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15 Sales Tools You Should Use

Written by:

Victoria Yu is a Business Writer with expertise in Business Organization, Marketing, and Sales, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.

Edited by:

Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.

15 Sales Tools You Should Use

15 Sales Tools You Should Use

As your business gets off the ground and expands its operations, you might no longer be able to manage all of your sales operations with Excel, or with pencil and paper. In that case, using sales software tools will be a game changer to help you in scaling up your sales operations.

But exactly which sales tools should you invest in? If your business is just starting out and has a limited budget, here are the 15 of the most essential sales tools you should consider purchasing.

Key Takeaways

  • Sales tools are a broad category of software technologies designed to help businesses find, nurture, close, and satisfy more customers.

  • Six essential sales process tools include CRM software, sales automation, sales analytics software, call tracking, e-document software, and customer service software.

  • Five essential marketing tools include marketing automation, email campaign management software, lead generation, and sales prospecting tools, and account-based marketing tools.

  • Four sales team productivity tools include project management software, data integration, communication, and productivity management tools.

Why Are Sales Tools Important?

Sales tools are software technologies that help a business expedite and improve its sales process. They consolidate your sales data or expedite sales functions so that your sales teams can make faster and more data-driven decisions.

Rather than being optional, at this point, sales management tools have become par for the course in the industry – if you don’t have a single one, you run the risk of falling behind competitors in the industry. 

That’s why we’ve curated and ranked this list of the 15 most essential sales tools for B2B and B2C businesses, so you can make the smartest investments for your sales organization.

Now, going through each sales tool one by one would be quite exhausting. So, to help you quickly identify the best tool for you, we’ve separated our list into three functional groups: sales process tools, marketing tools, and internal productivity tools. 

By using the best sales tools from each corner of this holy trinity, you can greatly improve your sales and marketing processes and bolster customer relationships. 

Sales Process Tools

Our first category of sales tools directly relates to the company’s sales pipeline and sales efforts: namely, nurturing a lead through the sales process, closing a sale, and ensuring customer success and satisfaction.

Here are six of the top sales management tools to help expedite your sales processes and close more deals.

Customer Relationship Management Software

Our first and most essential sales tool is customer relationship management software, or CRM software for short. A CRM tool creates data profiles for each lead and customer, tracks customer interactions with the company in the sales pipeline, and serves as a historical database for prospect and account data. This allows everyone in the sales team to manage and nurture leads equally, creating a fast-paced and efficient sales system.

By leveraging and analyzing the customer data in the CRM system, a business can constantly improve its sales process, enhance customer satisfaction, and make more data-driven decisions on a granular and broader scale. With so many benefits in one tool, it’s no wonder that CRM software is found at the top of our list!

There are over a thousand CRM vendors in the US alone, so it can be hard to hone in on the best CRM tool for your business. Some popular choices include:

Sales Automation Tools

Also called sales acceleration software, sales automation tools automate mundane, repetitive tasks in the sales cycle, allowing sales representatives to focus on more complex, value-added tasks and build closer relationships with customers.

The most valuable feature of sales automation is the automated entry of customer data into the company’s CRM or database, saving sales reps from the monotony of punching numbers. This also eliminates the chances of incorrect data being entered, improving the quality of your data and subsequent data-based analytic decisions.

Some other sales automation tool features include sending automatic reminders for sales reps to follow up with a lead, sending follow-up messages according to a designated schedule, automated lead scoring, and online-integrated customer research.

Some examples of sales automation tools include:

Sales Analytics Software

The longer your company runs, the more data you’ll gather on your customers, sales processes, and target audience. That’s why sales analytics software, which collects, analyzes, and leverages that data, is important to derive actionable and data-driven insights that help improve your business.

Sales analytics software tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) on a business’s sales performance, turns the raw data into easy-to-read reports or live dashboards, and provides AI-powered forecasting that can give decision-makers a glimpse into the future.

Using these reports and forecasts, a sales manager can evaluate and optimize its sales process, find trends in its performance and customer base, discover areas for improvement, and make better data-driven decisions for the future.

Some popular sales analytics software vendors include:

Call Tracking Tools

If your business relies on customers calling in, a call tracking tool is essential to help you identify the marketing channel a caller is coming from, and what advertisements or products they were interested in. Using this information, the receiving sales rep can immediately launch into a pitch tailored to the products and offerings the lead was interested in, saving time and speeding up the sales cycle.

Call tracking software assigns unique phone numbers to each of a business’s marketing channels and routes sales calls to those numbers to the business’s main phone line. By identifying which number a customer called to reach the business, a sales rep can then immediately know which marketing materials the lead interacted with, and launch into an appropriate sales pitch to match their interest, as soon as they pick up the call.

Furthermore, call tracking tools record helpful metrics on the call, such as the caller ID, date, time, and duration of the call, a transcription, and UTM parameter sources for online callers.

Using this data, sales managers can analyze sales calls to identify which marketing channel brings in the most customers, and optimize phone sales scripts and procedures to improve conversation quality and customer satisfaction.

