Sales Prospecting Must-Haves: 6 Free Tools to Save Hours Every Day

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Spending hours finding information on prospective customers? Use these free tools to automate the task instead.

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“How many companies in this city belong to the X industry?”

“How many of these companies have the budget to buy my product/service?”

“Who is the right person to contact at each company to sell my product/service?”

As a sales professional, you will regularly encounter such questions when searching for prospective customers. Typically, finding answers to these questions involves a lot of manual research, creating several lists, and validating the information.

With sales prospecting tools you can automate the research work, set alerts for information, validate email addresses, and save hours in your day. However, if cost or budget constraints are keeping you from using sales prospecting tools, we’ve got you covered with this list of free tools you can use.

6 Free Sales-Prospecting Tools

(In alphabetical order)


A comparison of 6 sales prospecting tools.

To be considered for the list, the tools had to offer a standalone free version, which did not need to be purchased after a limited number of searches or days. For more details on how we selected these products, read our methodology here.

1. Apollo.io

Apollo.io is a prospect searcher that helps sales professionals find prospective customers at companies across the world. You can apply filters such as industry, geography, designation, and employee size, and the tool searches various social media platforms and digital databases for people who fit the description. Once the prospects are shortlisted, the tool also verifies their email addresses and allows you to send a templated email to them.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • A global database of 200 million contacts and 10 million businesses.
  • Integration with third-party applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools, email clients (such as Gmail), and social media platforms (such as LinkedIn).
  • Job change alert—a notification is sent out whenever a prospect changes job.

Free vs. paid plan and cost to upgrade: The free plan includes access to the database, email verification, and starter filters. Paid plans include features such as advanced filters, reporting, and automated email workflows, and start at $32/user/month.

Running a search for prospects in Apollo.io

Running a search for prospects in Apollo.io (Source)


2. FindThatLead

FindThatLead is a lead generation tool that incorporates sales prospecting, lead search, and email verification features. The tool also offers a Google Chrome extension to integrate with the web browser and find email addresses on any website or LinkedIn profile.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Social search to find email addresses associated with any social media profile or handle.
  • Lead search to find email addresses associated with a company or domain name.
  • Email verifier for validating if an email address in a list is correct and functional.

Free vs. paid plan and cost to upgrade: The free version of the tool limits usage to up to 50 monthly searchers, Google Chrome extension, one user, and 250 daily emails. Paid plans start at $49/month and support multiple users, bulk information processing and data export, and up to 18,000 searches every month.

Finding the email address associated to a social media profile using FindThatLead.

Finding the email address associated with a social media profile using FindThatLead (Source)


3. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a content change detection and notification tool that can help research and qualify prospects. The tool tracks the mentions of a company or a prospect throughout new web and news pages. This can be particularly helpful in tracking the size of a company, its financial and investment status, and any new product announcements and enhancements.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Keyword search to track any keyword in multiple web sources, including blogs, forums, news sites, and third-party platforms.
  • Alerts frequency selection on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Real-time alert tracker that immediately notifies of any mentions of the keywords you are tracking.

Free vs. paid plan and cost to upgrade: The tool is entirely free to use.

Setting up an alert on Google Alerts.

Setting up an alert on Google Alerts (Source)


4. Hunter

Hunter is an email address search and verification tool that helps sales professionals validate the contact information of prospects. The tool searches for email addresses across the web using filters such as company name and designation. If the email address of a prospect is not available on the web, it uses the email address format of the employer company to predict the email address of the prospect.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Domain search for finding email addresses linked to a domain or company name across the web.
  • Email verification for checking if an email address listed or generated is functional.
  • Google Chrome extension for finding email addresses linked to any website you’re browsing.

Free vs. paid plan and cost to upgrade: The free tool limits searches to 50/month, and the Google Chrome extension. Paid plans start at $49/month and allow access to features such as domain search export, connecting up to 20 Gmail accounts to send emails from, and priority support.

