Technology has been a game-changer for B2B sales and marketing teams. Not only has it transformed the way buyers go about finding and choosing a potential supplier, but it has helped streamline the entire sales process and how teams get the job done.
New software and digital innovations are being launched all the time, which can assist with everything from time management, to teamwork, lead generation, prospecting, measurement, analytics and reporting.
The tools won’t all be a good fit for every business, but hit on one that works for you and it could help make your life a little easier – and even enable you to do things you never thought possible.
Loads has been written on this subject, including these topics we’ve previously looked at:
- Top 5 tools every sales and marketing team needs to know about
- The ‘must-have’ lead generation tools for small teams
- The digital tools every B2B needs in their life
- 8 time-saving resources for content marketing
- Top social media monitoring tools and when you may need them
- Internal comms tools that could help you wave goodbye to email for good
So, we thought we’d do something a little different. Here, we’ve pulled together an eclectic mix of some of the hottest, most surprising - and in some cases, little known - sales and marketing tools and software that you need in your life.
9 cool tools for marketing teams (that you’ve probably never heard of)
What is it?: A tool for producing free Twitter analytics reports that can help you see the reach, impressions and engagement you’re achieving. If you want a ‘snapshot’ of the activity surrounding your company name, twitter handle, a hashtag, or any other name or phrase, then you can get one on this site.
Why might you use it?: Measuring the reach and effectiveness of Twitter is not that straightforward and the analytics Twitter itself provides are limited. This tool is therefore perfect for marketing teams who need to show the reach and impact of campaigns, or who want to see who their top Twitter ambassadors are.
What else do you need to know?: The free report you can get is limited to 50 tweets, however you can pay for a full one. You can search as many terms as you like and then choose whether to download the results as a pdf or in another format, depending on what you might need it for.
Cost?: Free snapshots / Paid for one-off reports / Pro membership options from $99 per month (which covers Instagram & Facebook too)
How to get it: https://tweetreach.com/
What is it?: Not only is it one of the most uniquely designed websites you’ll ever have seen (and you have to see it to understand what we mean by that!), it’s also super helpful for anyone writing content for the web. AnswerThePublic shows you what people are actually searching for online, so you can hit exactly what they want.
Why might you use it?: The insights provided by the site can be really useful, particularly when it comes to brainstorming content topics, keywords and phrases to use. For example, if you sell software for HR teams and want to produce a piece of content on the topic of recruitment, you can search for that word to ensure you put something out your target audience will genuinely want. This will help it to firstly get found on search engines and secondly get read.
What else do you need to know?: Even more super helpful, you can change the settings so it will show you results for a specific country of your choosing.
How to get it: https://answerthepublic.com/
SurveyMonkey (ok, so you may have heard of this one)
What is it?: Online survey development software. This easy to use site is jam-packed with prewritten templates, question options and design features, which can be used to create bespoke surveys.
Why might you use it?: If you want to write, design and manage your own survey and share a link to it across your networks, then this is the tool for you. You’ll be able to get a report showing the results, with loads of extra features if you upgrade to the Pro version.
What else do you need to know?: In most cases this tool will be perfect, but there will be times when it is worth investing in the support of a respected survey company, such as Mori Ipsos, who can target the exact demographic and volume of responses you need, plus help you word your questions more effectively. This will come at a cost though.
Cost?: Free basic version/ Paid for ‘Pro’ version
How to get it: www.surveymonkey.co.uk
What is it?: Free desktop recorder software that can be used to record all the screen and audio activity on your computer. The end result will be industry-standard AVI video files. You can record all or part of the screen and have options to add captions afterwards and to do other cool things to your recording.
Why might you use it?: The options are endless. If there is some kind of platform or interface associated with the product you’re selling, then one way you might use it is to show a prospect how that interface looks and works. You could record someone using the platform and use this footage as a form of explainer video.
What else do you need to know?: As with any software you download, pay attention to what you’re agreeing to, so you avoid adding anything unwanted.
How to get it: Check if the software is already on your computer and if it’s not visit http://camstudio.org/ for more info.
What is it: An easy way to turn your photos and video clips into shareworthy marketing videos and slideshow videos, designed to stand out on social media.
Why might you use it?: Getting seen and cutting through the noise on social media can be difficult. Video and graphics are increasingly being used, and this tool can help you create the content you need.
What else do you need to know?: The business package includes a library of over 2000 commercially licensed songs, a square marketing video option (which is proven to generate more interactions on social media), voice over and caption options, pre-built storyboards and layouts to choose from.
Cost?: Around $52 / £40 per month
How to get it: https://animoto.com/business
What is it?: A great tool for creating posters, infographics and for bringing other visual ideas to life, with thousands of reporting, timeline and process templates to choose from.
Why might you use it?: If you don’t have the budget for a professional designer and want to embrace your creative side, then this tool makes it super easy to create an infographic and other visually-led content.
What else do you need to know?: An infographic is 100 times more likely to be read, so they can form an important part of the marketing mix.
Cost?: Free to register
How to get it: https://www.easel.ly/
What is it: An excellent tool for online collaboration and discussion, no matter where in the world team members are. The website loads as a blank canvas, onto which you simply click to add text, photos, videos, documents, articles, links, and more. For businesses there are additional features, including user management and access controls, increased security and privacy, bigger file uploads, etc.
Why might you use it?: The most obvious reason for marketing teams would be to pool resources and brainstorm campaign and content ideas.
What else do you need to know?: They offer a free 30-day trial and the business version will soon include a whole host of new features, including analytics and app integration, content filtering and reports.
Cost?: $12 per user per month / or $99 per user / year
How to get it: https://padlet.com/
What is it?: A tool that can help improve your social media presence and position you as an expert, by helping you find and share only the most relevant and helpful content – and fast. It can help you discover content instantly on the keywords of your choice. Curate and add your own perspective, share to your social channels and embed it in your website.
Why might you use it?: The best content marketers will source up to 25 percent of their content via trusted, industry resources. This is a quick and easy way to find that content.
What else do you need to know?: They offer a free trial and the software happily integrates with most other services including MailChimp, Buffer, HubSpot and Hootsuite.
Cost?: From $11 to $67 per month for commercial use
How to get it: http://www.scoop.it/
Lead Forensics (we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to give our great tool a mention)
What is it: Lead generation software that tracks the IP addresses of website visitors and identifies them, meaning B2B sales and marketing teams can capitalize on every potential lead visiting their website - whether the company makes contact or not.
Why might you use it?: Loads of reasons. From identifying anonymous web traffic, to knowing in real time when a company is on the website (and hitting the phone instantly if you wish), to the pages they looked at and for how long and using such insights to develop an even stronger, more effective web experience.
What else do you need to know?: You have the option of a free trial, to see for yourself what type of data the software can provide (some clients have even landed new business as a result of the trial!)
Cost?: Based on the average level of web traffic
How to get it: https://www.leadforensics.com/