Google reports that six out of ten smartphone users have used the Google click-to-call feature to dial a business directly. That means that by improving your inbound phone call process, you could greatly improve your lead conversion rate and close more sales opportunities.

Some providers of call tracking tools are:

E-Signature and E-Document Software

For businesses that require sales opportunities to sign a contract or other documentation before completing their purchase, e-signature and e-document sharing tools are becoming increasingly important to provide a fully-digital customer journey.

These tools allow your customers to receive, review, and sign documents and contracts from anywhere in the world with ease, making it simple to do business. Using this software also means that your sales team can now promote your products and services to more distant customers. With digital contracts, there’s no more need to travel and meet in person, broadening your pool of potential markets. 

However, we’d advise you to carefully vet your provider before purchasing an e-document tool – as your documents likely deal with sensitive customer information, you’ll want to ensure your software provider has ample data security protocols in place.

Some examples of e-signature and e-document tools are:

Customer Service Software

The sales process doesn’t end once the customer has made their purchase. Post-sale, a business must follow up with customers to ensure they’re happy with their purchase and that they don’t have any lingering questions or confusion. 

To help with that, customer service software, or service desk software, collects customer questions, complaints, and concerns from all communication channels and places them in one easy-to-manage platform. 

Customer service software allows your business to manage all of its customer service emails, phone calls, text messages, social media platforms, and knowledge base from one location, generating and managing tickets with ease. Using such software enables faster response times for your support teams and ensures that no customer tickets are lost between the cracks.

Over half of surveyed customers (54%) cite speedy responses as a critical factor when choosing a brand. Therefore, it’s important that your business rises to these expectations and provides lightning-fast responses to customer tickets. To that end, customer service software could greatly improve customer satisfaction for your business.

Some customer service software includes live chat integrations for your website to directly help potential customers. The most top-of-the-line customer service software takes that a step further to offer AI-powered chatbots, providing customized interactions while freeing up your support reps for other tasks.

Some vendors of customer service software include:

Marketing Tools

Our second category of sales tools includes marketing tools to help draw in more leads. Though not directly used by sales teams, these tools improve the marketing process, ensuring your sales funnel is always full.

Here are the five best sales tools designed to help marketing teams bring in more leads than ever.

Marketing Automation Software

Suppose your business is struggling to attract more leads and manage them efficiently. In that case, marketing automation software can scale up your lead generation efforts drastically by automating repetitive tasks in digital marketing campaigns. It helps to know this software can also be called customer engagement software, or customer outreach software.

Marketing automation tools can segment leads, schedule and send out emails and texts, post on social media, and use customer profiles to customize marketing messages to best appeal to leads. Some of the best products on the market also include AI capabilities that can custom-create marketing materials tailored to each customer.

Now, you might think that your lead generation efforts are fine enough with mass emails sent out to everyone on your email list. But in actuality, personalization isn’t just a fancy trend – it’s become an industry standard. According to McKinsey & Co., more than seven out of ten (71%) consumers expect personalization from brands and businesses, and three out of four consumers (76%) become frustrated when communication with them is not personalized. Because marketing automation software makes personalization a breeze, it’s earned its spot as our number two most essential sales tool.

Using marketing automation to connect, manage, and personalize all of your marketing campaigns, you can reach and appeal to more customers with less effort, filling your sales funnel with qualified leads.

Some vendors of marketing automation software include:

Email Campaign Management Software

Similar to our previous tool is email campaign management software, which specifically helps you segment your customer base, send tailored and appealing emails to each segment, and control all of your email marketing campaigns in a single platform. 

In particular, email campaign management software can help your business improve the quality of your emails. Using this software enables AI-powered email creation, allowing you to add images, interactive tools, or survey forms to your emails, while tracking granular email performance metrics such as content scores, unsubscribe counts, and spam complaints.

Though this is indeed useful in scaling up and personalizing email campaigns, it lacks utility in other types of marketing campaigns, which is why it’s in third place.

If you choose to invest in email campaign management software, be sure to choose a vendor that’s trustworthy to ensure you won’t automatically get sent to the recipient’s spam folder. Some examples of reputable email campaign management software vendors are:

Lead Generation Software

A business can’t make any sales if it doesn’t have any leads or prospects. To alleviate this issue, lead generation tools, or lead gen tools for short, are designed to amplify your business’s lead generation process, filling your company’s sales funnel with qualified leads.

These contact management tools automate the lead gen process by providing tools that help identify potential customers, qualify and prioritize them, and engage with them to collect their contact information through digital channels. 

For example, a lead gen tool might help you leverage ads, landing pages, chatbots, and webinars to help you understand who’s interacting with these tools and how interested they are in your business. By following up with these people, your business can nurture their interest in a purchase deal.

Here are some lead generation tool providers:

Sales Prospecting Software

Similar to lead generation tools, sales prospecting tools help sales professionals find and nurture new customers. 

However, while lead generation attracts many potential customers at once and is used more by B2C companies, sales prospecting is when a sales representative researches and reaches out to individuals, seeding them further down the sales process as prospects fast-tracked to a purchase. In other words, while lead generation is one-to-many, sales prospecting is one-to-one.

