For most salespeople, prospecting is their least-favorite part of their job. It’s the fear of the unknown and uncertainty. So don’t feel bad if prospecting gives you anxiety. It’s like waking up each day and having to “fish” for your meal, not knowing whether or not the fish are biting — or if there is any fish at all! Or maybe you have trouble finding good leads (garbage leads are everywhere). But still, prospecting is an important part of the outbound sales cycle, and no SDR or cold caller can deny it.
Thankfully, it’s the 21st century and there are affordable sales intelligence tools to help transform the average Joe into a prospecting machine. Of course, there’s no replacement for hard work and consistency — but ideally you’ll have hustle AND a handful of the products and services I highlight below. It’s a winning combination.
But before we get too deep, just know that you won’t see tools like Hubspot CRM, SalesForce (which I use and love), or any of the heavy-hitters in this roundup. The prospecting tools I discuss are all lightweight and affordable. So there’s almost no learning curve, and you can get most of these products for well under $100 per month per user.
With that said, let’s get right into it, starting with one of the most popular online prospecting tools on the market today… LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
OK – I’ll keep this one short, because chances are you already have LinkedIn Sales Navigator (if not, you should!). We call it ‘Sales Nav’ for short, and this tool, perhaps more than any of the others on this list, can help you identify the right decision-maker to call. It combines all of LinkedIn’s billion-plus data points and allows you to filter for leads based on everything from company size and title/role, to fancy Boolean searches. Plain and simple, it will turbo-charge your prospecting without breaking the bank.
Cost: Starts at $79.99/mo.
Who it’s Best for: Everyone
Uplead is similar to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but it has fewer moving parts (it’s simple to use), and you pay per lead (about $1 per lead). This tool is chock-full of B2B data, and it has the simplest email and direct-dial verification system you’ll find. You can also build custom lead-lists within Uplead, and it integrates with all the biggest CRMs for streamlined prospecting.
Cost: Packages start at $99/mo.
Best for: The lean startup
3. Kixie PowerCall
If you’re not using a power dialer, you’re leaving bags of money on the table. And Kixie’s multi-line dialer is one of the best in the game. Instead of your reps making 50 calls in a day, how about 1,000 calls per day? Kixie’s PowerCall can dial up to 10 leads at once and display CRM data right there in the dialer display. And the AI-driven local presence feature makes it so that you’re always local to your prospects, resulting in a massive increase in pickup rates. It’s a great prospecting tool if you’re on the market for a dialer.
Cost: Starts at $35/mo.
Best for: Growing sales teams
If your outbound campaigns include lots of cold emails, then Hunter.io is a must-have. This affordable service finds and verifies emails of just about any professional from companies big and small. Want a list of P&G executives with their emails and exact titles? Hunter’s the way to go. You can export your lists to a CSV for mass emailing (just don’t forget to customize!). And Hunter offers 25 free searches per month, allowing you to try before you buy.
Cost: Starts at $49.99/mo.
Best for: Cold emailers
To piggyback off of Hunter, Mailshake is a brilliant prospecting tool for the cold emailers out there. This email automation tool allows you to reach out to hundreds, even thousands, of prospects at once. And with Mailshake’s mail merge feature, you can customize a mass-send, making the prospect feel like you took the time to write them personally (when done right). You can segment lists and launch drip campaigns. And it puts all of the juicy data at your fingertips, including open rates, click-through rates, reply rates, you name it. It’s a solid tool all around.
Cost: Starts at $58/mo.
Best for: Cold emailers
Let me preface this by saying you simply can’t beat SalesForce when it comes to the ultimate sales software and CRM. And there are other CRMs that really pack a powerful punch with fancy features, advanced capabilities, and third-party integrations. Pipedrive isn’t that. Rather, it’s a lean and mean CRM with a visual appeal — allowing you to drag-and-drop deals across the sales cycle and really get a sense of pipeline revenue, opportunities, targets, and forecasts. So if you’re looking for pipeline management that’s easy to use without sacrificing important features, then Pipedrive is a safe bet.
Cost: $15 per user, per month
Best for: Solo-preneurs, startups, and growing sales teams
Sales prospecting is all about identifying what works and what doesn’t, and you can’t do that without call data. Enter Gong. Gong is a conversation intelligence tool that gives sales teams total visibility into “customer-facing interactions” allowing leaders to make decisions based on the most effective calls. Is one SDR in particular booking all the meetings? If so, let’s play back his call recordings to see what’s working so well (actually, Gong’s AI does it for you). Gong also acts as a CRM and pipeline forecasting tool. It’s powerful and worth a closer look.
Best for: Growing sales teams, established sales teams
So there you have it, seven affordable and lightweight prospecting tools that can help boost your sales numbers. But remember, while each of these tools is a heavy-hitter in its own right, nothing can replace a winning mindset, hard work, and consistency. In fact, if you or your sales team doesn’t have these fundamentals down, then your tech stack can actually distract you and hurt overall performance. So make sure you’re focused on the main revenue drivers (dialing all day, every day) before incorporating new tech into your daily workflow. Once you have that squared away, these tools can really help to drive sales like never before.
Until next time…