5 MUST HAVE Sales Tools You Need In Your Tech Stack

Viktor Hatfaludi
April 19, 2023
5 minutes

Intro

Imagine this: you’re a Startup founder launching your MVP and looking for your first customers. You might even have a sales rep on your payroll. You’re contacting prospects of all kinds manually, one by one, getting responses like “not interested”, “we already have a solution in place”, and “I need to think it over” to name a few. Whatever meetings you do book end up ghosting you after the first call or you’re losing deals left and right and you don’t know why: Is my product lacking some features? Is my messaging off? Did I mishire my rep?

I know! Let’s buy some tools that help us uncover the root cause! And then you find out tools can get expensive pretty fast. You’re now in despair - I can hear that sigh all the way from here.

But what if I said you only need 5 tools as a start that will support you all the way to PMF, help you get to a repeatable sales motion, and even set you up for scale down the line? No, this isn’t a dream..

In this video we’ll do a quick intro on how to choose the right tools for you, what are common mistakes to avoid, and finish off with the 5 tools you need to be successful in sales. I’ll even give a few examples of how to use them in combination to help you hit the ground running. If you’re just interested in the tools feel free to skip ahead to that chapter. Let’s do this!

Overview

There are only 3 things that matter in sales: building Pipeline, increasing Win Rates, and decreasing Time to Close. Any task that doesn’t get you closer to AT LEAST one of these should be deleted immediately. Most sales tools on the market will also promise to impact one or more of these areas for you.

When choosing the right tools you need them to be:

1. easy to use because you want people to adopt it.

2. You need it to be robust so it integrates with the rest of your stack and you don’t find yourself migrating tools every 6 months.

3. You need it to be flexible both in terms of pricing and feature set so you don’t overpay for things you won’t use.

4. At number 4 we have portability because there will come a time when you need to switch tools and you don’t want all your precious data to go to waste.

5. It helps if your stack is decentralised to avoid a single point of failure if a system goes down, and lastly

6. for about 1% of companies out there it might be worth considering using the tech stack your Ideal Customer Profile is using.

Top 6 mistakes when buying tools

Now what are the top 6 mistakes companies usually make when buying tools? Hint: there’s a lot of overlap with the 6 points I just called out.

1. First up we have shelf-ware or in other words buying tools that won’t be used. This tends to happen when the tool is difficult to use or you were expecting the tool to magically solve all your problems without making changes to the way you work.

2. Then we have too much overlap. You’ll rarely find sales tools that only do one thing so there will naturally be overlap in functionality. As a result if you don’t pay attention you will end up overpaying for tools you don’t need so put some thought into your overall stack before you get started.

3. You can make the mistake of buying tools you don’t need YET because they’re not a fit for your company stage. Let’s look at buyer intent data. Tools like 6Sense and Demandbase are really cool but unless you have let’s say 10+ sales reps and you’re ready to scale operations you’ll just be wasting money - and these tools aren’t cheap.

4. Another mistake I often see is Founders being frugal and underinvesting in tools that will pay off big time. Instead they waste countless hours of their own valuable time just so there’s less expense showing up in the books.

5. On the flipside you might have a lot of funding and overpay for tools by purchasing them at list price. A former manager of mine used to say “If customers are willing to pay list price your list price ain’t high enough.” And that’s exactly how your vendors think when pricing their offerings. I have a 6 minute video that will help you get a better price on your next purchase - find the link in the description below.

6. Vendor lock-in is the last point on my list which happens when you have a tool that can do it all and think you can get away with it. Think of tools like Atlassian and Notion. Really powerful but without decentralising your systems you’re exposing yourself to too much operational risk.

The only 5 tools you need

Ready for the 5 tools?

We’re going to group them by the impact they have on your sales result (Pipeline, Win Rates, Time to close). Oh and we’re not going to cover business critical tools you’ll use anyway like google workspace, a company knowledge base or a CRM all of which are all table stakes.

