The best sales automation tools in 2024

Relay Content Team
Relay Content Team
Content

Sales teams today face an overwhelming number of tasks, from updating CRM records and sending follow-up emails to scheduling meetings and managing leads.

These administrative duties can be time-consuming and distract from the core mission of selling—building relationships and closing deals.

That’s where sales automation tools come in.

Sales automation tools are designed to streamline and automate various aspects of the sales process, allowing your team to work more efficiently and focus on what truly matters—shouting “Show me the money!” over the phone like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.

So! Let’s explore some of the best sales automation tools to give you an idea of what’s out there. We promise there’s a tool here that can help you scale, be more productive, and close more deals.

What is a sales automation tool?

Simply—a sales automation tool is software designed to streamline and automate various tasks within the sales process. Why? To help sales teams work more efficiently.

Sales teams often face the challenge of juggling numerous tasks, from updating CRM records to sending follow-up emails and scheduling meetings.

No one signs up for a sales gig for the admin! These duties are time-consuming and detract from the core focus of selling—building relationships and closing deals.

With sales automation tools, you can automate these mundane tasks, allowing you to spend more time on what truly matters: managing your sales pipeline and engaging with prospects.

For example: using Relay.app, you can ensure that tasks like updating CRM records, sending follow-up emails, and scheduling meetings are all handled seamlessly without manual intervention.

What are the benefits of sales automation?

Speed up your sales process

Sales automation tools significantly enhance the speed of your sales processes by automating routine tasks such as data entry, follow-up emails, and meeting scheduling.

By reducing the time you spend on these administrative duties, you can engage with more prospects and move deals through the pipeline faster.

Enhance accuracy and reduce errors

Manual data entry is prone to errors, which can lead to inaccurate records and misinformed decisions. Sales automation tools ensure data accuracy by automatically logging interactions and updating CRM records in real-time.

Salesforce Sales Cloud and Zoho CRM, for example, offer features that eliminate manual data entry, ensuring that your customer data is always current and reliable. Accurate data helps you make better decisions and tailor your approach to each prospect.

Gain deeper insights into prospects

With analytics and reporting features, sales automation tools provide valuable insights into your sales performance.

Tools like ActiveCampaign and Nutshell generate detailed reports on metrics such as conversion rates, pipeline health, and individual rep performance.

These insights help you make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and identify areas for improvement.

Increase revenue with focused selling

By freeing up your time to focus on selling, sales automation tools directly contribute to increased revenue.

Automating repetitive tasks allows you to spend more time building relationships with prospects and closing deals.

Tools like Outreach and Salesloft automate follow-ups and outreach, ensuring timely and consistent communication.

This not only improves engagement but also maximizes the potential for conversions, leading to higher sales.

Will automation replace sales teams?

Not any time soon.

We truly believe the human touch in sales is irreplaceable—as do leading voices, like Gartner's Chief Director Analyst, Ilona Hansen:

"AI augments sales staff, but does not replace them. It reduces administrative sales work, giving sellers more time to prospect, find new revenue, and upsell existing clients."

You go, Ilona! Automation tools are designed to enhance the effectiveness of sales teams, not to replace them.

While these tools handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks, your sales teams can focus on high-value activities:

  • Building relationships
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Closing deals

Building trust, empathy, and personalized interactions are aspects that only human sales representatives can provide.

And the most successful sales strategies will involve a collaboration between automation and human effort.

What sales tasks can you automate?

So we’ve covered the how (you sign up for specialized tools and software like the ones listed below).

The real question is what should you be looking to automate. Here’s a look at common sales tasks and processes that sales automation tools can help with:

Email campaigns

  • What to automate: Sending follow-up emails, nurturing leads, and outreach campaigns.
  • Tools to use: HubSpot Sales Hub, ActiveCampaign, Outreach.
  • Example: Set up an email sequence that automatically sends a series of personalized follow-up emails after a lead interacts with your website or downloads a resource.

Lead management

  • What to automate: Lead scoring, lead assignment, and follow-up reminders.
  • Tools to use: Salesforce Sales Cloud, Freshsales, Zoho CRM.
  • Example: Use AI-based lead scoring to automatically prioritize leads based on their behavior and engagement, ensuring your sales team focuses on the most promising prospects.

Data entry

  • What to automate: Inputting contact information, logging interactions, and updating CRM records.
  • Tools to use: Relay.app, Pipedrive, Copper.
  • Example: Integrate your email and CRM using Relay.app to automatically log all email interactions and updates in your CRM, reducing manual data entry and ensuring accurate records.

