It’s 2023, and the “automate everything” mindset is officially here. Ok, maybe we can’t automate everything, but the idea of using software (hello, sales automation tools!) to gain efficiency, save time and money, and reduce human error is definitely sweeping the globe. Don’t just take our word for it.
Gartner predicts global enterprise spending on AI and other software automation systems to reach $728.9 billion in 2023, which is an increase from $643.3 billion in 2022.
Yeah. That’s a lot of billions. So, how can you capitalize on everything automation has to offer sales and revenue teams? Start by looking at your sales stack to see if you’re taking full advantage of sales automation tools.
This guide will walk you through 15 of the best sales automation tools and what you can expect from each one. If you want to help sales representatives improve performance or account executives close deals faster, keep reading.
The untapped benefits of sales automation tools
Before implementing a new software or process, it’s common to wonder if it’s worth the hype — especially when you have hundreds of people to onboard and incumbent solutions to replace.
Thankfully, sales automation tools have been around long enough that companies, from small businesses to global enterprises, have realized the impact. Here are a few major ways sales automation platforms can help your revenue operations.
1. Save time and reach more prospects
A HubSpot report found that 29% of sales leaders consider making the sales process more efficient their most important sales goal for the year. The only goal that ranked higher in the report was exceeding sales targets and quotas (no surprise there!).
The best sales automation software directly answers this goal. By automating processes, you can save reps time and allow them to spend more time on what matters: hitting quotas.
2. Focus on selling over data entry
Imagine what your sales team could accomplish if they weren’t bogged down with administrative tasks. Taking repetitive sales tasks like data entry or emailing back and forth off of their plate doesn’t just save time and money. It also creates better outcomes when it comes to closing sales.
3. Reduce human error
Anyone who has worked in a massive spreadsheet knows that data entry is high stakes and low reward. It takes too much time, the risks of misentering information are high, and it’s draining for your team to update day in and day out.
A sales automation tool can eliminate these repetitive tasks for your sales team, from copying data from one place to another, handing off leads, and creating documents. When you start automating admin work, the outcomes improve across the board.
A Zapier report found that 34% of small businesses state that automating data entry tasks reduces human error. But there’s also a benefit to your employees. The same report found that 9 out of 10 knowledge workers say the ability to automate repetitive tasks has improved people’s lives in the workplace.
Fewer mistakes, happier employees, and more time to spend on higher-impact work. What’s there to lose?
Now that you know the benefits, let’s look at some of the best sales automation tools to see what you might be missing.
Tools for automating CRM data entry and pipeline management
Managing your sales pipeline and keeping your customer relationship management (CRM) tool up-to-date is absolutely necessary for sales and revenue teams. And at the same time, it’s totally time-consuming. When you’re using powerful platforms like Salesforce, the admin work that falls on your team just to keep it running at its best can be draining.
That’s why there are tools specifically to automate data entry. With this type of software, you can smooth out pipeline holdups and minimize how much time your team spends simply updating CRM records.
Figuring out why quotas are missed and what’s happening in your pipeline can feel like a mystery — especially when you have a growing sales team and little visibility.
Weflow was created to automate and streamline the more time-consuming parts of pipeline management, including updating Salesforce records, tracking activity, and logging emails.
Not only does this free up your sales team to spend more time with prospects and close deals, but it also illuminates where things are falling off and when pipeline leaks are happening.
You can easily see where deals stand and which ones will close, along with insights to inform future activities.
Weflow also offers a Chrome Extension so that your Salesforce access goes wherever your team is. Bonus: it’s free!
Weflow offers three plans depending on your team size and needs:
- Free – For up to 5 users.
- Team ($39/user per month) – For unlimited users, commenting, Kanban views, bulk editing, and more.
- Business ($59/user per month) – For everything in the other plans plus unlimited shared pipeline views, user profiles, email logging, and an admin console.
Tools for automating outreach
Your revenue teams could easily sink days into manual email outreach every week. With all of the email automation tools out there, there’s really no reason to spend more time than necessary verifying, personalizing, sending, and tracking outreach emails.
