Who can better shed light on the importance of tools when it comes to your company's performance than Steve Jobs? Among the many lessons in professional productivity from Apple's former CEO, this one clearly highlights the importance of finding and putting the right B2B prospecting tool at the disposal of your sales and marketing/growth teams.
Setting high quotas for your B2B prospecting is one thing, but your team won't reach their objectives if you don't provide them with the best conditions for making calls, targeting the right companies, qualifying contacts, organising their work, setting up effective campaigns, and carrying out business intelligence (BI).
In 10 years, business spending on cloud services has jumped from $0 billion to $200 billion. This explosion of the market in recent years has allowed the development of a multitude of tools to help companies manage leads: to find more, better-qualified leads and deliver more personalised pitches to convert more clients.
In our 2024 Guide to the Best B2B Prospecting Tools for Generating Sales Leads, we'll discuss the software and platforms that will become your best friends in your business development.
What is a B2B prospecting tool?
A B2B prospecting tool is a software that automates the process of engaging with prospects and ultimately converting them to clients. Sales teams can turn to the B2B prospecting tools for information on prospects, automatic communication capabilities over multiple channels, client prospecting sequences, and integrations with CRM.
As any salesperson knows, administrative tasks take an enormous amount of time. All that time researching prospects, choosing the best channel to reach them, and composing the perfect message. Then, once the prospect has been contacted, the manual data entry begins: each business software must be up-to-date. And since perseverance is the key to closing a sale, within a few days, the process must start again. Given that each sale takes an average of eight touchpoints before conversion, that’s an incredible amount of fastidious, time-consuming tasks.
B2B prospecting tools emerged as a solution for these challenges. The goal of a B2B prospecting tool is to reduce the administrative load so salespeople can go about client prospecting efficiently and effectively. With a B2B prospecting tool, salespeople will be able to pursue more prospects concurrently with a higher quality sales technique. The quality of the sales pitches will improve naturally simply because salespeople will not be so distracted by a large amount of administrative tasks.
To gain a deeper understanding of why exactly B2B prospecting tools are so valuable during a B2B sales process, let’s take a closer look at what B2B prospecting entails.
How do you prospect in B2B?
Prospecting in B2B is much different than B2C. B2B sales cycles tend to be longer, and contact throughout the post-sales period is key. Not only for customer satisfaction and retention, but also so that you can capitalise on any upselling opportunities.
Because the sales cycles are longer and relationships key, the B2B prospecting process can be frustrating and even result in burnout. Many methods have been developed to facilitate B2B prospecting and increase the chance of success. Let’s take a look at some tips which can improve the probability of a conversion.
- Research. B2B sales is a challenging field because customers will only commit to your product/service if they believe your solution is the best on the market for their specific needs. To convince a lead to commit, you’ll have to have a profound understanding of their context, needs, obstacles, pain points, and objectives. Research is key to establishing enough expertise to successfully prospect in B2B.
- Use cold calling scripts. B2B sales cycles are so long, you'll need to make a habit of generating and warming leads. One of the best ways to pique a lead's interest is through cold calling. But to avoid being caught without anything to say on a sales call, make sure you have your best sales scripts close by.
- Create an omnichannel communication strategy. Digital technologies have ushered in myriad options for communication in our personal lives. Those digital communication options are convenient and effective–so much so, prospects now would like to bring them into their professional interactions. Contacting prospects by their preferred method, be it phone, email, social media, etc., can set you apart from other salespeople and ensure they feel it’s easy to speak to you.
- Personalise the messages you send to each prospect. Though this may seem like a time-consuming tip, personalization isn’t difficult if you have a B2B prospecting tool. Many such tools have variable fields in key places, like the subject lines and salutations of emails, so the personalised touch is done automatically by the software.
- Understand your buyer personas. Having a good knowledge of your various buyer personas and their specific needs will help you establish a position of expertise. If the prospect trusts that you know what you are talking about and understand them, they are more likely to convert.
- Identify the influencers and the decision makers. You may have found a lead who’s enthusiastic about your product and can see the benefits it will bring to everyday life. But if that person isn’t authorised to make a purchase, you may waste valuable time trying to get them to convert. That’s why it’s important to understand the stakeholders on the prospect side, so you know when you need to escalate the conversation to someone with real buying power. However, don’t discount the lead who loves your product but isn’t able to make a purchase. That person is called an “influencer” or “champion” because they can champion your product to the decision maker, influencing them to commit to the purchase.
- Make asking for referrals a part of your routine. B2B is all about relationships. Take advantage of the industry connections your leads have already made to open up new selling opportunities.
