Revised July 11, 2017
It’s hardly news that B2B sales and marketing teams aren’t always on the same page. And it’s not just arguments over lead quality. According to research from IDC, over 40% of all marketing materials aren’t used by sales teams. The primary reason is that sales reps are unable to locate or access the materials when needed.
But in top-performing organizations, sales and marketing are closely aligned. A CRM system is usually the starting point, but the technology available to support sales+marketing alignment go well beyond a common platform for customer and prospect contact information.
The eight tools here deliver a range of functionality such as email automation, automatic email and call logging, workflow scheduling, lead qualification, sales enablement, and personalized direct mail.
Though these apps are designed primarily to improve sales productivity, they also support alignment by helping marketing teams supply their sales counterparts with the right social, email, and product/service content at the right time.
Google Review Count: 233
An email automation tool specifically for sales professionals. Yesware includes functionality for predictive analytics based on your sales team’s activities; post-send tracking (open and reply rates, clicks, attachment opens); sales prospecting based on emails, calls, lead nurturing, and social selling; and integration of all call and email activity with Salesforce.com.
Sample review: “How do you know whether people who don’t reply are reading your emails or ignoring them?…Use (Yesware) to monitor opens, clicks, and responses for every email you send to influencers. You can also create templates to automate your outreach and track which messages resonate best.” — PR Daily
Pricing: $12/$25/$55 per user per month
Showcase reviews: Marketing Insider Group, PR Daily
Google Review Count: 162
Sales software that provides prospect activity tracking across email, web, and documents; a high-deliverability email service; email sales campaign automation; calendaring/scheduling; integration with popular email programs and CRM systems; and reporting.
Sample review: “These top sales tools will help you grow…(use) ToutApp for automating and scaling your lead nurturing and sales processes.” — Marketing Insider Group
Pricing: $49 per user per month; enterprise pricing starting at $15,000 per year
Showcase reviews: Marketing Insider Group
Google Review Count: 158
An inside sales CRM system for startups and small to midsize businesses featuring one-click calling with automatic call logging, workflow reminders, one-click SMS, email scheduling and history, and integrations to popular lead capture, customer service, and email apps.
Sample review: “Close.io is a cool little app that lets you track and record conversations…so you can focus on the discussion at hand. When you make a phone call to someone on your…list, Close.io logs it automatically in the contact record; you don’t have to do any manual data entry.” — PR Daily
Pricing: $65/$110/$165 per user per month
Showcase reviews: Marketing Insider Group, PR Daily
Google Review Count: 138
An inside sales tool for consultants, business coaches, or anyone who schedules their time with prospects and clients. Customize your schedule and booking page, share with clients and prospects or integrate it into your website or email messages, and let people book an available time with you. It’s convenient for clients and eliminates phone tag or email back-and-forth to set appointments.
Sample review: “If you frequently set up phone meetings with customers then check this out. This software enables you to accept appointments from your website 24/7 without needing to manage a thing (syncs with your Google Calendar). All you need to do is set your working hours, and Appointlet will display the available times to your customers.” — StoreYa Blog
Pricing: four levels from $14 to $81 per month
Showcase reviews: StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count: 131
Sales development software that enables lead qualification teams to prioritize calls and set daily schedules; create single or multiple phone, email and social touchpoints for campaigns; receive “moment of interest” alerts to improve connect rates; track activities and goals; and deliver account-based reports on sales-ready opportunities to field sales reps. Integrates with Salesforce.com, VoIP and marketing automation systems.
Sample review: “OppSource…(provides) tools to help organizations harness their data and sell more.” — Letters to Leaders
Pricing: contact vendor for pricing
Showcase reviews: Letters to Leaders
Google Review Count: 71
Helpful for both marketing and sales teams, Whoisvisiting uses reverse IP lookup from several sources to identify visitors to your site; get the company name, contact details, website and other key information. Receive real-time reports on high-potential leads. See whose visiting your website in real time, create custom alerts, and create reports. Integrates with Salesforce.com.