You can do a lot within the Salesloft platform, but their email automation features really shine. The software balances the need to send personalized, one-to-one emails with a streamlined way of sending, tracking, and nurturing leads through the right workflow.
Salesloft is highly rated by Forrester, G2, and TrustRadius, and boasts a 2.5x increase in response rates.
You can choose from two plans:
- Prospect – Includes email cadences and automation, dialer, calendaring, analytics, mobile app access, and 160+ integrations.
- Enterprise – Everything in Prospect plus Conversations, Deals, and Forecast features.
You’ll have to get in touch with Salesloft’s team to get a quote since they don’t list pricing on their website.
Outreach positions itself as a way to unlock sales productivity so that teams can fill their pipeline and close more deals.
Like Salesloft, Outreach is a sales execution platform that covers many different aspects of the process, from sales engagement to coaching and forecasting. Its email outreach capabilities allow you to create, send, and track automated emails to leads with the personalization and analytics you expect.
In order to see pricing, you’ll have to contact Outreach directly, as they don’t list plans and pricing online. According to online sources, you can expect Outreach to be around $130/user per month with additional implementation fees.
Now that we’ve covered two larger platforms, let’s look at a more focused tool: Lavender. This AI sales email coach optimizes your sales emails through a Chrome plug-in. You can open up the assistant and improve your score (out of 100) with easy guidance and AI-powered suggestions using OpenAI's GPT-3.
One of the cooler features is the personalization assistant that pulls up recent posts, bio, personality traits, work history, and more for your intended recipient.
That step shrinks down the time you’d spend researching your prospects into a two-second version that can help you connect better with prospects so your team can improve positive response rates.
Lavender even integrates with both Salesloft and Outreach, so if you need a large-scale solution but want to give your sales team a powerful email intelligence tool, the option is there.
There’s a free forever plan with some of the more basic sales automation capabilities, along with two paid plans.
Both premium plans include AI personalization and recommendations, but the Enterprise plan also includes Outreach and Salesloft integrations:
- Lavender Individual Pro ($29/month)
- Lavender Enterprise ($49/user per month)
Tools for automating outbound calling
Outbound calls remain an important part of sales processes because they can be effective in capturing and qualifying leads. Add in advancements like parallel dialing, script optimizing, and auto-dialing, and you can see how automation speeds up the process and improves results.
If calls are a part of your sales process, explore these automation options.
AI-powered calling software Orum offers a ton of productivity-boosting features for sales teams, such as:
- Detecting an unanswered call and leaving a pre-recorded voicemail
- Removing a bad number from your CRM
- Connecting the right prospects with sales leaders
- Identifying coaching opportunities through call analytics and insights
By automating dialing, handoff, and CRM updates, Orum allows sales teams to focus on conversations and connecting with qualified prospects. The software claims to make calling as efficient as email, with the ability to increase call volume by 500%.
Orum offers a free trial so that you can take their features for a test drive. After that, you can choose from Launch (unlimited dialing and voicemail drop), Ascend (international dialing and Live Listen), and Beyond plans (sales intelligence and enterprise features).
Pricing isn’t available online, so you’ll have to get in touch with Orum to find the right plan and price for you.
While Orum focuses more on automation around calling, tracking, and connecting with leads, Nooks position itself more as a virtual salesfloor where sales reps can work together in real-time. Nooks allows teams to dial up to five people at a time from a virtual bullpen and uses AI to detect whether a human or voicemail answers.
With Nooks, SDRs can learn from one another, listen in live, celebrate wins, and join a room after the call to share feedback and insight. The team culture focus is much more prominent and supported by Nooks’ features.
Similar to Orum, Nooks integrates with popular sales tools, including Outreach, Salesloft, HubSpot, and more. You can start a free trial, but you’ll have to set up a demo to see pricing.
