Automating Your Sales & Marketing Funnel is Essential to Your Business’s Success: the Best Tools to Use


If your business isn’t utilizing a CRM and marketing automation tool: it is missing out on sales. That isn’t hyperbole to say. With the range of CRM (customer relationship management), sales automation and marketing automation tools available for any budget and size of business, you have no excuse not to move your business into the 21st century and utilize the tools available to ensure every lead is nurtured and propositioned at the best time.

Marrying the use of your CRM, sales automation and marketing automation allows your teams to stay on the same page and decrease the amount of research your sales team is required to do on each lead before they pick up the phone, and many businesses are now finding success with all-in-one CRM and automation solutions.

A healthy sales pipeline is essential to the health and growth of any business, and the tools available now help leads flow smoothly down the funnel, upping conversion rates considerably, and many of the marketing automation tools truly personalise each prospect’s experience with you. These tools often help you identify the sticking points in your funnel so you can go and work on them to help more leads flow on further.

One of the great features to look for in your CRM and sales automation tool is ‘lead scores’. This is where the tool gives your lead a score on how ready they believe they are to buy. This helps you know when you need to nurture further and allows sales teams to identify the hottest leads, and many of the tools listed below have system triggers to send alerts to your team when action needs to be taken.

A great benefit of these platforms is the increased analytics, often compiled within your dashboard. They offer realistic sales forecasts, charts, KPIs and more so you can look at up-to-date data whenever you need it.

The right tool is the key to increasing sales, so to guide you through all the different tools available we’ve compiled our ultimate list of CRMs, Sales and Marketing Automation tools.


Pardot (by SalesForce)

PardotBest for corporate and enterprises and has a fantastic reputation for being one of the best CRMs and marketing automation platforms available. Pardot is SalesForce’s marketing automation solution. It allows you to align your marketing and sales to generate the best leads, keep them engaged, and connect with them at the right time to close more sales.

  • It will help you fill your pipeline with leads using powerful email marketing, custom landing pages, smart lead capture forms
  • It has a central marketing dashboard
  • Personalise the buyer’s experience from click to close
  • Prioritise the best leads with scoring and grading of prospects
  • Real-time alerts
  • Templates
  • Calculate marketing ROI
  • Custom dashboards
  • Advanced email reporting

Pricing on Pardot reflects its clientele; and bills yearly based on a maximum of 10,000 contacts. Contacts in this context applies to email addresses and leads. Their “Growth” level is the lowest, and is £1,000 per month billed annually. Their highest level, “Advanced”, is highly customizable and is £2,300 per month billed annually.



marketoMarketo is an Adobe company and best serves corporate and enterprises with a range of products covering everything marketing and sales automation. Their marketing automation tool helps your organisation automate and measure campaigns across channels.

  • Find and engage with the right customers
  • Build long-term relationships with your customers
  • Easily build and scale automated marketing campaigns
  • Engage prospects in a personalised way
  • Focus sales on the hottest prospects
  • Trigger sales calls at just the right time
  • Measure and optimise your marketing by moving beyond simple clicks and opens
  • See instantly which campaigns are doing the most for your overall revenue.

Marketo also has a sales automation product designed to work with or independently of their other products. Sales Engage aims to empower your sales team with a single workflow for automated and personalised inbound and outbound engagements, so they spend more time selling than they do on administrative tasks.

  • Easily identify the best prospects with lead scoring
  • Real-time insights
  • Assists in keeping prospects engaged
  • Digital sales playbooks driving best practices across channels (email/phone/social/direct mail etc)



hubspotHubspot truly caters to all levels of business. All of their products have a free version for beginners, an affordable “Starter” level for entrepreneurs and startups, and also offers discounts to startups on their other levels. It facilitates any level of business to create flowing funnels.

Hubspot’s CRM is completely free, forever. It contains everything you need to organise, track and nurture your leads so you can manage your pipeline effectively and accelerate your sales team’s success.

  • It takes care of all the administrative work your sales teams hate
  • It takes minutes to learn
  • Automatic interaction tracking
  • Deals are displayed on one dashboard for total visibility
  • Up to 1 million contacts, users, and storage
  • No expiration date
  • Works whether you’re a team of 1 or 1000
  • Manage your pipeline with total visibility
  • Syncs with Gmail and Outlook
  • See everything about a contact in one place
  • Real-time notifications
  • Enrich contact records automatically
  • Place calls from within the CRM

Hubspot has other products that it can be used together for powerful results. Its full Growth Platform contains everything you need; the CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and Services Hub, and works to close the loop between marketing and sales.

