The best sales professionals use lead generation tools every day . Everyone has their favorites.
But, we thought that some might find value in discovering new tools, or getting a different perspective on an existing tool for use in a different way. I suppose “Hacking Sales Tools” could be another description for this post, but that’s a little trendy for us, so we’ll let you determine what you want to call the list.
So – lets stop beating around the bush and get started. Here are our 50 favorite lead generation tools and a few ways that they can be used effectively (listed in no particular order):
BuiltWith is a lead generation tool to uncover the different platforms a website uses. This could be the platform the web property is built on (PHP, Apache, RoR…) or what other tools they are using along with the site, for example: Google Analytics, KissMetrics, WordPress, etc.
When using BuiltWith a tech sales pro (like yourself) could find potential customers who are using competing or complementary products and contact them to present your value prop.
Pro tip: Use BuiltWith in order to plan for sales targets that have expiring SaaS tools (usually 12 months from implementation), then contact them 2-3 months prior and switch them to your superior product.
Price: Starting at $250/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: High
Ebsta is a neat little app with a tough name to pronounce. But, what they lack in a catchy name they have made up with a tight feature pack.
By integrating LinkedIn and Salesfore into your Google Apps accounts you’ll be able to manage contacts and quickly view important information about the particular person behind the email. Think of it like “creating a face, history and relationship” to an otherwise anonymous email address.
They are not the only ones in this arena, but it is a great way to streamline your process.
Pro tip: Weigh time savings against price
$$ In Pocket Value: Low – Medium (Time savings mostly)
Similar to Ebsta, Ecquire connects your Google Apps account with a CRM of your choice. They have a bit more selection than Ebsta but operate in a similar manner. From your main email you’ll be able to assign a person to a specific CRM and create substantially less data entry.
Just like with gmail you can use this lead generation tool with LinkedIn and assign new prospects to you CRM with significantly less work than normal.
Pro tip: We like using Ecquire in conjunction with PipeDrive – keep things simple and drive your sales pipleline.
Price: $14/user/mo – billed annually (Free trial available)
$$ In Pocket Value: Low – Medium. Not exactly direct revenue generating, but it will make your day easier.
Lead Genius is an option for sales teams (or small funded startups) that want leads delivered directly to them. You’ll have leads delivered daily to your inbox, to be exact.
After a bit of an interview process, where they learn about your business and what a typical customer looks like, they unleash their outsourced team of researchers. These guys will turn up new leads for you on a daily basis – it’s your job to then convert them into actual customers.
The down side: they might be a bit out of reach for a bootstrapped or budget sensitive company. Going through oDesk and managing the process yourself is always an option, however, unless you have a lot of experience working with outsourced workers – pony up and let them handle it.
You can also add on an “Email Outreach” option to your plan for an additional $499. With this Lead Genius will begin to email your new leads to start a conversation – they’ll provide up to 2 email touches. Great tactic – but again, expensive. If you would like to manage this on your own you can check out PersistIQ.
Pro tip: Take time to map out your perfect customer and then slowly work out to build a customer profile that they can use to identify (surprisingly) similar leads.
Price: Starts at $1999/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: Very High – But make sure you have a product with a high enough price tag to make it work profitably
You didn’t think we’d leave ourselves off the list, did you? We think our software is awesome – hopefully you think so to.
With RedJester we can tell you who is on your site looking at your products, by company name and contact name.
Then, just take that information (phone # and email) and reach out to the people already looking at your products to offer them the solution they are looking for.
Pro tip: Reach out 1-2 days after you get notified of a particular visitor. Allow them to shop around a bit and then be the hero and give them a call with a solution ready in hand.
Price: $799 for 5 users (Free trial available)
$$ In Pocket Value: Very High – but much like LeadGenius, you’ll need a higher lifetime value for your products to make it worth while for your team.
Formally Jigsaw, Data.com is now a Salesforce company. This allows seamless integration into your Salesforce CRM – at a price.
By using Data.com you can research prospects and find specific people from a specific company. Now, you won’t find everyone on Data.com, but if you’re looking for someone with a C-level title, at a decent sized company, they’ll probably be on there.
Overall – a solid choice for sales pros who are already using Salesforce can value in a tight integration and a hands off approach for their contact research.
Pro tip: Go for it if you’re already using Salesforce and have a decent budget to spend.
Price: Starting at $25/user/month
$$ In Pocket Value: High – could get you the exact info you need at the exact right time to close a big deal.
