Sales success depends not just on the quality, skill, and productivity of your sales team members, but also the positioning of your product offerings, the power of your brand, and the effectiveness and direction of your marketing campaign.
To fully master sales, you need to invest in all these areas simultaneously—but it helps to start with the most productive, informed sales team possible.
That’s why it’s important to give your salespeople the tools they need to reach their full potential. In this guide, we’ll cover the best sales productivity tools you can integrate into your business and sales process.
What Sales Productivity Tools Do
Sales productivity tools usually help in one or more of the following areas, including:
- Organization. Some sales productivity tools attempt to keep salespeople organized, keeping their data contained in one place and organized in an intuitive way.
- Automation. Others attempt to automate, or at least simplify, the common, repetitive tasks that can waste a salesperson’s time.
- Direction/guidance. Some are designed to gather information and help salespeople analyze their situations, so they can get direction on how to get more leads or close more deals.
- Time-saving features. And of course, some tools provide salespeople with time-saving features, like the ability to look up a prospect’s email address based on their social media profile.
Tools can have a significant impact on your bottom-line performance, but you need to treat this decision as one of several necessary to make a positive impact.
Email-Centric Sales Productivity Tools
Let’s start with some of the sales productivity tools most useful for managing, tracking, and analyzing emails—arguably the most powerful communication medium for modern salespeople.
Up first is EmailAnalytics, our own analytical tool designed specifically for Gmail and G Suite. It integrates with your Gmail or G Suite account (and the accounts of your team members or employees), and can tell you loads of information about how you communicate, including your top senders and recipients, your average email response time, emails received and sent by day, and much more. If you use Gmail as your email platform, it’s indispensable.
Another popular tool for Gmail is Boomerang. Rather than keeping track of your Gmail analytics, Boomerang provides you with dozens of features to enhance your Gmail experience. For example, you can use it to delay the sending of an email, keep track of email opens and responses, and get automatic reminders when you need to follow up with someone who has yet to respond to your message.
One of the most irritating phases of any sales process is trying to schedule a meeting with your prospect via email. Doodle is designed to make that easier. Rather than committing to a prolonged back and forth discussion, Doodle allows you all to set your availability, share it, and find the best possible time for all participants.
Lead Generation and Follow-Up Sales Productivity Tools
These tools are designed with the middle stages of the sales process in mind, like prospecting, lead generation, and follow-up.
One of the easiest ways to save time as a salesperson is through automation, and Prospect.io is a great example of a sales automation tool. Once enabled, you’ll be able to efficiently look up information on new prospects, including their email address, job title, and location. As an added bonus, it integrates with several of the major CRM platforms we cover in the next section.
It’s feasible to categorize Unbounce as a marketing platform, rather than a sales platform, but it’s still incredibly useful. It relies on a WYSIWYG editor to make it easier to create and test custom landing pages. If optimized and implemented correctly, it can greatly improve your lead generation.
Leadfeeder is designed as a lead generation platform that minimizes the required input from salespeople, so they can focus on closing deals. With Leadfeeder, you can get more information on website visitors, and hopefully increase your conversion rates at the same time.
If your salespeople use Linkedin, they should also be using Skrapp. Skrapp helps you find the email addresses associated with various LinkedIn profiles. It’s a Chrome extension, so it’s much simpler and easier to use than many of the tools on this list, and you can get 150 email addresses per month for free.
8. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Another powerful Linkedin-related tool is designed and managed by Linkedin itself: Linkedin Sales Navigator. It’s a comprehensive tool that provides you with many functions, including getting better information on prospects, relying on more advanced searches, and filtering prospects based on defined criteria. You can also dip your toes into Linkedin Premium—but make sure you read our guide on Linkedin Sales Navigator vs. Linkedin Premium before you make a purchasing decision. And don’t miss our guide on how to use Linkedin Sales Navigator as well as our post exploring whether Linkedin Premium is worth it.
If you get a lot of web traffic but you’re not sure what to do with it, Survicate is a tool that makes it easy. With it, you can quickly and simply make onsite forms that collect information from your visitors, so your salespeople can learn more about your customers and close deals quicker.
ClickFunnels was created to make it easier for people to plan, manage, and better understand their sales funnels. With it, you can create sales funnels from scratch, build out custom landing pages, and eventually analyze and better understand your efforts. It makes it easy to convert your website into a full-fledged sales funnel in its own right.
Old or unused email addresses are the bane of a salesperson’s existence, wasting time and ruining otherwise strong leads. With Hunter, you can verify email addresses with a single click. You can also use it to enter the name of any company and figure out the email address naming convention, so you can find the email address associated with a specific person. Be sure to check out our full list of recommended email lookup tools!
12. Twitter (search feature)
You might have already considered using Twitter as a lead generation platform, but don’t underestimate its search feature as a way to save time. The default search engine on Twitter is remarkably easy to learn, and can help you find people who adhere to certain demographic criteria, people who work in certain industries, or even users who are discussing a specific topic.
If you’re interested in lead generation, prospecting, and other related sales strategies, make sure to check out our post on 50 sales prospecting tools and techniques you can use in your business!
CRM and Pipeline Management Productivity Tools
Now let’s turn our attention to bigger, more comprehensive tools that can improve your sales productivity. These are things like pipeline management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) tools (see this post by GetVoIP for details on the essential features of a CRM), and suites of sales productivity tools. We have a list of the best CRM software, so be sure to check that out!
Salesforce is the name to beat in the realm of CRM tools. It’s cloud based, almost completely customizable, and can be used by every member of your team to streamline the sales process. It also features flexible integrations, so you can make it work with a wide variety of other sales and productivity tools—simplifying your life.
14. HubSpot Sales
HubSpot Sales is a comprehensive sales tool designed to help your team at every stage of the sales process. You’ll be able to track new leads, organize your messages, and analyze your activity so you can make improvements. You’ll also have access to a suite of productivity tools to save you time and keep your focus on selling.
There’s also Insightly, a project management platform specifically optimized for sales productivity. With it, you can create goals for your team, new pipelines, and workflows for your projects. As an added bonus, you can use it for more than just sales.
Pipedrive is another popular CRM platform, with an intuitive interface designed to maximize efficiency. You can use it to track a wide variety of different sales-related metrics, organize your lead pool visually, and customize work flows with drag-and-drop mechanics.
Yesware is often described as an email plugin, but it functions as an entire sales productivity toolkit. Once integrated, you can make use of templates, track your prospects, set follow-up reminders, and schedule emails for the future.
When choosing new apps and tools to increase sales productivity, be patient. Work on incorporating one new tool at a time. Take advantage of free trials, experiment to see which sales productivity tools are most effective, and only keep the tools that truly add value.
I’ll take this time to encourage you to check out our own sales productivity tool: EmailAnalytics—the analytics platform for Gmail and G Suite. With it, you’ll gain access to all the metrics you need to evaluate your sales communication performance, including KPIs like average email response time and emails sent/received by day, hour, and week. Give it a free trial today, and start optimizing your team’s performance.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.