Predictions Series 2022: 6 SaaS Sales Tools to Watch for 2022
The SaaS market is projected to have another jump heading into the new year. Millions of dollars in investments are pouring in with steady yearly growth of 18%. This is a highly competitive market, but one with strong growth potential. One of the biggest challenges facing a sales team is locating and converting high-quality buyers. This pressure trickles directly down to the front-line sales teams.
The two major reasons behind this are the lack of support from a strong marketing plan and the absence of a sustainable training program for the sales team. To solve these challenges and stand out in the competition, companies need to choose the best tools in their Swiss Army Knife of sales software and understand how to best implement each one.
Let’s break it down:
Lack of Marketing Support
Traditionally, marketing teams compile a wide list of target buyers based on leads they collect from campaigns and customer relationship management (CRM). The sales teams then follow up with the sales-qualified contacts and work to convert them into sales. To do this they use a bevy of tools.
In recent years, tons of these Sales Development Resources (SDRs) have poured into the market. Companies have started to outsource the initial list-making process to third-party SDRs in the hope that they can replace the marketing team. But in practice, these lists often end up being too generic or misaligned with the product strategies. This attempt at a shortcut results in more work for the in-house sales team, not less.
One viable solution companies are adapting is blurring the lines between marketing and sales and creating an integrated workflow so both sides can work more collaboratively with better visibility.
Lack of Sustainable Training Programs
Sales skills rely heavily on practice. Learning from real cases and experiences is the fastest approach to progress. Companies have been trying to figure out how to pass down the skills and knowledge from senior sales representatives so the whole team can function at its best performance within a short period of time. To achieve that, a sustainable evaluation and training program is a must.
Within that flooded market of SaaS sales tools, there are few standouts that win the battle and are worth paying attention to. Below, are five of these market-tested and emerging sales tools that we think can help streamline and optimize the sales process.
Marketing & Sales Hand in Hand
Hubspot is one of the first CRM tools that married marketing and sales together. They help pair outbound marketing inquiries with the internal sales team. It builds a list with all the marketing and sales activities without one team having to wait for another to create the initial list. Hubspot CRM helps solve one of the biggest challenges we mentioned – getting in front of the prospect even without a mature marketing team or plan in place. The tool provides insights into the source of the traffic of inquiries.
That way, the sales and marketing teams are now able to know where a repetitive click is directed, whether it is from a banner advertisement or through marketing emails. That level of data helps the sales team more accurately position future outreach and search range. Hubspot has other small handy features that explain why the tool makes this list, such as its Sales Sequence feature that helps organize and categorize inquiries, and its meeting scheduling tool that is branded to the user company and seamlessly syncs with calendars and other inbound tools.
To push the convergence between marketing and sales requires a solid and easy-to-navigate database. Two teams will work simultaneously on one database and there is no other vetting process involved. That’s why you want every search to be effective and fast.
ZoomInfo is a widely used go-to-market strategy provider by many sales teams for over a decade. ZoomInfo’s edge is its strong information-grabbing algorithm that provides broad, accurate and up-to-date information about the targeted corporation, delegation and/or point of contact. ZoomInfo has been continuously investing in its core technology with its recent acquisition of two strong competitors, data quality management tool RingLead and conversational marketing platform, Insent.
As LinkedIn continues to grow, it has evolved into a good marketing and sales tool for prospect engagement. InMail cuts down the intermediaries and lets the salespeople reach the target leads directly, often with a good response rate.
Even if a single outreach doesn’t directly lead to conversion, the connections remain valuable. The built-in User Generated Content (UGC) page gives companies a channel to curate and broadcast their storylines. It can passively engage the potential buyers that sit in their connection lists without paying extra for distribution. This process is often the first step in a marketing funnel, creating the awareness potential buyers need.
Grow Externally and Internally
Founded in 2005, Gong is a versatile AI-powered recording and training software. It is equipped with APIs that integrate with most major call platforms, including Zoom, Hubspot, Google Meet and more. The software can tag out the key information and pivot points in a person’s speech and catch the patterns of conversations. For example, how often one keyword appears before a deal is made or how often the speaker asks a rhetorical question before making a pivot. This function essentially reduces the time spent on note organizing. More importantly, it becomes a perfect learning tool for the managers to share successful call recordings and teach junior staff how sales calls should be structured and what elements are essential for persuasion. Additionally, when junior staffs share their calls with managers, managers can comment and make suggestions in real-time to teach them how to control interactions and close a deal.
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Kluster is an emerging performance reporting and forecasting tool.
The best part about it is that it integrates with different CRM tools available on the market. It has all of the key performance reports in one place. Often it is very cumbersome to create different reports for sales activities and sales metrics. With Kluster, managers don’t have to go to any specific platforms to extract customized reports. The tool provides an overview that gives a lot more clarity and insight into the deal process and the deal flow. This helps managers build and scale a sales team. For example, managers will be able to tell how long it takes an average deal to close for one specific sales representative and what his close rate is like for the past year. This way, the managers can make projections based on individual historical data to ensure a salesperson has enough deals in the pipeline for the next quarter to meet the growth targets.
Similar to Kluster, Collective[i] provides insights into the sales process by collecting email information and data along with calls and other notes. It essentially alleviates the pressure and workload from inputting notes and comments to a CRM for sales representatives. The unique appeal of this tool is that it also factors in macroeconomic effects and data from similar-sized competitors to accurately project deal flow and forecast accuracy. Meanwhile, the tool can pull data from their other customers’ deals around decision-makers, influencers, and buyers within organizations specific to the project type to help provide more clarity to the forecast and projections. These features make Collective[i] more beneficial for larger sales teams with multiple directors or sales managers who need better clarity on their representatives’ deals to project information to their leadership.
Moving into 2022, the impact brought by the pandemic will gradually recede and the market is projected to be vibrant. Developing efficient and effective systems for collaboration between marketing and sales and internal training should be the top goal on every sales manager’s list. These 6 tools so far have had a good track record and could be a good starting point for your new year sales tool research.
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