Sales Stack 2021: The Tools


Sales Stack 2021

Sales Tools for Professional Sales



SALES STACK 2021:
Sales Tools for
Professional Sales



SALES STACK
2021:
Sales Tools
for
Professional
Sales


What a year we will have. Sales technology for professional sales will be more important in 2021 than ever. Even more important than it clearly was in 2020.

In 2020 almost every single Sales Professional was forced inside. And not just into the office. Most were forced to work from home. Generate results from home. With buyers who are working from home. This all changes the dynamic of sales conversations in interesting ways. In addition it changes the requirements of the tools Sales Professionals use to generate their results.

Welcome to Sales Stack 2021 - one of the most expansive lists of sales technology out there. This year we'll be trying harder to try to explain the outcomes you can use various kinds of technology to achieve and take you closer to the results you desire.

Whether you're looking to build lists, do outbound, manage opportunities, lead a sales team, or use advanced analytics to better understand what's working and what's not we'll have you covered.

As in 2020 the focus for 2021 is going to follow this prioritized order:

  1. Which customer journey experience are you creating?
  2. Which outcomes do you need to create during that journey?
  3. Which sales process works best with your customer experience journey and to generate your desired outcomes?
  4. Which sales tools best support your sales process?

What do we mean with "best"?

When it comes to the "best" sales process, we continue to talk about sales process effectiveness: which sales process has highest conversion from any stage to the following stage? Which sales processes generate the outcomes you're after and which tools best assist you in doing so?

When it comes to the sales tools that "best" support your sales process, we're aiming for efficiency: which sales tools will support the best sales process AND allow that process to happen at a maximum rate. This typically happens by following the mantra: "automate where you can, go manual when you must".

If you're with a company in sales or you're an individual Sales Professional, this is where you get your insight on the tools that can make you selling more faster in 2021. As a company you really don't want to fall behind. Same goes for Sales Professionals. In both cases, not knowing what's possible leaves you behind in the global sales tools arms race. Now more than ever!

Let's not wait any further. Connect with Jakob on LinkedIn to stay updated on all things sales and let's dive into looking at the sales tools, which will take you to your next level of growth.

Do you know of software, which belongs on this list? Do share!!

The 2021 Sales Stack Tools List


 

CRM

CRMs We Use

  • Salesflare – Simple yet powerful CRM for small businesses selling B2B 
    Salesflare became one of the CRMs we tinker with back in 2017. It’s mainly very good at allowing sales professionals to not spend much time at all updating the CRM and maximize sales time. It'll track any Google-based Sales Professional's efforts across email, calendar, and phone, and share interaction clients have had with emails, websites, or when they've called back. Sales Pros are reminded to pay attention to opportunities before they grow stale. Also we're seeing early success with this non-suite player's ability to act as a suite as part of a workflow using Zapier.
      • Salesforce.com – The Customer Success Platform To Grow Your Business
        Obviously, Salesforce.com is the gorilla in the CRM-room, having been around since the beginning of SaaS. It's interesting - it's both the CRM everyone aspires to be like and be different than.

          Other CRMs

           
           

          Conversation Intelligence

          What is Conversation Intelligence:
          In short Conversation Intelligence is the gathering and the analysis of conversations with the aim of saving time and improving outcomes structurally. Imagine if you could make qualify every single lead faster and more accurately and consistently convert the good leads faster at a higher rate. That's the promise of Conversation Intelligence.

          Why is Conversation Intelligence Important?:
          As with most other categories there are plenty of good reasons to get started with Conversation Intelligence tools. Here are a few:

          • sales managers don't really generally have the time, the skills nor the insight to provide accurate and impactful coaching based on listening in on live or recorded calls;
          • saves time by helping reps more efficiently (dis-)qualify leads;
          • helps sales leaders understand the answers to many of the questions they'll have about individual deals;
          • help sales reps get A LOT better through actually knowing what works and getting coached on implementing it;
          • increases the impact of those highly-paid sales reps and improves the conversion of those expensive leads.

          How is Conversation Intelligence Done?:
          In B2B sales we'll be using call recording, call transcriptions, call analytics and call scoring. That's obviously just for calls, though. Conversation Intelligence obvious benefits are about to be reaped across all customer communications including video, email, sms, and chat.

          Potential shortcomings?:
          Conversation Intelligence used to be by and large an English-only affair. That meant your French-German-Dutch-Japanese-Russian sales communication would remain a "mystery" for the foreseeable future.

          As of February 2021 a few notable exceptions have emerged: Gong, ExecVision, Jiminny, and Refract each support a pile of languages.

