16 little-known tools to automate your sales processes and skyrocket sales

What sales automation tools should you be using?


CRM systems your business should explore;

Zoho CRM.

The Zoho customer relationship management system provides a pleasant mixture of different features at a decent price. It is compatible with many of the different Zoho products and is an all-around great choice of CRM.

PROS

  • Zoho is free for up to 10 users
  • Gamification modules
  • Stellar feature set
  • It has powerful email marketing tools.

CONS

  • Workflow automation is limited to the Professional Tier
  • The ZIA voice assistant is not the best

Zoho costs: $24 per user per month.

Freshsales CRM.

This CRM system is great for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who want to get started as soon as possible. With an AI assistant, customizable options, and a reasonable pricing tier, Freshsales is good value.

PROS

  • A simple way to implement a CRM tool for smaller businesses.
  • Many customisation options.
  • A helpful AI assistant.
  • Good at blending with other systems to improve functionality.

CONS

  • There are currently no reports available in the free plan.
  • Finding out what sort of plan you want is very time consuming.

     

HubSpot CRM.

The HubSpot CRM is aimed at small businesses with a freemium model and a wide selection of add-ons so that your business can customise it to meet all of your needs.

PROS

  • There is a usable free version available
  • The intuitive user interface makes set up and use easy
  • Amazing email integration features

CONS

  • When you start adding premium functions, the price can shoot up.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional.

Salesforce is one of the most widely used CRM solutions. Its many features include AI, easy sharing of data between systems and many Salesforce partners. 

PROS

  • A large range of advanced and customisable features
  • Strong team collaboration options
  • A third-party app marketplace
  • Amazing workflows and solid performance

CONS

  • It quite tricky to learn
  • Is more expensive than some of the other systems.

Tools you can use for lead capture and lead generation

Lead tools help businesses identify and capture new prospects to convert into paying customers. There are a wide variety of lead tools on the market with some focusing on capturing leads (lead capture tools) and others focused on delivering pre-qualified leads for sales teams to drive sales to (lead generation tools). Here are a few examples of lead tools for small businesses:

1. JotForm. This drag-and-drop form builder has thousands of form templates for you to use, with a large range of lead forms made specifically with small business in mind. The lead capture templates can help you improve how you qualify leads from the moment you capture their details. 

2. ZoomInfo. Using a variety of web scraping techniques, ZoomInfo gives you access to a centralised database with filterable lists to help you build the perfect prospect list. It is designed to integrate with a variety of marketing software, making it a seamless addition to your existing sales workflow. 

4. Lusha. This lead generating tool focuses on helping B2B sales teams build prospect lists and nurture their leads within an easy to use platform that can help businesses scale up, whether it is big or small.

5. Octopus CRM. As a piece of LinkedIn marketing automation software designed with small businesses and company marketers in mind. The Octopus CRM helps users create custom sales funnels that effortlessly convert potential customers from LinkedIn. This is catered towards people who collect B2B leads from professional social media. 


Ways you can use lead scoring software 

One of the most effective sales process automation tools is lead scoring software. Using qualifiers like job title, industry, seniority, and buying potential, lead scoring software can help identify the most qualified leads for sales teams to prioritise.

The more advanced lead scoring software can also track engagement levels and interest that the lead shows toward your product or service based on their interaction with your website and emails that you send.

Industry favourite lead scoring software that you should really know about:

  1. Gazelle.ai. An AI-Powered sales intelligence platform with algorithms that can rank over 8 million international companies based on whether they will expand. They do this by identifying leads within organisations that are active buyers, and marking those companies as growth companies. Gazelle.ai scores these growth companies and combines them with other filters such as company events, industry heat maps, revenue growth, etc. To have a better idea of which companies will be expanding.
  2. Lattice focuses on providing a personalised experience across the buyer’s sales journey. They do this by prioritising contacts for lead and account-based programs, and help sales teams run omni-channel sales campaigns. The Lattice Data Cloud tracks all sorts of data to assist you, for example growth data, firmographics, financial data, technographics and intent data.
  3. SalesWings provide sales teams with actionable profiles and intent data of leads based on their interaction with your website in real time, empowering your sales teams to sell smarter by targeting active leads based on what interests them the most. SalesWings can also supply lead scoring and website tracking capabilities to upgrade your email marketing platform.

