Nov 29, 2020 Digital BIAS

b2b Sales tools, 8 powerful software choices for 2021

Choosing the right sales tools for 2021 will be hugely challenging for sales reps and larger sales teams, which is why I am fully behind the drive to standardise sales processes for b2b sales teams. In fact, I’ve written a lengthy article on this covering all aspects of the sales process, including various sales techniques and how to prospect effectively.

Content Index

Managing customer relationships

Website and website conversion tools

Lead nurturing tools

Sales enablement tools

Sales proposal tools

However, I also firmly believe in toolkits that enable your team to succeed and reduce friction in their day-to-day activities. With this in mind, I will talk through the stack we use here at BIAS and why it can work for you. To give context, I’ve broken it down into five categories or stages to follow, emphasising the need for closer alignment between marketing and sales.

Preparation for managing customer relationships

Before you, as a sales rep or as a sales leader, set up the team, planning the sales tools to play with is as important as your key hires. Get the technology wrong, and your teams will make you pay through the lack of adoption of your kit. Get it right, and they’ll sing your praises.

With this in mind, my first recommendation is Gmail for business.


I recommend Gmail primarily because it's designed to work with a huge number of software platforms, and therefore, signing in with your Google email account is easy and smooth. In addition, its great features and suite of tools, such as sheets, docs and drive, enable your team to work collaboratively, sharing key assets.

Gmail also allows you to save and download your documents in formats that Microsoft offers, so it's multifunctional and multi-capable. I also like that the mobile apps come with a work security feature enabling you to keep your work communications secure, and you can wipe the handset remotely if you lose it. Perfect for security-conscious organisations.

Hubspot CRM

My second recommendation is HubSpot's free CRM. My first reason is that it starts free with up to 1,000,000 contacts. My second is that you can sign in with your Gmail account. But beyond that, this FREE CRM will remain free with up to 1,000,000 client contact details. This totally removes any notion of not having a CRM for your startup through scaleup. If you don’t believe me, check out its reviews on G2 and make your own decision!

But look under the hood. Why am I choosing this over any of the others I have listed in the other content on sales tools I have produced?

The truth is bias. I am wholly biased towards HubSpot’s suite of tools, and it forms part of our company ethos to work with companies that also want to secure the powerful features of this leading CRM.

So, let's look at the sales functionality that comes with the free HubSpot CRM:

  • Customer records and custom fields
  • Company insights through the company menu
  • Deal tracking, so you can see how well your reps are performing and forecast effectively
  • A meeting booking link and integration into your Gmail calendar
  • Email tracking and open notifications, giving your team insight into prospect activity and enabling them to strike as the email is opened
  • Live chat is an excellent tool for those who want all their prospect and customer activity tracked to one record of truth.
  • Sales email templates, which you can use in your Gmail to reduce the manual production of emails. Save the emails you most use as templates and insert them in one click before finally customising and sending them on.

This is just for sales; we aren’t even talking about its impact on marketing and customer success teams, so YES, this is my number one CRM recommendation. Couple this with HubSpot's marketing and sales hubs, you are ready to rock and roll.

Website and website conversion tools

I’m guessing you think the website isn’t for sales; it’s for marketing purposes. While I agree, today’s sales rep must be marketing savvy and work closely with their lead gen team to ensure their produce supports your goals. You can’t see the relationship as a “them and us” situation.

The rejections you face, the myths you hear, and the successes shared with you all help make the website a vital hub and connection between the two teams. Read on and discover what I consider to be the optimal synergy for success.

Hubspot CMS

I’m sticking with the HubSpot theme here. We also work with WordPress, but the HubSpot CMS is more powerful than its free counterpart and doesn’t have plugins, so there is no chance of plugin-related issues.

However, plugins aside, what you get when working with the HubSpot CMS and a connected HubSpot CRM is the opportunity to build more data about your prospects. What pages they are visiting, what content they’ve downloaded, and how long they’ve spent on each page. Not that you can’t get this from the HubSpot script integration in WordPress, but you can get so much more from HubSpot's CMS personalisation. If your sales organisation is embarking on an ABM-led customer acquisition strategy, this tool is for you.

Ensuring that your target sales accounts receive personalised messages for customised landing pages to support the sales initiatives draws marketing and sales to one ambition. Working with your marketing team makes acquiring hot leads and high-value accounts easier.

Did you also know that you can easily install your HubSpot CRM forms into HubSpot's CMS web pages?


I like Leadfeeder. Have you had any experience with Lead Forensics? It’s a piece of software that tracks what companies have been on your website and lets you know what they do. It’s different from HubSpot's data, which can sometimes give you the internet service provider, not the company.

But if you have had Lead Forensics, Leadfeeder provides the same service but is a fraction of the monthly cost, 75% more cost-effective than its competitor.

Leadfeeder also has a native HubSpot CMS integration so that you can tag companies that visit the website back to open deals, create new deals and help with your prospecting activities. With this clarity, any sales rep can optimise their sales focus to companies showing interest based on their real-time behaviour. Think tracking pricing, product and service pages.

Just set up your notifications, and on a daily or weekly basis, you can see companies by size, location, industry and more that tie into an ABM strategy and a standard sales strategy.


I love Drift as much as I love HubSpot. This platform is a dream for people like myself who love marketing and sales, as it perfectly sits at the crossroads between the two departments.

