We’ve all heard it; from our board, our CEO, our co-founder, our manager, your mom (okay, maybe not your mom) that we need to do “more with less” in 2023. But not a lot of folks are out here breaking down what that really means. Well, we're here to demystify the absolute MUST-HAVE tech stack and overall tech categories B2B startup sales teams to be successful and to set a solid foundation for scale. There are a lot of tools out there. There are a lot of NICE to haves. Here are the NEED to haves in your tech stack for 2023.
*We’ve noted tools that have a free offering with a (*). We’ve also gone ahead and bolded the ones in our personal tech stack for transparency and context.
Okay, housekeeping is covered, let’s dive in!
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is the backbone of any successful sales team. It's essential to have a CRM that can manage leads, track interactions, and provide insights into the sales pipeline. Here are some of the best CRM tools for startups in 2023:
*HubSpot: HubSpot is a powerful CRM tool that offers a wide range of features, including lead management, sales automation, and reporting. It's also integrated with HubSpot's marketing tools, making it a great choice for startups that want to align their sales and marketing efforts. It’s pricepoint is low (sometimes free) and it’s lightweight. While this is helpful in the early stages, it does pose a potential risk as you scale. Be cautious trading the pricetag now for the cost of the tech debt that incurs when you ultimately have to migrate to a more robust tool later.
Salesforce: Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM tools on the market, and for a good reason. It offers advanced features like lead scoring, forecasting, and collaboration, making it a great choice for startups that want to track their sales pipeline in detail. While it’s a little more robust and heavier to implement it’s well worth it in the long run for your business. Companies that plan to scale choose Salesforce.
[[Sidebar]]: This isn’t its own category because we don’t want to be biased but well worth mentioning; no matter what you choose for CRM implementation and configuration are non-negotiable. And ongoing management of a CRM is sometimes a full-time job. That’s why we built Swantide. Whether you’re implementing your CRM for the first time or need help automating standard work, our platform takes the guesswork and the grunt work out of CRM configuration and management so your team has the data you need to scale without the dev time. Give our team a shout if you need help setting up your CRM for the first time or augmenting your CRM management efforts.
Prospecting is an essential part of any B2B sales strategy, and startups need tools that can help them find new leads to reach out to. It’s how your team finds new channels for revenue. In short, prospecting is the main way your B2B company makes money. Here are some of the best prospecting tools for B2B startups in 2023:
ZoomInfo: ZoomInfo is a leading prospecting tool that helps sales teams to find and connect with their ideal customers. It offers a massive database of B2B contacts, including email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles, making it a great choice for startups that want to scale their prospecting efforts.
Clearbit: Clearbit is another powerful prospecting tool that helps sales teams to find and enrich their lead data. It offers advanced features like data enrichment, lead scoring, and predictive analytics, making it a great choice for startups that want to improve their lead quality.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a unique prospecting tool designed to help sales professionals find and connect with potential customers where they’re already spending time, on LinkedIn. It provides advanced search and filtering capabilities, allowing users to target their search by industry, job title, location, and more. With features like lead recommendations and account alerts, Sales Navigator can help sales teams discover new prospects, create comprehensive filtered lists and stay up-to-date on target accounts.
Once you've identified your prospects, the next step is to engage with them. But sending generic, impersonal emails isn't going to cut it. You need a sales engagement tool that can help you craft personalized messages and follow-up sequences. Here are some of the best sales engagement tools for startups in 2023:
Outreach: Outreach is a popular sales engagement platform that can help you streamline your sales workflows and automate your outreach. Outreach offers features like sequencing, personalized messaging, and analytics, making it a great choice for startups looking to scale their sales efforts.
SalesLoft: SalesLoft is another powerful sales engagement tool that's designed to help you build better relationships with your prospects. SalesLoft offers features like email tracking, phone dialer, and reporting, making it a great choice for startups that want to automate their sales outreach.
Apollo: Apollo is a comprehensive sales engagement tool that allows sales teams to streamline their sales processes and close more deals. It offers multi-channel outreach, automated sequences, and behavioral analytics to help engage with prospects effectively. With task management and analytics and reporting features, Apollo can improve sales performance and drive results. It is, by far, the cheapest of all the options listed here.
So you got the prospect on the hook, and now you need to set the meeting! But scheduling appointments can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when you're dealing with multiple time zones and calendars. Having an automated appointment setting tool takes some of the pain out of coordinating calendars and provides a better buyer experience for your prospects. Here are some of the best appointment setting tools for startups in 2023:
*Calendly: Calendly is a popular scheduling tool that helps sales reps to set up meetings with their prospects quickly. It offers features like time zone detection, reminder emails, and integrations with popular calendar tools like Google Calendar and Outlook.
Chili Piper: Chili Piper is another powerful appointment setting tool that helps sales teams to schedule and manage their meetings. It offers features like real-time scheduling, round-robin assignment, and analytics, making it a great choice for startups that want to streamline their appointment setting process with the added benefit of lead routing if you didn’t configure your CRM to do so.
In today's digital world, face-to-face meetings aren't always possible, but that doesn't mean you can't build strong relationships with your prospects. A lot of B2B SaaS is moving remote-first and also deals in business globally. Video conferencing tools allow you to connect with your prospects remotely, without sacrificing the personal touch that comes with face-to-face interactions. Here are some of the best video conferencing tools for startups in 2023:
*Zoom: Zoom is a popular video conferencing tool that offers a wide range of features, including screen sharing, recording, and virtual backgrounds. Zoom is easy to use, and it works on a variety of devices, making it a great choice for startups that want to connect with their prospects remotely. For user friendliness, this is our pick.
*Google Meet: Google Meet is a simple and reliable video conferencing tool that's integrated with Google's suite of productivity tools. With Google Meet, you can schedule meetings directly from your calendar, share your screen, and record your meetings for later viewing. If you’re deep in the Google Suite, this might be the tool for you. Bonus, it has the one click “end call” which we love.
Once you've established a relationship with your prospects and had a few meetings, it's time to present your proposal. A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between closing a deal and losing a prospect. But creating a proposal from scratch can be time-consuming and tedious. That's where proposal tools come in. Here are some of the best proposal tools for startups in 2023:
Proposify: Proposify is a powerful proposal tool that allows you to create beautiful, professional-looking proposals quickly. With Proposify, you can choose from a wide range of templates, customize your proposals to match your branding.
*PandaDoc - PandaDoc is another popular proposal tool that offers a range of features to help you create winning proposals. With PandaDoc, you can create custom templates, add electronic signatures, and track your proposals' progress in real-time.
DocuSign: DocuSign is a digital transaction management tool that enables users to sign, send and manage electronic documents securely. It provides an easy-to-use interface for creating and sharing documents that require electronic signatures, helping to streamline the document signing process. With its robust security and compliance features, DocuSign is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.
Building a successful B2B sales tech stack requires careful consideration and planning. You need to choose tools that can support your sales team from prospecting all the way through to close. In 2023, the best B2B sales tech stack for startups will include CRM, prospecting, sales engagement, appointment setting, video conferencing, and proposal tools. By leveraging these tools, you can streamline your sales processes, build stronger relationships with your prospects, and close more deals.
And if you need help making sure the data from all these tools is piping back correctly to your CRM so you have a crystal clear view of your funnel and pipeline, Swantide is here to help:)