Which platforms are best for B2B sales prospecting?
Cadence by Ringover
Cadence by Ringover is a great B2B prospecting tool to streamline your prospecting processes, discover best practices, and disseminate them across the sales team.
Ultimately, you’ll see two major benefits thanks to Cadence by Ringover. The sales team will have less tedious and time-consuming administrative tasks that take time away from building meaningful relationships with clients. Finally, and most importantly, the overall performance of the sales team will improve, improving the bottom line as well.
Hunter is a tool for tracking down professional email addresses online. With the Email Finder, Hunter will provide you with a verified email address based on a person's name and their company domain with a confidence score that ensures you'll reach your contact.Among the many email search tools on the market, Hunter is among the most widely used and reliable.
The site claims more than 2,000,000 users worldwide and is regularly cited as a top source in articles comparing email finder sites.You can use Hunter for free for up to 100 emails per month, which allows you to test out the solution under real conditions.
Crystal (Crystal Knows)
Trusted by the largest Fortune 500 brands and many of the world’s top sales training organisations - like John Barrows and Sandler, Crystal uses the well-validated personality framework, DISC, to reveal how buyers naturally behave, communicate, and make decisions.
By arming sales teams with rich personality insights, sellers can employ adaptive selling techniques to better communicate and build relationships with their buyers.When sales teams implement adaptive selling techniques into their sales operations, it results in more effective sellers, stronger sales performance, and a differentiated buying experience.
Phantombuster is a library of APIs made available to you to build campaigns and carry out custom hacks. Simply put, these are tools with specific uses that can be combined to create growth hacking strategies through the following platforms and support networks: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, email, Twitter, Quora, and Medium.
It is important to understand the uses of the different APIs in order to realise the extent of the possibilities that Phantombuster offers: database scrapping, automated actions on social media, data enrichment, email invitations, and more.
With a monthly subscription, you can use a certain amount of time credit that is consumed whenever one of your APIs is running. You can also test tools that may interest you for free with a trial hour credit. While getting started can be tricky, the site's support is extremely clear and detailed, and their team highly responsive to the smallest query.
What is the most useful tools for prospecting?
The most useful tools for prospecting are those that help you to build your prospect list, easily schedule automated sales cadences or sales sequences, and engage prospects to build a trusting relationship. As an important plus, the most useful B2B prospecting tools will easily integrate with your existing tech stack, including offering native integrations for essential business software like Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.
Cadence by Ringover
Cadence by Ringover is among the B2B prospecting tools that ticks every item on the list. Cadence by Ringover has several key functionalities that make it an extremely useful B2B prospecting tool.
- Multichannel communication channels so you can create an omnichannel strategy to fully engage your prospects.
- Automated sales sequences. Leverage the expertise of your top performers to create automated sales cadences based on their best practice.
- Similar to the point above, you can create email and text message templates to test messaging and discover the messaging that resonates the most strongly with your buyer personas.
- Integrations with popular business software. Cadence by Ringover provides integrations with software like Salesforce and Hubspot. You won't have to waste time entering the same data twice, and easily qualify prospects.
Better Proposals is an amazing software that helps you write and send high-converting business proposals, as well as speed up your follow-up process. With a library of prewritten proposal templates, you can easily find the best one for your needs.
The editor is easy to use and doesn’t require any design experience. This means you can easily edit the templates and create a customised proposal in no time. The digital signature feature lets you turn your documents into legally binding ones and diminishes the need for printing. Make sure you get paid on time by integrating a payment option through PayPal, Stripe or GoCardless.
With proposal analytics, you can see when your documents were opened, signed and paid, as well as how much time the reader spent on each of the chapters.
Bloobirds is a sales engagement + playbook platform that guides SDRs and closing reps to convert more prospects into customers. It partners with your existing CRM. Bloobirds sits on top of it to make it more functional for the sales team.
It eliminates admin tasks, makes selling more intuitive, and makes sure reps follow best plays with the in-app playbook's help.Bloobirds helps sales teams flow through their pipeline, it also collects crucial data and creates competitive insights.
Launched in 2015, Xtensio is the bootstrapping effort of Fake Crow (www.fakecrow.com), a creative product design studio that specialises in digital solutions for forward-thinking companies. Xtensio began as a presentation creator for startups to visualise their company profile and show investors what they’re all about.
Today, anyone can use Xtension’s creative platform to curate personas, one-pagers, landing pages, sales presentation decks, & much more.Its easy-to-navigate platform makes it quite easy to set up and use.
With drag-and-drop and inline editing features, Xtensio is a flexible and responsive page builder. The interactive modules are tailored for all business needs with instructional placeholder content to guide your thought process.