Google Chrome extension for Hunter.io, to find email addresses linked to a website you're browsing.

Google Chrome extension for Hunter (Source)


5. Mention

Mention is a social media and web monitoring tool that provides alerts for company news and keywords. It works quite similar to Google Alerts but also encompasses social media platforms in its search results.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Keyword monitoring through social media, which helps monitor the mentions of a company on social media platforms to watch out for news, announcements, and social media controversies.
  • Publish functionality to enable connecting social media accounts to the tool for publishing posts.

Free vs. paid plan features and cost to upgrade: The free plan limits searching only one keyword at a time, three social media accounts, one user, and 250 mentions/month. Paid plans start at $25/month and include features such as historical data monitoring, report generation, sentiment analysis, and data export.

Keyword search via Mention for tracking keywords on social media platforms.

Keyword search via Mention to track keyword usage on social media platforms (Source)


6. Skrapp

Skrapp is an email verification and lead extraction tool that helps sales professionals build a directory of prospects and verify their email addresses. This can be particularly useful to verify email addresses of prospects to build outreach campaigns.

Some of the highlights of the tool include:

  • Domain search to find verified email addresses of prospects linked to a particular web domain or company.
  • Google Chrome extension to integrate the tool with the Chrome web browser, which enables searching for email addresses associated with a web page you’re browsing.

Free vs. paid plan and cost to upgrade: The free plan covers up to 150 searches/month for one user. Paid plans start at $49/month for two users and include features such as data export, LinkedIn search archiving, and list cleaning.

Using the Skrapp Google Chrome extension to find email address associated to Linkedin profiles.

Using Skrapp Google Chrome extension to find email addresses associated with LinkedIn profiles (Source)

Next steps

Let us explore the tools required for additional sales prospecting objectives, such as scheduling meetings or running email campaigns and measuring engagement for sales campaigns.

For additional sales prospecting objectives, you can explore the following:

  • Scheduling software: It helps sales professionals find appropriate time for meetings and manage meeting invites. It offers features such as automated scheduling, calendar management, group scheduling, and online booking of meeting rooms.
  • Meeting software: It helps sales professionals conduct meetings digitally over audio and video conferencing. Typically, the tool also allows screen sharing to show presentations and product demonstrations to attendees.
  • Lead management software: It helps sales professionals capture and track leads throughout the sales lifecycle. It automatically channels leads to the sales funnel and lets you track them until they are successfully converted or dropped.
  • Lead nurturing software: It helps sales professionals build a relationship with each prospect. It typically offers features such as lead engagement, lead segmentation, drip campaigns, campaign management, and email personalization.

If you are already using a tool for sales prospecting or lead management, please share your experience with us in the comments below.


Methodology

To select the products mentioned in this article, we identified the most common products across listings for sales prospecting tools searches via Incognito Google search on March 10, 2020. Products that appeared on third-party listings at least twice (total of 95 tools) during this research were shortlisted for further evaluation.

The shortlisted products were evaluated against the following five typical objectives of sales prospecting:

  1. Building your prospect list.
  2. Finding contact details of prospects.
  3. Researching and qualifying prospects.
  4. Measuring engagement with prospects.
  5. Making it easier to schedule meetings with prospects or run prospect nurturing campaigns.

Only products that met the first three objectives were further shortlisted. This was because objectives 4 and 5 can also be covered by lead nurturing, lead management, digital assistant, and other sales and marketing automation tools.

The shortlisted tools were checked for the following criteria:

  • A standalone free version of the tool that doesn’t require the user to purchase after a certain number of days or actions.
  • Being an implementation-oriented tool and not a database of information for users to access.

The tools that met all the above criteria were selected for the article.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Looking for Sales Force Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Sales Force Automation software solutions.

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About the Author

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Rupal Bhandari

Rupal Bhandari is a specialist analyst covering Sales and Account Management markets. She received her Masters degree from the University of Delhi, India, and has created content for some of the world's leading technology products and companies.

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