How many different B2B prospecting tools are sales reps using at your organization? Don’t be surprised if you find that the number is up to, or even surpasses, 10 distinct tools!
After all, software hoarding in sales is a known phenomenon. When a sales organization test-drives a tool only to find out later that it doesn’t have all the needed features, reps will often hoard it, even as the company introduces other tools to replace it. According to a survey from Smart Selling Tools, reps use an average of 9 tools to get the job done. The question is, why is an all-in-one B2B prospecting tool, like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, not good enough?
Many all-in-one software tools are ironically missing features that sales teams need to work efficiently, and are being outcompeted by niche software options that address hyper-specific sales needs. With the explosion of best-of-breed software that focus on only one or a few prospecting tasks and do them exceptionally well, sales teams are finding that utilizing a few of these beats trying to find the “perfect” all-in-one solution. You’d think it’s counterproductive to use several software and potentially slow down your workflow, but every sales rep knows that some of the best prospecting tools are missing key, time-saving features on their own that make it difficult to grow and create sustainable prospecting processes.
In the future, we’ll see sales organizations continue to implement and prefer best-of-breed software that don’t overwhelm their reps with features, have a shorter learning curve, and solve hyper-specific prospecting problems. Let’s discuss what sparked the move towards specialized software and then we’ll highlight five up-and-coming tools to help you make prospecting more sustainable.
What is a B2B Prospecting Tool?
A B2B prospecting tool is software that salespeople use to research, identify, qualify, and make the first contact with a potential customer. In the beginning, they were created to solve a major pain point for salespeople: the lack of information that could be used to connect with decision-makers and make a pitch. Information like company size, revenue, industry, job roles, work life, personality, and more. Without the right tools on deck, it’s nearly impossible for salespeople to get the right decision-maker’s contact fast and make intelligent prospecting decisions when qualifying leads.
Sales reps had to rely on in-person networking, referrals, and trade shows to get to know their prospects in the beginning. It wasn’t until LinkedIn, a professional network and social media platform, came along in 2002 that sales reps finally had a chance to connect with decision-makers during outbound sales in a new way. It was better than any tactic used before; salespeople could interact with potential customers anywhere in the world, at any time, and build stronger relationships with an entire company through content engagement. This was the birth of social selling as we know it today.
When the B2B prospecting tool Sales Navigator was introduced in 2014, it took LinkedIn prospecting to a whole new level. Sales organizations could tap into billions of profiles with advanced search filters, targeting features, real-time alerts, insights, InMail and other sales tools to find qualified leads. It became a goldmine. Most importantly, teams gained a way to increase the ROI from their LinkedIn prospecting efforts, by seeing who the best potential leads were and prioritizing them.
The Problem with All-in-One Software Solutions like Sales Navigator
Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes. When it comes to a colossal B2B prospecting tool like Sales Navigator, you’d think they’d provide everything you need, right? Not always! Contrary to popular belief, “all-in-one” doesn’t mean a software will have every solution, it’ll just cover most of your basic needs.
Here are few missing features that slow down the prospecting process:
- Sales Navigator doesn’t integrate with every major CRM like FreshWorks, which means some reps miss out on CRM syncing and automation features.
- It doesn’t allow you to export an account or lead information directly into a CSV or XLS file. You download a list and then export, which adds unnecessary steps.
- There’s no data verification, meaning you could be pitching with inaccurate information.
Another problem with all-in-one tools is that they don’t always work well for larger companies. Larger departments work differently. The inbound sales team works one way and the outbound sales team works another. Teams need comprehensive software to cater to their various levels within the organization to scale and grow their efforts, without it, you’re holding salespeople back.
Best-of-breed B2B prospecting tools have only grown in usage as reps find that they help their growth strategy and save them time, money and effort long term.
The Importance of Sustainable Prospecting
Specialized tools make your prospecting process and LinkedIn lead generation more sustainable. Sustainable prospecting is a strategy to keep your sales performance at a steady level while increasing it over a long period of time using the right skill set, training, resources, and technology.
Instead of dwelling on the fact that your primary B2B prospecting tool doesn’t have every feature you need, think of adding more specialized software to complement your current tech stack. Below are five of the best-of-breed tools that bring something new to the table.
The 5 Best B2B Prospecting Tools of the Future
1. Lusha Extension
Lusha Extension is a LinkedIn email finder chrome extension and B2B lead enrichment tool that shortens the process of finding your potential customers’ email, phone number, and company data. This software delivers up to 37 firmographic data points about your prospect, and helps you build qualified, laser-targeted lists fast with a 93.5% data accuracy rate. This B2B prospecting tool helps eliminate the chances of prospecting without the right contact info and paying for the wrong information.
2. Humanic AI
Humanic AI is a predicative personality insight B2B prospecting tool that helps salespeople understand their customer within 15 seconds. It analyzes social media profiles and creates a personality report for you that includes how your prospect makes buying decisions, whether they’re introverted or extroverted, things you should or shouldn’t bring up in a conversation, and more. With this information, you can write emotional, creative, and personalized sales pitches and cold call scripts consistently. Also, if you’ve been keeping track of the B2B vs. B2C sales process discussion, these insights can help you optimize your customer’s journey and make it more self-serving like the B2C model.
Mattermark is a business and investor directory that’ll keep you up to date about which companies in your industry are growing fast and who their investors are. They provide over 80 advanced data points per company, and you’ll receive growth signals like change in company size or increase in web traffic. This information helps to prioritize which companies to reach out to first and source the best deals. This is one of the best prospecting tools for gaining insight into a company’s growth, what’s happening across their social media channels in real-time, and more.
Demodesk is a web-based customer meeting platform that automates scheduling and leading meetings, as well as creating sales playbooks for remote teams. It doesn’t just schedule appointments, it also handles non-selling tasks like lead assignment, routing, objection handling, note taking, and recording calls so every meeting is automatically updated in your CRM for you. It’s aim is to cut down your ramp time by 50%. Lastly, it offers invaluable analytics that tell you how much time is spent listening to prospects vs. talking, how many demos are scheduled from a single meeting, and close rates so sales leaders can quickly identify best practices.
Outreach is a sales engagement B2B prospecting tool that helps close remote deals faster. It operates as a virtual assistant during live meetings, transcribing the entire conversation as it plays out, contextualizing information, and creating a summary card of the meeting so you can stay on track, ask the right questions, and move the conversation forward without getting lost. It takes away the need to take notes or re-listen to the call, leaving you with only the organized action-items and the most important bits highlighted for you.
Become More Sustainable
Every great B2B prospecting tool will have its drawbacks, so don’t expect to be completely satisfied by one tool. Prospecting encompasses several steps; it’s nearly impossible to give everyone what they want.
Luckily, there’s best-of-breed software to give you exactly what you’re missing in an intuitive and easy-to-incorporate way.
Sustainable prospecting is about eliminating hoarding and getting to the meat of what you truly need your tools to do. Finding the right B2B prospecting tools to supplement what you have will allow you to maintain and grow your strategy over time. When you do so, you’ll end the cycle of looking for the perfect all-in-one tool and get the best out of what you already have.