With your free account you can create: user personas, lean canvases, one pagers & more. With this tool, no technical skills are required to create powerful lead generation content. All you need is an idea and the eagerness to see your idea come to life!
First ECO is a business intelligence solution for B2B lead generation. This platform provides you with precise and up-to-date information on the news and projects of your leads, sales targets & customers. The team consists of experts in the collection and processing of business signals that serve your sales strategy.
First ECO makes it possible to detect all news related to a given company which could be beneficial to generating business. Your sales approach is thus faster and more personalised.The platform also has advanced features that save time: advanced search, filtering, email alerts, geographic location, mobile app, generated leads sheet, etc. It also identifies more than 70,000 relevant and actionable business signals for your activity each year.
noCRM.io is a lead generation software that helps companies process leads. It simply traces a contact's path from lead creation to when they become a customer. Without requiring endless forms to be filled out, it's very simple to create and qualify leads through the conversion tunnel, which in turn will ensure a very high rate of use among your salespeople.
It also provides users with advanced analytic reports and a global overview of the company's business performance.
Sellsy is the ultimate CRM for managing your sales activity. It stands out for its ease of use and contact management done by pipeline views, which clarifies conversion paths and improves your conversion rates. It allows you to:
- Easily manage your contacts and clients
- Share emails, calendars, and tasks
- Use drag and drop to manage your sales opportunities
- Quickly identify leads to recontact
- Access your CRM from a mobile app
In addition to managing your contacts, Sellsy supports you in the rest of your activity with invoicing and accounting software. Like the most efficient CRM, it integrates with your favourite tools to improve your productivity and bring you more ease on a daily basis. You can test out the solution with a free trial period.
Everything your company does creates awareness, and all customer journeys begin online. People you’re able to reach will inevitably start their buyer’s journey on your website. But how to turn that website traffic into results? Leadoo is the only lead-driven marketing platform that is all about helping companies to turn their existing website traffic into results. Leadoo…
- Turns attention into interest by helping you to offer scalable 1-to-1 service for all your visitors.
- Fosters interest and turns it into desire by making sure you can stay connected with your prospects on and off your website.
- Boosts action by converting 30-70% more online sales, contact requests or whatever type of leads you’re looking for.
How do they actually do it then? Leadoo is a unique combination of content-embedded chatbots which convert really powerfully, and advanced tracking and identifying techniques that follow every movement visitors do on your site.
It can identify where visitors work, keep you connected with prospects on and off your website with messaging via platforms like WhatsApp and FB Messenger, and uses BannerBots that turn traditional banner ads into conversion machines that work everywhere in the internet.
Act-on makes it easy to create and optimise your lead generation strategy. With this genius tool, you can easily identify the content and channels that are delivering the best payout on your marketing efforts, and close the loop on what attracts, interests, and engages your target buyers at every step in their journey.
This platform is known for its website lead generation tools that help marketers to drive relevant traffic to their website, correct common SEO problems, deliver the right content to the right prospect and the right time, and to capture more conversion using intuitive prospect forms.
Act-on’s marketing automation platform puts you in the driver’s seat to steer unknown prospects into qualified leads. This in turn helps to increase sales revenue for your organisation.
Userlike is the first and only live chat software to help your business win and nurture customers across messaging channels. Whether that's on your website or through messaging apps like WhatsApp, FB Messenger or SMS, Userlike makes it easy to get in contact with your website’s visitors.
Userlike’s features make it easier than ever to help your team generate sales. When customers need help, they can simply send you a message when they have a question. But why wait? If you notice a customer has been staying on one page for a while, you can proactively reach out to them, making missed opportunities due to doubt a thing of the past.
Setting up operator skills will connect your customer to a support agent who’s most qualified to answer their questions, making it easy for them to get the best help. And instead of explaining where to take a left, where to go right, and where to go straight, with Userlike, you can take your customer by the hand and guide them to the right page of your website.
Leadfeeder is a Helsinki-based startup that helps B2B companies generate new leads from website analytics. It is suitable for business of all sizes across all industries. It shows you a list of companies that have visited your website and you can see what pages they loaded and how they found you.Leadfeeder's cloud-based SaaS application offers integrations with services such as Google Analytics and LinkedIn.
It can also be integrated with CRM software, which allows qualified leads to be added directly to the sales pipeline concentrating their sales efforts on the high-potential opportunities. Instead of cold-calling contacts, now you can contact people who have already shown interest and you can do that at the right moment.Furthermore, it can track the actions of email recipients on user websites.