<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/4z2e82sWyhmveGlCzuJa" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
5-tools

5 Tools Everyone with a Sales CRM Should Be Using

Authored by Chisom Uche on July 21, 2016

So you're probably thinking "Why do I need to buy my sales team MORE tools for the already expensive CRM that they already have?" Trust me, I completely understand your frustration. While you don't NEED to get more tools, you should strongly consider it. CRMs are great for collecting and storing an abundance of information about your current and prospective customers. However, when it comes to using that data for a strategic advantage or to gain valuable insights into your prospects buying jouney and intent, CRMs can be cumbersome and time-inefficient. So it's definitely worth your time and money to consider investing in solutions that will upgrade your CRM's capabilities. So take a deep breath and just know that once you beef up your CRM with some advanced sales tools, you're life and your sales team will be much better off. 

Sales CRM Tools are Frustrating


There you go- breath deeply. Now, here's the good news. Gartner has just released their 2016 CRM Vendor Guide and it has everything you need to know about the new sales technology in our world. If you don't want to read all 143 pages of the CRM Vendor Guide, here are the 5 major types of tools (and recommended vendors) we feel you need to help your sales team be successful.

1. Inside Sales and Telesales Tools

These tools help your inside sales team find the people that could be your next customers. Inside sales tools help your team identify and find crucial information about your prospects quickly, so that they can contact and qualify your leads in order to accelerate them through the sales pipeline. Gathering direct contact information for your prospects helps to keep your sales team selling instead of hunting. Some popular Inside Sales and Telesales options include:

2. Sales Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is a new category in sales enablement technology. As the Gartner report states, "Predictive analytic solutions provide data-driven insights into the sales process by applying heuristic and machine-learning algorithms to a firm's historical opportunity data." The true value of predictive analytics is that it not only assess the historical performance of your sales team, but it also predicts how your sales team will perform in the future making it an invaluable asset when it comes to creating a sales forecast. Predictive analytics solutions also help you proactively identify weak spots in your sales process or sales team's performance so that you can be a more effective sales coach. If you're looking for the leaders in predictive analytics solutions space, some are:

3. Price Management and Optimization

Price Management and Optimization (PMO) software give sales teams the ability to be competitive with pricing and profitability assistance. Per the Gartner Vendor Guide, PMO solutions are "based on a set of business algorithms that extract actionable insight and pricing guidance from big data to improve margins, revenue, and protability." Providing your sales team with a PMO solution will help push your opportunities past that 'Pricing Negotiation' portion, which can be one of the most painful stages to have opportunities drop out of the pipeline. Some prominent PMO solutions are:

4. Sales Information Services

There are few things worse than having a CRM that's full of inaccurate or outdated data. This is something that even a high performing experienced sales team can fall victim to because prospects are constantly changing titles, companies, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. You can avoid the awkwardness of not being informed about your prospects current situation by investing in a Sales Information Service. At the very least, these services can be used to periodically perform a total update to your data and give you confidence that your prospect information is accurate. Here are some quality sales information servies:

5. Customer Success Management

So you've found the prospect, worked the deal to a close, and optimized for the best possible pricing agreement. Everything should be a 'done deal', right? Wrong. For high-performing sales teams, the selling journey doesn't stop with the acquisition of a new customer, it continues throughout that customer's lifetime with your company. Customer Success Management solutions help ensure your company has great customer retention and are as close to zero-churn as possible. Don't let all of your hard work to close the deal be blown away because you slacked on getting a customer success management solution, look into one of these options:


 

Again, you don't need to get all of these solutions since every company has different needs. What you should do is make sure you're not settling for just your CRM. As technology becomes more and more engrained in our everyday sales behaviors, those that do not adopt technology to boost the functions of their sales CRMs will be left behind their competitors. Don't be left behind your competitiors. Be ahead of the game with better sales technology.

If you want to check out the entire CRM Vendor Guide by Gartner and all the other tools they recommend sales teams to consider, you can find it here. If you want to learn more about how predictive analytics can help your sales team, contact us!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

July 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Account Management

This blog may be a little controversial.  Many blogs and white papers talk about account management as a sales function.  Sales reps target accounts to sell to.  They then flush out sales opportunities within the account and work on closing those opportunities.  At TopOPPS we take a broader approach to account management.  We believe account management starts with marketing.  It includes both marketing and sales. ...

Sales Funnel, Marketing Funnel, sales best practices, sales opportunity management, sales account management

July 13, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Opportunity Management

This next couple of blog posts will focus on Sales Opportunity Management.  This is the third category of blog series Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management based on the original blog post for this best practice series started on January 21st. ...

Sales Pipelines, Guided Selling, guide winning behaviors, best practices, sales best practices, sales opportunity management

June 29, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Pipeline Monitoring & Closing Deals

This blog provides more details into the final two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Monitor the sales pipeline from different perspectives depending on the users role (sales rep, sales management, sales opperations, sales leadership) Focus on closing the best leads, nurturing the new leads and “close loss” opportunities as soon as possible Monitor the pipeline from different perspectives  The sales pipeline is the beating heart of the sales process and the revenue engine. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

June 17, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Proactive Follow Up & Content Delivery

This blog provides more details into the next two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: Proactive follow up on opportunities in the sales pipeline Proactive delivery of the right sales content and insights to members of the buying team and guidance to the sales team It may feel like these two best practices could be consolidated into one called proactive selling. Both could be handled via alerting and prompting solutions or optimized with a process we call “Alerts Requiring Action”.    However, there are subtle differences between the two that make a big impact on sales.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, guide winning behaviors, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

May 15, 2020

Best Practices For B2B Sales-Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement

This blog reviews best practices related to two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the previous blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: The ability to easily update the sales pipeline on a regular basis Sales process review and improvement An accurate sales forecast requires an accurate, timely and always up-to-data sales pipeline.  This data includes up-to-date: sales activity and buyer/seller interactions; buying team members and roles; opportunity descriptors and attributes; and company descriptors and attributes, in the CRM.  It also includes integrated reporting from the CRM to produce the sales pipeline, porting CRM information to Excel is not an option. ...

Pipeline Optimization, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

April 14, 2020

Avoiding A Horrific June Sales Quarter: Sales Pipeline in Crisis

Our current economic climate feels all too similar to the great recession of 2008.  We knew the story back then, “Work harder and sell less.” That is all we could do, we didn’t have the technology to help mitigate the impact of the great recession by better sales pipeline visibility and better cost control by understanding what is “real” in our sales pipeline. This time around we will have to work just as hard, but if we work smarter with the help of technology we could even the playing field and even sell a bit more. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Sales Pipeline Visibility

March 28, 2020

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team!

Jim Eberlin is founder of TopOPPS.  Jim posted this blog on Linkedin.  It was just a few weeks ago that I was preaching that in order to stay on top of things to give my team and customers what they needed, solve problems and make sure things don't fall through the cracks - I had to be in person.  Obviously that has changed - like it or not. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones