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    Five B2B sales tools you must add to Salesforce

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    If you are considering a Salesforce installation, or are already using it, you may already know that a plain vanilla installation is not going to give you what you need to improve sales productivity.

    Hopefully, your Salesforce salesperson has talked you through the customizations and add-ons you’ll need in order to make the product do what you’re hoping it will do.

    Or perhaps they’re saving that conversation for after you’ve committed to the purchase. Before you make the leap - make sure you know what you’re leaping into.

    At minimum, if you’re operating in a complex B2B sales environment, you will need some key tools. Here are the five critical sales tools you need to add to Salesforce to increase your sales efficiency and effectiveness:

    1. Add a prospecting tool to Salesforce to manage leads
      Lead management in Salesforce is messy. Salesforce separates leads from accounts, lowering transparancy into work done "before the pipeline," increasing the risk for duplicate records, and forcing salespeople to juggle too many balls at once. As a consequence, your Salesforce admin might end up creating “stage 0” opportunities to get better transparancy, creating an impossibly muddy sales pipeline and flaky sales KPIs.

      Also, there's no guidance to empower your sales team to professionally manage their prospecting outreaches.

      To resolve these problems, a number of add-ons have been developed under the “Sales Engagement” umbrella. The two leading examples are Salesloft, and Outreach.

      These tools can run between $10,000 and $20,000 for implementation, plus monthly fees of $100/user.

    2. Add opportunity management and playbooks to Salesforce to reinforce training

      Salesforce’s opportunity management lacks effective playbook support and when configured by IT people can become an endless data-entry exercise. There’s no solid way to embed sales training reinforcement within the workflow, making sales training investment wasteful.

      Tools from Revegy and Altify help remedy this deficiency and make Salesforce more effective in reinforcing and guiding salespeople.

      These tools generally will run an additional $35-75/month per user.

    3. Add enablement and content sharing to Salesforce to support salespeople

      The vanilla installation of Salesforce does not include sales enablement or content sharing tools. Without them, salespeople are forced to navigate complex secondary systems to locate content to share.

      This often results in salespeople using the wrong content, customizing their own content, or simply failing to share relevant content altogether.

      Tools like Highspot and Seismic can come alongside Salesforce to organize your content and serve it up to salespeople when they need it.

      These tools can cost anywhere from $15/user per month to substantially more, depending on your needs and choice of software.

    4. Add analytics and performance management to Salesforce to enable sales management to work effectively

      Salesforce in its basic installation does not include effective out-of-the-box sales analytics or performance management tools. Without the insights these tools provide, your managers cannot effectively manage and coach, and your teams will repeat the same mistakes over and over.

      Tools like InsightSquared and Clari can help your sales management gain the visibility and insights they need to drive higher performance on your teams.

      These tools can cost between $65 and $95/user per month.

    5. Add a scheduler to Salesforce to reduce customer friction

      Endlessly emailing back and forth with potential customers creates substantial customer friction. It burns up valuable salesperson time. More importantly, it pisses customers off.

      A solid scheduler helps to reduce this friction and ensure more favorable communications with customers. Commonly used tools include Calendly and Chili Piper.

      These tools can be as cheap to add as free, if you have limited users, or more than $10/user, depending on your needs.

    ...or don’t buy Salesforce and get everything you need in one platform

    It’s no secret that we think Membrain is the complex b2b answer to the (many) problems with Salesforce. Salesforce was never designed for complex b2b sales, and it was built on an old sales paradigm that assumes if you have data, you can make sales. And that salespeople should know what tro do and just log what they've done.

    Membrain was designed from the ground up to provide sales teams with everything they need to navigate complex b2b sales effectively and elegantly.

    Every tool listed above is already elegantly integrated into the base product at Membrain. Our workflows are beautiful, user friendly, and available in every installation. (Read the side-by-side comparison of Membrain vs Salesforce.)

    And our pricing is less than you will pay for the Salesforce plug-ins alone, not to mention the cost of implementation and customization.

    If you’re sick of the point pollution and cutting off the heads of the Hydra only to see more spring up in their place, talk to us about how Membrain can help you sail away to better seas.

    George Brontén
    Published January 19, 2022
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn