What does it take to develop an effective sales process? One of the ways you can improve your performance is by using sales tools to automate administrative tasks, streamline communication, and analyze sales pipeline data.
Sales professionals are often consumed with tasks that take time away from what they do best: sell. Instead, they are completing administrative tasks and other non-selling activities, including generating leads, crafting emails, and entering data. This is where intelligent sales tools can make a difference. Software can optimize your sales processes, increasing the time you and your team dedicate to closing deals.
Here are the most common types of sales tools and how they can impact your company’s sales performance.
What are sales tools?
Sales tools are technologies or resources designed to help businesses streamline their sales process, increase efficiency, and boost revenue. Sales teams use these applications and software to simplify and enhance sales processes throughout the sales cycle, from garnering new customer leads to maintaining solid relationships with existing clients.
Best sales tools for ecommerce
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
- Automation tools
- Productivity tools
- Prospecting tools
- Forecasting tools
- Analytics tools
- Data integration tools
- Customer success tools
- Communication tools
- Enablement tools
There are a variety of sales software categories to consider when looking to optimize your company’s sales process, from automation and productivity to forecasting and data integration tools.
Here are some of the most valuable types of sales tools to explore for your business:
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process of managing, analyzing, and optimizing interactions with your customers. CRM tools help merchants and sales professionals record and organize customer data to inform decisions about sales strategies. By keeping data in one integrated system, CRM software tools can help sales representatives with tasks like contact management, lead generation, and sales pipeline management.
Examples of customer relationship management (CRM) tools include:
- HubSpot, a CRM platform that offers a variety of features, including lead management, email templates, and call tracking. It can seamlessly integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify to keep sales data aligned with other aspects of your business, like inventory and marketing efforts.
- Salesforce, an integrated CRM tool that allows you to track customer interactions, sales data, contacts, and leads.
- Pipedrive, a CRM platform with valuable features like automatic follow-up emailing, task prioritization, and contact management.
Automation tools help businesses by automating administrative tasks like data entry, follow-up communications, and scheduling. By handling time-consuming tasks, sales automation tools can free up time for sales reps to focus on boosting sales. (Some CRM tools, such as HubSpot and Pipedrive, integrate automation into their systems.)
Examples of automation tools include:
- Shopify Flow, a Shopify application that offers customizable workflows for automating tasks like email tracking and pipeline management. By integrating seamlessly into your Shopify ecommerce business, Flow allows you to build complex workflows with an easy user experience for your sales team.
- Outfunnel, which offers features like automated email sequences, data collection, and contact synchronization.
- HubSpot, which incorporates sales automation tools for follow-up communications, internal task updates, and scheduling meetings.
Sales productivity tools help sales representatives optimize performance. You can use sales productivity tools to increase the quantity and quality of sales activities like writing proposals, assigning tasks, crafting reports, and communicating with your sales team. There’s a crossover between automation and productivity tools, as both use software to improve sales by optimizing administrative work to give sales teams more time to focus on closing deals.
Examples of productivity tools include:
- Quickbase, which focuses on improving productivity through billing and invoicing features, workflow management tools, and sales quote automation. Quickbase can assist you with task prioritization by tracking your sales process with up-to-date and detailed reports.
- Salesloft, a sales engagement platform that can help teams save time with features like calendar management, call recording, and sales pipeline management.
- Calendly, a productivity tool focused on making scheduling as effective as possible with reconfirmations, team events, and seamless integrations with CRM platforms.
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Sales prospecting tools are software solutions that help with lead generation, qualification, and outreach. You can use prospecting tools to identify quality leads based on purchase histories and other customer data. They can also help complete important lead generation work like creating customer profiles and building an email list of potential customers.
Examples of prospecting tools include:
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a prospecting tool to prioritize accounts, save leads, and organize and identify prospects.
- Overloop, a sales engagement platform that can help you build prospect lists, create multichannel campaigns, and evaluate your bounce rate to optimize outreach strategies.
- CrunchBase, a prospecting platform with features like verified contact details and account recommendations. The platform even signals when to reach out to potential clients or customers, based on real-time market trends.
Sales managers employ forecasting tools powered by predictive analytics to anticipate future sales using past data, enabling them to project revenue in a defined timeframe and inform sales strategies.