Optkit allows you to create customized landing pages, popups and side banners for different types of traffic – which in turn will increase your conversion rate and drive more sales.
The idea is to create a customized message for the different types of traffic that your website sees. Should your Adwords traffic see the same message as your Facebook traffic? We think not.
Bonus: Drag and drop functionality removes the need for a developer to do this for you.
Pro tip: Put the time in up front to segment your traffic in as many ways as possible – then A/B test to continually increase your conversion rate.
Price: $20-$250 per month
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – put the time in and you’ll see some good results.
Octopost is social media monitoring for B2B firms, think Hootsuite for B2B.
Measurement is everything – and Octopost allows you to measure your social media activity with a B2B focus. Like with most social media monitoring dashboards they allow you to schedule all the big networks and the measure the reach and conversions driven by all that work.
Price: Starts at $55/mo with free trial available
$$ In Pocket Value: Low/Medium/High – it all depends on your social media presence.
Survicate allows you to send targeted surveys to your website visitors, then take that info that you have learned and apply it to increase your conversions.
A great question to ask is simple and direct: “Is there anything stopping you from signing up today?”
Pro tip: Also use this lead generation tool for content distribution: “Enter your email for a free white paper”
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – survey your visitors and find what is stopping the from making the desired action and then go and fix that issue!
With over 100 000 customers world wide Marketo is by far one of the category leaders for Marketing Automation. They pioneered things we take for granted now – and are highly respected for a reason. They offer a suite of features that include:
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
- Lead management
- CRM integration
- Social marketing
- Analytics and Reporting
Marketo is a bit expensive, but they’ve been around the block and you’ll be able to trust them to deliver you leads as long as you put in the work to build the landing pages, email marketing messages and shell out the cash to get on their platform.
For an extablished business – great choice. For a startup or small biz, we’d recommend hacking together a few different tools that would do the same job for you. A combination of Pipedrive, Mailchimp, Leadpages and Buffer would probably do the job.
Pro tip: Look into their on-boarding guides for insider tips that will help.
Price: Starting at $895/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – works well, but takes a bit of time to see the full ROI return.
A little secret: if you want email opt-ins QUICK, use a contest.
Wishpond offers a bunch of different features such as landing pages and forms, but we think the real value you’ll see is in the social contests that you can run.
We’ve heard stories of contest generating more than 100K emails within weeks. If you do plan on using this lead generation tool remember to run a contest with a very specific prize. Amazon gift cards are cool but they’re not exactly target. Find a prize your audience will go out of their way to get their hands on.
Pro tip: Implement a contest that is targeted, followed by a exit pop-up with a drip campaign – then follow up with ad retargeting for the visitors that didn’t enter into your contest for some reason.
Price: $45 – billed annually (Free trial available)
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – you probably won’t see any direct customers right away, but as they say “the money is in the list”.
Quora is a hotbed of information where you can ask and answer questions. You’ll be more interested in answering questions – and providing massive value to the community.
To generate new leads from Quora you’ll need to brand yourself as a expert and seek out questions in your niche and answer them with detailed, expert advice. You can include a link to your site when appropriate and this will drive very, very targeted traffic back to you – resulting in more leads.
This won’t break your servers with traffic, but it will be very valuable traffic.
Price: Just your time.
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium
By targeting your competitors and other channels Calabo will go out into the wild, find your competitors customers/prospects and then bring them back home to you.
They also allow you to attach sources such as email and CRM data for increased accuracy.
They are more enterprise focused, but could be very valuable to sales pros with a very tight customer profile.
Price: Starting at $20/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: High
Much like Data.com ZoomInfo aims to fill in the holes of your database. They’ll connect to your Salesforce platform and fill in the missing pieces in your customer data.
Just like with Data.com this can get expensive quickly.
Price: Starts at $30/mo to $100/mo per user
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium
If you’re a lone wolf working for yourself on your own business or consultant agency, you’re probably running your site on WordPress. With Spokal, they take you step-by-step to organize and deploy your inbound marketing campaign.
They have put together a nice package to automate your social sharing with scheduling, insights into what content did well for your audience and who has come through to your site via your email marketing.
A very cool feature that is very simple, yet powerful is their ability to A/B test your blog post titles – this is extremely effective since so much of your inbound traffic is determined by your post titles.
Pro Tip:Use Spokal to drive your organic traffic and then use a platform to capture emails to drive even more traffic.
