The HubSpot Sales Stack: 15 Tools for Managing Leads and Closing More Deals

David Khim
David Khim / February 11, 2016

There's an app for every little thing. Tools for email and events, contacts and calls, surveys and signatures, and much more. If you need to do something, chances are there's a dozen apps for that—but how can you pick one with so many options?

What you need most is a toolkit of apps that work great together. They don't have to be the absolute best apps—and the best app for each team may be different, anyhow. They just have to fill any holes in your current sales strategy. Simple, focused tools are sometimes best, since they fill one hole perfectly.

That's how the HubSpot CRM team picked apps to help launch a brand new product inside HubSpot.

These 15 tools made it just a bit easier to schedule appointments, turn leads into sales, hone the perfect message, and more—and they just might be the sales stack your team needs.


Great Sales Tools for:


Research

Researching prospects is one of the most time consuming activities of a sales rep's day. These tools will make that process more efficient and help you pursue the best leads.

Source Leads: Datanyze

Datanyze

Sourcing prospects is time consuming. That’s why at HubSpot, we use Datanyze. Their database allows you to search for companies based on specific parameters, including company size, industry, location, and more. That way, you only see the type of companies you care about. From there, you can choose the specific companies you’re interested in and Datanyze will reveal email addresses you can contact.

Sales reps don’t have to do dozens of Google searches to find companies anymore. And they don’t need to waste precious time hunting for an email to contact.

The data from Datanyze is good enough, HubSpot’s sales team is able to win 60% of the leads they work, while spending less time searching for those winning contacts.

Datanyze Price: From $600 per month

Research Apps Sites Use: Ghostery and BuiltWith

Ghostery

BuiltWith and Ghostery are tools that tell you what tools were used to build a website. This helps in two ways:

  1. Check a lead's website before a call, and you can quickly know what tools they're using—and chan then explain how your product may be better suited for their use.
  2. See the same tools over and again? They could be perfect prospects for your product, too.

Both tools accomplish the same goal. The difference is that Ghostery is a Chrome extension that works while you browse, and BuiltWith is a web application that requires you to manually enter the URL of a company you’re prospecting.

HubSpot sales reps use these tools to see what tools prospects are using, which also helps us know if they’re using a competitor's app. We can then determine which of HubSpot's features to emphasize during a sales call, and how to best position our software to add value to their work instead of just giving a cold pitch.

Ghostery Price: Free
BuiltWith Price: Free

Take Notes: Evernote

Evernote

Ever been taking notes on a call directly into your CRM, and your browser suddenly crashed, or the page refreshed, or the internet went down and you lost your notes? It's happened to our team far too often.

While all interactions should be logged in a CRM, we also use Evernote to keep notes during calls to make sure our notes are safe. Then we can copy and paste these notes into the CRM, or use a Zap to automatically add the Evernote notes back to the CRM.

It’s a little extra effort to avoid potentially losing our precious notes. We don’t want to go to a prospect and say, “Hey… I lost my notes, can you remind me what we talked about?” And, we can also keep up with other important info in the same notebooks.

While we each have our own note-keeping systems, I have a notebook for “People” which contains a note for each person I’ve spoken to. Each note contains all their contact info and details we discussed over email or phone.

Evernote Price: Free

For a deeper look at Evernote's other features, check out Zapier's full Evernote review.

Score Leads: Infer

Infer

You want your sales reps to not go after just any lead—they need go after the highest quality leads. That way, they sell more efficiently to the people who want your product most.

Even if you have a CRM, you'll still need a tool to tell you which leads seem the most likely to convert for your team. Infer is great for that. It looks at the data you have about current customers and pulls information from across the internet about prospects (like company size, job openings, web presence). It then compares the characteristics between current customers and prospects and creates an algorithm that predicts the quality of a lead.

At HubSpot, we’ve created our own algorithms to score leads and found that leads that are given an A rating will close more than 4x as often. Our sales reps don’t have to wonder which leads to pursue—we know to spend the majority of our time working with A-rated leads.

Infer Price: Varies based on number of records processed


Email

Email can be inefficient. You write the email. You send it. But you don’t know what happens afterward until you get a response—that is if you ever get a response.

These tools will help you craft emails that clearly communicate your ideas, track those emails, and make your emails work double-time as promotional and branding opportunities.

Track Emails: Sidekick

Sidekick

Ever wonder whether or not a prospect opened your email? Or if you’re even emailing the right person? Sidekick, an email add-on from our team at HubSpot, helps with both of those things.

Install Sidekick, and you'll see a contact profile for each contact you add to new emails. This contact profile lets you verify that you’re contacting the right person. Hover over the email address in Gmail or Outlook and a sidebar will pop up, showing you the contact’s information.

Sidekick also allows you to schedule emails. Some of us (myself included) like working at odd hours of the night, but sending an email at 2AM is generally a bad idea. Now you can schedule follow up emails ahead of time so you can set it and forget it.

Once you've sent your message, Sidekick will track it and notify you when someone opens your email and clicks on a link. And, it pairs with HubSpot CRM for a handy way to keep track of all email correspondence and activity with prospects.

Sidekick Price: Free account with basic features; Premium from $50/user per month

Craft Better Emails: Hemingway

Hemingway

Clear writing is critical, since you can’t sell if your prospect can’t understand what you’re proposing. That’s where Hemingway comes in. It helps make your writing bold and clear by catching dense and complex sentences then providing suggestions to simplify your language.

I use Hemingway on days when I’ve written multiple emails, gone to half a dozen meetings, and can’t form a coherent sentence. It’s nice to have a sidekick when my mind is running out of juice.

Hemingway Price: Free

Brand Emails Consistently: WiseStamp

WiseStamp

Email signatures aren’t just for signing off emails. They can also promote a campaign, become a lead generation channel, or be another way to communicate your brand. WiseStamp makes it easier to customize your email signature. You can add your profile picture, additional contact info, and branded links to your sites.

WiseStamp for business goes even further, with tools to make signatures for your entire team. You can make a single style that each team member can customize for their own email signature, with links to your company sites and more. It makes it easier to maintain the company brand and keep signatures consistent.

WiseStamp Price: Free or $4 per month for large teams


Meetings

Scheduling meetings can be brutal—and take forever. Once you've got one scheduled, you've still got to prepare, research about the client, and then figure out how to easily make the call.

These tools will make it much easier.

Schedule Meetings: Assistant.to

Assistant.to

Assistant.to will help you avoid the back and forth emails when scheduling a meeting with prospects. It’s a simple Gmail add-on that generates a list of available meeting times from your calendar.

All you need to do is click the Assistant.to icon in your email compose window, and select the times that work for you. The, when your prospect gets they email, they can click on a time that works for them and boom: the meeting's booked without leaving your inbox or any back-and-forth messages.

You an also connect Assistant.to with popular calling apps like Google Hangouts, Citrix GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, join.me, and more to share a link to your call along with the meeting time.

Assistant.to Price: Free

Save Webpages for Calls: FreshStart

freshstart

FreshStart lets you save any open Chrome tabs into a session that you can pull up later.

Say I was researching Zapier because I wanted to partner up with them on a project. I may take notes in a Google Doc, have my CRM open to their contact profile, and have their website and perhaps Twitter profile open, too. When I’m done researching, I’ll save these tabs into a session with FreshStart.

Now, instead of searching for the Google Doc, finding their Twitter profile, and finding their contact profile in the CRM again, I’ll pull up this saved session and all four tabs will open up. In a second, I’ll be reading for a call with Zapier's team without having to search for each item again.

It's just a simple tool, but has saved time for HubSpot sales reps when they run demos, prepare for an exploratory call, or are closing a deal.

FreshStart Price: Free

Prepare for Meetings: Charlie App

Charlie App

Never show up to a meeting unprepared. Charlie App connects to your Google Calendar and sends you research on the people you're meeting with five minutes before your meeting starts.

You'll get their company's latest news, the most recent blog posts the contact has written, common connections you have with them, and much more. It's a quick way see how to start the conversation with actionable data.

Charlie App Price: Free

Make Calls: Cisco WebEx

Cisco WebEx

Phone calls, demos, video chats—you have a lot of people to talk to, and there's a lot of ways to do it. Cisco WebEx lets you schedule calls and choose whether you call in using your computer or dial-in with your phone. It lets you share your screen, record the meeting, remotely control the other person’s desktop, and also allows global conference calls.

Our sales reps use WebEx for calls and product demos. As a bonus, it integrates with Assistant.to so you don’t end up double-booking meetings.

Cisco WebEx Price: Free version available and premium account starts at $19 per month


Closing Deals

When you’ve gotten a lead this far down the funnel, you have no option but to close. These tools will help you have meaningful conversations and make the closing process less stressful.

Manage Contacts: HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM

If you’re sales team has more than one person on it, it's a good idea to have a CRM—especially if you want your team to grow. A CRM keeps your team on the same page about what conversations are going on and where prospects are in the buyer’s process.

We rely on our own HubSpot CRM, as we built it with sales reps in mind. It tries to remove as much manual work as possible, by automatically enriching contacts' company information when you put in their email address.

It also keeps records of email correspondence and phone calls without manual data entry. No extra work required.

I contact various people everyday to discuss partnerships, as do my colleagues Christine, Arjun, and Kevin. Without the CRM, we’d cross paths and might end up contacting the same people at the same time, which could confuse the prospect and scuttle the sale. Instead, the CRM keeps us all on the same page, so we can jump right back into conversations others started without confusion.

HubSpot CRM Price: Free

For a deeper look at HubSpot CRM's other features, check out Zapier's full HubSpot CRM review.

Communicate Internally: Slack

Slack

You likely won't close sales on your own—it takes a full team effort. That's one of the many reasons you need a team chat app, like Slack. Rather than sending email to a team member, send them a message in your team chat app to keep every communication in one place.

HubSpot recently migrated to Slack as our primary internal communication tool. In addition to reducing our number of internal emails, it’s been a more convenient channel for our sales teams to share and search for sales enablement documents with each other.

Slack Price: Free for small teams; from $6.67/month per user for paid plans

For a deeper look at Slack's other features, check out Zapier's full Slack review.

Create Proposals & Get Signatures: PandaDoc

PandaDoc

Creating proposals and getting signatures on various documents takes a lot of time. And you typically won't even know if a potential customer even looked at the documents you sent. Using PandaDoc, you can quickly and easily create proposals and close deals without the hassle of scanning papers or having multiple file versions.

PandaDoc also provides analytics on how much time someone spends looking at your documents and which parts of a proposal get the most attention.

PandaDoc Price: From $19/month per user


Sometimes the most important thing isn't finding that elusive best app that does everything for your team—it's instead finding the best simple tools that each help your team do better work. And that's what these tools do for the HubSpot CRM team. We've used them to hone our sales process, work more efficiently, find customers and close deals with them consistently.

They each save a few minutes of time a day—and altogether, they let us focus that much more on building and selling our own products.

What tools that have improved the way you sell? We'd love to hear about your sales toolkit in the comments below.

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