What software tools should a B2B sales team use in 2015?

Posted by James Pember on 3/2/15 10:00 AM

This is a question I get, all the time. 

  • "Which tools can help my team sell more?"
  • "Which tools should I be using for lead generation?"
  • "Which CRM should I go with?"

Keep in mind, sales tools can be distracting. A great product and great salespeople is still the key to your success in 2015. However, great software can of course optimise your sales process and help you build a stronger sales engine. 

A tip is to try work on one product-area at a time (for example, CRM). Salespeople can easily become frustrated with too many tools to learn at once, so drip them in slowly. 

Anyway, onto the solutions :)

To be honest, B2B companies are probably best served using Salesforce.  It's the most powerful, most flexible and well known CRM system. 

Pro Tip: If you use Salesforce, check out Brisk - a personal assistant type piece of software to help you make data entry easy.  

However, there are some good alternatives if you're a little bit design, or price-sensitive :) 

  • Pipedrive
  • CloseIO
  • BaseCRM

In addition to your CRM, I recommend all teams in 2015 to use an e-signing solution. EchoSign is the big player here, but Scrive is arguably more suited to European companies too. Plenty to choose from here. 

Marketing Automation
Hubspot is great for your marketing automaton and general b2b marketing needs. I'm writing this post within it right now!  It's not overly cheap, HOWEVER I will say that the level of customer service is outstanding. Normally I get a call back within 5 minutes, which is impressive. 

Pardot and Marketo are your two alternatives here. They are argubaly more Salesforce-integrated and a little more enterprise-y. 

Dashboards and Analytics
If you're on Salesforce, don't even consider not buying a subscription to InsightSquared - It uncovers the insights in all those ugly reports and data sheets. 

If you're on another CRM, is a great dashboarding solution. 

I wrote more about these tools here.

Prospecting, Lead Gen and Sales Development 
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is pretty much a must if you're in B2B sales. My only concern is that you can't port the data in bulk to your CRM. I understand why, but that would make the product 500% better. 

SalesLoft have two really great tools for prospecting too, one is called Prospector, that helps you build lists. The other is called Cadence which kind of combines an email/calling solution together with a to-do list, really good stuff. 

Email and presentation tracking is another prospecting must. Attach, DocSend and ClearSlide are 3 to check out. 

Gamification, Motivation and Goal Setting
I must plug our own solution, Sparta which is a gamification platform that helps you run competitions and incentive programs which drive motivation, energy and results. It's super-flexible, not bound to a CRM  and you can drive whatever metrics are valuable to your business. Feel free to reach out for a demo. 

Keep in mind, it's super important to realise that the most important element is of course your sales people. Remember, better sales results start with more focused, energised, focused and happy salespeople. Focus on that, together with your messaging and product - and use tools to help optimise the process :)

Reach out to me on Twitter if you have any feedback.


Topics: sales productivity, sales, sales management, sales software

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