They say a good tool improves the way you work, but a great tool improves the way you think. In the digital era, this has never been truer.

Within the exciting world of sales and marketing, there is no shortage of tools, and the rate of which these tools are evolving is both intimidating and inspiring. It’s impossible to have them all and keep up – regardless of resources or budget. And it’s also completely unnecessary.

If you can find the few that will have the most impact and add the most value, you’ll be setting yourself (and your marketing) up to succeed. Here’s our take and on the must have tools for B2B marketing, and where you can expect to benefit from them.

What to consider before investing into tools for your business

Even someone with no marketing experience knows that there are tools you need to get good marketing done. Choosing the rights ones – especially if your resources are limited – can be a challenge though.

As a B2B sales and marketing agency of over 20 years’ experience, we’ve had our fair share of insight into what tools work, and what tools do not. Here’s what to consider before investing into the right tools for your business.

Tools can be costly

While price shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when it comes to tools, many marketing agencies engage with tools without considering the cost (in both time and budget) and how that will compare with the return they receive. Tools come at a price – sometimes it’s worth the investment, and sometimes it’s a waste.

No one-size fits all

It’s important to recognise that in sales and marketing, as we shape our tools our tools also shape us. Some tools work great for some, but just don’t suit the needs of others. Without considering how a tool can meet a business’s unique marketing needs, it’s quite easy to either under-utilise or over expect.

Tech changes quickly

With marketing changing on par with the tech industry, it’s easy to get stuck in out-dated methods. Don’t forget, it’s not just about selecting the right tool – but continually investing in that tool. Keep in mind any tool will require content and data to run effectively. Not investing the appropriate resources can be detrimental to business.

It’s worth the effort

While choosing and keeping up with tools can be a bit tricky, it’s more than worth the effort. The right tools can make your life 10 x easier and your marketing efforts 100 x more successful.

In no particular order, we’ve organised some of our favourite tools from a variety of different of categories, tools we consider necessary to succeed in the sales and marketing environment.

The tools your sales and marketing teams should be using

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

For some, CRM might seem like a no-brainer – but there are so many businesses out there who aren’t yet utilising this functionality. A CRM lets you store, track and manage all customer and prospect interactions, and move them through the sales process seamlessly. No more lost emails or data entry errors – set up correctly, your CRM automates it all, integrating with your other systems.

Personally, we prefer Zoho CRM. It’s affordable, straight forward, and syncs well with other platforms.

2. Google Analytics

You might already be using Google Analytics – if so, well done! For digital marketing, this tool is incomprehensibly powerful. There’s a lot of features you can utilise, but we’d suggest you stick the most basic and valuable ones to begin with. Don’t overlook website conversions, audience reports and behaviour flow. Here’s some further tips on how to use Google Analytics to improve marketing outcomes.

3. Email Automation

E-mail has eventuated from a conversion tactic to a positioning tactic over the past years, but that doesn’t mean its importance should be overlooked. When it comes to successfully utilising email marketing, automation is key.

With so many e-mail marketing software products on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down which one will really suit your sales and marketing team. We suggest looking for features that will make your job easier: efficient list management capabilities, great templates, easy reporting and auto-responders.

For us, ticks most of these boxes. Plus, we like the way it replicates an outlook e-mail’s theme and aesthetic.

4. Outbound LinkedIn Automation

This one’s for our LinkedIn lovers. LinkedIn outbounding has quickly grown in popularity as a great marketing tactic – particularly in 2020 when everyone was networking from home. There’s no doubt about the rich potential LinkedIn has, especially for B2B businesses. Generating LinkedIn leads becomes a whole lot easier with automation software.

With the right tool, you can populate a healthy list for your targeted LinkedIn user, and then send invite’s, messages, drip-follow ups, and auto-detection replies through your chosen LinkedIn profile.

Our go-to tool is We-Connect, due to it’s compatibility with SalesNav (LinkedIn’s social selling platform) and it’s very easy-to-use, intuitive process.

5. SEO Tools

Content marketing and organic reach can really be optimised to the next level with a great SEO strategy. Those winning in SEO are ranking in searches for the right keywords – and the right tool can help you research, track, update and report on your keywords and how they’re impacting your content and organic reach. The depth of information can enable your sales and marketing insights to be taken to the next level.

We often rely on SEMRush to help us with our SEO. It has over 50 tools within the software, allowing us to continually up our capabilities.

A well worth it process.

So, there we have it – five tools your sales and marketing should be using. There’s no doubt the right tools can help in better managing customer relationships, understanding your target markets, and creating clear avenues for your value proposition to be delivered.

Most businesses should focus in on streamlining manual tasks whilst creating more time for delivering value.

The combination of these discussed tools can lead to some powerful insights, wickedly good automation, and next level process optimisation. All factors in achieving your sales and marketing team’s growth objectives.

If your B2B business is lacking the clarity on choosing the right tools, don’t hesitate to contact us for some clear and customised direction.