Task management

  • What to automate: Setting reminders, assigning tasks, and tracking progress.
  • Tools to use: Salesloft, HubSpot Sales Hub, Zoho CRM.
  • Example: Create automated workflows that assign follow-up tasks to sales reps based on lead actions, such as downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar.

Communication tracking

  • What to automate: Tracking email opens, link clicks, and call logs.
  • Tools to use: Outreach, Freshsales, Copper.
  • Example: Use tools like Outreach to automatically track email opens and link clicks, giving your sales team insights into which leads are engaging with your content.

Meeting scheduling

  • What to automate: Scheduling calls and meetings with prospects.
  • Tools to use: HubSpot Sales Hub, Calendly, Pipedrive.
  • Example: Integrate your calendar with your CRM to allow prospects to schedule meetings directly based on your availability, reducing back-and-forth emails.

Workflow integrations

  • What to automate: Connecting different sales tools and creating seamless workflows.
  • Tools to use: Relay.app, Zapier, Integromat.
  • Example: Use Relay.app to create workflows that automatically transfer data between your CRM, email marketing platform, and customer support system, ensuring all your tools are synchronized.

The best sales automation tools

Relay.app

Founded: 2023

Similar to: Zapier, Make

Typical users: SMEs, startups, sales teams

Relay.app (hi, that’s us!) is a versatile workflow automation tool designed to simplify and streamline various business processes.

Okay, so while we're not exactly a sales automation tool, Relay.app effectively handles key sales tasks by integrating with your favorite apps and enabling automated workflows with human intervention when necessary.

With Relay.app, you can automate repetitive tasks like data entry, lead assignment, and follow-up reminders, allowing your team to focus on building relationships with prospects and closing deals.

For Gmail users, Relay.app enhances email efficiency with features similar to Gmail’s “templates,” enabling you to save prewritten emails for regular use. Imagine having all your frequently sent emails automated and personalized with just a click.

Relay.app can help you set up automated email sequences that send at the optimal time, ensuring timely and effective follow-ups.

Plus, you can also create rules to automatically sort, archive, or prioritize your emails based on criteria you set, helping you maintain a clean and focused inbox.

Beyond Gmail, Relay.app integrates seamlessly with a wide range of popular sales tools, including CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, communication platforms like Gmail and Slack, and project management tools like Asana and Trello.

The best part? With Human-in-the-Loop you can add human reviews, approvals, and oversight to otherwise automated workflows.

And with inline AI capabilities through ChatGPT 4o and Claude, you can even use generative AI for tasks such as email responses and outreach.

Key features

  • ⚙️ Integration with various apps: Connects seamlessly with numerous applications to automate workflows.
  • 🧩 Human-in-the-loop system: Allows for human input in automated processes, ensuring flexibility.
  • 📧 Automated customer support workflows: Streamlines customer support by automating responses and actions.
  • 📊 Adaptable to different business needs: Customizable to suit various industry requirements.
  • 🔄 Versatile workflow management: Manages complex workflows efficiently.

HubSpot Sales Hub

Founded: 2006

Similar to: Salesforce, Pipedrive

Typical users: Tech companies, marketing agencies

HubSpot Sales Hub is a comprehensive CRM and sales automation suite that helps businesses manage their sales pipeline and improve productivity. It offers a range of tools for email tracking, meeting scheduling, and pipeline management, making it ideal for sales teams of all sizes.

Key features

  • 📧 Email tracking: Monitors email opens and clicks for better follow-up.
  • 📅 Meeting scheduling: Simplifies scheduling with integrated calendar tools.
  • 📈 Pipeline management: Visualizes sales pipeline to track deals and progress.
  • 🔔 Activity reminders: Keeps sales reps on top of their tasks and follow-ups.
  • 💬 Live chat: Enables real-time communication with potential customers.

Salesforce Sales Cloud

Founded: 1999

Similar to: HubSpot, Zoho CRM

Typical users: Enterprises, large sales teams

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a leading CRM platform that offers extensive automation capabilities to streamline sales processes. It provides tools for lead management, workflow automation, and AI-driven insights, making it a powerful solution for large sales teams.

Key features

  • 🔄 Workflow automation: Automates repetitive tasks to save time and increase efficiency.
  • 🔍 AI-driven insights: Uses artificial intelligence to provide actionable insights.
  • 📊 Customizable dashboards: Allows for tailored reporting and analytics.
  • 📋 Lead management: Manages and tracks leads through the sales funnel.
  • 🌐 Extensive integrations: Connects with a wide range of third-party applications.