           
           

          Social Selling

          We Use

          • LinkedIn Sales Navigator – The social selling era starts now.
            LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the regular LinkedIn on steroids. Work with anyone, anywhere, now.

          • Shield App - Real-time LinkedIn Analytics
            Before the introduction of Shield App, going through our LinkedIn social selling and content data was rather difficult if not impossible. Now, we have clear, live, actionable insights for any component we'd like analytics of.

          Other Tools

           
           

          Collateral Tracking

          We Use

          Other Tools

           
           

          Web Visitor ID/Tracking

          We Use

          Other Tools

           
           

          Smart Scheduling

          We Use

          Other Tools

           
           

          Prospecting Leadgen List Creation

          In most B2B lead generation campaigns a certain level of list building or data enrichment will be required. Check out here where that fits in a successful outreach campaign.

          We Use

            Other Tools

             
             

            Marketing Enablement & Automation

            We Use

              • Story Chief – create awareness and gather initial interest
                Story Chief makes it a lot easier to generate inspiring thought leadership content and distribute it to blogs, social networks, influencers, email marketing software and more.

              Other Tools

               
               

              Sales Automation/Acceleration

              We Use

              • Drift – a messaging app for sales & customer success
                Currenty investing time in our Drift setup. Very interesting so far how we can automate and execute some of processes more intelligently with Drift.
              • Salesflare Email Tracking – The Intelligent Sales CRM
              • Zapier – The best apps. Better together
                If you're reading this and you don't know Zapier already, this might be the biggest find on this entire list. Zapier brings it all together and turns your disparate best-in-class software into a suite on steroids.

              Other Tools

               
               

              Sales Forecasting

              What is Sales Forecasting:
              Predicting with varying degrees of accuracy which deals or which volume of business is going to close within a certain time period. Forecasting sales volume for product categories is a common addition.

              Why is Sales Forecasting Important?:
              This varies by industry and the range of reasons for forecasting is fairly wide. It includes the following:

              • manufacturing products in correct amounts at the appropriate time and help with correct resource allocation;
              • managing stock market expectations for revenue, profit, and for specific product categories;
              • an accurate forecast makes it possible to create plans.

              How is Sales Forecasting Done?:
              In B2B sales the most well-known method is the forecast call or forecast meeting, where each Sales Professional estimates the near-, medium- and/or long-term for their respective areas. All input is consolidated into a department and company view of the total sales forecast.

              Sales reps, of course, can't hold or crunch vast amounts of data on product category splits sold vs forecasted, seasonal changes, and  under-/over-forecasting percentages.

              For this and other reasons companies increasingly use technology to gain productivity and increased understanding in the forecasting process, in order to efficiently produce an accurate company-wide forecast.

              This category represents those much needed tools.

               
               

              Email Outreach

              We Use

              • Salesflare – The Intelligent Sales CRM
                Most of the time we actually default back to Salesflare's campaign feature. It allows us to send out the right email to clients and prospects in a timely manner, and seeing what happens with that email after sending. Simple & effective.

              Other Tools

               
               

              Email Verification

              We Use

              • Bouncer - Email Verification Done Right
                You know why email doesn't work? It's because those email addresses get outdated lightning fast - literally. Bouncer helps us make sure our data is accurate, so we'll be able to properly stay in touch with our clients and potential clients.

                Other Tools

                 
                 

                Field Sales Management

                What is Field Sales Management?:
                Selling in the field presents its own set of challenges if it is to be done efficiently. Software for Field Sales Management helps solve those challenges.

                Why is Field Sales Management Important?:
                Sales Professionals are expensive valuable for the companies they work for. Sales Professionals in the field, sitting in their car, public transportation, or idling in an airplane are SUPER expensive.

                Sales Leaders and Sales Professionals alike have a keen interest in maximizing sales time going into the field.

                How is Field Sales Management Done?:
                Sales Pro's use Field Sales tools to crush their quotas by:

                • optimizing route planning, getting the best route to the best prospects;
                • convert inefficient and idle planning time to revenue-generating client-facing time;
                • make the most of unforeseen schedule changes by replanning on the fly;
                • increase conversion rates through leaving a good first impression by simply being on time.

                Sales Leaders profit too by:

                • making better sales territories;
                • manage territories and accounts to maximize return on opportunity;
                • help Sales Professionals to maximize sales and minimize travel frustration.

                It's quite possible that Inside Sales is on the rise and several of the tools on this page are proof of it. There are still really large opportunities, complex problems, and difficult decisions, which require a visit.

                By using some of the Field Sales Management software offerings below, companies can help their clients even more.