Building pipeline

For building Pipeline you’ll need a Prospecting tool like LinkedIn Sales Navigator that helps you find your personas in minutes and enables you to personalise your outreach based on the latest news, and a Sales Intelligence tool for lead enrichment like Apollo, Lusha, Zoominfo and others so you don’t waste any time searching for prospects’ contact info but are able to get going straight away. These tools are powerful enough on their own but don’t you hate updating CRM records as much as I do? Of course you do! When used in combination they can take care of this as well.

How it works is you first connect Google Workspace to HubSpot so your emails are captured automatically, you then go over to LinkedIn Sales navigator to build a prospecting list with all the people you want to reach out to, install the Chrome extension for Apollo or whichever tool you choose for enrichment and then connect Apollo to HubSpot. Here’s the flow: Go to Sales Navigator and Pull in all contacts from your prospect list to Apollo using the chrome extension, Apollo will enrich all these prospects with contact data and then from there you can mass upload the list from Apollo to HubSpot. Now all your prospects are in your CRM From here all you need to do is assign the right prospects to the right sequences and you’re ready to roll!

As for which sales intelligence tool you should be using? Depends on your geolocation and industry. In my experience these tools differ in available data when it comes to email addresses and phone numbers and GDPR isn’t exactly helping. So my recommendation is to try a few of them for a month or two and choose one or two based on what has been working for you. You might find different tools work better for the Americas and Europe for example or even UK and DACH regions within Europe.

Boost win rates

To boost Win Rates having a Revenue Intelligence platform in place is critical and it’s usually where most companies hold off on spending because they aren’t cheap. What’s the big deal? These tools give you insight into what’s working and what isn’t in all stages of your sales cycle by recording and analysing your customer calls using AI. Not only that but they allow you to share insights across internal teams that help you get to PMF faster and enable you to forecast revenue accurately. And we’re only scratching the surface. Consider tools like Gong, Clari Wingman, Chorus or even HubSpot’s built in conversation intelligence feature. Prices for a team of 3 will set you back around 10k USD at list price. I personally have a preference for Gong because you’ll never have to migrate away - that’s how good they are. And no I’m not getting paid to say that.

Although not in the list of 5 tools if you’re sending a lot of emails you should strongly consider a tool like Lavender that uses AI to score your emails for how likely they are to get opened and responded to. You have so much on your plate in the early days - might as well boost your chances of getting a reply.

Close deals faster

And lastly to close deals faster you’ll need a way to get things done asynchronously and enable your buyers to do the selling for you internally. Buyer enablement tools like Trumpet help you every step of the way from outbound to onboarding. They do this by letting you build business cases for your prospects effortlessly, align your goals by building a Mutual Action Plan with your champion so it’s clear who does what by when in order to close the deal in time, and then set the customer up for a successful onboarding after the sale so they don’t churn. It’s magical. Not only that but you get realtime notifications whenever buyers are engaging with these materials so you can reach out to the right people at the right time.

Pair it with a collaboration tool like Loom and you build a stronger connection with your buyers. Loom lets you create and send video messages whether that’s part of your outreach or recording a demo - and you don’t need to be a wizard to use it. I remember wanting to close a 140k deal before the year end but the economic buyer wasn’t available for a call for 2 weeks. I wasn’t going to make it. I normally don’t disclose prices over email without being able to influence objections on the spot but I had a strong business case at hand so decided to make a 5-minute recording walking him through my proposal. It turned out so well that he had everything he needed to make the internal sale and there was no further negotiation involved. Got the signature end of November.

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Viktor Hatfaludi
April 19, 2023
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Meet Your Trainer

Viktor has 10+ years of full-cycle experience in tech sales.

His latest contribution was helping Bitrise (YC W17) scale from 3M to 20M+ USD in recurring revenue.

Today he’s a Sales Consultant and Trainer at Revenue Ramp helping B2B Startups go from $0 to $10M ARR.

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