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Sales automation software: Guide & 20 of the best tools for 2022

What if we told you, you can exceed your revenue targets by 61%?

According to HubSpot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, it’s possible if you use sales automation software.

And trust us, in today's world, investing in sales automation tools is a necessity, not a nice-to-have.

What is sales automation? 

Sales automation is a way of mechanising manual and time-consuming sales tasks thanks to software like artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital tools. It helps managers and sales reps manage and streamline their day-to-day responsibilities.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How automation can help your team do less and sell more
  • How to start automating your team's processes
  • Why automation platforms can’t replace a personal touch
  • How real-life businesses automate sales, with examples

Plus a BONUS list of the best sales automation tools for B2B teams, including:

  1. Cognism
  2. Mailtastic
  3. Salesforce
  4. Bombora
  5. Lead Forensics
  6. Kluster
  7. Gong
  8. Leadfeeder
  9. HubSpot Sales Hub
  10. Zapier
  11. Drift
  12. Pipedrive
  13. Mobile Monkey
  14. Chili Piper
  15. Sender
  16. Calendly
  17. Turtl
  18. Crystal
  19. Mailchimp
  20. Revegy

Let’s get started 👇

Why is sales automation important?

On average, two-thirds of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-revenue generating tasks.

That’s hours and hours of time you can free up with sales automation. 

Automating the sales process allows your team more time to focus on important tasks, like:

  • Eliminating data entry for more worthwhile conversations with customers
  • Scoring and qualifying leads for more conversions  
  • Tracking, monitoring, and improving customer relationships

But it’s not just your reps who benefit from automated sales automation. The entire company can reap rewards like: 

  • Automating tasks and storing data for more uniform and accurate processes
  • Increased productivity and performance
  • Reduced churn with faster sales funnels and response times
  • More opportunities with automated calendar management systems
  • Staying top of mind at every stage of a buyer’s journey via automated sales funnels.

So, not only can sales automation streamline your B2B sales process for more conversations, better client relationships, and improved sales data, but it eliminates tasks that slow your team down.  

How to automate the sales process? 

As a sales leader, you should have a good idea of what your reps do on a regular basis and what can be automated.

Don’t assume anything, though. 

First and foremost, speak to your team. You might find that you can add some not-so straightforward tasks to the list.

The number one goal with automating sales is freeing up your reps’ workload to focus on selling.

But how does automating your sales process work?

Simple.

There are four main components to sales automation:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Action

Look familiar?

These are the same stages you’ll find in most sales funnels, and automation is all about simplifying them.

Here’s how:

1 - Awareness stage

You can automate lead magnets, social posts and ads to capture the attention of your total addressable market and assist in creating more awareness around your brand.

Most importantly, your content needs to encourage prospects to fill in a form. Once they do that, you can use sales content automation technology to store their information in your CRM and enter them directly into a campaign.

Depending on what they gave their contact data for, you can personalize and schedule lead automation campaigns to suit every step of their journey moving forward.

Sales automation solution to increase brand awareness:

If a prospect entered in their email address to download a whitepaper, it stands to reason that they are keen to learn more about that specific topic. A nurture campaign will give them more of what interests them while also creating awareness for your business. 

2 - Consideration stage

Once a lead has shown interest in your product or service, you’ll want to automate the sales process to make sure you stay top of mind as they research your competitors. 

Using an outbound sales automation system, you can segment your prospecting lists, and speed up and personalise campaigns so that buyers are sent relevant emails or texts at various stages of their journey. 

How automatic sales help brands stand out from competitors:

During the consideration stage, automate welcome emails that share information showcasing how your product can benefit your buyer or solve their pain points. 

You can also automate alerts for your reps to give interested prospects a call once they’ve read an email.

3 - Decision stage

One of the most important stages of a buyer’s journey is the decision stage. With automated sales processes, you stay on top of what your prospects are doing.

You can set up activity tracking and alerts that sync with your CRM to ensure you’re engaging with prospects when it matters most. Plus, you can schedule calls and book meetings in advance so your prospects know when it’s time to give feedback.

At this stage, they’ll have gone through all their options, spoken to reps, and done sales demos. Now it’s time for them to make a choice, and sales automation can help you lock in the deal.

Example of sales automation to facilitate making a purchase decision:

This is done via scheduled reminders and outreach such as pricing, product checklists, and case studies. Bots can also be used to help guide users to sign up for a paid plan at the end of a trial.

4 - Action stage

This is when your prospecting pays off and your customer signs on the dotted line.

Without sales automation systems, this step can be time-consuming. And hot leads can get lost in CRM.