As opposed to one-to-many lead generation tools, a sales prospecting tool can help you identify specific key buyers in a targeted company, use AI to automatically qualify, score, and prioritize each prospect, and communicate with them one-on-one with video or email tools.

And here are some sales prospecting tool providers:

Account-Based Marketing Software

For companies operating in a B2B capacity, there are only a limited number of potential buyers in the industry. As such, it becomes especially important for B2B companies to tailor their offerings and approaches to each individual potential customer, building a strong reputation in close-knit buyer spaces.

To that end, account-based marketing software (ABM software) helps sales and marketing teams identify specific high-priority or high-value potential customers, called accounts. Using this software, you can target key decision-makers with messages personalized to them and their business’s specific needs, and arrange communications to help you make a deal.

Not only does ABM software allow companies to run and manage several account-based marketing campaigns at once, but it also provides detailed analytics into each campaign’s performance, driving insights to optimize the company’s ABM process. Additionally, ABM software with a designated sales intelligence tool can go one step further to collect live data on prospect sales signals, further improving the quality of the system’s information and targeting strategy.

Some examples of account-based marketing software vendors are:

Internal Productivity Tools

Our final class of sales tools you should use include sales productivity tools, which are employed internally to help a company manage its sales department, sales team, and individual sales professionals. Though these tools never directly interact with customers, they go a long way in ensuring your sales reps are well-equipped to enact your sales strategy with speed and efficiency.

Here are four of the top sales tools to improve sales productivity.

Project Management Tools

As your sales team grows, it may become more and more difficult for each team member to stay on top of new assignments, manage their workflows, and coordinate with other employees. 

That’s why project management software is essential to help your salespeople’s productivity, coordination, and collaboration. These sales productivity tools help you track project workflows and timelines, assign tasks to employees, host team and private conversations, and manage content all in one place.

Though these software tools might not directly relate to sales, they’re nevertheless crucial to the success of your sales team by consolidating all of the company’s resources and project management into one platform. This is especially crucial for online or hybrid businesses whose employees might be scattered across the globe.

Some examples of software that help with project management include:

Data Integration Tools

At this point, you likely have quite a few sales tools in your company arsenal, managing several essential parts of your marketing and sales operations. While each tool might be amazing on its own, they would provide even greater value if they communicated with each other, breaking down information silos in your tech stack and creating a truly comprehensive and interactive database.

A data integration tool facilitates this by gathering all of your company’s disparate data into one database, data warehouse, or platform, providing your sales managers with a holistic view of your marketing and sales departments. This makes your sales data easier to access, manage, and cleanse – in other words, easier to utilize to drive data-driven decisions.

Some examples of data integration tools are:

Communication Tools

As your company grows, it can be increasingly difficult to manage communications both internally between employees and externally to leads and prospects. The quality of these communications can also mean the difference between a smooth 15-minute conference call and a two-hour, technical-difficulty-filled waste of time.

That’s why designated communication tools such as video conferencing software, VoIP calling software, messaging platforms, and email providers are essential for streamlining messaging between your marketing and sales team employees and creating a smooth, media-rich, and omnichannel sales journey for your customers.

Furthermore, if you operate in a B2B space, and spend a lot of time and budget traveling to show your product demo, advanced communication and video conferencing software could be a smart investment to run demos digitally, cutting down on travel costs.

Some examples of communication tools are:

Productivity Management Software

Finally, our last essential sales tool is employee productivity management software to help you track and monitor your sales department’s performance.

These tools automatically collect, log, and analyze employee activity, such as keystrokes, applications, and calendars, to report on what employees are working on and when.

Using these measurements, sales managers can ensure that employees are working hard and they can identify who might be available for new projects, keeping employee payroll expenses down. Having a software system track and record productivity also provides clear performance KPIs that managers can use to objectively create feedback reviews.

Some providers of employee productivity management software include:


What are some other sales tools that I could consider purchasing?

Though we’ve covered the 15 most essential sales tools above, there are still dozens of other more niche sales tools you could invest in to improve your sales processes. Some examples of these include:

  • Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software
  • Payment processing software
  • Digital sales rooms
  • Sales gamification tools

Additionally, though not directly related to sales, we strongly recommend investing in human resources (HR) software to help you run payroll for your sales team, ensuring that they’re paid fairly and on time. A frequent and accurate paycheck can do wonders to keep sales professionals motivated to do their best on the sales floor.

Why should I use sales tools?

Sales tools improve your business’s marketing and sales processes by increasing the quality and volume of leads and automating and optimizing your internal operations for a faster sales cycle. 

Not only can the right sales tools improve customer satisfaction, but it can also improve employee efficiency and satisfaction as well, raising your reputation as both a seller and employer.

What are the five most essential sales tools?

Let’s be honest: there’s no way your business can afford or feasibly implement all of these sales tools all at once. If your business is just starting out, the five most essential sales tools from this list are:

  1. Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  2. Lead generation software
  3. Project management tools
  4. Email campaign management software
  5. Marketing automation

By prioritizing and investing in these tools first, your business will have everything it needs to run a streamlined and efficient sales department.