B2B Sales

The Best CRM for Sales Teams to Boost Buyer Engagement

How long does it take your sales team to close a deal? How many decision-makers do they need to convince for every sale? 

One of the most significant challenges for B2B sales teams is how much time and effort it takes to close a deal. These long, complex sales cycles make for many struggles and too much room for mistakes. 

It’s challenging to keep tabs on every prospect at every stage in a meaningful way. But you need to know where buyers are and their pain points so you can position your product as the solution to their troubles.

Things get more challenging when you have remote teams working from different places. It’s not always easy to keep everyone on the same page, resulting in too many or too few customer contacts. 

CRMs and other buyer engagement platforms solve these problems by bringing everything together. Teams can build effective strategies and stay on top of their sales pipeline to boost buyer engagement and convert more sales.

You have many options to choose from, so where do you start? How do you know what works best for the complex nature of B2B sales? Let’s look at the advantages and key features to look for before diving into the best CRM for sales teams and some alternatives.

Advantages of Using a CRM for B2B Sales

A CRM (customer relationship management) platform can seem like anything from a cool tool to an unnecessary expense. B2B sales teams who know how to use them note four key advantages that make CRMs necessary. 

Manage the Long, Complex Sales Cycle 

Gain oversight every step of the way so you know where each prospect is in the process. Your team can keep track of buyer interactions, what sales materials you send, and where the deal stands. It becomes easier to decide when to follow up for maximum effectiveness.

B2B deals are more complex due to multiple decision-makers and ensuring you meet their needs. CRMs allow you to track and maintain information on every decision-maker involved for each buyer and their pain points. 

Access Necessary Information Anytime, Anywhere 

With more teams working remotely, CRMs allow everyone to access and update buyer information from anywhere. 

For example, somebody might miss an email or voicemail about a buyer contact because it gets lost in the shuffle. Logging the encounter in the CRM means everyone involved can access that information and know what’s happening with the deal. 

Advantages of Using a CRM for B2B Sales

Deliver a Better Buyer Experience

Successful sales teams know how to deliver a seamless buyer experience. You don’t want to make anything too complicated or have the buyer asking repeatedly for information. 

CRMs organise information for each buyer into a centralised location, including preferences and pain points. When teams have access to those details, creating content, quotes, and proposals that resonate with your buyers is easier. 

Your sales reps can be more proactive with the sales process and provide buyers with what they want. It’s easier to build relationships and provide the personalised attention buyers want, even in a digital sales world.

Monitor Buyer Engagement 

Knowing where your buyers are in the sales pipeline is helpful, but it’s only one part of the picture. Tracking contacts, like phone calls and emails from your prospects provides depth and context. 

For example, you send out an email with an offer that triggers a phone call from a buyer. The rep who fields the call answers the buyer’s questions and notes the interaction in the CRM. You learn that the email offer was effective and gain more insight into your buyer’s intent. Your team can then act on the phone call to move the conversation forward.

CRM Disadvantage: What About the Buyer?

Though there are many advantages to using a CRM, there’s a key disadvantage B2B sales teams should consider. These platforms offer incredible insight into inside sales processes but do nothing for the buyer. 

In a sales world where buyers crave a personalised experience, CRMs offer little support. You need additional tools to craft engaging presentations, communicate with buyers, and meet their needs to close deals. 

Even if you have a selection of tools to perform these tasks, how cohesive is it for you and the buyer? If you aren’t able to impress your buyers and stand out from the crowd, then you aren’t going to close as many deals. 

Forward’s digital sales room provides sales teams the tools they need to deliver a streamlined experience for every buyer. Why rely on the underwhelming traditional method of emailing stacks of links when you can create a personalised experience with an individual virtual room? 

Digital sales rooms guide the buying process from first contact through onboarding. Communicate, share documents and presentations, and collaborate in real time to wow your prospects with a seamless, streamlined sales journey.

