Sales is tough. Selling is hard.

Luckily, there are some cool new sales automation tools out there making life easier for today’s road warriors, reps, and outcriers.

Below are some new tools from startups that can give you a significant time and training edge over your competition.

Close.io:  Make calls and send emails from the CRM

Close.io allows a salesperson to do one-click calling and emailing from within their app, and then automatically logs those calls and emails into a prospect’s profile, eliminating the tedious and error-prone data entry that takes away time from making calls.

Close.io also allows salespeople to filter their lead lists based on the actions they’ve taken, such as showing all leads where a call has been made and an email has been sent, which is handy for knowing which prospects require what followup.

Finally, it has a very handy ‘Opportunities’ feature that shows all the leads at a glance for each week, along with their expected value and likelihood of closing that you’ve assigned them.

Integrations: Most importantly, for those transitioning from other CRMs, Close.io has a CSV bulk upload tool, and multiple connections from Zapier, including Gmail, Wufoo, and Mailchimp.

close-io

Accuvit.io: Transcripts of sales calls

Training new phone salespeople is difficult. Sales manuals can struggle to give proper context, and it can be daunting for a new recruit to listen to hours of previously recorded sales calls. Accuvit allows a sales group to record and transcribe all of their calls in near real time. These then become searchable as text, and Accuvit also uses data mining technology to find patterns in the best and worst calls.

The sales manager can then distribute transcripts of the best and worst calls, calling attention to what approaches worked and what didn’t, how to handle specific objections, or what the best way is to discuss a particular feature. Since we can read much faster than we can listen, this allows a new salesperson to easily absorb the collective wisdom of many previous calls, and try out bits and pieces of dialogue to see what works best with his own personality.

Integrations: Accuvit only has one integration, but that one integration is Salesforce, so it should be fairly easy to get started.

accuvit

Sendbloom.co: Mass customization of outbound sales emails

In the past, salespeople had two approaches for sending cold emails to new prospects: a mass email or a custom email. The problem with the mass email is that it produces low engagement, as it doesn’t speak to the unique qualities of the customer. The custom email takes minutes to produce, and is impractical at scale.

Sendbloom offers a great solution to this problem. The company’s service takes your lead list and enriches it with data from public and private sources, and then makes these fields available to your email templates. You can now segment your email templates according to factors like location, industry, job role, etc. to create a much more targeted and effective message.

Integrations: Sendbloom offers connections to Salesforce and Gmail, and has an in-browser editor to edit any CSV you upload.

sendbloom

Assistant.to: Speeding up appointment setting

How much time do you waste going back and forth trying to set up meeting times? Assistant.to neatly solves this problem by allowing you to populate the bottom of your email post with free meeting slots you’ve selected from Google Calendar. When a prospect clicks on a time, a meeting is automatically scheduled and you both receive confirmations.

Integration: One-click integration with Gmail and Google Calendar.

assistant-to

Zeemaps.com: Custom maps of prospects, customers, and competitors

Can a custom map make you more effective as a salesperson? Absolutely. If your company sells off a franchise model, you have Google maps open all day to make sure that any prospects are a minimum distance away from existing customers. Or you need to look on a map to find nearby reference customers for a prospect to contact. Or you might want to locate prospects that are near certain competitors.

Zeemaps is a dead simple, free-to-start service that allows you to upload a spreadsheet of locations and instantly create a custom map that you can share with your sales group. It allows you to add colored markers, so you can indicate whether a location is a prospect, customer, or competitor, and to add custom fields, such as phone number and website, as well as the ability to shade regions to mark off territories.

It also supports a zooming feature where if you click on a location, the number of locations that’s shown as a single number expands into a list of the actual map points.No more flipping back and forth between several different maps, and doing lots of Google map searches while talking to prospects.

Integrations: Data from Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, CSV, KML, GeoRSS feed, or copy-and-paste.

zeemaps

So, there you have it, a list of five cool tools your competition probably hasn’t heard of yet. Go forth and conquer!


Russell-MillerRussell Miller advises startups on business development and product marketing, and lives in San Francisco.