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In sales, lead generating is the name of the game. Without leads, your sales team can’t make sales. With the wrong leads, your sales team simply drowns in failure.
Of course, you could spend hours painstakingly vetting leads before passing them on to your sales team — but that’s not a profitable proposition. So, in a business that’s all about time and requires everyone to be moving fast, automated lead generation tools are vital to success.
The best sales lead generation tools automate and streamline the processes of identifying qualified leads for you. These systems include tools for attracting and engaging site visitors, obtaining and storing contact information, and even nurturing those ever-so-important leads.
Table of Contents
Elements of Lead Generation
The core goal of lead generation is to capture the interest or prospects within your target market and obtain the necessary contact information via an online form to follow up with a more focused sales pitch.
Your online lead generation strategy should include three primary points:
- Content marketing
- Website visitor data collecting
- Reporting and analytics
Content marketing (and other forms of inbound marketing) is a vital part of generating new leads, as the blog posts and information you provide prospects will often provide their first impression of your company and brand. This opens the door for you to establish yourself as an expert in your field, earning your audience’s trust.
Of course, your content marketing isn’t strictly contained by blog posts. Video and audio content, as well as powerful social media posts should all be integrated into your content marketing strategy.
Getting prospects to visit your website and engage with your content isn’t going to do you any good for sales lead generation if you aren’t able to capture visitor contact information so your sales team can follow up.
Using a call-to-action that encourages your target audience to provide you contact information is a standard way to drum up some promising leads.
One powerful way to get truly quality leads, however, is through the use of lead magnets. Once you’ve established that you can provide valuable insights, prospects will likely want more in-depth content. You can offer this premium content to leads in exchange for their contact information.
Finally, your lead generation strategy must include detailed analytics and actionable reports. Even if you see an immediate improvement in your sales once you implement lead generating software, it’s vital to continue to look for ways to boost your bottom line.
What is Lead Generation Software?
Lead generation software involves using a marketing automation platform designed to improve the process of generating and collecting quality lead information through various channels so your sales team can target and convert them.
Basically, lead generation software is essential in streamlining your strategy for capturing new leads.
Since quality leads can be generated a number of ways (from social media to forms on landing pages), lead generation software tools usually focus on a specific channel. However, there are some robust all-in-one lead and marketing automation solutions available on the market, too.
Good lead generation software will accomplish three things:
- Improve lead quality
- Improve lead management
- Speed up the sales process
Here’s the best lead generating software for every stage of the process — or channel.
Contact and pop-up forms are essential. They allow you to collect relevant contact information from your visitors, such as emails and phone numbers, as well as create an opportunity for prospects to drop you a line to give you a better idea of what they want and need.
Typeform is a web-based platform that allows you to create simple and elegant forms without needing to dive into the nitty-gritty and code it all yourself.
Typeform’s premise is that they make “collecting and sharing information more comfortable and conversational.” This, in turn, encourages more people to respond to a form being slipped in front of them.
The platform is easy to use across all devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone) and incredibly secure.
Typeform is run on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Aside from the security features of AWS, Typeform has 128-bit SSL encryption for all data transfer and does daily back-ups of data so nothing gets lost.
Additionally, Typeform is incredibly versatile. It can be used to create quizzes, as well as contact forms.
- Unlimited typeforms
- Unlimited questions
- Ability to collect payments
- Calculator for quizzes and payments
- Custom subdomain and thank you screens
- Integration with third-party apps, such as Mailchimp, AirTable, Facebook pixel, Google Tag Manager, Hubspot and Salesforce, among others
There is a free version of Typeform. It gives you access to three Typeforms, each with 10 questions. However, you’re limited to 100 responses per form. Nonetheless, you still have access to templates, reports, and metrics. Additionally, you can download the data from the filled out forms.
If you’re looking to remove the Typeform branding, have more responses and more storage space, you can opt for one of the paid options the tool has to offer.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools allow you to connect and keep track of prospects and leads. When applied to lead generation, these tools manage a wide variety of tasks from processing customer data to helping you monitor (and automate) interactions.
Note: If you’re looking to update your sales toolkit, check out this list of sales automation tools.
HubSpot is one of the most popular CRM tools. It’s 100% free forever and you can use it to store an unlimited number of contacts. Among the various tools created to compliment its core CRM functionality are HubSpot’s free marketing tools.
These tools include powerful systems for email marketing, live chat, and reporting. When integrated into an already dominant CRM system that provides real-time data about prospects in your company’s sales funnel, HubSpot’s free marketing tools speed up (and amplify) the lead generation process.
- The CRM feature can pull up data from additional profiles across the web, while the contacts database allow for easy management
- Contact forms and pop-ups that can be used to capture leads
- Free live chat tool is built into the CRM to help improve communication and capture leads
- Integrates with third-party tools, such as Zapier, Shopify and tons more
- It’s also available as a WooCommerce or WordPress plugin
HubSpot’s free marketing tools are just that — free. However, using them on their own only demonstrates a fraction of what HubSpot’s tools are capable of.
If you need more robust features for sales, marketing, or service functions, take a look at HubSpot’s price list.
SharpSpring is another all-in-one CRM platform that includes email and social media marketing automation tools. Because it is designed to offe ra complete solution, SharpSpring offers everything from dynamic forms you can create with a drag-and-drop builder to insightful reports.
- Email automation to track leads
- Marketing automation: set buyer personas, score leads according to criteria, assign leads to different personas, and receive a list of the hottest leads
- VisitorID: identify who visits your site
- Behavioral-based tracking
- Build and design powerful landing pages; create dynamic web content that changes based on visitor’s attributes
- Social media management features
- Ability to sync with other CRM platforms
For small businesses or medium businesses, you can select the package that works best for you depending on how many contacts you need each month.
SharpSpring costs $550/month for 1,500 contacts, $850/month for 10,000 contacts, and $1,250/month for 20,000 contacts. For the “Agency” and “Enterprise” package, which offer additional features and customer support, contact SharpSpring for a quote.
B2B Lead Generation Tools
Generating leads for B2B is different from B2C as it requires you to identify the company’s decision-makers and target them, rather than going after anyone from the company who happens to visit your website on a fact-finding mission.
If you’re a B2B company, you’ll need additional lead generating capabilities from your software, such as IP address tracking to determine if the leads you’re eyeing are those visiting your site.
Leadfeeder is a tool designed specifically to allow B2B companies to generate qualified leads from website visitors. It connects with LinkedIn, allowing you to identify which companies these visitors come from, and track which pages on your site were visited. Once Leadfeeder has identified a prospective company/client, it tracks down contact information, such as emails and phone numbers, for key decision-makers so your marketing and sales teams can focus their efforts on the right people.
- Automatic lead scoring puts the most valuable leads at the top of the list
- Advanced filtering to sift through contacts based on various additional criteria
- A tool to search for a company on Leadfeeder to check their browsing history
- Automatically sends leads to your CRM
- Integrates with tools you already use, such as Mailchimp, HubSpot, Salesforce and Zapier
The free lite version of Leadfeeder allows you to see the last three days worth of leads, with a maximum of 100 leads.
The premium version unlocks a lot of Leadfeeder features, such as unlimited data retention, contact database, custom feeds, CRM integration, and visit details. The price ranges from $55/month for up to 100 unique leads to $499/month for 5,000 leads. If you need more than 5,000 leads per month, you can get a quote directly from Leadfeeder.
Trusted by companies such as Gartner and Grubhub, Aeroleads is a B2B lead generation tool that allows users to look up the contact information of decision makers at specific companies. Once you sign up for Aeroleads, you’ll need to download their Chrome extension to get up and running. You can then search for leads on LinkedIn.
- Identify business email and contact numbers through LinkedIn by uploading a person’s name or company into the tool.
- Get up to 15 data points on prospects, including job title and location
- Export data to CSV or transfer data to HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zapier
Aeroleads allows you to buy a monthly bundle of credits. The packages range from $49/month for 1,000 credits to $499/month for 15,000 credits — you also unlock additional services and capabilities with the larger packages. Additionally, there is an “Enterprise” plan — you’ll need to contact Aeroleads for a quote.
Referral Program Tools
Referrals are also a good way to get leads. By incentivizing your current customers to bring in the people they think may like your product/service, you may find yourself with a new untapped audience/customer segment.
ReferralCandy allows you to introduce your business to prospective leads by providing incentives to those who put you in touch with successful referrals. The program automates the process of issuing rewards by paying them out to the customers once requirements have been met.
- Integrates with e-commerce apps, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento
- Integrates with marketing apps, such as MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Facebook Pixel
- Automatic fraud detection
Premium plans start at $49/month plus commissions.
Communication is a part of any lead generation strategy. Whether your system includes emails, live chats, chat bots, or phone calls, there are tools that can boost your productivity.
About 75% of site visitors say that they expect to receive an immediate response when they’re exploring a website. Luckily, tools like Intercom make that possible with both live chat and chatbot support.
- Business Messenger: target and qualify leads on the site, route and respond to messages for you automatically using bots. Business Messenger also includes interactive apps that allow customers to check order status or pay their invoices from within
- Management tools such as collaborative inboxes and automated workflows
- Integrations with third-party apps
Pricing depends on whether you want to optimize for lead generation, customer support, customer engagement, or all of the above.
For lead generation only, the “Essential” plan starts at $87/month and includes live chat features, automatic targeting based on a visitor’s behavior, integration with third-party apps, and reports on captured leads and response times.
Drift prides itself on being the world’s first and only conversational marketing automation platform. Used by over 50,000 businesses, it initially started as a live chat solution, but now also offers other products.
Drift provides B2B email management software that manages your inbox and even helps with lead generation. Bots can be set to automatically follow-up on emails and make offers or re-engage with prospects. Additionally, it offers a live chat solution designed to showcase videos.
- Conversational AI chatbots that can help you qualify leads automatically (no need for forms!)