Price: Starting at $50/mo with a free trial
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – ROI won’t happen over night, but with dedication more traffic and sales will come your way, especially good value for a small business or consultant that is on their own.
A lot like Marketo, Pardot was a pioneer in the marketing automation space. They are considered among the leaders and have a good reputation.
Now a Salesfore company, it works in conjunction with the other Salesfore products very well – but much like the others, it gets expensive.
Pardot is probably not for the smaller company with just a few sales reps . You’ll need a decent budget to go to dinner with them. But, it’s a nice dinner once you’re there.
Price: Starts at $1000/month
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – you’ll probably need a marketing and sales team working closely together to get the full value.
There is just so much noise on twitter. Although there are good conversations going on, more often than not it it just full of self promotion.
If you can harness the power of twitter and get in on the important conversations, you’re sure to close some deals through social selling. Enter Recon.io.
Recon.io allows you to monitor your Brand/People so that you can join in the important conversations and help the people who honestly want to connect with you – and ignore all the noise.
Pro Tip:Use Recon.io not only to address the sales opportunity, but customer concerns as well – a customer who you help with an issue can become a brand advocate with timely, honest and respectful customer service.
Price: Free – $60/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium
If you’re a sales pro that takes the “smile and dial” approach you may want to look into SnapForce. Using their platform you’ll be able to queue up your calls and pump out more action in your day. You can use their embedded VOIP option or keep your existing line and see how your progress is going on their dashboard.
For sales teams one thing we’d like to see is an integration with a product like SpartaSales so that you could create a competition based sales floor and really kick it up a notch.
You will need to be able to fill the pipeline with contacts to dial.
Pro Tip:Try creating a competition based sales community.
Price: Starts at $75/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: High – more dialing = more prospects = more deals
Hatch is geared more towards the small business or consultant. Using their platform you’ll be able to identify and segment your potential customers by status, demographic or unique needs to cater you message and increase your incoming leads.
Along with tracking this would be a good choice for the sales pro who wears lots of different hats in their business and needs to get things done quickly or on semi-autopilot.
Nothing ground breaking here, but has a home for the one or two man team.
Price: Starts at $99/mo
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium
Relationships drive business – we all know that. With Nimble they merge your connections together for your leads so you can connect on a more personal level. People buy from people who connect with them.
Nimble allows you to see what conversations, previous deals, social media updates and previous contact you have had with a contact on a simple card in your email. Clean implementation of a nice product.
Pro Tip:Do a bit of research before getting on a call with a prospect – and connect with them on a personal level.
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – High
For a lot of sales pros coldcalling is worse than getting a root canal…while holding a black widow spider…naked.
If you fall into this camp you can always let CallBox handle the cold calls for you. They use a combination of home grown and offshore workers to dial all day. We’ve heard mixed reviews, and surely they don’t have record high conversion rates – but they are persistent.
Callbox will also handle email and social marketing along side cold calling for a full circle approach.
This kind of outsourcing isn’t for everyone, and carries a price tag that might scare some off – but it might be worth a show for a certain segment of sales professionals.
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium
From the AppSumo team comes a suite of lead generation tools that have become very popular. Specializing in WordPress installs you can install and start using the SumoMe apps within 2 mins flat.
Once you install the wordpress plugin you are able to install trigger popups, email list builder forms and heatmaps – all designed to increase the leads generated from your wordpress sites.
They are mostly freemium, so you can get into the tools for free to try and then upgrade when you need some more of the advanced features.
Pro Tip:Use the blog post title A/B testing tool with 4 different titles on each post – it will then choose the highest performing title and assign it to stay
Price: Free – $99
$$ In Pocket Value: Medium – You probably won’t drive instant sales, but building your list is always a smart move.
SalesLoft prospecting software was developed to help people create laser-targeted prospect lists by extracting information from publicly available LinkedIn profiles combined with contact information gathered by a system that SalesLoft also developed.
You can use the app to look for people they would like to sell to, for example “VP of Operations in Los Angeles”, and the SalesLoft Prospector will start a customized search for people who fit the criteria. The software will then return a list from which you can either add individuals to a prospect list, or add entire results all at once.
Price: $325 and Up
$$ In Pocket Value: High
That concludes our big, bad-ass list of lead generation tools. So, now its your turn.
Get out into the world and hustle. You are the most valuable sales tool there is. The more you push and hustle the more sales you’ll generate.