Key Features for B2B CRM Software

Choosing the right sales CRM might feel overwhelming with so many choices. It helps to narrow the search to those platforms specialising in B2B sales, but you also need to find a CRM that offers the following features:

Data Management Tools

The ability to easily import and export information and notes about clients is crucial. Automatic import and export is necessary to avoid manual data entry at any point, like if you shift to a new CRM in the future. 

Since a CRM only covers part of the sales process, you probably need additional tools, like a scheduling system. Ensure your CRM integrates with other programs you use to avoid disruptions and missed opportunities.

Lead Management

You need to be able to track every buyer throughout the pipeline and maintain current data, including contacts. It helps to look for a CRM with dedicated lead management features, like segmentation and email tracking. Alternatively, you may need to use additional tools to support your team’s lead management efforts.

Cross-Team Collaboration

Your team needs to be able to access data remotely and know it’s accurate. Everyone involved in a deal or project management should be able to see the same information anytime, anywhere to encourage teamwork.

Note that even if your chosen CRM offers cross-team communication, it may not be sufficient to support them. You may need additional software or platforms to ensure real-time communications and shared inboxes for a more streamlined experience.


Being able to adjust things, like the metrics you track and what appears on your dashboard, makes the CRM more user-friendly. You need to be able to adapt the platform to meet your team’s needs and provide better visualisation of your pipeline management.

Integrations With Other Platforms and Software

While having the CRM as the only tool you need would be nice, that’s not practical. It focuses almost entirely on the internal experience and boosting productivity for sales reps. That leaves out several valuable elements, like email campaigns, interactive presentations, and document signing. 

Connecting seamlessly with your email marketing or digital sales room platform is crucial for your overall success. You don’t want to deal with bugs that result in lost appointments, missing documents, or errors when your buyer tries to engage with content.

B2B CRM Best Practices for Boosting Buyer Engagement

B2B CRM Best Practices for Boosting Buyer Engagement

Adding a CRM to your toolbox can revolutionise your business strategy from an internal perspective. To maximise the impact and boost buyer engagement, it helps to enact a few best practices. 

  • Embrace automation: Pairing your CRM with other software and platforms can enable your team to automate mundane, time-consuming tasks. By offsetting those tedious tasks, your team can focus more on buyers and closing deals.
  • Use the data: With access to more comprehensive data on buyer behaviours, your team can gain better insight into their pain points. Additionally, more detailed, accurate data supports better sales forecasting.
  • Nurture relationships with leads: Buyers still expect a personalised experience that makes them feel valued. Leveraging a CRM allows teams to tailor content and schedule timely follow-ups for each buyer.

It’s important to note that a CRM supports your sales team with many aspects of their job, but it can’t be the only tool they use. Finding a toolbox of platforms and software that work well together and empower your sales team is important. But, engaging buyers and standing out from the competition is the ultimate goal. 

The Best CRM for Sales Teams

Creating a balanced toolbox can be challenging, but the following tools represent some of the best options for B2B sales teams. 


Pipedrive is a popular CRM for sales teams because of its minimalistic, user-friendly interface. It’s extremely easy to learn and navigate, making Pipedrive attractive to teams of all sizes. 

Users can tap into various tools to support sales goals, including analytics and automation, like chatbots. The comprehensive customer tracking system allows teams to track leads throughout the process so they don’t miss opportunities. 

Pipedrive aims to help teams create a viable sales funnel that’s easy to update as needed. This CRM is an excellent choice for teams looking for flexibility and scalability. 

Key Features:

  • Maintain contact history for each prospect.
  • The segmentation feature makes it possible to sort leads to provide personalised experiences.
  • Customise web forms for your website to capture lead information.
  • Reporting features provide insight into sales.
  • Automation, like chatbot and forecasting calculations, supports sales goals.


  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Customisable chatbot to support lead generation through your website.
  • Several integrations with other popular sales platforms, like MailChimp and Slack.


  • Could have more customisation options for prospect forms and reports.
  • Limited in cross-team collaboration and buyer communication; you need scheduling and video conferencing tools to support buyer communications.


