Best Sales Intelligence Tools to Speed Up Your Sales Cycle

Best Sales Intelligence Tools to Speed Up Your Sales Cycle

Last updated: 

August 24, 2023

Vakis Rigas

Vakis Rigas

Sales is one of the best jobs in the world, but it’s incredibly hard. That may be the reason we love it. It’s filled with nuance, you have to understand people’s motivations, pain points, and constraints. It’s tough to navigate humans, and it is certainly not a job for everyone.

True revenue builders feel the rush of a great deal.

You know, the one where you're in your element, the prospect gets all excited, and the full attention is on the step change your product or service is expected to deliver. Unfortunately, closing sales deals come with a lot of admin. That’s also true for the deals that do not go your way.

Sales hygiene is crucial and, unfortunately, boring.

We put in the hours because it pays off big time. Getting those notes right is like striking gold. Remembering a customer's birthday or nailing the little details creates an emotional connection that helps us down the line.

The good news is that most of the admin work can be outsourced to intelligence systems, enabling us to recall crucial information without dedicating copious amounts of time to note-taking and filling out CRM data fields. Interested?

We’ve compiled the ultimate list of B2B sales intelligence tools that help you automate admin work and speed up your sales cycles. Let’s get started.

What Are Sales Intelligence Tools?

B2B sales intelligence tools can take many shapes and forms, but in their simplest form, they provide you with data, insights, and context about customers and prospects. We use B2B sales intelligence tools to improve customer interactions and make our process faster. 

The most prominent B2B sales intelligence tools help us improve:

  1. People Analytics: Record all interactions with your key customers and get a clearer idea of incentives and what the customer ultimately cares about.
  2. Contact data: This helps you reach the right people and avoid reaching the wrong person and, even worse, a wrong number or bounced email.
  3. Lead generation and scoring: Ensure you limit your time to the leads most likely to convert. 
  4. Account insights: Provide data on company size, revenue, and other details that help you better tailor your message to an account.
  5. Competitive intelligence: Helps you stay on top of competitors' launches and product changes. It prepares you for any objections that involve competitors.
  6. Engagement tracking: To understand how often prospects interact with your emails, website, or product. It’s a great way to gauge customer interest.  
  7. Customer Relationship: This is the home of all your data. Every tool you use should integrate with your CRM as it will reduce your manual copy/paste work significantly. 

You don't always need a large investment to benefit from sales intelligence tools. We have gathered a list of tools that can automate your daily tasks and accelerate your sales cycles. These tools are specifically designed for sales teams in startups and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have the same high budget as larger enterprises.

Best Sales Intelligence Tools

1. People analytics: Grain

You’ll want to be at the top of your game in every interaction, and one of the core components of your tech stack should help you be present and give you a clear overview of who you are talking to and what they said. Grain records every call and takes notes on your behalf. After every call, Grain sends a call summary generated by AI directly to your CRM of choice. That way, you’ll have accurate call notes that link directly to any situation you may need to recall specific details. 

Every AI summary comes with timestamps that you can click to return to the video and replay the key moments from any sales call. PartnerHero uses Grain to understand their prospects better and close more deals. 

Grain Pricing

Grain is free to get started. You can try it out with a team of up to 5 members and collectively record up to 100 sales calls (20 calls per user) for free. When you decide to upgrade, each user costs $15 per month. The best part is you only pay for the recording seats. 

Grain Reviews

G2: 4.6 out of 5. Grain has been named a leader in Conversation Intelligence, Transcription, Meeting Management, and several other categories. 

“We had been evaluating other solutions such as Gong, Outreach, and Salesloft but were left frustrated as those were so over-baked and overkill for what we needed. I had Grain up and running in 15 minutes. My calls and notes are well organized and easily accessible by my team.”

- G2 Crowd Reviewer.

2. Contact data: UpLead

Getting to the right people is half the battle, a sales intelligence tool can make it easy. UpLead helps you access accurate contact information at a low monthly cost. You can connect directly to your chosen CRM, as they support most providers. It’s a huge time saver when you must enrich a lead with additional contact information. 

UpLead Pricing

While UpLead has a free plan, it has some limitations. With the free plan, you only get 5 credits, which allows you to retrieve the email addresses or phone numbers of 5 contacts. If you need more data, you'll need to consider their paid plans. The paid plan starts at $74 per month and is suitable for individual users who want access to around 2,000 contacts' data. If you want to use UpLead with your team, you'll need the professional plan, which costs $299 monthly.

UpLead Reviews

G2: 4.7 out of 5.

“What I appreciate most about UpLead is their commitment to data accuracy. Unlike other companies focusing on quantity, UpLead hand-picks and validates leads, ensuring I receive high-quality and reliable data. This has saved me countless hours of cleaning lists and allowed me to focus on growing my business.”

- Drew T.

3. Account insights: 

When you need an easy way to prospect and enrich accounts, you must run a series of tests to see if the prospects you care about are available. You can ask for free credits with most providers to assess their coverage. We've found that one of the better and more affordable solutions out there is

Their coverage is among the best; they even perform well across Europe. This tool is a must-have to create lead lists and gain key insights into buyer committees and key stakeholders.

Apollo Pricing

Apollo has a generous free plan allows you to obtain unlimited email addresses, send 250 emails per day, access an AI email writing assistant, and more. The professional plan starts at $79 per user per month and includes advanced reports and dashboards, buying intent data, and more.