Sample review: “Whoisvisiting.com is a very comprehensive tool to search for potential business leads. There is full transparency of data, as all raw data are presented in the reports…What is also impressive is that an account manager is available to every subscriber, who not only assists the subscriber to get started but also helps in initiating leads and other support issues. — Techno FAQ
Pricing: four levels from $49 to $149 per month; enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: Techno FAQ
7) App Data Room
Google Review Count: 63
A sales enablement tool that lets you create an online content repository for sales assets (presentations, PDFs, videos, photos, diagrams, etc.) accessible through your own custom mobile app. Sales pros can present right from the app, generate leads and automatically push them to your CRM or marketing automation system. Sales teams always have the newest content, and usage and engagement can be tracked to reveal which content is most effective.
Sample review: “Businesses with sales teams rely on presentations and App Data Room can help streamline the process.” — Inc.
Pricing: $25/$35 per user per month; enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: Inc, Marketing Insider Group
Google Review Count: 366
A “smart” address book that works across multiple platforms and devices, deduplicating contacts, keep contact records and schedules in sync, and including social media account information for contacts.
Sample review: “Plaxo’s happy to import all your contacts from a range of sources including Gmail, Facebook, and your phonebook. It synchs constantly, so you needn’t worry about manual updates whenever you rub shoulders with someone new. It also recognizes duplicate contact info and merges the results without you ever worrying about it. The Personal Assistant updates any out-of-date or missing information using details from Facebook, LinkedIn, and the White Pages.” — Social Media Explorer
Pricing: free or contact vendor for upgrade pricing
Showcase reviews: Social Media Explorer
Google Review Count: 33
A simple tool that gives businesses an easy way to text their contacts online from local phone numbers to help qualify leads and schedule appointments. Send and receive text messages online, automate messages with workflow, and personalize outreach using merge fields. Integrates with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Pricing: $10 per member per month
This was the 45th post in the Best Online Business Tools series.
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#3: The Nine Best Facebook Marketing Tools
#4: The 14 Best Content Planning and Research Tools
#5: The 23 Best Content Ideation Tools
#6: The 24 Best Online Writing Tools and Apps
#7: The Six Best Google+ Marketing Tools
#8: The Four Best Online Education Tools For Business Pros
#9: The 14 Best Marketing Automation Tools
#10: The 17 Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO and SEM
#11: The Seven Best File Sharing Tools
#12: The Five Best Infographic Creation Tools and Services
#13: The 28 Best Influencer Marketing Tools
#14: The Five Best Pinterest and Instagram Marketing Tools
#15: The 24 Best Visual Content Creation Tools
#16: The Six Best Online HR, Payroll, and Employee Scheduling Tools
#17: The 20 Best SEO Rank Tracker Tools
#18: The Six Best Screen Capture Tools
#19: The 15 Best Special-Purpose SEO Tools
#20: The Four Best Online Survey Tools
#21: The 26 Best All-in-One SEO Tool Suites
#22: The 32 Best Twitter Marketing Tools
#23: The 29 Best Web Analytics Tools
#24: The 24 Best Email Marketing Tools
#25: The 28 Best Web Design Tools
#26: The 29 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools
#27: The 17 Best Project Management Tools
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#30: The 14 Best Personal Productivity Tools
#31: The 11 Best Social Media Campaign Builders and Ad Monitoring Tools
#32: The 12 Best Landing Page and Form Builders for Conversion Rate Optimization
#33: The 17 Best Photo Editing Tools
#34: The Six Best Accounting and Finance Tools for Small Business
#35: The 15 Best Content Distribution and Amplification Tools
#36: The 17 Best Social Media Management Tools
#37: The 23 Best Google Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketers
#38: The 15 Best Audio and Video Editing Tools
#39: The Eight Best Social CRM Tools
#40: The Nine Best Reputation Management, RSS, and Social Search Tools
#41: The 15 Best Screencasting and Online Presentation Tools
#42: The 16 Best Sites for Free Stock Photos and Videos
#43: The 10 Best Customer Service and Customer Engagement Platforms
#44: The 11 Best Content Marketing, SMO, and Marketing Performance Management Tools
#45: The Eight Best Online Tools for Sales Professionals