Prospecting is a method by which salespeople find potential buyers for the products and services of their businesses. Prospecting tools for sales are valuable, as they help you more efficiently locate, engage, and coordinate contact information for potential customers. For small businesses, we reviewed hundreds of prospecting resources; here are the top 10.
Abby is a business card reader that allows you to shoot pictures of business cards and load the contact information of your prospects directly into a Customer Relationship Management system or external server, automatically. The technology is so simple, it’s even available on mobile devices! The app can also be used for scanning multiple business cards at a time with flatbed scanners (up to 10 business cards). To top it off, it can also read business cards in more than 20 languages.
This is perfect for salespeople who do a lot of personal networking with domestic, as well as foreign prospects. Wherever many business cards are exchanged, for example at trade shows or conferences, Abby will come in handy. ABBYY’s cost is a one-time rental fee of $29.99.
UpLead is a tool that helps salespeople create targeted B2B opportunities, based on criteria for their target customers. UpLead contains over 30 million contacts in its database, they can be searched by name, title, business, location, or other parameters. To ensure reliability, emails are also reviewed in real-time. Salespeople can also upload their current contacts and add up to their list of 50 additional fields of information.
Freshchat is a website-prospecting platform that specializes in chat and sales. It helps to make eligible leads for website visits. Freschat does this by recruiting website visitors with bots or salespeople, selecting them, and then submitting them to your CRM. Once they are eligible, it can then auto-assign leads. Certain features of Freshchat include designing promotions and predetermining workflows, as well as the design and tone of interactions between bots and prospects.
10to8.com is a scheduling platform that helps clients and prospects book appointments. 10to8 is a good prospecting tool because you can push potential clients to the meeting stage immediately by recommending a lead, shortly after finding them. 10to8 provides features that allow you to schedule and manage appointments, including short message service (SMS) and email reminders, calendar sync, and bidirectional user chat.
Mailshake is one up-and-coming outreach platform. For cold email outreach, it allows you to personalize, set up, and plan your entire email order to submit mass marketing emails. When you receive responses, you are redirected to Mailshake’s Lead Catcher, where you can take action on the answers. The app also provides feedback on your email copy through online resources or through its staff’s application for analysis.
LinkedIn.com is a member profile social media site that provides professional data such as names, business specifics, former positions and jobs, employment, industry groups, and connections. Although some of this data can be searched for free, salespeople can upgrade to LinkedIn Sales Navigator where they can connect with fewer restrictions.
This tool is better for salespeople and companies focusing on B2B sales, as it is easier to find your target audience, discover decision-makers, and see if anybody in your network has any ties to your prospects. LinkedIn also makes it easy to connect and communicate with prospects.
Leads411 is a resource that offers incentives for sales and information that can help guide contacts with customers such as job changes, business growth, downsizing signs, new product releases, updates from rivals, funding status, and more. Salespeople classify clients with this type of information, position themselves to take advantage of new opportunities, or protect job deals.
This method is best suited for people in sales departments, especially when dealing with business-to-business (B2B). With B2B, the prospecting approach is focused on approaching customers who may be more willing to make a purchase decision based on news, status or impact shifts. It’s also good for salespeople who use CRMs such as Pipedrive, Zoho, and Insightly to integrate with their apps. Pricing starts at $99 a month for the basic plan, or you can upgrade to the pro package for $199.
Who doesn’t know Twitter? The popular social media platform is a forum for the daily updates where participants send their followers micro-content, otherwise known as tweets. For business, because of its ad service, the site helps companies identify opportunities and create brand awareness, which promotes tweets from other Twitter users based on criteria such as business welfare, life phase, or even hobbies.
For both B2C and B2B aspects, Twitter is great for people in sales who get prospects by following trends. It’s also a great place to identify and track potential clients that tweet about your company, products or industry. You can do this by entering your company name or the name of a rival, service, or industry into the search bar to see possible opportunities and tweets that emerge.
Meetup is a social platform that promotes meetings and events which, despite the potential for online meetings, mostly take place in-person. Meetup is perfect for prospecting for B2B or B2C because you can join any number of Meetup groups based on the desires of your target audience, plan your meeting, and have your prospects come to you.
For example, in Chicago, there is a common Meetup Group that does walking tours in neighborhoods. It is run by Real Estate Agents who can highlight their awareness of Chicago communities, helping to promote their products, while at the same time acting as a draw for potential prospects.
Insightfully is a CRM with optimized methods for prospecting. This provides an integrated scanner for business cards, web-to-lead forms, and templates for email. By avoiding manual entry of prospective contact details, the business card scanner makes prospecting simple. If a prospect does not have a business card, the web-to-lead form will encourage the spot entry of contact details. Mail templates make it easier to send follow-up emails easily and professionally-written.