Apollo Reviews

G2: 4.8 out of 5.

“I love that I can get the full details about my ideal ICP and enrich them all within Apollo. The best thing about this is that I can do my lead enrichment directly on Apollo, then push to Hubspot with a single click.”

- Fred A.

4. Lead Scoring: HubSpot Sales Hub

There’s a wealth of options, and sometimes it’s smart to keep it simple. Most CRMs, like HubSpot, offer this solution, and they are often sufficient for this task as it’s directly in your CRM, so there’s one less action to take.

Manually consolidating, analyzing, and prioritizing leads can drain your sales team's time and resources. However, by implementing HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring, you can automate these processes and allow your team to dedicate more time to actual selling.

HubSpot's lead scoring leverages data from the entire customer journey to evaluate and assign scores to each lead. This empowers your team to close more deals by prioritizing leads based on data-driven insights and following up at precisely the right moments.

HubSpot Sales Hub Pricing

If you already use the HubSpot Sales Hub Enterprise plan, you can enjoy the benefits of lead scoring at no additional cost. However, if you are on a non-enterprise plan, you must upgrade and pay $1,200 monthly to access and utilize lead scoring. This option is ideal for those already using HubSpot Sales Hub to manage their sales and revenue operations.

HubSpot Sales Hub Reviews

G2: 4.4 out of 5 (read reviews).

“The lead scoring feature is brilliant. Our sales reps check their dashboard each day and see which leads they need to focus on. They can now focus on selling, rather than trying to identify the warmest leads.”

Dan Moody, Digital Marketing Manager, Intelliflo.

5. Competitive intelligence: Outsource to Product Marketing

Few things are worse than jumping into a call where an unfamiliar competitor is mentioned. We often improvise, but it's hard to assess whether the customer's perception aligns with the service. Customers may have different ideas about what you and your competition offer, and sometimes those ideas are inaccurate.

It's better to come prepared and communicate why the statements made by your competitor are unrealistic. Tools like Klue and Crayon can assist in this task.

However, it's important to note that these tools require significant investments and may not be accessible to everyone. We recommend collaborating with your Product Marketer to create and update battle cards for your top 1-5 competitors regularly. This will help you stay informed and effectively address competitor claims during customer conversations.

6. Engagement tracking: Salesloft

If you are on a budget, consider outsourcing this tool to your existing CRM. However, if you have the capacity for an additional tool, we recommend exploring Salesloft. While it requires an investment, Salesloft can greatly enhance your customer lifecycle, from sign-up to renewal.

Salesloft is a platform specifically designed to assist sales teams in connecting with buyers, improving performance, and gaining valuable insights to win more deals. They offer a variety of products that simplify communication and provide the necessary information for success. For instance, Salesloft's Cadence feature enables you to strategically plan, create, and send your buyers personalized emails, voice messages, and text messages.

If you're interested in learning more about these products, we have provided a detailed discussion here.

Salesloft Pricing

Salesloft offers different pricing packages that require an annual contract. The cost per seat varies depending on the plan you select, ranging from $125 to $165 per month.

Salesloft Reviews

G2: 4.5 out of 5 (read reviews)

“I've worked on many outreach tools, none of which compare to Salesloft. If you want the most robust and user-friendly platform, this is the one to invest in for your team. They regularly add new features that improve it and set the benchmark for outreach tools.”

- Madeline M.

7. CRM: HubSpot

You need a robust system to host the corpus of your customers. Many great options and new solutions, like Attio, occasionally pop up. If you are an early-stage company, you can get a long way with tools like Airtable rather than a fully-blown CRM. That said, the key to a good CRM is interoperability. You can find a great CRM, but if it doesn’t interface with your other tools, you lose a lot of time as a copy/paste warrior. The whole point of a tech stack is to eliminate as much manual work as possible.

We recommend HubSpot as it has great features to shorten your sales cycle and plays well with most B2B sales intelligence tools. HubSpot is initially a free B2B sales intelligence tool, and if you like it, you can upgrade to a paid plan.

HubSpot CRM Pricing

HubSpot CRM is free to start and allows you to scale as the number of contacts you want to engage with increases.

HubSpot CRM Reviews

G2: 4.4 out of 5 (read reviews).

“Sales Hub seamlessly integrates with HubSpot CRM, which serves as a single source of truth for all customer and prospect information. This integration ensures that our sales teams have a complete view of our contacts, communication history, deals, and interactions. It enables me as a sales rep to provide a personalized experience to prospects and customers, enhancing the quality of our interactions.”

- George Raye B.

Deploy Sales Intelligence Tools and Save Time

We hope this gives you insight into how you can deploy and benefit from sales intelligence tools. These are some of our favorites but keep in mind the landscape constantly changes. The key thing we urge you to keep in mind is to keep cost in mind.

  • Make the return on investment worth it. Your sales intelligence tools can quickly run up a bill, so your job is to do the cost-benefit analysis and ensure you are net positive. 
  • Tools are more efficient when they connect. Make sure that the tools you choose connect well with each other. Copy/paste is not fun when you scale in hypergrowth.
  • All team members should be able to access the data and workflows. It enables you to scale faster and enables easier handover. Create workflows and let the tools do the admin work for you.
  • Record all your calls and run automation in the backend to ensure all your customer data is updated and actioned automatically.

Get Started with Grain

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