How to Pick Sales Tools That Actually Work

Includes a real-life example

Sales tech

"2x your pipeline"
"More leads in less time"
"Automate your sales"

We've bought and implemented a lot of sales tools ranging from lightweight plugins to full-blown custom CRMs. Most of them made similarly bold claims about what was possible if we would just sign on the dotted line.

Fewer actually reached their supposed potential.

So what made the difference? And how can you tell before you buy?

We're sharing the full checklist plus one of our recent favorite tools that made the cut for one of our customers.

The No Fluff Checklist for Picking Sales Tools

When diving into the deep end of sales tools, keep this checklist as your life preserver. No fluff, just the stuff that matters:

✅ #1 Problem-Solving Power 

Start with identifying which problem you're solving for so you don't get caught up in the exciting promises. Ensure the tool fixes something that's actually broken or lacking efficiency.

✅ #2 Adoption Ease

You know how hard it is to get reps to change their workflows. If your team needs a PhD to use it, it's a no-go. Look for intuitive design and user-friendly functionality.

✅ #3 Level of Integration

It's gotta blend with your existing tech stack like a good smoothie—no lumps, no bumps. Be sure to read online reviews that mention the integration (integration doesn't mean the same thing to everyone; the website and/or sales rep will almost always say it integrates even if you have to use Zapier).

✅ #4 Support Options & Quality

Good tools come with great support. What does their SOS service look like? This is especially important if you don't have in-house sales ops talent and know you're going to need to lean on their implementation and service teams.

✅ #5 Full Costs

What does it cost "out the door"? Beware of usage-based, license-based, and tiered pricing that sounds initially low-cost and really steps up once you get going. Your budget needs to fit the total potential cost of the solution, not just the starting point.

✅ #6 Long-Term Fit

Can it scale with you, or is it just a stepping stone? Look for tools that won't need to get replaced in under 3 years. Otherwise you'll find yourself constantly evaluating new technologies. If every tool needs to get replaced every year or two, you stop being a revenue leader and become a professional vendor evaluator.

✅ #7 Data Security

This is a non-negotiable. Shoddy data safety practices lead to big problems down the road, and that risk just isn't worthwhile with the abundance of choice in technology today. Find technologies that have strong policies and procedures in place.

✅ #8 Trial / Freemium Options

Demos are fine, but real-world trials tell the truth. This may not be possible for some solutions, especially those with complex integration or setup needs. But whenever possible, take it for a test drive with actual data.

Want to see how this worked for one of our customers?

Let's walk through our experience with the SaaS tool RevenueHero. They were a recent contender to replace another tool our customer was using to book demos with prospects via their website.

There were several problems (✅ #1):

  • Costly (licensing fee + platform fee + increased costs as more demos got booked)
  • Difficult to manage (really clunky back end that made admins miserable)
  • Ownership lookup challenges (routed leads to the wrong people)

The RevenueHero product solved these challenges right out of the gates.

  • The initial cost was the all-in cost with no increased rates as volume of meetings booked went up (✅ #5)
  • The trial (✅ #8) they set our customer up with included full onboarding and support (✅ #2 & 4)
  • It worked seamlessly with the customer's HubSpot instance & correctly assigned every meeting we tested (✅ #3)

What about ✅ #6 & 7? The product and trial experience showed the RevenueHero team's true colors as excellent product and service people, meaning the future only looked brighter with new great features and top shelf support. And SOC II certification gave our customer all the confidence they needed to make the jump.

Compare that with your last software vendor evaluation and you might find some gaps.

Are there tools in your sales stack you're preparing to evaluate or need to replace?
We're happy to lend our experience. Grab a free session with one of our sales ops experts to get pointed in the right direction.

And as always, happy selling!