Sales order automation is one of the most efficient ways of managing sales reps' time. It’s as simple as setting up automated billing and sharing value when and where possible.

Sales automation vs personalisation 

There are two kinds of people:

Those who hate automation and those who swear by it. 

But, can a balance between the two be found? 

Of course! 

An automated sales process doesn’t mean that you should forget about personalisation.

In fact, sales automation helps you better personalise your sales targeting, as Michael Hanson Founder and CEO of Growth Genie, explains in this video:

 

How to combine sales automation with CRM? 

Your CRM is arguably the most important sales automation integration. By combining it with the sales process, you can create a better customer experience, allowing you to:

  • Build customer relationships throughout the buyer journey.
  • Access sales information and campaigns all in one place.
  • Assign lead scores.
  • Create consistent and timely messaging. 
  • Remind reps when and who to contact. 
  • Set trigger alerts.
  • Create accurate reports.

Here are five tips for combining CRM and sales automation:

1. Structure your data

Firstly, be sure to store all your B2B data in a uniform way across teams. This will ensure that anyone using your sales automation or CRM software can make the best sales or marketing decisions. 

Secondly, it’s a good idea to check that all your data is accurate and GDPR compliant; use a sales intelligence provider like Cognism to ensure accuracy and compliance.

2. Start lead scoring

To speed up qualification, score your leads based on predefined criteria. 

Integrate lead scoring with your CRM and automation system. This software will collect information on your leads and offer you a score based on how likely your reps are to convert them.

3. Don’t forget to integrate your website

Every time a user browses your website, they generate useful data. This data can be used for automated sales inside your CRM.

What are the benefits of this? You can see:

  • What pages a prospect has read.
  • How long they spend on a specific page.
  • How often they return to your website or bounce off to another.

Your reps can take advantage of this data, using it to personalise outreach to your website visitors.

4. Get rid of duplicates

While your CRM and sales automation software are different tools, they can both have similar functions. Just ensure that your team isn’t overlapping tasks. 

For instance, customers won’t be pleased if they’re sent the same email twice in one day because their information has been duplicated on both platforms. 

5. Personalise your messaging

With sales automation, you’re given deeper insights into how your customers think. Use this to your advantage by personalising your messaging for them.

Not only will this increase your conversion rates, but it will build a stronger relationship - leading to referrals, reduced churn and an increased customer lifetime value.

Sales automation examples from real brands 

Effective sales comprise of many repetitive tasks which is why brands swear by sales automation - here are some popular examples:

1. Sales intelligence

Prospecting is time-consuming. Reps need to research, track down prospects, and reach out to them. And then comes all the data capturing. Many major sales teams, like SalesDRIIVN, use sales intelligence solutions like Cognism to automate this part of the sales process. This cuts down prospecting time, builds the sales funnel and gives them more confidence knowing their calls will go through to the right people.

2. Email automation

There’s a lot more to sales than cold calling. With outbound sales automation, reps don't have to remember to follow up, qualify leads, and send them content that helps increase conversions. Email automation tools like Sendinblue allow you to schedule outreach so you never forget a lead. 

3. Team management

The better sales and marketing align, the better your sales. By automating sales management with tools like Monday.com, you can monitor campaigns, gain valuable customer insights and automate tasks to keep everyone aligned.

What are sales automation tools for?

When it comes to sales automation platforms, the benefits of using them are universal. From improving reps' productivity and performance to reducing churn with quick response times.

However, you need to pick them wisely—

A recent McKinsey study cited by Harvard Business Review shows that with the right tools companies can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their sales activities by 30%.

But only 50% of them succeed.

The main challenge with implementing sales automation solutions is a limited understanding of their potential. 

So, before paying for any sales tools, it's important to first look at your sales process to find out which activities you want to automate and why.

The best sales automation software for 2022

Now that you know everything there is to know on this topic it's time to start scrolling to uncover the benefits, reviews, and features of 20 of the top sales automaton tools around 👇. 

1 - Cognism

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

Cognism makes sales easier and more efficient by automating the prospecting process. Use this sales automation system to connect with your dream prospects via premium contact, company and event information, including firmographics, technographics, sales trigger events, intent data, verified business emails, and phone-verified mobile numbers.

Main features:

  • Diamond Data® - phone-verified contact data that confirms the identity of prospects and the accuracy of their contact details.
  • Diamonds-on-Demand® for on-demand validation of mobile numbers.
  • Large database of mobile numbers.
  • GDPR compliant strong dataset of global and EMEA contacts.

Pricing:

Pricing information for Cognism is dependent on your company's needs. Book a quick introductory call to discuss cost negotiations and needs.

2 - Mailtastic
Screenshot of the Mailtastic email signature analytics dashboard.

Average rating on G2: 4.6/5

A great sales and marketing automation tool is Mailtastic. You can use it to get in front of your prospects where they spend most of their time - their inbox. Its easy-to-use email signature marketing tool lets you showcase relevant content, events, offers, and more for a nurture campaign boost or to move leads further down the sales funnel.

Main features:

  • Target specific groups with personalized signature banners.
  • Built-in compliance and central control of email signatures.
  • Integrates with Gmail, Outlook, iOS, Android, ActiveDirectory, CRM, Office 365, and G Suite.

Pricing:

  • 14-day free trial available.
  • Four pricing packages: Basic, Advanced, Target and Enterprise. Contact the seller for pricing.

3 - SalesforceScreenshot of the Salesforce sales automation dashboard in action.

Average rating on G2: 4.2/5

Salesforce is one of the best sales automation tools out there. This CRM software has everything you need to sell faster and smarter, from contact and lead management to sales forecasting and pipeline tracking.

Main features:

  • Offers a complete overview of customers’ activity history, key contacts, customer communications, and internal account discussions.
  • Track your leads from click to close.
  • Real-time view of your team’s sales forecasts.

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Pricing starts at $25 /user/month for the Sales Essentials Edition and goes up to $300 /user/month for the Unlimited Edition.

4 - BomboraScreenshot of the Bombora audience solutions report.

Average rating on G2: 4.5/5

Bombora is a sales automation software solution that measures prospects’ digital journey across premium B2B websites. This gives you a golden opportunity to connect before your competitors do.

Main features:

  • Amplifies sales success with Intent Data to prioritise your target accounts and determine which topics they’re most interested in.
  • Data is seamlessly integrated into any of the leading CRMs.
  • See which target accounts are checking out your competitors and win them over for quick conversions.

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Pricing information for Bombora can be requested from the seller. Bombora’s Intent Data is available as an add on for Cognism.

5 - Lead Forensics

Screenshot of the Lead Forensics sales automation visitor list in action.

Average rating on G2: 3.8/5

Lead Forensics notifies sales teams when a prospect visits your website, enabling you to engage faster for more conversions.  

Main features:

  • Reveals the identity of your anonymous website traffic and turns them into actionable sales leads in real-time.
  • Identifying lapsed customers browsing your website for rekindling nurtures.
  • Send details of previously unknown website visitors directly to your best sales personnel. 

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Pricing is based on website traffic volumes. There are two plans to choose from, Essential for small and medium-sized businesses and Automate for enterprise businesses.

6 - Kluster
Screenshot of the Kluster sales automation dashboard.

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

Kluster helps you predictably beat your revenue targets with revenue analytics and sales forecasting. What’s more, it automates your sales process through online pipeline management and strategy execution.

Main features:

  • Embed forecasting processes and augment with multiple AI and analytical methods for crystal clarity.
  • Assign lead generation KPI targets to your team to track real-time progress.
  • Real-time interactive dashboards.

Pricing:

  • Pricing information for Kluster can be requested directly from the seller.

7 - Gong
Screenshot of the Gong search dashboard in action.

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

If you’re looking for sales automation software that helps you understand your customers and make decisions based on data, then Gong is for you. The patented Gong Revenue Intelligence Platform™ captures and understands every customer interaction. It delivers insights at scale for improved win rates, increased deal sizes, and accelerated employee ramp-times.

Main features:

  • Record and analyze calls for consistency.
  • See how often and in what context competitors are mentioned.
  • Alerts are sent when deals are about to slip through or be lost.

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Pricing information for Gong can be requested from the seller.

8 - Leadfeeder
Example of Leadfeeder sales automation tool. Showcasing the lead filter in action.

Average rating on G2: 4.3/5

Another great sales automation tool, Leadfeeder identifies companies visiting your site and explains how they got there their behavior, and their intent to purchase.

Main features:

  • Turn anonymous traffic into real company names.
  • Reveal the exact behavior of the companies visiting your website.
  • Integrates with leading CRMs and allows list imports.
  • Identify remote workers with Leadfeeder’s unique database of static and dynamic IP’s.

Pricing:

  • Free 14-day trial available.
  • Lite option allows you to view a basic version of this sales automation software with limited features. Pricing for Premium starts at $79.00 per month.

9 - HubSpot Sales HubScreenshot of how the Hubspot Sales Hub makes sales easier with reporting.

Average rating on G2: 4.4/5

HubSpot Sales Hub is CRM sales automation software that includes sales engagement tools, configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, and robust sales analytics for teams who want richer insights, hotter leads, and aligned enablement materials.