How sales process automation tools can help you.

Managing complex sales processes is made easy with workflow automation and integration platforms. You can automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks to give your sales reps more time to focus on closing sales. 

Have a look at the following sales process automation tools:

  1. Automate.io Automate.io can integrate apps, synchronize data between apps and build completely automated workflows. Complex workflows can be built across different applications quickly and effectively and you can even add things like time delays, conditional logic and data formatting.
  2. Zapier helps your business move information easily between your sales automation applications. It only takes a few clicks to build workflows and Zapier sweetens the deal by providing an editing interface that’s incredibly easy to use so you can set up your sales automations without a developer’s help.
  3. N8n. This system gives you a straightforward way to create integrations between applications using drag and drop diagrams. You can choose who you want to have storing the data and can run it either locally or through the cloud. Workflows are easy to build with apps and custom logic and n8n lets you edit anything. You can build custom integrations for CRMs, making n8n a great tool for producing all manner of automated sales workflows.
  4. Integromat simplifies the flow of data between different apps so you have more time to think about your business growth. This integration service lets you automate work quickly and effectively. It has an incredibly easy to use visual editor with drag-and-drop features. You can even design many integrations, for example integrating Google Sheets with an email or even more complex things like integrating tools via Webhooks or data sources via JSON.


How should you automate your sales processes?


The 4 steps of building your sales tech stack

Step 1: Make a list of requirements. Make sure that you have a clear list of requirements for your sales automation tech stack before looking at available solutions. There are thousands of tech solutions in the market and it is easy to get distracted by the latest solution which may not actually meet your business’s requirements. Setting out the requirements clearly before investing is a crucial stage to avoid buyer’s remorse later down the line! 

Consider:

  1. Process alignment. When looking at CRM and marketing automation platforms, ask yourself if it will support you with your existing business processes. Will it help you track your prospects and leads in a way that mirrors exciting working practices?  
  1. Where is your data and where does it need to be? You should have a single ‘database of record’ that centralises and integrates all of your data in one location. When evaluating tools, you should consider if they are able to synchronize data across tools and if they will ‘play nice’ with other tooling in your tech stack.

Step 2: Clean and reorganise your data. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating how long it will take you to clean your data before you implement a new tool. If you haven’t already, add a process or tool to your tech stack to help you keep your data organised and up to date at all times. 

Duplicate records can occur when data is merged from multiple sources which can make data cleansing a more arduous process. 


Sales tech stack
Sales tech stack. What should be included in your business’s tech stack? This strategy snack breaks down the tech stack into four categories: Analysis, Back Office, Experience and Marketing. A high-level overview to help you plan your marketing tech stack.

Step 3: Pick tools that will expand with you. When you are deciding on a new tool for your tech stack, ask yourself one question. 

Will this tool be able to support you for the next 18-24 months of company growth?

If the answer is no, don’t use that tool. It is a waste of time and money to continuously add and take away tools that won’t last.

Step 4: Document everything. What tools have you subscribed to? Why did you pick them? And who will be accessing them?

Keeping notes like this will be helpful when you’re questioning whether you should have chosen that specific tool. Keep reminding yourself why this tool was the best choice for your business and use it to its fullest. 

You should keep a list of your software subscriptions and anyone who can access them. This is useful for a few reasons:

  1. It can help you find redundancies within your marketing technology stack.
  2. When employees leave, you can easily remove their access to any tool they could previously use, as well as swapping the billing and contact information to someone else within the company.
  3. When someone new is employed, you will have a list of all the things that they need to be trained on.
  4. You can track how much you are spending on martech.

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