Drift is a live chat/chatbot solution for company websites and landing pages. But my number one reason for liking it is because it enables sales reps to have direct access to prospects on the website.

For me, there is an element of making it easy for your website visitors to connect directly to sales, especially if they are in a buying mindset. Sometimes, as marketers, we focus too much on qualification and not enough on sales and vice versa, from sales to marketing. But there is so much content discussing forms as website bottlenecks, forcing visitors to retreat without sharing, and Drift stops this.

By setting up qualification chat conversations on product, service and pricing pages and having these conversations route directly to sales teams or individual sales reps, you give more scope to have hot leads than by reacting to forms completed on landing pages, which push a potential buyer onto another website.

So, sales reps and sales leaders, on this one, I implore you to do some more digging (or talk to us) about how Drift can bring sales into the website experience and start your conversational customer acquisition journey.

Lead nurturing tools

The lead nurturing process in any b2b sales process is hugely important as marketing effectively sets lead scoring to deliver a marketing-qualified lead to sales.


Sorry to shout. It frustrates me when sales reps don’t see marketing as an integral factor in the sales qualification process. You must be part of that discussion if you are looking for X number of touchpoints before an opportunity becomes sales-ready under the inbound marketing strategy.

Enter HubSpot’s marketing professional or enterprise platform, and yes, it kicks butt at the enterprise level now too!

Hubspot Marketing Pro

Keeping in line with managing budgets and keeping friction between platforms to a minimum, we love the marketing professional platform. From a sales perspective, you focus entirely on working with marketing to ensure that the automated workflows are correctly structured and defined to your buyer persona.

You still let the marketing specialist do their job, but pay more than inquisitive attention to what's happening at this part of the funnel. Let your marketing partner show you what assets they have in the locker around eBooks, checklists, etc., for particular personas, as you can also use these exact assets in your sales conversations, just without sending people to landing pages and forms.

Lead scoring, automation and workflows at this customer journey stage are key to your sales success.

Sales enablement tools

Finally, you must think… back to sales and less about marketing. But I had to show the point where both teams cross over and how you should view it from the sales rep's perspective. Indeed, anything that directly benefits your ability to sell and close needs due care and attention.

So let’s look at HubSpot's sales professional hub and show why this is a necessary tool, over and above friction reduction and seamless integration of the CRM, CMS and Marketing platforms.

Hubspot Sales Pro

Adding the Sales Hub professional subscription gives the free CRM some hypothetical steroids to perform. In addition to all of the functionality listed above in the CRM section, you get so much more. Introducing sales automation.

Sales automation is perfect for streamlining the processes of large and scaling sales teams. This platform delivers the power and sophistication today's sales reps need, such as required fields, multiple deal pipelines, teams, products and quotes, and custom reporting.

But what else is beneficial?

  • Set up email sequences for prospecting; think trigger events responses to enquiries, making your life easier and quicker to respond.
  • Call tracking. You can call from the Hubspot CRM and tie conversations to a customer record. This means you can access this to prepare for sales calls, especially exploratory ones. In addition, if you are taken ill and need to close a deal, your colleagues can access the records and close them whilst absent.
  • Automate your deal processes. Use trigger events to move your deals through their stages rather than relying on manual intervention.
  • Use tasks to keep you on track. Either manually or again, using automation and sequences to trigger tasks to your calendar, ensuring you don’t miss those all-important activities.
  • Develop those all-important sales playbooks and ensure the teams sing from the same sheet. You’ll get faster onboarding and shorter sales cycles.
  • Use the quotes tool to tie quotes to your automated deal stages and generate quotes based on your products.*
  • Sales analytics and reporting are essential to individual sales reps and team performance.

As a fully integrated sales platform, the HubSpot suite and these complimentary tools work together to provide your sales organisation with the simplicity, connectivity and power you need to propel your business forward. But we aren’t quite finished yet. If you have managed to attract some prospects, nurture them through the funnel and are into sales conversations, maybe you want to add something for your sales presentations, and we like Qwilr.

Sales proposal tools

As you can see, or at least picture, the sales tech stack we use here at BIAS is simple, seamless and yet superbly powerful. We wanted tech that was either natively or integrated or by using Piesync or Zapier. However, the latter was to be used sparingly, if at all.

But let's talk about presentations and more standardisation.


I jumped between Proposify and Qwilr for a while. They are similar but have different features, so I was torn about where to go. But once I settled on Qwilr, I knew I had made the right personal choice. I connected this with HubSpot and started to use it for my presentations and quotes.

Yep, duplicate what can be done in HubSpot, but then I’m a low-code guy, and Qwilr is designed to be easy to create.

So we designed standardised presentation templates based on the regular issues we encountered and brought our company branding into the design style, and away we went. We have a baseline marketing presentation, a sales presentation and a website CMS presentation. We keep it simple, on-brand and easy to access. As the prospect can accept the presentation in Qwilr, we know quickly when it's been viewed and accepted.

It’s the consistency and ability of the whole team to use the platform and have standardised approaches to sales and presentations that form part of the overall standardised sales process we designed for BIAS.

So there it is. My eight powerful b2b sales tools for 2021 are based on a tech stack that is seamlessly integrated for sales success.

What are you doing for 2021? And will you make it easier for your sales team to succeed? Spending less time on non-revenue generating tasks and more time on productive sales activity.

Contact BIAS today for more help and guidance around technology consulting and standardisation of your sales process.


Published by Digital BIAS November 29, 2020