Hubspot has a range of pricing options to cater for any business of any size, and has special pricing options for startups. The CRM is always 100% free. The Marketing Hub ranges from the free option, to a “Starter” at £42 per month, and moves up to £2,624 per month billed annually for enterprises.

The Sales Hub also has the free and Starter levels, then the “Professional” level is £330pm for five users and “Enterprise” is £990pm for 10 users, both billed annually. The services hub is priced the same way. For the full “Professional Growth Suite”, Starter (one user) is only £95pm. “Professional”, for 5 users is £987pm, and “Enterprise” for 10 users is £3,453pm, both billed annually.



infusionsoftInfusionsoft is designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs so you can see all your customer information in one place. It helps you manage your tasks, sales opportunities and email results all in one place. It’s incredibly popular with its users and is used by over 30,000 businesses.

  • Analytics
  • Create quotes and invoices quickly, track when they’ve been seen, paid or are late, and collect payments
  • Schedule appointments and send out meeting reminders automatically
  • Hundreds of app plugins
  • Automate chasing down late invoices and payments
  • Sales pipeline
  • Payments
  • Automated workflows that send customizable emails to move prospects forward
  • Payments
  • Integrations

You can try it for free without a credit card for fourteen days, and pricing starts at $99 per month, and as you advance they also have Infusionsoft Pro for businesses dealing with large volumes.



kartraKartra is very focused on the online business world, and from the moment you go onto their site you can tell just what market they aim to please. Kartra aims to automate your entire business. They have ready to use, done-for-you marketing campaigns that you can just insert your business’s details into.

  • Launch campaigns with just the push of a button
  • They teamed up with Frank Kern (leading internet marketing expert) to create elite funnels
  • Contains a list builder
  • Quick launch feature
  • Contains all the assets you need
  • Predesigned
  • Contains world-class copy all written for you; including emails, landing pages, thank you pages, squeeze pages, checkouts and more
  • Campaigns are set up for you with all the required lists, tags, and marketing automation
  • Drag and drop pages
  • Custom domains

It’s a great place to start for online startups or those ready to scale, but don’t need all the bells and whistles of CRMs and team-led sales. You can get started from just $1, but their pricing is unclear otherwise (may be further down the page)



zohoZoho is a sales CRM software that works best for small businesses, though caters for all. It’s designed to help you sell smarter and faster, so you know just the right moment to reach out to prospects and engage them across all channels.

Zoho is a little unique in that it has it’s own assistant AI that will retrieve and present any information you need, from overviews to specific client information, which is a nice feature for those new to CRMs.

  • Zoho caters for all channels: email, live chat, telephony, social media
  • Real-time alerts with SalesSignals
  • A wide range of analytics: charts, funnels, targets, anomalies, KPIs, comparator
  • Distinct portals for different team members and levels
  • Lead management
  • Integrates with other apps (Office, Twitter, Zendesk, GSuite, Slack, Zapier, MailChimp, LinkedIn)

Zoho comes with a fifteen day free trial with no credit card required, and the pricing is extremely affordable, so it’s great for small companies, startups and entrepreneurs. All their prices are billed yearly and minus tax. Their “Standard” level is $12 per month, “Professional” is $20, “Enterprise” $35, and “Ultimate” is $100.



insightlyGreat for beginners, entrepreneurs, and startups. This is perhaps one of the most [basic] tools available, and if you’re a business who’s only ready to dip your toe into the world of automation, Insightly may be a good place to start.

  • Insightly allows you to build a scalable pipeline that converts
  • Add custom pipeline statuses and automated alerts
  • You can manage your pipeline, view and customize it from any device
  • Kaban-style reports and business intelligence dashboards
  • They offer a free trial so you don’t have to hand over any money until you’re sure it is the right tool for you.

You will need to do in-depth research to decide which tools are right for you and your businesses, but hopefully, this list has given you a short list to work from and find the features that are best for you at the price point that’s right for your budget.