  • 14-day free trial with any plan, no credit card required.
  • Essential: starting at $14.90 per user per month 
  • Advanced: starting at $27.90 per user per month
  • Professional: starting at $49.90 per user per month
  • Power: starting at $64.90 per user per month
  • Enterprise: starting at $99 per user per month
B2B CRM Best Practices for Fostering Buyer Engagement

Pipedrive Alternatives:

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a popular Pipedrive alternative and a powerful platform to support sales teams internally. Streamlining your sales process and monitoring leads is easy, but it costs more than Pipedrive and has similar limitations.

ClickUp is another viable alternative for managing customer information for small businesses and companies of all sizes. It’s one of the few platforms offering a free plan and low-cost option for smaller teams. Teams can use templates to create a workflow, and it’s a colourful, engaging interface.

Hubspot is a giant in the CRM space. This powerful platform speaks to large firms needing support organising internal processes and prospect contacts. It’s easy to use and offers some premium features for tracking leads. 

Like Pipedrive, the alternatives only speak to one aspect of the sales process. While these CRMs help sales and marketing teams structure their internal approach, they do nothing for the buyer’s experience. You still need additional tools to boost buyer engagement and convert sales.


Consider Insightful if you already have sales CRM software you love and need something to make remote teams more efficient. This platform offers several internal tracking features to monitor and improve productivity.

Insightful allows teams to track everything from attendance to workstation usage while offering convenient billing and invoicing. It’s also possible to assign tasks and track project progress. 

This platform is ideal for companies needing better employee time and productivity oversight. Access detailed insights into employee performance and behaviours to provide coaching and encourage better decision-making. 

Key Features:

  • Automatic time tracking and capture.
  • Billing and invoicing features for employees and contract workers.
  • Assign and manage tasks.
  • Provides insightful productivity analytics.


  • Gain insight into employee productivity.
  • Track time spent on each task to identify areas for improvement.
  • Access to a detailed knowledge base and training features


  • May track idle time if employees are using unrecognised apps.
  • It’s focused solely on tracking internal tasks and productivity.
  • The U.S.-based company is not available in all countries.


  • Offers a free trial but no free plan.
  • Employee Monitoring: starting at $6.40 per employee per month
  • Time Tracking: starting at $8 per employee per month
  • Automatic Time Mapping: starting at $12 per employee per month
  • Enterprise: request a quote from the company

Insightful Alternatives:

Time Doctor is a popular Insightful alternative with a user-friendly interface. One key difference is that this platform offers opportunities to boost morale by recognising your strongest performers. It’s also a bit more affordable than Insightful.

You might consider Connecteam as another time management tool. This platform includes scheduling options, a GPS time clock, and internal employee communications.


One of the best ways to sell your product is through a demo that showcases its key functions and features. Walnut.io is a platform specialising in interactive demos with built-in analytics. 

Not only can you build a demo that demonstrates your product’s usefulness, but you can also track buyer engagement with it. Walnut.io helps teams develop bug-free demos that showcase key features to boost buyer engagement and close more deals faster.

This product is one of the few on the list that accounts for the buyer’s experience, though it only addresses one aspect in a lengthy pipeline. Still, if your team needs help building interactive, personalised demos that have an impact, you might consider Walnut.io.

Key Features:

  • Create interactive, customised demos for each persona.
  • Refine the sales approach based on your buyers’ engagement with the demo.
  • Ready-to-personalise demo templates reduce time spent on customisation.
  • Integrates with popular CRM and productivity platforms.


  • Customise demos for each prospect to provide a more personalised experience.
  • Easy to edit and update demos once you master the platform.
  • Excellent customer support.


  • There is a learning curve, so plan to spend some time learning before building a demo.


  • Walnut.io does not provide pricing on its website. Contact their sales team for more information on packages. 

Walnut Alternatives:

Navattic is one of the top Walnut.io alternatives with similar features. It also has a bit of a learning curve, but not quite as steep as Walnut.io. Pricing starts at $500 per month when paid annually for companies with fewer than 100 employees.

You might also consider Storylane with a more comprehensive approach to support marketing and sales reps with product demos and tours. It lacks some of the features you get with Walnut.io and Navattic, but the pricing is lower, and the interface is a bit more user-friendly.


