7 Clutch Sales Prospecting Tools

August 6, 2021

There’s no shortage of paid and free sales prospecting tools on the market these days, all touting time-saving features. But who of today’s busy sales professionals has the time on their hands to vet hundreds of lead generation and sales prospecting tools, let alone road test them to find the best fit?

Though no number of lead prospecting tools can replace the value of the personal touch of relationship building, your near-psychic intuition, and your innate focus and drive to hit it hard each day, taking advantage of the modern sales prospecting software available is an easy way to cut down on tedious and repetitious tasks.

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What is sales prospecting?

Sales prospecting is the process of reaching out to consumers with the potential of becoming customers in the future. The term got its name from gold prospectors, who would sift through dirt to find a nugget of gold. In the case of a sales team, the goal is generating revenue by finding the right buyers. Prospecting is arguably one of the most crucial steps in a company’s sales strategy because it’s responsible for building sales pipeline and filling in prospecting databases with ready buyers. Doing this ensures that the company has a steady flow of revenue.

However, sales prospecting is not a single process. Instead, it’s a collection of steps covering every aspect of customer acquisition, from contacting a lead to converting them into a buyer. One of the more crucial areas of prospecting is nurturing leads. Here, sales reps must uncover a person’s needs and show them how their product or service can address that person’s problems.

It’s also crucial for a sales rep to be smart about their prospecting. That means pre-screening leads to make sure they’re the right fit for their offer. This guarantees they make the most efficient use of their time by only engaging with people that have a higher chance of converting. Because of the broad scope of prospecting, it requires varying sales marketing techniques. Traditional tactics include cold calling or emailing, research, or even buying prospect lists from third-party providers. Nowadays, prospecting websites and tools are advanced and can make the process much more streamlined for sales teams.

What’s the difference between a lead and a prospect?

Before we go any further, let’s first discuss a common misconception. Many people (and sometimes even sales reps) often use the terms “lead” and “prospect” interchangeably. But in reality, they’re two very distinct things.

A lead is any person who’s interested in your offer, regardless if they’re the right fit or not. A good example is a prospective home buyer who expresses interest in your property but can’t afford it. These unqualified leads are often the result of inbound marketing tactics like ads or your website.

A prospect, on the other hand, is a person that’s an excellent match for your product or service. So in this case, a house buyer who can not only afford your property, but is also a great fit because they have children who will love the huge backyard. Prospects are often the result of outbound (or prospecting) campaigns.

While leads and prospects are different, they’re essential parts of your sales funnel. Both can lead to buying customers if nurtured the right way. For instance, it’s always a good idea to prospect from your lead list because they’ve already shown interest in your offer to some degree.

 

The benefits of using the best sales prospecting tools

While a direct, human approach to sales prospecting will always be the best approach, using sales prospecting tools is still a great idea. For one, it will help streamline the process for your sales team, making them even more effective at finding leads and closing deals.

Here are some of the more detailed benefits of using sales prospecting tools:

1. Save time

One common problem with reps is that they don’t spend much time on the sales tasks that actually close deals — like engaging with people or closing deals. Instead, they’re often bogged down with administrative tasks like writing sales email templates, creating a prospect list, or editing a contract. A side effect of this is that they automate the “human” aspect of selling, leading to stiff sales calls that feel robotic and automated.

Sales prospecting tools can help lighten the load of some of these repetitive tasks. For instance, software can be used to search and manage a prospect list. With more free time, sales reps can focus on adding a personal touch to their engagements. As a result, they can close more high-quality deals in a shorter period.

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Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.

2. Uncover more qualified leads

Traditionally, sales reps needed to cold call a massive list of leads to find the few that have the intent and capacity to buy. Unfortunately, this only wastes time and annoys customers. Fortunately, modern sales prospecting tools can help sales reps rate a person’s “fit” for their offer. In addition, these platforms give sales reps more customer data at their fingertips. They can then use this information to uncover a person’s intent before they engage with them one-on-one. As a result, they won’t waste time on leads that are a poor fit to begin with.

