Beyond the big-name brands

Dave Stein and Matt Heinz

As technology continues its frenzied leap forward, you’ve never had more tools at your fingertips for reaching your market, engaging your customer, closing a deal or hitting your numbers. With so many products to choose from and limited time for research, you may be inclined to stick with popular, big-name solutions rather than trying something you’ve not heard of before.

Resist the call of your comfort zone! We’ve done the homework, culled the list, and identified 10 must-have (but lesser known) tools that can take your teams to the next level of efficiency and effectiveness if integrated properly into a strategic sales and marketing infrastructure.

DAVE Stein’s must-have tech tools:


Bringing data science to sales reps and managers, Datahug is a game-changer for closing more deals through data-driven prescriptive guidance and real-time deal scores.
Until recently, forecasting tools have been used primarily by managers or sales ops and limited to a look back in the rearview mirror. With the ability to analyze communication patterns, the entire sales team benefits from Datahug’s objective real-time deal scoring and predictive forecasting. And, salespeople receive targeted, prescriptive guidance on the best next action to close deals from the new Datahug Sales Guide, which launched in March.

With functionality that integrates into CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Datahug fits seamlessly into your salespeople’s workflow.


A smart sales transformation application that embeds sales methodology in your Salesforce CRM, Dealmaker helps your sales team in three primary areas: (1) account planning and management to maximizes revenue in key accounts; (2) opportunity management to increase win rates; and (3) the alignment of sales and marketing around key issues faced by the customer to accelerate the salesperson’s experience in the customer’s business.

Dealmaker combines knowledge (a deep sales methodology), context (where you are in a deal, and account, by month or quarter), data from your CRM, and
a smart reasoning engine to move you from where you are in an opportunity to your desired destination — closed sales.

KiteDesk (

By aggregating contextual data across CRM, email, social media and third-party data, the KiteDesk unified sales platform streamlines the sales process and tackles one of the prevailing issues facing B2B sales: productivity. KiteDesk reduces the time that a frontline salesperson must spend on research by automatically updating CRM records with premium data, uncovering relationships that will drive sales results, and delivering everything in a beautifully designed user interface.

Built by sales reps, the intuitive KiteDesk platform, integrates seamlessly into the sales process. Productivity increases because the easy-to-use tool eliminates many mundane administrative tasks that don’t impact sales. KiteDesk ties the most relevant and important aspects of everyday sales tools into one interface.

Objective Management Group          

A tool for hiring the right people, OMG’s award-winning sales-specific candidate assessments help sales managers identify only those salespeople that will succeed in the specific role for which they are being recruited, interviewed, and selected. Backed by science and predictive validity,
the tool’s highly accurate and customizable assessments reliably and consistently help sales leaders build winning sales teams. OMG has a sales assessment for every kind of team — territory sales, major account sales, account management, inside sales, inbound sales, outbound sales, telesales and call centers.

Statistics show that 92 percent of the candidates recommended by OMG and subsequently hired rise to
the top half of the hiring company’s sales force within 12 months.

Pipeliner CRM       

If you want a fresh approach to the traditional sales pipeline and the way it drives your CRM, Pipeliner is a smart solution. Intuitive and easy-to-learn, Pipeliner takes a uniquely visual approach, utilizes a tight sales process that prioritizes actions, and engages your sales team so they can stay focused on closing deals.

Process is hard, and pulling meaning from numbers on a spreadsheet can be tedious, which is why this app consistently out-rates others. Even the most technology-averse salesperson can quickly learn how to access an overview of what’s going on, what’s been done, and what’s in the pipeline right now. Pipeliner makes implementing a solidly reliable sales process painless and automatic.

Matt Heinz’s must-have tech tools:


Simple and free, ClickToTweet allows you to create the code required to add a “tweet this” link to any statistic, quote or other content from your blog, website, PDF or other material. Creating code on your own can be an onerous undertaking and tweetable content often requires custom characters. With ClickToTweet, you simply type whatever you want the tweet to look like (including hashtags and shortened URLs) and click the “create” button. It can even help you trace click volume. The service includes a dashboard for managing and updating links, activity reports and click mapping.


Depth of insight and intelligence can provide sales reps and business development professionals who target specific companies with a key competitive advantage, and accelerate the right conversations. Traditionally, researching and compiling this information has been time consuming and messy, even with the proliferation of information available online.

That’s where FirstRain shines. Tell them what companies you’re targeting and the type of engagement you want. They will filter the entire Web for information related to your focus areas, and then share it for you in one easy-to-use Web interface. You can sign up for alerts on pertinent news and conversation, and add new companies at any time. FirstRain is a huge time saver and a source of intelligence that you may not find anywhere else.



When was the last time you had a business communication that wasn’t electronic? The traditional, virtually forgotten art of writing a note by hand is a highly effective way to differentiate yourself, but if your handwriting is poor, your time limited, and your stationery supply meager, you may not want to attempt it — unless you have MailLift, a handwritten letter service for marketing and sales professionals.

Via direct integration with or an email template, you indicate what to write and where to send it, and a member of MailLift’s handwriting staff will pen your note in beautiful, unisex script — and even ship it from your location. Completely turnkey, MailLift can be used as a planned part of a lead disposition or outreach sequence.


Have you noticed Google’s frequently changing algorithms? Even though keyword direct match appears to be passé, understanding keyword usage trends among your customers (and competitors) still delivers a significant competitive advantage, in addition to accelerating your paid and organic search performance.

An exceptionally easy-to-use SEO tool, SEMRush provides tremendous value on a daily basis regarding keywords, relative competitiveness, and the “accessibility” of specified topics via Google. The tool also offers competitive intelligence about where your competitors are focusing, which of their ad copy seems to be most effective, and other useful information. An important tool
for those managing search, content and competitive trends, SEMRush is available for a very low monthly subscription.

Curating content is both foundational and a key tactic in many marketing strategies these days. But there’s one fatal weakness in driving people to content that resides somewhere else — losing traffic. addresses this issue by including a pop-up on the destination page (with design, copy, and other elements you specify) that features whatever you want, including links back to your site, to an asset landing page or anything else you’d like to highlight. It also lets you include a signup opportunity within every piece of content you share across social media, so you can rapidly grow your mail list.

We tested at Heinz Marketing and found that both daily traffic and downloading of registration-required assets increased measurably.

B2B sales consultant, strategist, and hiring expert Dave Stein has deep experience in applying technology to enable more effective selling and learning. He blogs at

Matt Heinz is an author, award-winning blogger, and founder and president of Heinz Marketing ( He is a thought leader in technology-enabled marketing.