Your sales cycle starts with identifying and finding your potential customer. While this might seem like a very obvious thing, this process of identifying and finding your potential customer is known as sales prospecting. It’s a multi billion dollar industry and you’ll see companies of all sizes hiring and developing their sales teams to prospect, outreach and finally sell to potential customers.
Over time, there have been dozens of tools that have been built to assist salespeople in the prospecting process and with the rise of digital sales in[ the last decade, sales prospecting tools have become extensively good.
In this article, I’m covering my top 20 sales prospecting tools that I recommend with full confidence to sales and B2B marketing teams. I’ve personally used all of these tools at some point or the other to prospect and build sales for my Saas company and thus I’ll be very candid and honest about what I like and dislike about each product.
This is unlike those round up articles on a Prospecting tool’s website where they rank themselves as the number one sales prospecting tool. This is a pure unbiased list based on my experiences of dabbling with all of these to get the most out of my time and money with these tools.
Here are my top 20 sales prospecting tools for 2021.
Data Chroma is the newest entrant to my list of B2B Sales Prospecting tools. I first used this tool in January earlier this year and since then I’ve been blown away by everything that this tool can do when it comes to sales prospecting.
Data Chroma works on top of LinkedIn and requires you to prospect on LinkedIn/Sales Navigator. Post creating an audience on LinkedIn, you’ll then export with Data Chroma to get complete information including contact details (work emails and phone numbers).
This looks simple, but is so effective because prospecting on LinkedIn ensures that I’m pulling the most accurate data (in terms of the current company of the prospect) and exporting with Data Chroma provides me with the accurate contact details.
I’ve been using this for four months now, and I’m so happy with such an implementation in a Sales Prospecting tool that I’m putting this at number one on my list. I really want that this tool becomes visible to more people and they get to use it to improve their prospecting accuracy.
Price: starts at $49/month (surprisingly low for this accurate data)
Accurate and complete data
Completes what’s missing with Sales Navigator by appending contact information
Data Enrichment modules are actually useful
Early in terms of UX (Not a deal-breaker though)
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has grown to be the only sales prospecting tool that has the most accurate contact and company data. It’s a fact that every Database tool out there leverages Sales Navigator on the back.
Given, this is the most accurate and the only database that is updated with the most current information whenever you use it, makes it my number one choice when it comes to prospecting and creating a fresh list.
Sales Navigator lacks in its ability to give contact information (work email and phone number), but there are a handful of tools that you can use in conjunction with sales navigator to append contact information (like Data Chroma, Snov.io, etc.)
Price: starts at $99/user/month
Most updated Database anywhere
Very useful features like Lists and Saved Searches
Doesn’t provide contact information (work email and phone numbers)
ZoomInfo has always been on this list of sales prospecting tools for a good reason. Of all the b2b database tools out there, zoominfo has better data than any other tool in terms of number of records and also in terms of validity of email addresses and phone numbers.
It’s no secret that zoominfo is a staple for sales teams in major tech companies and startups in the US. Prospecting in zoominfo equals making a search, putting filters and getting access to direct dials and email addresses in a single click – yes, it’s that easy. But this comes at a cost, Zoominfo subscription tends to be on the expensive side and requires you to sign up for the annual plan.
Price: starts at $20,000+ per year
Vast and updated database
Easy to use – access to direct dials is a click away.
Expensive. Inaccessible for smaller teams.
Clearbit Prospect is another household name in major tech and fortune 500 companies when it comes to sales prospecting.
I personally really like Clearbit’s implementation and have been a huge fan of their API (we would rely on Clearbit’s API for all our data enrichment needs in my previous company).
Overall I really like the product and would recommend it to anyone who can shell out the money for that (since they also tend to be on a higher side when it comes to pricing)
Price ~ $10,000+ per year
Rich Database – updated frequently
Beautiful implementation of the API
Expensive. Inaccessible for smaller teams.
Apollo is that database tool that has come in the market and has quickly gained so much market share. Their data is good and they have priced it so well that it becomes accessible for teams of all sizes.
Almost 80% of the time, I’ve found their database to be in sync with the current data on LinkedIn and for which I’m very happy.
Plus just like zoominfo, accessing work emails is a click away. With Apollo, you pay a premium when you want to access phone numbers because all their plans come with access to very few direct dials (50-100).
Recommended for smaller teams.
Price: starts at $49/user/month
Affordable and accessible for smaller teams
Direct dials are not available in the regular pricing
Uplead is in the same category as ZoomInfo or Apollo, and the major difference between Uplead and Apollo happens to be the fact that Uplead is more restrictive when it comes to the number of credits/records that you can access. They are on the higher side in pricing and offer very less credits even in their lowest plan.
Uplead also lets you verify emails in bulk, but that is a pay as you go service and requires you to pay extra on top of their expensive subscription
I would recommend Uplead to companies who can invest in multiple database tools and want access to data that’s not present in one particular tool.
Price: starts at $99/month
Direct dials available
User friendly interface.
Expensive. Low ROI
Seamless.ai operates in the same category as zoominfo or clearbit. Seamless is a B2B database aggregator and gives you access to all records in their database. Just like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or ZoomInfo, you create a search to find your prospects. If the data is there in their system, you’ll be able to fetch it and reveal contact information in one click.
During the time when I used it, I could find the quality of the database to be okayish and didn’t really find it worthy enough to be committing an annual contract for.