Main features:

  • Automate your sales process with personalized emails and follow-up tasks to ensure you stay top of mind throughout the sales process.
  • Prioritize your day’s sales calls, make and record calls directly from your browser, and automatically log them in your CRM for maximum efficiency.
  • Automatically capture details from every call so you can uncover the “why” behind team performance. 
  • Know the second a lead opens an email so you can follow up at exactly the right time and close deals faster.

Pricing:

HubSpot Sales Hub has four pricing levels and a free version. Paid levels start at $50 per month for two users and $1200 a month for ten users.

10 - Zapier
Screenshot of the Zapier automated workflow process.

Average rating on G2: 4.5/5

Zapier is a codeless sales tool that allows you to automate work in 4,000+ web apps. You can automate anything, fast, and eliminate all the repetitive tasks that slow your team down.

Main features:

  • Choose from thousands of pre-made templates and build a Zap in just a few clicks.
  • Tailor automated solutions to your team's needs by adding multiple steps and workflow logic.
  • Tweak a ready-made template or start from scratch.

Pricing:

  • Four pricing levels and a free version. Paid levels start at $19.99 per month and go up to $299 per month.

11 - Drift
Screenshot of the Drift workflows target audience creator page

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

Drift makes connecting with prospects easier and more personalized. It opens opportunities for real-time conversations and in-depth buyer insights for more closed-won deals and improved customer relationships.

Main features:

  • Identify intent signals to focus sales efforts on the right accounts.
  • Chat to a prospect when they are on your site and ready to buy.
  • Never miss a business opportunity with 24/7/365 engagement and direct access to book meetings any time of the day.
  • Real-time notifications for when a target account visits your site.

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Four pricing levels, one of which is free. Pricing for Premium, Advanced and Enterprise are subject to a discussion with Drift.

12 - Pipedrive
Screenshot of the Pipedrive deals dashboard.

Average rating on G2: 4.3/5

Pipedrive ensures that nothing falls through the cracks of your sales process. The tool automates your sales teams' most time-consuming tasks and opens up time for them to spend more time selling and building customer relationships.

Main features:

  • One-click contact data collection.
  • Customizable sales reports and insights.
  • Goal setting, activity tracking, and easy lead qualification.

Pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Four pricing levels starting at $12.50 per month to $99 per month.

13 - MobileMonkey
Screenshot of the Mobile Monkey automated messages dashboard.

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

MobileMonkey is an OmniChat sales automation platform that lets businesses connect with customers in real-time via Web Chat, SMS, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Main features:

  • Multi-platform chatbot builder.
  • Manage inbound and outbound messaging conversations in a unified inbox.
  • Real-time lead alerts trigger for a lower CAC and reduced customer churn.

Pricing:

Pricing information for MobileMonkey can be requested from the seller.

14 - Chili Piper
Screenshot of sales automation tool, Chili Piper's tiers.

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

Chili Piper is a scheduling and routing platform for B2B sales. It assists teams in doubling their inbound conversion rates, increasing customer satisfaction, and reaching new productivity levels.

Main features:

  • Set up distribution rules based on round-robin, territories, and account ownership.
  • Track reschedules, no-shows, reassignments, and more in Salesforce.
  • Create advanced meeting distribution reports.

Pricing:

  • The sales automation platform offers three pricing options starting at $225 + $45/user.

15 - Sender
Screenshot of the Sender, automating sales emails dashboard.

Average rating on G2: 4.1/5

Sender is an email sales automation tool that makes sending sequences and creating long-lasting relationships easy.

Main features:

  • Easily add products and features to your newsletters via a URL.
  • Desktop Push-Notifications, transactional and automated email sequences, and API integrations.
  • Template library and an easy-to-use drag and drop subscription form builder.

Pricing:

  • Free package and three paid options. Pricing starts at $41.75 and goes up to $208 with customizable options.

16 - CalendlyCalendly helping sales teams automate scheduling meetings.

Average rating on G2: 4.7/5

This is the best sales automation software, Calendly makes scheduling, rescheduling, and meeting with sales prospects so much easier.

Main features:

  • Set availability rules.
  • Send guests your Calendly link or embed it on your website.
  • Meetings are scheduled without calendar conflicts, reminders go out automatically, and rescheduling is a breeze for everyone.

Pricing:

  • Free package and four paid options. Pricing starts at $8 per seat/month and goes up to $16 per seat/month with customisable options.

17 - Turtl
Screenshot of the Turtl dashboard that shows buyer insights, leads and their source.