                 
                 

                Sales Stack Apps Integration

                We Use

                • Zapier – The best apps. Better together
                  If you're reading this and you don't know Zapier already, this might be the biggest find on this entire list. Zapier brings it all together and turns your disparate best-in-class software into a suite on steroids.
                  • PieSync – Integrate your Apps 
                    Just absolutely great at syncing contact information between CRM, Google Contacts, and other relevant apps.

                  Other Tools

                   
                   

                  Live Chat

                  We Use

                  Other Tools

                   
                   

                  Screenshare, Demoing, Conference Calls

                  We Use

                      • Zoom – #1 Video Conferencing and Web Conferencing Service
                        We're using Zoom on assignments for our clients. In our own environment it's particularly handy for sharing of a whiteboard. Few other apps have as useful collaborative whiteboarding features as Zoom.

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      Analytics

                      We Use

                      • Shield App - Real-time LinkedIn Analytics
                        Before the introduction of Shield App, going through our LinkedIn data was rather difficult if not impossible. Now, we have clear, live, actionable insights for any component we'd like analytics of.

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      E-Contract & E-Signature

                      What are E-Contract and E-signature Tools?:
                      Sales organizations were put in the world to increase the amount of signed contracts and healthy business relationships with clients. In the past the entire process of "getting them to sign on the line which is dotted" was physical, slow, and cumbersome. E-contract and E-signature tools change this.

                      What makes E-contract and E-signature Tools interesting?:
                      While productivity does play a role, other significant benefits of this section of tools include traceability, auditability, ease of collaboration, and transparency.

                      E-contracting is all about enhancing the customer relationship through improved handling of contractual aspects of the entire customer life cycle.

                      E-signing is more incidental in that it just focuses on each contract's moment of signature.

                      We Use

                      • Oneflow - E-signing is just the beginning
                        At YourSales Oneflow has become the main tool for managing the contract process. We wanted a tool, which could span the full contract process all the way from creating to sending, tracking, signing and even renewing contracts. 
                        String collaboration options make it easy and efficient to make changes where needed. Let us know if you'd like a sales tech chat about our use case or reach out to Oneflow.

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      Phone Systems/Solutions/Dialer

                      We Use

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      Team Communication

                      We Use

                      • Slack – Be less busy
                        We like Slack for channels, private messages and first and foremost for its Zapier integration, which elevates internal communication to a while new level.

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      Video Sales Engagement

                      We Use

                      Other Tools

                       
                       

                      Sales Growth Hacking

                      Before you use the tools in this section, take note of this!!!: These tools should not be used by sales automation novices - guidance highly recommended!
                      The correct use of tools can take you to your desired destination faster. Without proper process many tools can alternatively accelerate and compound the speed and degree with which things go wrong. 
                      The nature of the tools in this category is that they can very quickly take you to a very, very dark place far, far from your desired destination. If you decide to use them, make sure to take advice from an experienced Sales Automation Professional. You've been warned! Read on and use at your own risk.

                      What are Sales Growth Hacking Tools?:
                      With the rise of technology as a core component of sales operations, a subset of very powerful have emerged. These tools mostly take advantage of web technology to automate actions one would have otherwise had to manually execute.

                      What makes Sales Growth Hacking Tools interesting?:
                      It's mostly about productivity, really. Most of these tools carry out actions that any determined individual with plenty of time on their hands would be able to do manually. Here are a few of the potential benefits:

                      • messaging outreach for faster prospecting, recruitment, and list generation;
                      • messaging outreach for quick and targeted distribution of content;
                      • scrape content from website - often social networking sites.

                      How are Sales Growth Hacking tools used?:
                      More often than not sales growth hacking tools come packaged as extensions for Google's Chrome browser. In addition to and alternatively they may exist on entirely separate websites.

                      What's the shortcoming?:
                      Well, it's simple, really. While these tools aren't necessarily technically illegal, many will go counter to the terms and conditions of the services they're built to make use of. Wrong use could lead to temporary or permanent penalties for your access to any of these services. Handle with care!

                       

                      Sales Stack Tools Graveyard:


                      What triggered this article is a year-old passion for tools for the sales process along with a question on Quora wiki, which you can find here. The problem in the Quora wiki is that everyone can add and delete content. Competitors would remove each other and add themselves, making the wiki unreliable.

                      Edited and categorized as always by Jakob Thusgaard. Making sure to keep a copy, so this list of tools for the Sales Stack remains as valuable and relevant as possible. Send a message or comment here if you have any problems whatsoever with that.

                      Comments 4

                      1. Great list, thanks. Would be great to see PRMs – Partner Relationship Management platforms on here as well that help channel departments engage with partners…big, growing field and list – G@ has a good list.

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