Examples of forecasting tools include:
- Zendesk, a software focused on customer engagement. Zendesk allows you to review sales forecasting reports, predict the likelihood of a sale, and estimate a close date based on previous sales data.
- Aviso, which uses machine learning to generate forecasting data, monitor and predict sales per representative, and help you hire and budget with more accurate information.
Sales analytics tools collect and organize sales metrics, data, and trends. A business owner or sales manager can use an analytics tool to evaluate the performance of their sales team using key performance indicators (KPIs)—metrics that measure how well sales align with goals. Analytics tools can also help you analyze sales calls, plan realistic sales targets, and gain actionable insights into improving your sales process.
Examples of analytics tools include:
- Shopify Analytics, which comes with more than 60 reports built specifically for commerce and the ability to compare your business’s performance to other stores like yours.
- GoodData, which collects and interprets data to give your sales team a more accessible look into sales metrics.
- Zoho, a CRM software with analytics tools for evaluating your monthly sales reports, tracking your KPIs, gaining insights about your sales pipeline, and identifying trends that can inform future sales strategies.
- Insightly, a CRM platform with sales tracking software that evaluates lead conversion rates, sales histories of each representative, and sales data for specific times or locations.
Data integration tools
Data integration tools consolidate sales data from various sources. You can use data integration tools to compare, match, and align information from multiple databases. They can help you evaluate a variety of datasets more clearly and set you up to develop a more streamlined sales process.
Examples of data integration tools include:
- Informatica, which uses machine learning to optimize data management with features like automated data validation testing and seamless integration across various systems and platforms.
- Jitterbit, a tool that helps transfer large amounts of data across multiple systems. It includes a dashboard for analyzing your data integrations and identifying problems with data validation or errors.
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Customer success tools
Customer success tools can improve the customer experience by recording valuable data about how customers interact with your brand, products, and services throughout the customer journey.
Customer success tools let you evaluate customer feedback, track customer interactions, and improve communication. By helping you focus on building customer relationships, customer success tools can improve brand loyalty and earn sales revenue from repeat customers.
Examples of customer success tools include:
- Intercom, whichoffers services to help you tailor a customer success strategy and train your team. It includes pop-up chats, targeted surveys, and data collection to give you more insight into the customer experience.
- Planhat, a customer success platform designed to create a positive and seamless customer experience through detailed customer data and surveys.
Communication tools include features like video conferencing, digital sales rooms, and document tracking tools. Intuitive communication tools help with internal communications between sales and marketing teams about potential leads, feedback, and accounts. Using communication tools for sales, you can improve the quality of your sales calls while aligning your team’s goals and overall sales strategy.
Examples of communication tools include:
- Slack, a secure communication platform that lets sales teams stay in touch throughout the work day with channels and direct messaging, along with voice, video, and screen-sharing call options.
- Monday, a platform that lets businesses create customized applications and project management software. Monday offers communication tools like automated notifications, email integrations, shared boards, and group calendars.
- Webex, which provides video conferencing and team collaboration tools. It’s known for its security features and document-sharing capabilities, which can be helpful for sales teams when discussing sensitive information with clients.
Enablement tools give your sales team access to all the necessary materials and content they need in one place, helping information stay current and accessible. Sales enablement tools organize sales assets that you can use to streamline the training process for new sales representatives.
Examples of enablement tools include:
- Highspot, which organizes and updates content libraries, builds onboarding training programs, and reviews your sales process.
- Seismic, an AI-informed enablement solution for your sales team with various applications focused on content management, buyer engagement, team training, and strategy planning.
Sales tools FAQ
What is a sales tool?
A sales tool is an application or software designed to help sales teams save time and optimize their sales processes and performance. Sales tools can help with customer relationship management (CRM), automation, and data integration.
Which sales processes benefit most from automation?
Automation tools can improve sales processes, including data entry, scheduling, and follow-up emails. Automation tools can give your team more time to focus on sales efforts like generating leads and closing deals by automatically taking care of daily administrative tasks.
How can I choose the right sales tool for my team?
Evaluate your sales process, identify areas for improvement, and research sales tools related to those specific concerns. Consider starting with a CRM tool to manage customer data, track customer interactions, and organize information for easy sharing amongst your sales team.