Best Sales and Marketing Software for small business, digital marketing software, sales platform software. This site will help you find the best software to grow your business.
But what is sales and marketing software?
Sales and marketing software is any platform that helps organizations track all the details of their customer relationships through the entire sales funnel while offering tools to help sellers and marketers build better relationships with their buyers. They’re often used by growth teams to more effectively capture leads, nurture and engage them towards a sale, and provide ongoing value to existing customers.
And what does a growth team do?
A growth team is a group of sellers and marketers working together to accomplish a single goal: revenue growth. By eliminating silos between these teams, marketers gain a better understanding of which efforts produce viable leads and sellers gain insight into what their potential buyers are interested in. This closer relationship between sellers and marketers leads to higher quality leads, higher conversion rates, and more sales over time.
4 Ways That Sales and Marketing Software Provides a Positive ROI for Growth Teams
Paying for one solution is usually cheaper than buying multiple products that do the same tasks less efficiently. To get all the features a sales and marketing software platform offers, you’d need to invest in separate tools for email marketing, sales automation, customer relationship management, and analytics, to name a few. It all adds up, especially if you have a large team and are paying for each user every month.
Freeing Up Time
Streamlining your tools into one growth team platform helps ensure that time isn’t lost working out incompatible integrations or doing busy work like updating client files and transferring data between platforms. In other words, using an all-in-one sales and marketing tool allows users to spend more time on their highest ROI activities.
Improving Lead Quality
One of the best ways to improve the quality of your B2B leads is to align sales and marketing teams on what a qualified lead is, how quality should be measured, and what both departments should do to continue nurturing the relationship.
Sales and marketing software can help growth teams develop a mutually beneficial feedback loop that promotes high-quality lead generation, and improves growth team alignment by keeping everyone in sync, up to date, and focused on clear, measurable goals.
Using sales and marketing software to align your team builds trust among your clients by providing consistent messaging throughout the buyer’s journey. For more on creating consistency at every sales touchpoint,
The Best Sales and Marketing Software Platforms
Each of these sales and marketing software platforms offers a set of features that fulfill the essential operational needs of sellers and marketers. We’ll go over what every tool does, which features growth teams should pay special attention to and the pricing options each brand offers.
We’ll also offer tips for how growth teams can use these standout platforms to improve their productivity, streamline collaboration, and maximize their investment.
Nutshell is a top-rated CRM that makes powerful sales and marketing automation tools accessible for small- and medium-sized businesses. At just $39/month per user, their full-featured Nutshell Pro package includes a fully customizable pipeline automation builder, one of the best reporting suites on the market, automated personal email sequences, and unlimited in-app phone dialing, as well as unlimited CRM contacts, unlimited data storage, and free live support.
The flexibility of Nutshell’s platform makes it a very valuable CRM for marketers. In 2021, Nutshell released their Nutshell Marketing email marketing automation suite, which allows sales and marketing teams to design and send beautiful marketing emails, automatically trigger drip sequences based on subscriber actions, instantly see who’s engaging with their messages, and manage all of their customer nurturing out of a single tool.https://www.youtube.com/embed/jbVPQ41tk4U?enablejsapi=1&origin=https:%2F%2Fwww.nutshell.com
ActiveCampaign is an automation tool designed for integrated email marketing and customer relationship management. It’s mostly geared towards small businesses looking to meaningfully engage with customers at scale. ActiveCampaign recently won G2Crowd’s prestigious Best Software Companies of 2020 award, ranking #12 in the world.
In terms of growth features, this sales and marketing software platform offers omnichannel management for everything from email to text messaging to social media as well as machine learning tools. Packages range from $9 to $229 a month depending on your contact list size and which upgrades (such as lead win probabilities and free design services) your team may be interested in.
Account-Based Marketing Software
Account-based marketing (ABM) software realigns marketing and sales departments away from general branding and lead generation strategies by identifying quality target accounts before implementing a tailored marketing strategy. ABM software offers tools to automate and reduce the lengthy process of identifying prospects and dedicating the right resources to nurture the most promising accounts. ABM software enables users to generate highly qualified leads, craft personalized buying journeys, increase customer lifetime value, and build further opportunities for in-pipeline accounts. ABM allows users to combine prospect data with real-time customer experience technologies to facilitate an account-based marketing strategy. This enables organizations to align marketing and sales teams toward the company’s goals. ABM software can be used to acquire new accounts, nurture existing and promising accounts, and expand and grow enterprise accounts. Some ABM products can integrate with third-party sales and marketing applications, such as marketing automation platforms and customer relationship management, or CRM software, to better target and prioritize communications with key accounts.
What It Does
A quality account-based marketing strategy requires intelligence gathering, continuous sales-marketing communication, and general organization-wide awareness of target accounts and ongoing sales cycles. Salespeople making contacts and marketers receiving leads need to know quickly whether this account is already in talks for a deal as well as the results of any investigation by sales or marketing into whether the account is a good fit for their products. Account management systems serve to document and communicate this information between departments. These systems (1) automate the transfer of important account information between contacts and their linked accounts, (2) communicate account-level details between sales and marketing, and (3) manage marketing funnels or sales pipelines at the account level.
How It Does It
Account management systems tend to integrate with sales or marketing automation systems and maintain account information in those databases, but some can also serve as a standalone system of record. In a simple sense, the “how” of account management is just adding the account record as an object to be documented (a record that exists already in many CRM systems). The value of account management derives from greater administrative control over where account information comes from, how it updates other parts of the system and management of duplicates or missing account information.