Outreach is a platform for teams seeking support for internal sales operations. It provides some CRM features, like contact tracking, but also focuses on streamlining other parts of the sales process. 

One of the key selling points is Outreach’s use of machine learning and AI. Access predictive analytics and other sales management tools that use AI to provide powerful insights and save time on routine administrative tasks.

Teams struggling to optimise their workflow may benefit from a program like Outreach. The data and insights support better planning and decision-making to be more efficient and effective.

Key Features:

  • Pipeline oversight and management for every deal.
  • Gamification features boost buyer engagement throughout the process.
  • Access to an in-depth knowledge base, coaching, and training.
  • Personalise for your teams and individual reps, including goal-setting features.
  • Stellar security, privacy, and compliance elements.


  • Extensive automation options save time on prospecting tasks.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Reporting is useful for managers to monitor employee performance.


  • This product has a bit of a learning curve, with some adjustments necessary when they update the user interface.
  • It’s primarily focused on supporting administrative tasks but not so helpful with improving the buyer experience.


  • Outreach does not provide pricing on its website. They list three packages: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise, but you must contact the sales team to discuss pricing.
Best CRM Pipedrive alternative

Outreach Alternative:

Instantly.ai is an affordable alternative for teams who want to test a platform for buying. It’s focused on supporting sales growth with targeted lead generation. Instantly.ai offers similar features with a user-friendly interface, though it’s not as robust as Outreach.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider Apollo.io, with a limited free plan and several tiers to accommodate any budget. It supports B2B sales teams with prospecting, lead engagement, and structuring the sales pipeline.


Salesloft allows teams to automate many tasks to save time and optimise their sales processes. It’s convenient for remote teams and those working on the go because of the mobile responsiveness and room for automation.

While it sounds similar to Outreach, Salesloft takes things in a slightly different direction. Both platforms leverage machine learning and AI to deliver better results and support automated tasks, but Salesloft is more user-friendly. There’s still a learning curve, but the interface is more straightforward than Outreach’s.

Of course, both platforms focus on the internal sales experience and processes without much consideration for the buyer journey. 

Key Features:

  • Track open rates on emails and attachments as well as clicks on links.
  • Integrates with popular email and CRM platforms.
  • Record calls for future reference.
  • Manage prospect information and contacts.
  • Know where every prospect is in the sales funnel at any given time.


  • Syncs with CRM to gain better oversight over prospect interactions.
  • Automations reduce time spent on mundane administrative tasks.
  • Use AI for predictive analytics for smoother workflow.


  • There is a steep learning curve for the platform.
  • Though pricing is customised, it may be too much for smaller firms.


  • Salesloft does not provide pricing on the website. The company notes that they create custom packages for each client, including the pricing.

Salesloft Alternative:

Though Outreach may be one of Salesloft’s biggest competitors, you might consider some other alternatives in the same arena. 

HubSpot Sales Hub is another consideration for those seeking more structure and support for their sales teams. You can try it for free to see if it’s a good fit but expect to pay a premium price with packages starting at $800 per month.

Revenue.io is another option for teams who aren’t sold on the most popular, mainstream platforms. The L.A.-based platform is relatively new with focuses on real-time data to make sales teams more agile. It lacks some of the features and seamlessness that you get with others in the class, including Salesloft. 


Salesken takes on an entirely different aspect of the sales process by addressing sales interactions, including calls and chats. The platform uses AI to refine your buyer responses for optimal results. It’s easier to identify gaps and support sales reps with interactions to find greater success.

The AI-driven software records and assesses interactions with leads to gauge how well a sales rep’s pitch works. It identifies areas for improvement and adjustments that could improve the relationship to close the deal.

Sales teams struggling to connect and build relationships can gain valuable insight from Salesken’s reporting. Play-by-play reporting can help sales reps understand mistakes and how to improve interaction to give buyers a better experience.

