In our last blog post, we explained what B2B sales prospecting tools are and how they save time and eliminate much of the pain of the process of finding new clients. If you want to grow your book of business, by region or vertical market or both, a sales prospecting tool is an essential part of the prospecting process. This follow-up article discusses the best ways for businesses to choose and use the right B2B sales prospecting tool.
Consider the Cost of B2B Sales Prospecting Tools
When you're exploring B2B sales prospecting tools, one of the first factors you'll have to consider is cost. While solutions such as ZoomInfo rank among some of the most popular business contact databases, small businesses (depending on your definition of small) will likely find the subscription fees cost-prohibitive.
There are free online tools available, but some lack in the results they deliver — both the quantity of records and overall accuracy. You'll have to juggle cost and utility to find a balance that works for you. There are plenty of solutions that offer what a business needs – specifically, a solid, continually-updated database – at a reasonable and affordable price point with the customer support needed to get up and running. (And, from what we've tested and used, you shouldn't need a lot of support.)
UpLead, for example, is a month-to-month service with stellar email support. We use the tool, as do several of our clients. It’s straightforward to navigate and the $99/month single-user plan gives access to the same data as the more expensive plans.
Research Features and Reviews
According to Entrepreneur, at least 80 percent of buyers prefer to be contacted via email. This makes identifying email addresses of prospects a critical part of establishing new customer relationships. It can also be one of the most time-consuming steps in the process, especially if the contacts you find using random resources end up not being the right person, or if the contact information you get is incorrect.
Take time to research the features and online reviews of the tool that you think is a good contender before you devote a large amount of time or money implementing it. Many platforms will give you a free trial for a certain number of days with a certain number of "credits" to access full contact information. That's how you'll discover the criteria available to search from. Typically it includes data such as:
- Number of employees
- Type (e.g., public, private, nonprofit)
You'll then search for contacts within the company, by title or responsibility, to identify who to contact about your services. Some platforms give you the ability to upload your current contact lists to ensure that you don't pay to download contacts you already have.
To research and compare the various B2B sales prospecting tools and their features, G2.com is an excellent resource. It not only contains information about various software and services; it offers user reviews from companies of different sizes.
While there are a lot of B2B sales prospecting tools available in the digital world, choosing one doesn’t have to be difficult. Starting with price, you should be able to narrow down a solution that works for your business based on necessary features. With a prospecting solution deployed and integrated with your other tools, your company will save a great amount of time, as well as money, versus trying to find and pursue potential buyers one at a time.
Using Your New Data
Once you’ve created your initial list of potential buyers, you're ready to export it and use it. Ideally, you want to integrate your sales prospecting tool with your CRM and marketing tool and efficiently use the data you've paid for. An Excel sheet won't cut it! You want to be equipped to record all communications with your new contacts in one platform — phone calls, one-to-one emails, drip marketing messages, email marketing campaigns and webinars — to help you stay on top of the process of moving prospects through your pipeline.
In addition, when you're using the right combination of tools, you'll have the ability to filter contacts by properties and status —with a few mouse clicks — to prioritize follow-up. And that's when you'll truly feel the impact and power of your sales process.
Want to learn more about capitalizing on B2B sales prospecting tools? Contact us today!