3. Improve customer service

Good sales prospecting software can integrate with other tools in your company’s pipeline, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and email platforms. By doing this, you can quickly transition customers from a prospect to a paying customer. You can seamlessly onboard them, send welcome emails, and potentially follow up with more marketing messages in the future. If they encounter issues down the line, your support team can easily tackle them because that customer’s data is readily available.

 

Tips for successful sales prospecting

1. Get to know your buyers

The key to success with sales prospecting is knowing your customers inside and out. This starts with creating and internalizing a buyer persona or ideal customer profile (ICP). A buyer persona represents your ideal customer – their likes, dislikes, fears, dreams, and aspirations. Knowing this information allows sales reps to spot leads that closely match a persona instantly.

In addition, studying your persona can also help you craft marketing messages that your leads will better respond to. This leads to a higher chance of conversion. Unfortunately, not many salespeople spend the necessary amount of time to research their prospects first. Instead, they rely on the “spray and pray” method, which simply wastes time and is highly inefficient.

2. Work only on the most qualified leads

A critical tactic for increasing your sales revenue is to only focus on the most qualified leads. These people have the best chances of converting to buyers, which is a better use of your time. This is where sales prospecting tools can help immensely. You can use big data and insights to rank leads according to their readiness to buy. Then, all you have to do is to engage with each one.

3. Make it personal

It’s human nature to want to feel special. As sales reps, you can elicit this emotion by personalizing your engagement with leads as much as you can. For example, instead of using a scripted email, you can change a few things to seem like the message is meant just for them. Even a simple mention of “how are the kids?” if that prospect has a family is a nice touch that will be appreciated.

Remember, people always buy with emotion first, then justify that with logic. So if you talk with your leads on a human level, it will help build trust much better. Then, it’s easier to convert leads from there.

4. Invest in your prospecting skills

Prospecting is just like any other skill – it can be developed. So the best thing you can do as a sales rep is to enhance this skill. The quickest way is to find a master salesperson to coach you. You can also invest in paid courses or books. 

You should also focus on creating a prospecting system. The best sales prospectors have a reliable and repeatable process that they can execute every day to generate a steady supply of qualified leads. While it takes time to develop, having one makes you a much faster and more efficient sales machine. As you can see, not using sales prospecting tools is eating into your valuable time and resources. So, here are seven of our top-recommended options to help increase your growth today.


7 Clutch Sales Prospecting Tools

So next time you’re evaluating online sales tools, consider these seven great prospecting apps for your sales arsenal:

1. Apollo.io

Total Funding Amount: $9.3M
Founded in 2015
Investors include Social Capital, SV Angel, Y Combinator, and ZhenFund.

Engage with the perfect messaging, at speed & scale with Apollo.

  • Spend less time researching the right thing to say with Apollo’s recommended messaging and data-driven emails.
  • Receive recommended messaging based on criteria like persona, vertical, and use case.
  • Sell effectively to entire accounts with fast, repeatable playbooks.

Similarly, use Apollo to split test outreach sequences (email, calls, task steps, etc) and let the platform build a continuously improving structure, or “magic formula” around your engagement strategies.

Apollo then connects with all of the tools you already use for email, professional networking sites, company web pages, and CRM to learn more about the leads you’re interested in for continuous sales prospecting.

2. Emissary

Total Funding Amount: $14 million
Founded in 2013
Investors include GV, eBay, The New York Times, and Canaan Partners

Emissary is an enterprise sales intelligence network founded by David Hammer, a product leader at Google. David saw firsthand that there’s only so much that can be solved with data mining, analytics, and AI. Equally important are all of the things we know, locked up in our heads — and they’re only accessible through the right relationship with the right person at the right moment.

Additionally, with an Emissary subscription, you can easily access critical information about your biggest accounts. Similarly, connect with a human who has actually worked there – your “Emissary” to devise a plan that gets you in.

  • Eliminate the uncertainty, unpredictability, and confusion typical of the enterprise sales process.
  • Discover hidden decision makers and influencers.
  • Get the unofficial org chart.
  • Chart the best paths for entry.
  • Tailor marketing materials and outreach collateral to your buyer.