Tools for automating lead routing
Organizations with more than one sales rep need an effective way to assign and hand off leads to the right person. And a spreadsheet that someone manually updates just won’t cut it. Beyond the time-consuming aspect of managing a routing spreadsheet, there’s also a chance of showing favoritism or not matching up a prospect with the best fit-rep you have.
These lead routing tools aim to shrink the time to close a deal by automating the manual parts of routing and scheduling.
7. Chili Piper
The whole purpose of Chili Piper is to get a lead to a meeting sooner. The platform helps sales teams do this by providing real-time lead routing, one-click scheduling links, scheduling from web forms, and more.
Chili Piper automatically notifies reps through email and Slack about new leads and sends reminders to leads about upcoming meetings to reduce no-shows. Everyone stays in the loop, and leads get to the right people faster.
Chili Piper offers four unique products and pricing that you can purchase individually or combine.
- Instant Booker ($15/month per user) – Automates demo and meeting scheduling with one-click booking links for reps, unlimited meeting types, and integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, and more.
- Handoff ($25/month per user) – Includes everything in Instant Booker plus advanced routing, such as round-robin assignments based on your CRM software or custom rules.
- Form Concierge ($30/month per user) – Gives you the ability to show calendar availability on your site, qualify leads in real-time, send meeting reminders over SMS and email, and more. There’s also a tiered platform fee to be aware of when comparing products.
- Distro ($20/month per user) – The automated routing and assignment product with additional time-saving features like sending Slack notifications to reps and triggering routing based on updated fields or new records.
LeanData offers no-code, drag-and-drop lead routing for complex sales processes and large RevOps teams. The software helps your team speed up response time by assigning every lead to the best SDR while updating records, deleting duplicates, and more.
LeanData offers four plans:
- Standard ($39/user per month) – Offers to replace custom code and manual processes by matching leads, routing by territory, account, or round-robin.
- Advanced ($49/user per month) – Offers deeper levels of routing, matching, data management, and integrations.
- Premium ($59/user per month) – Expands upon routing capabilities and automation, plus works with additional add-ons that bring in separate business units and uncover deeper insights.
- Enterprise – A custom plan with pricing available on request.
Tools for automating sales call transcription and analysis
If you’re not using your call data to drive future decisions and coach your teams, you’re missing out on about half of the power of sales calls.
Many customer communications tools now build intelligence and insights into their platforms. But sometimes, you just need a transcription or analysis tool without all the other features. Or, you need a deeper level of insight to drive true performance improvement. That’s where these tools shine.
One of Gong’s strengths is granting sales managers the ability to see what’s working and what could be improved across revenue and sales operations. You can track video and phone calls, SMS, email, and customer engagement to see what’s really impacting your pipeline and where you have risks.
Gong’s AI assesses customer interactions, delivers guidance, and improves forecasting over time. Your team will know where coaching is needed, and you’ll know that initiatives are working or need more attention.
Gong doesn’t provide pricing for its sales engagement platform, so you’ll have to get in touch in order to see what your plan might cost.
Chorus helps revenue and sales leaders celebrate top performers and repeat what’s working across the team. Insights from meetings, calls, and emails are fed into Chorus’ AI, which then proposes areas of improvement, risks, and more.
Like Gong, Chorus promotes coaching so that you can build an A team, improve sales management, and drive greater revenue.
Chorus doesn’t provide pricing and plan information, so you’ll have to reach out directly to compare costs and features. You can request a demo to try out Chorus for yourself.
Tools for automating direct mail and gifting
For brands looking to step out of the digital realm, direct mail and gifting can provide a way to break through the noise and connect with your prospect. Gifting can also deepen relationships with clients.
The tricky part is sending at scale and reaching national or international contacts. That’s where these tools come in.
Sendoso aims to infuse the human element into the sales cycle through automated yet thoughtful gifting. To help close deals or build rapport with clients, you can send personalized gifts that will be packaged and branded for you in a matter of clicks.
Sendoso’s sending platform allows you to mail out gifts quickly (like after a successful demo) and track them so that you know they reached your recipient. Ordering is as simple as browsing Amazon, with the flexibility to add custom messages and create more meaningful bonds.
