"Modern sales is all about cutting-edge technology."

Comparing sales prospecting technologies

Today, sales is all about cutting-edge technology. Salespeople require more information now than ever before in order to keep up with evolving buyer behavior and successfully do their job. Technology makes it all happen, serving one critical insight after another. Sales prospecting is at the core of that entire process, so finding the right sales tool to gather leads is crucial. There are tons of options out there: some are good, some are better and some, like our Sales Insights Platform, are just right.

Anyone can learn the basics of prospecting by simply doing a quick online search, to truly personalize each and every conversation with potential clients, you have to dig much deeper. That’s where technology kicks in. As you scroll down, you’ll find an overview of top sales prospecting technologies and how they can help (or sometimes hurt) your team.

Social selling

Social selling is among the more expanding sales prospecting technologies due to the sheer volume of social media users. In the past few years, social selling has exploded: there’s a wide range of software that acts as a means for salespeople to initiate and forge relationships with buyers on various social media websites. While salespeople certainly can and do use social media directly, these tools help sift through the noise and sort relevant messages, see what prospects are sharing and monitor their social activity, as well as automate messages to multiple networks. More advanced tools, such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator draw upon the social network’s vast database of professionals and related data to create lists of prospects. Means of communicating with buyers that don't involve phones or email have become increasingly prominent; social selling allows salespeople to effectively follow suit.

While social selling is booming, there is a genuine risk of abuse, as it opens up a new channel for aggressive salespeople and their pushy and unwelcome tactics to be deployed more quickly and to more prospects at low cost. Too many sales reps utilize social selling tools to identify contacts and send self-promotional messages without a deeper understanding of the prospect’s needs and demands.

Bad Sales Prospecting Email LinesImage credit: Sales Hacker

Email lists

Despite being around for what seems like eons, email is still a widely used and effective way of prospecting. It’s also hard to get the right email address, which is why there’s an entire business developed around buying and renting email lists. These are relatively inexpensive shortcuts to creating your own list of names and email addresses based on the demographic and other information. It’s a quick fix to boost your prospect list and engage them: after all, you need a way to make the first contact and get your message through.

The trouble is, it’s also potentially damaging in the long run if you rely on it too much.. First of all, good email lists are rarely up for sale and there’s a lot of fake, “100% guaranteed” BS out there. People on a bought or rented list don't actually know you or opt to hear from you, which can easily translate to you being marked as a spammer. If you pay for a list, especially from a non-reputable vendor, there’s little way of knowing how often those email addresses have been contacted or where they originate from, not to mention that they can harm your email deliverability and IP reputation (there are organizations that deal with this). There’s a far better (and more natural) way of building your email list, but that’s a topic for your marketing team.

Email tracking

On the other hand, email tracking is a much more savvy approach to email prospecting. Integrated with your email client, such software tracks when a recipient opens an email or clicks on a link in it. According to LinkedIn’s research, the majority of top performers find email tracking a crucial part of their ability to close deals. It may be the key piece to improving underperformance, seeing as a sales rep can know the very second when a prospect opens an email, which, in turn, opens the window for a perfectly timed follow-up.

Sales insights

With social selling and email tracking, you only get one side of the story. Sales insights platforms are typically a more encompassing solution with both contact and company data, so salespeople can build prospect lists and, more importantly, create personalized connections. By combining internal and external data, companies improve their entire sales process through sales intelligence, from the number and quality of leads to uncovering greenfield opportunities, providing their sales reps all the relevant data they need to make it happen.

That’s why a service like SimilarTech is used both by sales and marketing teams: it provides critical insights about prospects and leads, whether you want to reveal new verticals to tap into, identify potential customers based on custom criteria, or use contact information to reach out to them. It easily integrates into leading sales management and analytics solutions for added functionality, giving you a little bit of everything. Our Sales Insights Platform is run by industry-leading engines that monitor the online world in real time, analyzing over 317 million websites daily through advanced big data analysis algorithms. 99.99% of active websites are reached and indexed in our database, and with tools such as detailed and custom reporting, correlated technologies, real-time alerts, tech adoption history, and more, you can improve your prospect and lead generation to form personalized, long-lasting relationships, as well as be exceptionally proficient in market research and customer retention.

Stay ahead of the technology curve

It’s safe to say that your sales prospecting success hinges more than ever on how fast and effectively you adopt these technologies. You need to focus your time and effort on what best suits you, but not exclusively. Remember: prospects vary as to how they like to be approached. In order to be effective, you have adapt to their needs. When it comes to opening new business relationships to uncover potential new opportunities, nothing beats sales intelligence, just by the sheer volume of data it provides. And this is just the beginning of how technology will transform your sales prospecting efforts. Tech found in this post is just a part of an expanding sales technology stack, one you can always stay in touch with thanks to SimilarTech.