Pipedrive

Founded: 2010

Similar to: HubSpot, Zoho CRM

Typical users: SMEs, sales professionals, startups

Pipedrive is a user-friendly CRM with robust sales automation features, designed to help sales teams visualize their sales processes and stay organized. It offers tools for visual sales pipeline management, activity reminders, and customizable workflows.

Key features

  • 🖼️ Visual sales pipeline: Provides a clear view of the sales pipeline to track deals.
  • Activity reminders: Ensures timely follow-ups with automated reminders.
  • 🧩 Customizable workflows: Allows users to tailor workflows to their needs.
  • 📊 Sales reporting: Generates detailed reports on sales performance.
  • 📞 Call tracking: Tracks and logs calls for better communication management.

Zoho CRM

Founded: 1996

Similar to: Salesforce, HubSpot

Typical users: SMEs, sales teams

Zoho CRM is an affordable CRM solution with extensive automation tools that help businesses manage their customer relationships more effectively. It includes features like email automation, lead scoring, and workflow automation to streamline sales processes.

Key features

  • 📧 Email automation: Automates email campaigns and follow-ups.
  • 🏅 Lead scoring: Prioritizes leads based on predefined criteria.
  • 🔄 Workflow automation: Simplifies complex workflows with automation.
  • 📊 Detailed analytics: Provides in-depth reports and analytics.
  • 🗂️ Contact management: Manages customer contacts efficiently.

Outreach

Founded: 2014

Similar to: Salesloft, HubSpot

Typical users: Sales professionals, sales teams

Outreach is a sales engagement platform focused on streamlining communication between sales teams and potential customers. It offers features like email sequencing, call automation, and analytics to enhance sales productivity.

Key features

  • 📧 Email sequencing: Automates email campaigns with personalized sequences.
  • 📞 Call automation: Schedules and automates sales calls.
  • 📊 Analytics: Provides insights into sales activities and performance.
  • 🔔 Task management: Helps manage daily tasks and follow-ups.
  • 💬 Real-time chat: Enables instant communication with leads.

Freshsales

Founded: 2016

Similar to: Zoho CRM, Pipedrive

Typical users: Tech startups, small businesses, professional services

Freshsales is a CRM with powerful sales automation features, designed to help businesses manage their sales pipeline more efficiently. It includes AI-based lead scoring, workflow automation, and deal management tools.

Key features

  • 🧠 AI-based lead scoring: Uses AI to prioritize leads based on engagement.
  • 🔄 Workflow automation: Automates repetitive tasks to increase productivity.
  • 📈 Deal management: Helps manage and track deals through the sales process.
  • 📧 Email tracking: Monitors email interactions for better follow-up.
  • 📊 Customizable reports: Generates tailored reports on sales performance.

Salesloft

Founded: 2011

Similar to: Outreach, HubSpot

Typical users: Sales teams

Salesloft is a sales engagement platform designed to enhance sales productivity by automating communication tasks. It offers features like automated email campaigns, call tracking, and comprehensive analytics.

Key features

  • 📧 Automated email campaigns: Streamlines email outreach with automation.
  • 📞 Call tracking: Logs and tracks sales calls for better management.
  • 📊 Comprehensive analytics: Provides detailed insights into sales activities.
  • 🔔 Task automation: Automates daily sales tasks to save time.
  • 💬 Messaging integration: Integrates with messaging apps for seamless communication.

ActiveCampaign

Founded: 2003

Similar to: HubSpot, Mailchimp

Typical users: SMEs, marketers, agencies

ActiveCampaign combines CRM and marketing automation to help businesses manage their customer relationships and marketing efforts more effectively. It offers features like email automation, lead scoring, and sales automation workflows.

Key features

  • 📧 Email automation: Automates email campaigns and follow-ups.
  • 🏅 Lead scoring: Prioritizes leads based on engagement and behavior.
  • 🔄 Sales automation workflows: Streamlines sales processes with automation.
  • 📊 Detailed analytics: Provides insights into marketing and sales performance.
  • 🧩 Customer segmentation: Segments customers for targeted marketing.

Copper

Founded: 2013

Similar to: Salesforce, HubSpot

Typical users: SMEs, sales teams

Copper is a CRM designed for seamless integration with Google Workspace, helping businesses manage their sales pipeline and customer relationships more efficiently. It offers features like automated data entry, email tracking, and task management.