Key Features:

  • Record and track interactions across multiple channels, including emails and live chats.
  • Tap into customer scoring features to focus your efforts on the most qualified leads.
  • Gauge sales rep performance to reduce training time and improve output.
  • Provide real-time cues to sales reps to improve interactions and customer experience.


  • Real-time feedback improves overall performance across the board.
  • Excellent for training new employees and keeping teams updated on new products or offerings.
  • Boosts efficiency with AI and machine learning guidance.


  • It only covers one aspect of buyer engagement and requires interactions between a sales rep and a buyer to provide data.
  • You might need time to learn all the tools to maximise the product’s effectiveness.


  • Salesken does not provide pricing on the website. Interested companies can reach out for custom pricing plans and packages to meet their needs.

Salesken Alternative:

Gong is the top Salesken alternative with similar features. It integrates with popular platforms to evaluate rep interactions with prospects across multiple channels. You can even evaluate SMS interactions with Gong. 

The platform doesn’t provide pricing on the website because it offers custom packages for each client. 

Forward Helps B2B Sales Teams Boost Buyer Engagement

Productivity is a hot topic in the sales world, with everyone looking for ways to optimise their processes. The idea is that optimisation allows sales reps to do more, perform better, and close more deals. 

These products all offer outstanding support for sales teams, but they focus solely on internal operations. Aside from platforms building engaging, interactive demos, there’s no discussion of how to engage your buyers to convert more sales.

Failing to address the buyer experience is a major pitfall for B2B sales teams. You can send and track all of the emails, documents, and presentations you want, but if you don’t wow the buyer, you won’t make the sale.

To succeed in the modern sales world, you need to address the buyer on their level. B2B buyers want to feel heard and understood, meaning you need to deliver a personalised experience that addresses all their concerns and pain points. In most cases, that means speaking to several decision-makers with unique issues.

Impress Your Buyer To Win More Sales

Let’s face it: sending an email with a list of links to content and demos isn’t impressive, so it’s not productive. Buyers don’t want to spend time searching through links when they receive dozens of similar emails every day. Even if you save time by automating those emails and follow-ups, they don’t matter if they don’t resonate with your buyer.

Modern B2B sales is about more than selling your product. You need to nurture relationships with every prospect to convert them into buyers. In short, you need to impress your prospects every time.

Forward’s digital sales room makes it possible to reach your sales goals by providing an exceptional sales experience for every buyer.

  • Personalised workspaces impress buyers and serve as a centralised hub for your deal. Deliver a tailored experience with curated content that puts your buyer front and centre for the entire process. 
  • Interact in real-time with live chat and comments to ensure your buyer gets the answers they need when they need them. Keep the interactions in one place so it’s easier for your buyer and your team to follow and stay on the same page.
  • Multi-media embed enables teams to organise and edit sales materials. It’s easy to add documents, presentations, and more to any workspace for a seamless experience. 
  • Use Mutual Action Plans (MAP) to structure the sales journey while keeping it interactive and engaging for buyers. Set deadlines, share documents, and close deals faster.

From the first contact, you can set up a personalised virtual room with everything you and your buyer need. Easily add new content as needed to address buyer questions, concerns, and requests for a seamless buyer journey.

Empower Your Sales Team To Succeed

Striking a balance between internal sales processes and the buyer experience is the sweet spot for sales teams. You still need to provide your reps with the tools to boost productivity and alleviate the time spent on administrative tasks. 

  • Seamless integrations mean you can use all your favourite tools without missing a beat. For example, you could use Pipedrive as your CRM to leverage those tools without worrying about manual data entry.
  • Track buyer engagement in real-time to prioritise follow-ups appropriately. Better buyer insights allow sales teams to focus on those leads with the highest engagement to improve conversion rates.
  • Save time with a library of customisable templates so your sales team can focus on closing deals. There’s something for every sales scenario with room to personalise them for each buyer.

If you want to stand out from your competition, you need to deliver an exceptional buyer experience while guiding them through the sales pipeline. Forward allows you to use your favourite productivity tools for your internal processes, but it helps you refocus efforts on your buyer. 

Empower your team to succeed with Forward’s digital sales room. Try it for free today!

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