3. Cirrus Insight

Total Funding Amount: $550,000
Founded in 2011
Investors include DOT Capital and David J. La Placa

Ever wonder what happens to your attachment once you hit send? Understand what prospects really want and know what happens to your attachments with attachment analytics with Cirrus Insight.

Most noteworthy track your prospect’s collateral usage and engagement and understand which collateral is influential in closing deals and save best performing collateral into a preferred use library for your future efforts.

  • Streamline sharing of information across multiple systems to keep inbox, calendar, and Salesforce in sync.
  • Flight plans and drip campaign tools made for salespeople.
  • Enterprise calendar scheduling tools to make scheduling large groups a piece of cake.
  • Track when customers open your emails so you can follow up at just the right time.

4. Crunchbase Pro

Total Funding Amount: $26.5 million
Founded in 2007
Investors include Mayfield Fund, Emergence Capital, Cowboy Ventures, AOL, and Felicis Ventures.

While we may be biased, we couldn’t make a list of helpful sales prospecting tools without mentioning ourselves. For those salespeople prospecting on a budget, Crunchbase Pro is a great resource to identify new leads. Use the Crunchbase Pro prospecting software to filter companies based on your target customer. Add unlimited filters with Crunchbase Pro to ensure your sales prospecting contacts are filtered by highly valuable, intent-driven insights such as:

  • Funding raised
  • Acquisitions
  • Headquarter locations (region, country, city, etc.)
  • Investment stage (early stage, late stage, seed, angel, post-IPO-equity, etc.).

Leverage Pro’s alerts feature to get real-time notifications on when a targeted lead raises a round of funding or exhibits another key buy signal or trigger event. With a strong community of contributors, the largest venture partner network, and in-house data teams armed with powerful machine learning, Crunchbase has earned its place as the world’s master data record of innovative companies.

Follow these three steps to learn how to use Crunchbase Pro for sales.

5. Hunter

Total Funding Amount: undisclosed
Founded in 2015

Get the email addresses of an organization. Bonus: the first 100 each month are free!

Additionally, Hunter’s Domain Search lists all the people working in a company with their name and email address found on the web. Hence with 200+ million email addresses indexed, effective search filters and scoring, it’s the most powerful email-finding tool available today.

  • Get the most common email format used in the organization from dozens of possible combinations.
  • Type a name and get the proven or most likely email address of this person.
  • Save any profile to your leads to export or synchronize them with your favorite CRM.

6. PandaDoc

Total Funding Amount: $21.1 million
Founded in 2011
Investors include HubSpot, Kima Ventures, Altos Ventures, and Rembrandt Venture Partners.
PandaDoc helps you eliminate the tedious paperwork and administrative tasks that keep you from finding and engaging prospects and closing deals. 

  • Secure electronic signatures on any device.
  • Automate the quoting process.
  • Full contract lifecycle management.
  • Templates and content libraries for perfect proposals.
  • Powerful workflows can be utilized for marketing content, too.

As a result, automate document processes and see sales activity, signed contracts, negotiations, and automated reminders all from one dashboard.

7. Albacross

Total Funding Amount: $3.8 million
Founded in 2014
Investors include

Lastly, Albacross helps you to identify and track the companies which have visited your website. Additionally, you’ll have a full profile of each lead which includes such data as company size, its revenue, industry, location, and contact details of their leaders.

Apart from that, Albacross integrates with Zapier, which means you’ll have access to thousands of various apps, tools, and services available out there. Moreover, with Albacross service you’ll be able to convert your website visitors into leads and boost your B2B sales.

  • Find out which companies and potential customers are visiting your website and how to contact them.
  • Get a deep insight on which pages your visitors are most interested in and how they interact with your website.
  • Get access to contact details of decision makers at companies interested in your business.

So if it’s time to give your sales prospecting toolkit an upgrade, we hope this list will be helpful. Look at creative ways to leverage the synergies of these tools and also check the app stores and Chrome extensions for powerful shortcuts to keep you on task with what you do best!