Key features

  • 🗂️ Automated data entry: Reduces manual data entry with automation.
  • 📧 Email tracking: Monitors email interactions for better follow-up.
  • 📅 Task management: Helps manage and prioritize daily tasks.
  • 📊 Customizable reports: Generates tailored reports on sales activities.
  • 🔗 Google Workspace integration: Integrates seamlessly with Google apps.

Nutshell

Founded: 2010

Similar to: Pipedrive, Zoho CRM

Typical users: SMEs, sales teams

Nutshell is a CRM with a focus on sales automation and pipeline management, designed to help sales teams stay organized and close deals more effectively. It includes features like email sequencing, task automation, and customizable reporting.

Key features

  • 📧 Email sequencing: Automates email campaigns with personalized sequences.
  • Task automation: Automates repetitive tasks to save time.
  • 📊 Customizable reporting: Provides tailored insights into sales performance.
  • 📈 Pipeline management: Visualizes the sales pipeline to track deals.
  • 🗂️ Contact management: Manages customer contacts efficiently.

Groove

Founded: 2014

Similar to: Outreach, Salesloft

Typical users: Sales teams, account managers, customer success teams

Groove is a sales engagement platform designed to help sales teams improve productivity and close deals faster. With features like email tracking, automated follow-ups, and personalized outreach, Groove enables sales professionals to focus on high-value activities like building relationships and closing deals,

Key features

  • 📧 Email tracking: Monitor email opens and clicks to gauge engagement.
  • 🔄 Automated follow-Ups: Schedule follow-up emails to ensure timely communication with prospects.
  • 📊 Analytics and reporting: Gain insights into sales performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • 🌐 CRM integration: Sync seamlessly with Salesforce to manage customer data and interactions.
  • 🧩 Customizable workflows: Tailor workflows to fit your sales process and improve efficiency.

Heyreach.io

Founded: 2021

Similar to: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Dux-Soup

Typical users: Sales teams, recruiters, business development representatives

HeyReach.io is a powerful LinkedIn outreach tool that helps sales teams and recruiters automate their LinkedIn prospecting efforts. By automating tasks like connection requests, follow-ups, and message sequences, HeyReach.io enables users to scale their LinkedIn outreach and generate more leads.

Key features

  • 🌐 Automated connection requests: Send personalized connection requests to your target audience.
  • 📧 Message sequences: Create and automate follow-up message sequences to engage with prospects.
  • 🎯 Advanced targeting: Use advanced filters to identify and reach out to your ideal prospects on LinkedIn.
  • 📊 Analytics and reporting: Track the performance of your LinkedIn outreach campaigns and optimize your strategy.

Gong

Founded: 2015

Similar to: Chorus.ai, ExecVision

Typical users: Sales teams, sales manager, revenue operations

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform that leverages AI to analyze sales calls and meetings, providing insights into customer interactions and sales performance.

By capturing and analyzing conversations, Gong helps sales teams understand what works and what doesn’t, enabling them to refine their approach and improve their sales strategies.

Key features

  • 📊 Conversation analytics: Analyze sales calls and meetings to gain insights into customer interactions.
  • 📈 Performance metrics: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand what drives sales success.
  • 🧠 AI-Powered insights: Use AI to identify trends and patterns in sales conversations.
  • 📚 Coaching and training: Provide data-driven coaching to help sales reps improve their performance.
  • 🔄 CRM integration: Syncs seamlessly with CRMs like Salesforce to ensure accurate and up-to-date data.

Apollo.io

Founded: 2015

Similar to: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo

Typical users: Sales teams, marketers, business development reps

Apollo.io is a comprehensive sales engagement platform that combines a robust database of business contacts with powerful outreach tools. It helps sales teams find prospects, engage with them through personalized outreach, and manage the sales pipeline effectively.

Key features

  • 🗃️ Extensive contact database: Access millions of business contacts with detailed information.
  • 📧 Email sequencing: Automate personalized email outreach with customizable sequences.
  • 🧠 Lead scoring: Prioritize leads based on engagement and fit.
  • 📈 Analytics and reporting: Track the performance of outreach campaigns and optimize strategies.
  • 🔄 CRM integration: Integrates with CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot to streamline data management.

Level up sales with automation

The bottom line? Automation tools are here to stay. But that's not a bad thing. They're a crucial part of any sales teams' long-term success and a great way to achieve sustainable growth.

Investing in automation tools is a smart move. Why not start with Relay.app? See what it can do with our free plan, no credit card required. 💳

What will you automate?

Sign up and get started with your first Relay.app workflow today.
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