- Create personalized messaging
- Conversation analysis, to better improve your playbook
- Integrates with several third-party apps
Drift has a free plan for the live chat feature, but it does not include features on the paid plans. Paid plans range from $400/month to $1,500/month depending on what features you need to keep your business chugging along.
If calling customers is part of your lead generation strategies, Ring.io is vital. Powering over three million sales calls per month, Ring.io integrates with top CRMs, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho CRM to offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and CRM functionality.
- Click-to-call dialing
- Multi-device calling
- Call distribution
- Automation for common follow-up tasks
- Call recording and insights to improve calls
Price varies depending on the CRM system it will be integrated with. For HubSpot, it costs $89/month.
Email marketing has become a vital part of nearly every company’s lead generation system. Additionally, it plays an import function for lead nurturing through drip email marketing campaigns.
- Templates and easy drag-and-drop editing
- Email marketing automation: welcome emails, automatic resends to unopened emails, and email segmentation.
- Contact management
- eCommerce marketing
- Email tracking
The “Email” package starts at $20/month. It includes everything besides automation and certain other premium features. Those additional features can only be accessed through the “Email Plus” package, which starts at $45/month.
Sumo started out as a collection of free email tools designed to grow the AppSumo business to one million subscribers (you can read their story here). However, it has become especially helpful for lead capture for e-commerce shops via email.
- Grow lead list with free email opt-in forms, visitor targeting, customizable design, and social media sharing
- Templates for welcome emails and email campaigns
- Special eCommerce features to reduce cart abandonment and increase average order value
- Plugins/extensions for WordPress and Shopify available
With the free plan, you can only send up to 10,000 emails per month and retain analytics data for up to 30 days. The “Pro” plan ($39/month) allows you to send up to 50,000 emails a month and retain all analytics data, as well as conduct A/B testing and visitor retargeting.
Landing Page Tools
Your landing page could very well be a prospect’s first impression of your company. It typically provides a sense of your brand, as well as your core message. Additionally, it’s not a bad place to try and capture some leads’ contact information.
Leadpages is one of the most popular landing page builders on the market. Most people use it to test market concepts during the product development stage but it’s just as useful for no-code teams that are looking for a solid landing pages solution for sharing evergreen content.
- Landing pages, pop-ups, and alert bars
- Mobile-responsive templates
- Free hosting
- 40+ standard integrations
- Email support
The pricing ranges from the “Standard” plan ($25/month) for one website to the “Advanced” plan ($199/month), which can be used for up to 50 sites.
Behavior Tracking Lead Generation Tools
Having a full and deep understanding of what users are doing when they visit your website can provide vital information when it comes time for your sales team to target specific prospects. It can also give you essential data regarding what aspects of your site are performing well and what needs to be improved.
Used by companies such as Oberlo, Adobe, and Decathlon, Hotjar is a tool that creates web session recordings and generates site heatmaps as a quick and visual way to detect user behavior and ultimately improve the user experience.
- Heatmaps: determine how visitors behave on a website, tracking clicks, scrolls, and movements
- Replay how visitors moved through a website
- Determine at which stage of the sales funnel a prospect left the website
Pricing: Hotjar has a free basic plan, which collects data from 2,000 pageviews/day. Data is stored for up to a year.
For new and low-traffic websites, there’s the “Plus” plan ($29/month), which allows you to collect data from 10,000 pageviews per day. Pricing for the “Business” plans (starting at $89/month) are good for 20,000 views per month with the price going up if you need more data collected.
OptinMonster is used to create opt-in forms. You can choose the campaign type to display the most attention-grabbing offers to your visitors. It can also detect visitor behavior and uses smart triggers to ensure that the right campaigns are displayed and that no leads get away.
- Monsterlink two-step opt-ins, which allow a link or image to be converted into an opt-in form
- Geolocation targeting
- Exit Intent Technology: detects whether a user is about to leave the site based on mouse behavior
Packages range from the “Basic” plan (starts at $9/month) to the “Growth” plan (starts at $49/month), which includes geotargeting, onsite retargeting, adblock detection, ManyChat integration, and behavior automation.
While many landing page builders now include A/B testing functionality, if you really want to optimize your lead generation process with trustworthy data you’ll want a dedicated platform.
There are many A/B testing platforms on the market, but Convert offers the best feature set at the most reasonable price. They have most of the features that would lead someone to purchase Optimizely, but without the high sticker price.
- A/B testing, multivariate, and personalization capabilities
- WYSIWYG editor
- One click Google Analytics integration
- GDPR compliant and own your data
Starter package starts at $799 per month if you pay annually. The highest tier suite is around $2,159/mo and includes everything you could want from a testing tool: API access, unlimited domains and goals, real time debugging and 100 personalizations.
Best Lead Generation Software
In the fast-pace world of sales, there is more and more pressure put on sales teams to convert leads — quickly. However, much of their time is either spent on tasks that can be automated or chasing sub-par leads due to poor lead capture.
By giving your marketing and sales teams the right lead generation software you can increase conversion rates and boost productivity.