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7 Sales Tools You Should Be Using Right Now

People in front of a screen sales tools.
The top sales tools to streamline your sales efforts should be powered with AI and allow for easy integrations. [Adobe/Skyword]

Learn how to make your sales team more efficient using the right tools.

Sales teams know how much prep work goes into a successful sale behind the scenes. From simply staying organized to understanding customers’ behavior to keeping your sales team on track, there’s a lot to manage.

The good news: There’s a bevy of modern sales tools to help streamline the process from prospecting to payday. But which will make the most impact for your organization? Read on to learn about the crucial sales tools teams need to save time on the back end and spend more time closing deals.

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What are sales tools?

Sales tools are types of software designed to make sales teams more efficient and effective at selling. Some tools you can use throughout the entire sales process, while others are designed for specific tasks within the sales process (like invoicing software). AI sales tools are changing the game in this space, helping teams with things like personalization, predictive forecasting, and automating routine selling tasks.

What are the benefits of sales tools?

Sales tools are designed to help teams work smarter and faster throughout the entire sales process. From centralizing customer information on one platform to saving time on administrative tasks and boosting productivity. There are many reasons to start using sales tools if you’re not already. Let’s unpack some of their high-level benefits.

Improve sales productivity

Sales tools can reduce time spent on admin work so your team can focus on high-value tasks, like developing personalized sales strategies or deepening client relationships. For example, an automation tool that schedules follow-ups based on customer response patterns can ensure your team’s efforts are both timely and effective.

Make better selling decisions based on data

One of the biggest challenges in sales is dealing with outdated or inconsistent data, which can lead to poor decision-making. Sales tools help maintain a continuously updated database and reduce manual data entry, ensuring selling decisions are informed by the latest, most accurate information. Accurate data also helps forecast sales so you can adjust strategies in real-time to meet market demands. Last, but most certainly not least, clean data can help you leverage the most of generative AI.

Track pipeline

With CRM analytics dashboards, you gain real-time insights into the health of your sales pipeline, allowing for proactive management. These tools help you identify bottlenecks, track deal progress, and monitor quota attainment. For example, if there’s a slowdown at the qualification stage, you might introduce automated pre-qualification questions to help streamline the process and keep deals moving forward.

Personalize customer interactions

Sales tools are great at keeping track of details — like a customer’s favorite products or the last time they made a purchase. Advanced segmentation, data analysis, and AI provided by some sales tools offer even more highly personalized customer interactions. For example, a sales tool might analyze purchasing trends and suggest sending a personalized discount to a customer who frequently buys a product, right when they’re due for a refill.

Improve collaboration and selling coordination

Sales is no longer an individual sport; it requires a team. This is why organizations need a tool to help centralize selling efforts so they can collaborate, share documents, and get real-time information and insights from their CRM to keep deals moving forward. Shared calendars, documents, project management tools, and instant messaging help teams synchronize efforts, collaborate, and stay informed no matter where they are. This is especially important for visibility and managing complex accounts.

Foster continuous improvement

It’s vital to provide access to sales enablement and training where reps work. This way, they don’t have to go looking somewhere else for this information. The best sales tools include capabilities for ongoing training and development directly in your CRM. Interactive tutorials, real-time reporting, and performance metrics give teams — and organizations — important feedback. They can then use this feedback to enhance their skills and stay current with new sales trends, customer preferences, or market shifts.

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7 sales tools you should be using

Whatever your challenge or focus, there’s a sales tool for that. Here are seven sales tools any top-performing sales team should be using and how your team can make the most of them.

1. CRM software

Your customers are the core of your business, so keeping track of their data is a make-or-break issue. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an all-in-one sales tool for keeping track of every customer interaction on a single platform. This essential tool is a central hub where all information about customers is stored, making it accessible to anyone in your organization.

  • Why you need it: Only 37% of sales professionals strongly agree that their organization fully utilizes their CRM, according to the State of Sales report. That’s a miss; a CRM gives you a snapshot of where each customer relationship stands and provides insight into the health of your entire business. With a clear history of every interaction, purchase, and customer preference, you can personalize communication and strengthen relationships. Many CRMs offer built-in tools — sales forecasting, automated follow-up reminders, and detailed customer profiles — that eliminate the need for one-off solutions. With all your customer data in one place, it’s easy to track and manage relationships.
  • How to make the most of it: To avoid underutilization, start by keeping consistent, complete, and up-to-date customer records. After pulling customer data into your CRM, you can customize workflows and processes to your organization’s business needs. With all your customer information in one place, you can spend less time chasing down details and more time making decisions that help close deals.

2. AI-powered tools

Sales teams are always looking for ways to stay productive and sell faster. Teams are frequently finding clever ways to use AI and automation tools to do some of the heavy lifting. These tools range from bots that can automatically handle tasks like lead intake to advanced AI systems that provide predictive insights into customer behavior and sales opportunities.

  • Why you need it: AI-powered tools help you cut down on time-consuming manual tasks and focus more on the selling efforts that AI can’t handle. For example, CRMs with built-in AI capabilities can generate sales summaries, guide your reps through workflows, and suggest the next steps in the sales process to speed up sales cycles and focus efforts on deals most likely to close.
  • How to make the most of it: To step up your productivity even more, use AI-powered tools to streamline workflows and minimize (or even eliminate) time-consuming tasks like manual data entry. Predictive AI tools, such as lead scoring, can help your reps prioritize their efforts based on which leads and opportunities are most likely to close.

3. Sales engagement tools

You’ve established a sales pipeline and leads are flowing in. There’s a lot to juggle: keeping them engaged and steadily moving through your sales cycle, ensuring each communication touchpoint is personalized, and meeting customers where they are in the buyer’s journey. Using sales engagement tools can support your efforts by managing and optimizing every interaction, so you can focus on nurturing your hottest leads and closing deals.

  • Why you need it: Sales engagement tools (often nested in CRMs) speed up the sales process by creating a framework for reps and automating some of the legwork. Some tools have features like automated email sequences that adjust based on a customer’s actions. For instance, if a customer clicks on a link in an email, the system can send a timely follow-up message related to that topic. These tools ensure that reps have a clear script and strategy, tailored to buyers’ interests, every time they work with a customer.
  • How to make the most of it: AI-powered CRMs can interpret customer data and suggest highly personalized outreach. Rather than trying to keep track of different customers’ preferences and behaviors in their heads, AI can help reps tailor communications based on past interactions and collected data. This makes your content more engaging and effective. Keep a close eye on metrics like open rates and click-through rates for opportunities to refine your approach. Lastly, automated transcripts, conversation insights, and playlists of best-practice calls can help your team replicate successful strategies and foster a culture of continuous improvement and personalized coaching.

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4. Collaboration tools

Collaboration tools centralize team selling so they can communicate quickly, whether it’s to brainstorm ideas, manage projects, or make quick decisions. They are online spaces where teams gather, whether they already share an office or work remotely. They are crucial to keeping your sales team connected.

  • Why you need it: It’s necessary to be able to communicate instantly, across teams, especially when coordinating complex accounts or aligning on strategies. Tools like Slack help sellers connect and collaborate on in-progress deals and stay informed about real-time CRM data and insights. For example, when a new lead comes in, or when there’s a need to discuss urgent matters like pricing or account changes, your team can quickly come together to strategize or brainstorm.
  • How to make the most of it: Integrate collaboration tools with your sales platforms to get your whole team on the same page. And make it easy to access and share important information in real-time. For example, if a hot lead comes in, you can inform your team right away, discuss next steps, and quickly move to action — scheduling calls, preparing demos, or getting necessary approvals.

5. Sales enablement tools

Sales enablement tools give your team the resources they need to do their jobs well. They provide teams with educational resources like sales playbooks and competitive intelligence, case studies, marketing collateral, and on-demand training modules, all of which are integrated into daily workflows to enhance performance.

  • Why you need it: Whether onboarding new sales reps or updating your team on new product features or sales tactics, a sales enablement tool ensures every seller has access to the latest information so they can engage confidently with leads (and customers) and excel in their roles.
  • How to make the most of it: Sales enablement tools should be integrated into a sales team’s schedule and tech stack. The tools should be regularly used to conduct scenario-based training sessions, which allow reps to practice and perfect their approaches to common sales situations, such as negotiating prices or handling objections. If the tools are integrated into your CRM, you’ll have a win-win situation: Reps will have access to the educational content and you’ll have analytics to monitor your reps’ progress and identify areas where additional training or support might be needed.

6. Performance and territory management tools

Performance management tools let you segment customers, carve out balanced territories, allocate and manage quotas, and track and optimize performance.

  • Why you need it: Without a tool, performance management can be tedious, time-consuming, and leave room for human error. Sales performance management software is a comprehensive suite of tools made to streamline and enhance crucial aspects of the sales planning process. With integrated CRM tools for things like performance tracking, incentive management, forecasting, and territory planning, you can empower reps to make data-driven decisions and boost overall sales efficiency for your organization.
  • How to make the most of it: Set your teams and sales organization up for success by planning ahead, increasing productivity, and streamlining processes. Optimize your sales territories faster with smarter territory planning and visualization tools. Create map-based plans, spot coverage gaps, and refine sales strategies in underperforming areas. Avoid human error when it comes to creating complex commission workflows by leaning on automation. Set up incentive plans tied to performance goals to keep your reps on track and hitting their quotas. Use real-time reporting for instant visibility into progress and performance metrics.

7. Sales analytics tools

Sales analytics tools gather data across the sales cycle, offering comprehensive insights into your team’s performance and competitive standing. They present this information with clear dashboards and detailed reports, making it easy to see where you stand and what action to take next.

  • Why you need it: Sales analytics tools simplify complex data and offer clear and actionable insights to help you target opportunities more effectively and adapt to market changes quickly. With everything laid out in front of you, you can easily see what’s working and what needs more attention.
  • How to make the most of it: Regularly check your dashboards and reports. Aim to review key metrics at least once a week, or more frequently during high-activity periods or when running special promotions. Look for trends such as changes in sales volume, customer engagement levels, and conversion rates. Spotting a spike in interest for a product during specific events could be a big win — if you’re prepared. Tools like Sales Cloud offer features such as AI predictions and visual signals to help you manage forecasts, identify at-risk deals, and ensure smooth progression of every deal through your sales pipeline.

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What is the most important tool for sales?

There are an abundance of tools available. So many in fact, that two-thirds of sales reps report feeling swamped by all these tools, according to the State of Sales report. And 94% of sales organizations say they plan to consolidate their tech stack in the next 12 months.

The biggest piece of the puzzle is a connected sales platform because it stores everything you need in one place. Einstein 1 Sales (E1S) offers you the complete sales solution, on one integrated and trusted platform. This way, you’re not dealing with a bunch of point solutions that might be great on their own, but can’t communicate with each other.

With E1S, your team can work within their existing CRM environment with access to data that’s consistent, connected, and trustworthy. This helps you create a single source of truth for your organization. Features like generative AI in Einstein Copilot take routine tasks off your team’s hands, such as drafting emails or summarizing calls, speeding up sales interactions significantly. Meanwhile, predictive AI capabilities enhance strategic decision-making by providing deep insights into deal risks and forecast accuracy, guiding your sales efforts to be more precise and effective.

Example of sales tools in action

Let’s say a potential buyer, Katie, lands on your website and starts a conversation with your AI chatbot. She’s interested in a product and needs information. The chatbot gathers information from Katie and pulls data from your CRM to provide what details it can. Simultaneously, it records and analyzes her questions and responses in real-time.

When Katie is connected with a sales rep, the handoff is seamless. Before the rep even picks up the phone, every detail from the chat is already displayed on their screen. There’s no searching through notes; everything they need to know is right there.

After the discovery call, the conversation details are automatically logged in the CRM, noting key demographic information, Katie’s goals and interest in the product, and her readiness to buy. AI then sets a reminder to follow up in a few days. When the time comes, the rep uses AI conversation insights to review a detailed summary of the previous conversation and a snapshot of proposed next steps to discuss with Katie to prepare for the call.

Wasting no time, they’re able to jump right into Katie’s remaining questions about product benefits and pricing — all of which the rep has easy access to within their CRM. Katie still isn’t quite ready to buy, but leaves the call with a positive experience. The rep applies their learnings about Katie to their nurturing efforts, setting up personalized email sequences to keep her engaged with their company until she’s ready to buy.

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Choose the right tools for your company

The sales tools you choose will depend on the needs of your organization, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on consolidation and integration capabilities. When your CRM platform, AI, and data all speak the same language, you can create better workflows for your reps and improve the selling experience for both your team and your customers.

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