Average rating on G2: 4.4/5

Turtl has great sales automation features that enable teams to share sales content across departments, offer insights into what interests buyers, and analyse buyer behaviour for a more personalised sales approach.

Main features:

  • Personalise sales pitches, proposals and more without affecting your brand or messaging.
  • Discover who is ready to buy and their interests with behavioural insights.
  • Detailed analytics show which sales content is driving the most revenue.

Pricing:

  • Pricing information for Turtl can be requested from the seller.

18 - Crystal
Finding the best audience is sales automation tool Crystal.

Average rating on G2: 4.4/5

Crystal is the DISC-based personality platform that helps companies of all sizes. The sales automation tool integrates DISC personality insights into their sales processes for a deeper understanding of every prospect.

Main features:

  • Predict anyone’s personality with the Crystal Chrome Extension.
  • Understand how to motivate buyers and drive deals forward with rich personality profiles.
  • Speak confidently and persuasively to every personality in the room with customised playbooks.

Pricing:

  • Pricing information for Crystal can be requested from the seller.

19 - Mailchimp
Mailchimp is a sales automation tool that helps you send outbound email at scale.

Average rating on G2: 4.3/5

Mailchimp is an all-in-one outbound sales automation tool. It allows you to send sales campaign emails and automated messages, creates targeted ad campaigns, builds landing pages, sends postcards, facilitates reporting and analytics, and sells online.

Main features:

  • Automated email responses.
  • High volume email sending.
  • Data import and export tools.
  • Personalized email marketing.

Pricing:

  • Free package and three paid options. Pricing starts at $9.99 a month and goes up to $299 a month.

20 - Revegy
Revegy sales execution software for sales automation

Average rating on G2: 4.4/5

Revegy is a sales process automation platform for key account management. It helps sales organizations understand complex relationships, navigate competing interests, and identify white space where they can add value, making it easier to see the way to win and retain business.

Main features:

  • Maps key account relationships, identifies critical connections and centralizes the data for visibility across account teams.
  • Holistic view of enterprise account relationships and opportunities for better sales forecasting.
  • Insights into additional opportunities, upsells, and cross-sells.

Pricing:

  • Three paid options. Pricing starts at $35 for one user per month and goes up to $75 for one user per month with an added customizable option for large teams.

How to choose the right sales automation solution? 

Picking the right sales automation software for your business can be tricky. Here are a few factors to look at:

The price:

Not all budgets are created equal. 

Consider the ROI of the sales automation tool you’re considering, and always do your research. 

Take a look at alternatives for an idea of a reasonable price. Once you have a ballpark figure you can make an informed choice. Plus, you might find that some sales teams are open to custom pricing or discounts. 

Growth:

Where is your company headed, and will the tool you choose grow with you? 

Always look to the future when investing in sales automation software and check if the brand is actively growing with their customers:

  • Are they doing funding rounds? 
  • Are they regularly updating their product? 
  • Do they listen to current customers' complaints?  

All of this makes a big difference for how innovative they will be in the future. 

Customer support:

Always, always check what users have to say about different sales automation tools. Read the good reviews and the bad and look out for one major tell-all—

What do users say about the support received after they’ve purchased? 

If it’s bad, that’s a 🚩red flag. 

SaaS support teams need to be on point to ensure that you know how to use their software and that you’re getting the most out of it. 

They should be listening to what you dislike, as well as what you like so they can make improvements over time. 

And most of all, they should be building customer relationships, not breaking them down by ignoring concerns. 

Ease of use:

Of course, you want a sales automation platform that is easy to use!

And that means looking at how well the tool you’ve chosen integrates with your existing tech stack.

If you can’t set your software up, and figure out how it works on your own, then it’s not a sales automation software you should invest in. 

Yes, onboarding is important to use a tool in the best possible way. But you want to be able to quickly troubleshoot problems in-house, easily teach new staff how it works and integrate it with any software you use going forward.

Once you find a system like that, you’ve found a winner.

Now, before you go, there’s one rule of thumb you absolutely need to implement when considering sales automation software:

Always give a demo a try. 

Demos give you a good idea of each sales automation solution and how it can benefit you and your team. If you can’t schedule one, it’s best to read user reviews or take advantage of a free trial.

You might find it's not the right fit. Or it might change the way you do sales forever.

Sales made easy with Cognism 

Give your reps more time to focus on selling with the world’s best sales intelligence solution.

With Cognism, sales teams can minimize their manual research, admin, and dialing incorrect numbers.

Imagine the numbers?!

Book your demo today and watch your sales skyrocket. Click 👇

Cognism Demo - what is sales automation?

 

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