Price: starts at $147/month
Direct dials available
Easy API Integrations
Expensive. Requires annual contracts of 10+ licenses for unlimited access.
LeadIQ helps you to find and save leads from anywhere on the Internet. I specifically love their implementation of finding and saving leads from LinkedIn or any other site – it’s so good. To be honest, LeadIQ is one good sales prospecting tool out there and I can easily see myself recommending this to smaller or larger teams if they are serious to grow using the outbound process.
The integrations with other apps are amazing and I’ve seen so many appointment setting companies work using LeadIQ – shows the data quality is pretty reliable.
Price: starts at $225/month – minimum 3 seats
SeekOwl is an Email Finder and Email Verifier tool. I came across this tool when one of my subscribers talked about how there is one professional email finder and verifier that is completely free. Honestly, I didn’t believe this at first, but on signing up and after using it, I’ve come to love this and have included this in my B2B prospecting tools stack.
They recently launched beta versions of email finder where their bulk uploads are limited to 100 rows per upload.
Given that the results are comparable to the likes of Hunter, Apollo, and LeadIQ – I highly recommend signing up early for this before they introduce paid plans.
Price: Free, Paid plans to be introduced later this year.
Hunter has been around for more than 8 years now and is a reliable email finder tool in the B2B prospecting tool stack.
Hunter goes beyond generic pattern generation and now shows the verified source of the work email address on the web.
Overall, Hunter is a pretty solid option for a sales prospecting tool, and only lacks in its ability to give phone numbers of the prospects.
On the pricing side, it’s the most expensive email finder solution in the market, that is one thing to note.
Price: starts at $49/month
Findthatlead is another Sales prospecting tool that helps you find and verify work emails addresses.
Findthatlead also has a B2B Prospector built in, but to be honest, it’s nowhere near the prospecting experience that you get with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Findthatlead has also introduced Drip Email Campaigns and for the most part it works fine but doesn’t let you configure complex campaigns like in the case with Mailshake.
Price: starts at $49/month
Crunchbase is the number one sales prospecting tool for funded companies. Crunchbase is the number one source to track companies which are recently funded and also for investment or VC funds that are actively investing.
With the Crunchbase pro subscription, you get access to complete company data which you can export and then take it to LinkedIn and find exact decision makers in these companies and find their contact details.
Crunchbase acts as the lead bucket and is a top notch sales prospecting tool. Their subscription is worth paying for.
Price: starts at $29/month
Just like Crunchbase, Builtwith is another sales prospecting tool which acts as the initial lead bucket where you get structured data and then use that company data to find actual prospects on LinkedIn.
Builtwith lets you find a list of companies using a certain tool, technology and provides you with the complete company data in the export file.
This is especially helpful if you are selling to companies using a particular service or technology. In the technology lookup category, their database is unparalleled.
Price: starts at $295/month
Leadfeeder is a sales prospecting tool that helps you identify and reveal the companies visiting your website even if they don’t fill up your contact forms.
It gives you complete company information including company website and company social account, and now also provides contact information including work email address.
I personally use Leadfeeder to identify the companies visiting our website and then manually prospect on LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find my prospects to reach out to in these companies.
Price: $63/month, Also has a free plan
Prospect.io is an all in one sales prospecting and sales engagement platform. You can find emails and then outreach to your audience all from within a single platform.
The email finder is comparable to Hunter or Findthatlead and the overall UI is easy to use. The pricing is on the higher side, but the overall experience to keep everything in one place is good.
Price: starts at $49/month
Reply has traditionally been a sales engagement platform at heart, but over time has grown into a complete sales prospecting tool suite. They have an email finder, email verifier and a sales engagement platform – all in one.
The data quality is good and the overall experience of prospecting and outreaching right from within a single platform is pretty good.
Price: variable pricing, starts at $70/month
Capterra is one big repository of software products arranged in different categories. Capterra helps you prospect and find company account details of a certain kind of software companies and serve as the initial lead bucket in your sales prospecting and list building process.
You can use a tool like DataMiner or Data Chroma to scrape results from capterra and prospect on LinkedIn to find exact prospects in those companies
Product Hunt is the number one place to find and keep track of all the new softwares and digital products that are being launched and loved by the internet community.
Product Hunt acts as a sales prospecting tool in the sense that you can prospect and find complete information on all companies and startups active in a particular niche. You find an audience here, then go to LinkedIn to prospect, then use a third party tool to find contact details and then outreach.
AngelList is the most preferred place for startups to post job listings and hire. You can use AngelList as a sales prospecting tool to find companies/startups who are actively hiring, thereby signaling that they have enough cash to spend and are probably a good fit to sell you services or products to them.
The process is the same here – use AngelList to find a list of companies you want to go after, then go to LinkedIn to prospect and find relevant decision makers and then use a tool like Data Chroma to export and find contact details.
Clutch.co is the biggest listing platform for agencies and service based companies. Clutch acts as a sales prospecting tool because of the large pool of data it houses. You can prospect to find out certain kinds of companies in certain parts of the world and so many more filters to filter down to the set of companies that you need to go after.
Once you have your list of target companies created on clutch, you can use a tool like Data Chroma or DataMiner to extract the listing information. Post this, you go to LinkedIn to find the exact prospects and find their work email addresses using either Data Chroma or Hunter and then reach out to them.
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