plans for teams and enterprise start at $8 per seat per month.
#6. EngageBay – All-in-One CRM for Sales & Marketing
Success in sales is all about building and nurturing your relationship with leads, not just before a deal but long after as well. Building relationships with your prospects and customers improve their experience with your brand and in return, you earn returning customers who are a big asset for any business. Once you have gained your customer’s trust you can always find opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell, bringing in more revenue.
Maintaining customer relations is a whole business function in itself. For small and medium businesses, though, it may not be possible to have a dedicated customer success team, which means that salespeople have to play a dual role. Customer relations involve certain tasks like sending activity-triggered emails, welcome messages, event-specific offers, etc. which if automated, can save your sales team a lot of valuable time. Just like a social media management tool helps with engaging visitors on your social accounts, CRM software helps with nurturing client relations and a lot more.
EngageBay is an all-in-one CRM platform that works for marketing, sales, and service teams alike. The Sales Bay offers several useful tools like Lead Scoring, 360-degree Customer View, Deal Management, CRM Email Integration, and more. You can store all your contacts and customer details on the platform. You also have a complete view of every action you have had with your leads to give you and your team context for your customer conversations.
EngageBay lets you create multiple deal pipelines for different product categories, geographical regions, customer segments, or any other parameters you like, making it easy to track your deals. The platform also offers Proposal Analytics that gives you insights into how your prospects are responding to your proposals, with real-time information on proposal visits, downloads, CTRs, etc.
Other impressive features include Sales Automation to nurture leads, Account-Based Marketing for personalized and targeted campaigns, among others.
Pricing: EngageBay has a free plan with limited features. The paid plans for CRM & Sales Bay alone start at $10.39 per user per month. If you want to go for the All-in-One experience, paid plans start at $11.99.
#7. DemandScience Intelligence (Formerly Leadiro)
Your sales team may be putting in all their effort but not getting much in terms of outcome. This usually happens if the quality of prospects they have marked as sales qualified leads wasn’t right in the first place. It is also possible that they are not able to make their way to the decision-makers on the buyer’s side. All of these factors can add up to give you lost deals, lost time, and low morale.
Finding the right contacts to increase your chances of closing a deal can be tough. But with an intelligent contact data extraction tool, most of it can be taken care of.
This is exactly what DemandScience does. Formerly known as Leadiro, this platform helps your sales team reach the people who matter when looking for prospects’ contact information. It also helps them secure new valuable leads by identifying prospects who are ready to buy. The platform boasts of a reliable and accurate database and searches functionality that helps users achieve these objectives. It offers you Pre-built Datasets that let you instantly reach out to hundreds of prospects. If you are looking for a more targeted approach, there are also Custom Audience Builds and On-Demand Platforms.
The platform integrates with most of the popular CRM and API integrations to give you a seamless experience.
Pricing: Pricing information is available on request.
#8. Clari – Revenue Operations Platform
With sales, the ultimate goal is always the same – generating more revenue. No matter how you do it, you only need to ensure that your sales team is bringing in the targeted revenue. This is why businesses carry out revenue analysis and forecasting to determine what they are capable of achieving year-over-year. This also gives your sales team a vision and a goal to work towards.
In revenue operations though, a lot of the tasks are purely rule-based and should be automated to save your team time for more strategic work.
A revenue operations platform like Clari is ideal here. Clari gathers data from across your entire organization, be it from your emails, meetings, invoicing software, or outbound campaigns. This data is then processed by AI to give you actual status and actionable insights. Clari automatically generates data-backed forecasts for your different product lines, sales reps, regions, and more.
The platform also gives your team more clarity in pipeline management by giving them a detailed visual of every deal in real-time. The enhanced visibility makes your sales team more productive and engaged.
Pricing: Pricing information can be obtained once you book a demo with Clari.
Sales is a battlefield and your team needs the right ammunition if you hope to win. More than 30% of your sales activities can be automated, so imagine the boost in efficiency and productivity your team could get with the right tools. Automating some of the core activities in sales gives your sales team a competitive advantage.
They are able to spend more time on sales strategy building and lead nurturing – things that require the touch of human intellect. These few automation tools for sales are sure to improve your sales outcomes over time. Give them a try, and a simple before-after comparison of your sales performance metrics should be a clear indicator of what these tools can achieve for you.
Neelam Goswami is a content writer and marketer working with a leading content writing company. She has written for several reputed brands in the digital and content marketing space.