If you look at a carpenter’s tool belt, you’d see all the various tools he or she would need to effectively complete a job and in a timely manner. Maybe there’s a drill, a hammer, some glue, possibly a level; but whatever the belt includes, each tool is carefully selected and easily accessible.

Software is no different. Like carpenters, salespeople have their pick from a massive selection of technologies to strengthen the foundation of their message. Today’s sales world is dispersed. There is more data available than ever before -- customer, call activity, prospects, CRMs. The ability to harness and act on that data is integral to increasing performance and driving revenue.

But which software tools will be able to support the load bearing walls of your company? Which will gauge an accurate forecast and aid in understanding prospects while managing opportunities to secure deals?

We asked the top sales experts which software tools they chose to put in their belts to drive results.

Drill into prospecting.

Finding new business is difficult, but it’s the first and arguably most important part of the sales cycle. Without prospects, there is no one to sell to. But the sales landscape has changed. While phone-based selling is the foundation to all sales strategies, the emergence of social selling has added another layer through which to sell and uncover new opportunities. But social media is muddled with unstructured data, and navigating through this data can be a challenge, especially without context.

Related: 5 Reasons to Prospect Within Your Exiting Customer Base

One of the most effective tools for discovering new and relevant prospects is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s one thing to do a simple search for named accounts, but you’ll need to utilize this tool from your belt and drill down into more than basic company and contact information. In order to truly understand prospects and discover the most effective entry point(s), you need to know relevant information like recent personnel and company news, existing relationships and competitive intelligence.

This level of insight enables you to more effectively engage with prospects.

Hammer the business contact database.

Finding the most appropriate and updated contact information for prospects is tough. The information available in many databases is incorrect, which can steer you down the wrong course and waste cycles in your selling processes.

Time is money and nowhere is this adage more true than in selling. That's why it is imperative to hammer into details. Reaching out to a contact who is no longer at the desired company, or calling a prospect based in a different location than stated, is not only embarrassing, but it reflects poorly on your own company. Know where to find current information so you can avoid these hazard areas.

Related: How CRM is A One Stop Solution for Insurance Entrepreneurs

Software tools like ZoomInfo offer accurate business and contact information. Not only does the site provide up-to-date content, ZoomInfo provides financial information, whether the prospect is a parent company or a subsidiary and uncovers new accounts based on your criteria.

Building a solid platform with email.

Laboring and sifting through can be tedious. You spend so much time gathering and sending prospects information on your services with the hope of gaining their attention and igniting a desire for them to want to learn more. But unless you’re tracking this, all your hard work is moot. You might as well be tossing your material into the dumpster because it’s difficult to know what happens after you send an email.

Related: Email Remains the Heart of Cross-Channel Marketing

Yesware built a solid platform to track and log email activity. This includes sent, opened and received emails, as well as attachments downloaded and presentations viewed. This type of software delivers insights into the effectiveness of a marketing campaign by showing how receptive people are to opening and reading your emails.

Tighten the relationship.

It’s time to get out your glue because effective selling requires an acute understanding of your prospects. You want to build impactful relationships with your prospects to drive desired outcomes. Tightening the bond requires the ability to gather, analyze and take action on all the data presented from a sales reps’ activity. That’s where sales intelligence is effective.

Sales intelligence software that can capture call activity data and immediately plug it into CRM systems provides sales reps and managers with the necessary visibility and context into phone-based customer interactions. This call activity shows an intuitive window into the sales behaviors that matter and how to improve your strategy.

Building your belt.

There are myriad software tools available to help sales reps and managers alike achieve goals. With that said, it’s vital to identify the selling activities that are predictive of success so you do not need to come back to make repairs. Find what works for you, and build your belt. Which tools will you chose to ensure you hit the nail on the head on the first swing?