For example, a lead from an existing account may enter a system with its firmographic information (like if the lead selected their company size on a form). If this contradicts the existing account information, how does the system handle the incongruity? Which is considered the master record? And, what notifications or workflows does this change of information initiate?
Account management systems also provide tools to make sales or marketing automation systems more account-centric, such as:
- Target list creation, with automated tools to wean out poor-fit accounts.
- Marketing funnels and sales pipelines that document how overall accounts are moving through the buying cycle in addition to lead-based movement.
- Account engagement analytics, documenting and measuring clicks, conversions, and calls across all contacts at an account.
How to Choose
Account management systems should be evaluated based on their alignment with marketing’s ABM strategy. Sketch out how account data is being acquired, what records it needs to update, what data needs to be recorded, who needs to see it, and which other systems it needs to flow to. An account management product must support your organization’s workflow and strategy.
What It Does
Account-based marketing substitutes a traditional wide-top funnel with a narrower and more focused marketing funnel. Accounts need to be qualified before they become leads, and this requires data. Account intelligence products (1) connect existing leads in a marketing database to their account and provide qualifying data about that company and (2) connect marketers to prospective accounts based on their ideal account persona. They may also (3) implement a lead scoring engine to better qualify leads and optimize a marketer’s target account list.
How It Does It
Sales Intelligence platforms traditionally focus on data like contact information and company personnel hierarchy. Account intelligence expands this focus to:
- Firmographic data, such as industry, location, IT infrastructure, or investment history.
- IP address data, pegging IP addresses to known companies and company departments.
- Buying signals, also known as intent data or predictive marketing, detailed further below.
Intelligence platforms are often plagued with stale, missing, or irrelevant data. As a cure, account intelligence platforms have begun relying more on feeds of automatically updated account data. The variety of data provided differs greatly between platforms but can include media mentions, social media sentiment, website domain analysis, and employee web and search engine activity. Account intelligence platforms can deliver this data wholesale or utilize it to interpret buying signals, such as notifying marketers when a target account receives a sizable investment or an account’s employees are researching products similar to their own.
Because of this shift toward big marketing data, marketers are now burdened with industry noise instead of interpretable buying signals. To make platforms more useful, some vendors have developed lead scoring or lead qualifying systems to guide marketers to their ideal accounts. A lead scoring or account scoring engine may evaluate accounts using:
- Persona, a marketer’s pre-defined set of firmographic and buying signal criteria.
- Proprietary algorithm with relevant criteria/behavior determined by the ABM provider.
- Artificial Intelligenceor machine learning, delivering account prospects similar to those that already have high close rates or have shown high levels of engagement.
Ideally, lead scoring both qualify existing leads (to determine their match to a product portfolio and an ideal client persona) as well as delivers new qualified accounts that are exhibiting buying behavior.
How to Choose
Account intelligence platforms should be evaluated on these criteria:
- Accuracy of data
- Robustness of data
- Availability of data for target accounts
- Varied sources and types of data
- Relevant data to industry or selling strategy
- Effectiveness of lead qualification
What It Does
When negotiating complex or expensive sales, a buyer receives input and approval from several stakeholders in their organization—many of which a sales team may never come in contact with. Account-based ad targeting is designed to sell to everyone involved in the buying process, even those that sales never speak with. By placing highly targeted and highly personalized advertising stock, marketers can influence buying decisions and build brand awareness in a company at low cost (very few impressions), even before sales reach out. Account-based ad targeting (1) segments audiences by account and (2) serve ads on an account-by-account basis.
How It Does It
Account-based advertising segments audiences by serving ads to:
- Specific IP addresses used by target accounts.
- Cookied website visitors from target accounts.
The system typically provides a database of known IP addresses, while additional addresses can also be obtained from certain website visitors or an email exchange. Website visitors receive cookies when landing on your page, which can catch account stakeholders working from other locations. These systems then integrate with ad exchanges or provide demand-side platforms (DSPs) with the ability to place ads in front of the leads that marketers have already qualified. Any channel including mobile and SMS marketing, social, search, display, and video advertising that account contacts encounter during their workday can carry brand messaging.
How to Choose
Account-based advertising platforms should be evaluated on these criteria:
- IP address availability
- Ease of ad campaign orchestration
- Building multi-channel campaigns
- Syncing IP- and cookie-targeted campaigns
- Advertising effectiveness
- Reaching target audiences
What It Does
An effective account-based marketing strategy often entails crafting tailor-made buying journeys for each account or each account persona. Each account contact that encounters the brand needs to be served content in line with the buying proposition that sales and marketing have developed. This can be done with personalized proposals and ongoing sales conversations, but (as discussed regarding advertising) decision-makers that sales never speak with are also researching your product independently. Account-based personalization delivers web experiences to visitors specifically designed for them based on their associated accounts.
How It Does It
Web personalization software evolved out of A/B testing platforms used to optimize websites. A/B testing platforms deliver different web experiences to randomly selected visitors. Combining A/B testing’s traffic bifurcation capabilities with real-time audience segmentation allows web or mobile experiences personalized to individual visitor needs. For account-based personalization, the real-time data is the same account IP address and retargeting cookies discussed in the advertising section. When a predetermined IP address or a cookie browser accesses a site, account-based personalization software deploys a custom page designed particularly for that sale.
How to Choose
Account-based personalization platforms should be evaluated on these criteria:
- IP address availability
- Ease of personalization
- Page design ease and flexibility
- Management of personalization campaigns
- Smoothness and quality of web experience
- Engagement Analytics
There are so many software programs on the market today designed to help your Sales Department, your Marketing Department, your Human Resources Department, etc. But most small businesses don’t have the money to invest in a lot of software programs.