Four plans are available, though you’ll have to contact Sendoso for pricing. The first two plans support the U.S. only, while the second two can also reach international clients.
- Essential – For small businesses.
- Plus – For multiple teams and campaigns within an organization.
- Pro – For U.S. and international sending.
- Enterprise – For high-volume campaigns with more integrations and support.
Like Sendoso, Reachdesk enables large volumes of direct mail and gifting to prospects and clients. The company’s goal is to help you move beyond the mass, spammy, low-value gifts to make connections and increase response rates.
Reachdesk offers multiple plans but doesn’t share pricing or features publicly. You’ll have to reach out directly to get a quote.
Tools for automating scheduling
Lead generation can be expensive. So, when you’re trying to move a lead further down the funnel, the last thing you want to do is lose them in long email threads. The back-and-forth of trying to find a meeting time can feel endless.
That is unless you have an automated scheduling app with your calendar link so prospects can book directly. Then life gets much easier.
At this point, it would be unusual not to know about Calendly. The popular scheduling app is built on simplicity, helping you cut down on endless email chains just to find a meeting time that works for everyone.
Integrations with the most popular calendar apps (Google Calendar, Outlook, iCloud, and others) keep your availability up-to-date, so prospects avoid booking over unavailable time slots.
Plus, almost 100 other integrations with CRM, analytics, and video conferencing tools aim to remove the friction between leads reaching out and a successful meeting.
Calendly has a free plan with the basics, such as connecting to your calendar apps, unlimited one-off meetings, and one active event type.
However, teams who want to customize email and text reminders, create automated sales workflows, or just sync up on scheduling processes would be better suited with the Professional or Teams plans:
- Basic (Always free)
- Essentials ($8/user per month)
- Professional ($12/user per month)
- Teams ($16/user per month)
- Enterprise (custom pricing)
Tools for creating custom sales workflow automations
Sometimes, you need a more custom approach when automating your entire sales process. In that case, workflow tools, including Zapier and IFTTT, can help you connect different software and build the automation that best supports your goals.
Zapier is one of those tools that does so much you might feel like you’re barely scraping the surface of what’s possible. That’s because it connects to 5,000+ apps through “Zaps,” or automated workflows that execute an action based on a trigger.
While it’s not a sales automation platform specifically (it can be used by sales and marketing teams, customer success, and more), it can automate a variety of tasks sales teams need to do.
Here’s a quick example:
When you get a new lead from an ad platform, you can automatically:
- Create a new contact in your CRM
- Notify the team on Slack
- Add them to an email list in your email marketing platform
- Trigger the right nurture sequence based on their action
Zapier does have a free plan that includes up to 5 single-step Zaps and a no-code editor.
However, you’ll burn through that quickly if you start automating your sales process. The Professional and Team plans open up more possibilities with unlimited Zaps, users, and premium app connections:
- Starter ($19.99/month with one user)
- Professional ($49/month with one user)
- Team ($399/month with unlimited users)
- Company ($799/month with unlimited users and enterprise automation features)
IFTTT, which stands for If This, Then That, is similar to Zapier in that it connects different apps through their own “applets,” or automations. One action triggers another, so you could log phone calls to your Google Calendar to have a record of the day or create a new Salesforce lead from new Calendly events, for example.
The main difference is that IFTTT has more of a consumer and user-friendly slant vs. Zapier, which has more apps to choose from and can better support business operations.
Currently, IFTTT has over 700 services to choose from compared to Zapier’s 5,000+. The price difference is also significant.
IFTTT has a free plan, a Pro plan, and a Pro+ plan. Pro+ offers more unlimited options, while Pro allows for up to 20 applets and faster speeds than the free plan.
Automate your way to more sales wins
There you have it: 15 ways you can streamline your sales operations. Hopefully, you’ve found a tool or two to try out and see how much time your team can save.
Keep in mind that a sales automation system isn’t the only way to improve your team’s efficiency. Check out these guides to learn more: