CTM Blog

Lead Management

The Best Sales Pipeline Management Tools

by CallTrackingMetrics

Savvy sales professionals know that staying competitive in the new year is directly tied to using the right sales pipeline management tools. With so many advances in artificial intelligence (AI) over just the last year, these tools are evolving at a rapid pace. And if you aren’t using the right tools to meet your specific business goals, guess what? You’ll be left behind. 

Sales pipeline management tools streamline the sales process for both the buyer and sales rep, but that’s not all. When used effectively, these tools can transform your sales pipeline from adequate to outstanding, saving your company time and money. 

What are Sales Pipeline Management Tools? 

Sales pipeline tools are any type of digital tool that businesses use to organize their sales and lead management processes. Many organizations use multiple tools to help:

  • Manage their sales pipeline, 
  • Enhance lead automation, 
  • Provide visibility into their customer’s buying journey, 
  • Analyze team performance, 
  • Provide round-the-clock customer service with virtual assistants, 
  • Automate text message follow-ups.
Graphic showing top sales pipeline management tools and how each helps by features.

Examples of some popular sales pipeline management tools include HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Zapier. These tools take on various tasks previously left for sales teams to do manually which led to wasted time, lost deals, and disorganized, overwhelmed sales reps. 

As AI continues to grow, these features are becoming increasingly advanced and help to improve efficiency by automating manual processes that in the past, took up a lot of a sales rep’s time. Sales teams can then focus on higher-level tasks and close more deals. 

In today’s competitive landscape, sales teams must have the tools they need to save time, unlock customer insights, and drive more conversions.  This blog will help you understand sales pipeline management tools better and which are best suited to help your sales team reach their goals. 

Common Problems in Sales Pipeline Management

If you’re using antiquated sales pipeline management tools or are still doing basic tasks manually, you’re undoubtedly missing out on great leads and conversion opportunities. Sales pipeline tools that are out-of-date, clunky, not integrated with your other platforms, or not aligned with your objectives can lead to big headaches (and lost revenue) for sales reps and sales managers.  

An inefficient sales pipeline and lead management system can result in:

  • Bad experiences for customers and prospects
  • Lost leads from delayed or omitted follow-up
  • Wasted time for sales reps manually performing tedious, repetitive tasks 
  • Disorganized sales teams and misaligned departments
  • Siloed and disjointed data resulting in poor sales forecasting
  • Lack of or incorrect understanding of the customer and their pain points
Graphic showing a statistic that 35-50 percent of sales goes to the vendor who responds first.

Sales teams that are manually engaging in sales pipeline management can also fall prey to other issues, all of which lead to decreased sales and revenue (not to mention unhappy customers and prospects who may go to your competition). 

Additionally, when different departments are viewing different data sets and using a range of sources for their customer insights, it can lead to problems with sales forecasting, too. Without proper sales forecasting teams will miss goals and suffer from poor morale, misalignment, and even decreased income for teams not getting their bonuses. 

To optimize your sales efforts, support your contact center and sales agents, and deliver an exceptional customer experience it’s vital to have the right sales pipeline management tools and software in place. 

What’s more, you should know which features your team will benefit from now and keep in mind which you may want down the line as your business grows and evolves. For example, is saving time with AI-powered summary and analysis what you need? Is being able to view every call, text, Zoom meeting, and form in one place what they need? Or is a perfect integration with Google Ads top of your list? 

Be sure to choose a software platform to enhance your sales pipeline management process and that can seamlessly scale as needed. 

Let’s take a closer look at some sales pipeline management tools and must-have features.

6 Essential Features of Sales Pipeline and Lead Management Tools

Every sales pipeline process varies a bit from one to the next, but most have a few things in common. These generally revolve around ensuring sales reps can connect quickly with customers and provide a personalized, helpful experience–every time! And while there are a lot of sales pipeline management tools offering a variety of benefits, there are a few features no sales team can do without. 

  1. Lead Management 
Graphic showing next steps with one of the best sales pipeline management tools.

Sales reps need to know as much as possible about a lead or caller in the shortest amount of time. Sales pipeline management tools that can capture, qualify, score, and prioritize leads seconds after a call, text, chat, or form fill help teams connect with the right leads, at the right time so sales reps close more deals–faster. 

When lead management is automated, follow-ups like a phone call or text can be triggered to ensure prompt and consistent communication. 

2. Pipeline Visibility

You should have full visibility into each section of your sales pipeline. This will help you to understand where buyers fall off, become stagnant in the funnel, and so much more. Armed with this information, your sales reps will know how to nurture prospects down the sales funnel better to close more deals and shorten the sales funnel. 

3. Customer Insights

Graphic of two communication bubbles.

Sales and marketing reps need to speak their customers’ language, understand their pain points, and know how your product or service can help them. To do this, you need first-hand insight into your customers and prospects through conversation analytics

AI-powered tools, like CallTrackingMetrics’ AskAI, help teams unlock previously hidden customer insights instantly, identify high-value conversations, and prompt next steps to ensure immediate follow-up. Marketing teams also benefit from this data to fine-tune messaging and campaigns.

4. Sales Automation

Tools like CTM’s ChatAI can support customer service agents and provide round-the-clock support for customers. From password help to scheduling appointments, sales automation tools like chatbots and intelligent virtual agents eliminate wait times for customers and remove low-level tasks from sales agents’ plates so they can focus on more high-value activities. 

Graphic about sales call follow ups.

 These tools can be paired with triggers to automate the next steps, like a text to confirm an appointment or an email sending a related promotional code. With these tools in place, sales reps are free to work with leads who are ready to buy while the others are automatically nurtured. 

5. Sift, Sort, Analyze, and Report

There’s so much valuable information in the conversations your customers and sales reps are having. However, sifting through hours of phone calls, texts, Zoom meetings, and chats can be tedious. Some sales pipeline management tools have AI capabilities that automate the sifting, sorting, and categorizing of data to determine patterns and commonalities. This can help not just the sales and marketing teams to gain a better understanding of the customer and how messaging resonates with them but also other departments like product development. 

6. Integration Capabilities

Graphic showing integrations with CTM like HubSpot and Zapier.

Sales managers and reps (as well as marketers) tend to have a tech stack they rely on. Whether it’s Salesforce, Zapier, or HubSpot, it’s essential to choose a sales pipeline management platform that integrates with the tools you can’t do without. What’s even better is that with some platforms, like CallTrackingMetrics, you can house all of your data in one place for easy viewing, assessing, and reporting. 

As technology and AI continue to advance at astounding rates, so too will the capabilities of sales pipeline management tools. Be sure to know your own unique sales objectives and find software solutions that work for you now, and can scale with you in the future. 

Learn more about how CallTrackingMetrics tools can take your sales team to the next level.