The Best AI Prospecting Tools for Automating Outbound

There are tons of AI prospecting tools on the market and more arriving every day. This guide provides an overview of the major players and must-have AI tools in any modern outbound sales team's tech stack.

Dan Moran
2024-03-27

There are tons of great AI sales tools on the market.

And whether it’s legacy companies incorporating AI into existing products or startups offering something brand new, it seems there are more and more every day.

But of the many products that make up the broader category of AI sales tools, only a few focus specifically on prospecting. This article showcases the best AI-powered best purpose-built to generate more leads, opportunities, and revenue through outbound.

This article has another purpose, which we feel would be disingenuous to obscure.

It’s our goal to convince you that OneShot.ai is a must-have tool in your prospecting tech stack.

To do this, we’ve rounded up the best AI sales tools out there that you need to consider when building an outbound stack and explained why OneShot.ai is a crucial component of such a tech stack.

Before we get stuck into the list, let’s first have a quick refresher on why AI is such a game changer for outbound prospecting.

Why AI is revolutionizing prospecting

Outbound sales prospecting is ripe for disruption by AI.

Think about it. The vast majority of prospecting tasks carried out by SDRs today are manual. Finding leads and pulling them from a data provider, researching accounts and prospects, creating sequences, cold calling, writing emails—all of this is done manually.

And it’s a massive waste of time.

AI can perform these tasks with far greater speed, efficiency, and accuracy than a human can. Does this make SDRs irrelevant? No, it doesn’t; and you can read more about how AI is impacting SDRs and sales development here. The future of outbound prospecting is AI tools guided by smart, curious, and creative humans. AI sales tools handle the grunt work, so sellers can better implement more creative, engaging, and buyer-centric outreach strategies.

How outbound sales teams are using AI

AI-powered prospecting isn’t a far-flung futuristic dream. It’s happening today.

Sales teams and reps responsible for generating leads and new business opportunities through outbound methods are already using AI to capture huge workflow efficiencies.

Here are some of the tasks top sales teams are delegating to AI.

Automating manual tasks

This is obviously painting the matter with a broad brush. But automating manual tasks is really the core of optimizing prospecting with AI, because prospecting is filled with so many manual, repetitive tasks. Many of an SDR’s jobs to be done are either data collection or analysis, admin tasks, or repetitive activities—all of which AI sales tools excel at.

Finding high-intent, good-fit leads

Defining and locating ideal leads is another task AI is well-equipped to tackle. Many sales teams already have the means to capture intent signals, yet few often do anything with this data because it can be vague and cumbersome to analyze. By cross-referencing an ideal customer profile against data sources like website visitors, leads engaging with your content and relevant keywords, and successful customers via your CRM, AI can help pinpoint the best-fit prospects and prioritize prospecting efforts accordingly.

RELATED READING: How to Transform 3 Common Intent Signals Into Opportunities with AI

Prospect research

Understanding the responsibilities and pain points of the people you’re reaching out to is an essential element of prospecting. It’s practically impossible to create relevant messaging without doing so. However, prospect research is a time-consuming process—especially when you’re prospecting hundreds of leads a day. AI sales tools can massively speed this up this process, which gives you more time to leverage that research to create compelling messaging.

Company research

Like understanding your contact, it’s just as important to understand the company they work for. Knowing what a company does, how their product works, and who they help can be a challenge. B2B websites are notoriously opaque and hard to understand. AI tools can help quickly cut through the jargon to give you a solid understanding of what a company does so you can better sell to them.

RELATED READING: How To Use AI To Understand What Any Company Does

Generating personalized messaging

The generative capabilities of AI is the thing that gets all the attention. But as AI is capable of producing pretty much anything, it takes a knowledgeable human guide to ensure the output is appropriate. For example, if you asked AI to write a prospecting email without any further context it’d be terrible. But by constraining it with rules about length and tone, and providing context about your prospect and their company, AI can produce some truly incredible outreach emails.

FREE RESOURCE: The Ultimate AI Prospecting Prompt Workflow

The 10 best AI prospecting tools

Let’s get into it. Here are the 10 best AI-powered prospecting tools for sales teams.

OneShot.ai

OneShot.ai - the best AI sales prospecting tool.

OneShot.ai is the AI prospecting platform for revenue teams.

We built OneShot.ai with a simple mission in mind: Make outbound the most reliable and profitable GTM channel. We do it by leveraging advanced AI to engage the right person with the right message at the right time.

Manual tasks are the biggest productivity killer for sales teams, so we removed them all with intelligent automations. With OneShot.ai you can pinpoint ICP leads in buying mode, conduct in-depth research, and generate highly relevant and personalized messaging in minutes.

What sets OneShot.ai apart

Three features and capabilities distinguish OneShot.ai from the rest:

  1. Research capabilities: Thorough research is key to prospecting success, and OneShot.ai goes further than any other tool in this domain. Our specially engineered AI model runs deep research on the account and prospect level from multiple data sources and automatically incorporates the findings into messaging.
  2. A+ messaging: By leveraging the best open-source LLMs, OneShot.ai generates outreach messaging indistinguishable from the best sales copywriters. It incorporates research findings into proven email frameworks and best practices to ensure each message is hyper-personalized and primed for conversion.
  3. Continuous optimization: Advanced machine learning reinforcement learning algorithms run in the background of each campaign, continually monitoring campaign engagement and optimizing for performance and results.

Keen to see OneShot.ai in action? Let us show you example messages for your company plus custom prompts to scale outreach in a personalized demo →

Apollo

Apollo bills itself as a sales platform built to “close them all”.

It offers a range of products and functionality that support sales teams at each stage of the sales process.

Reps can identify leads from their massive contact database, then use the appropriate tools to enrich, prospect, engage, and close qualified leads.

They’ve also recently released Apollo AI, and AI sales assistant built on the database of 275+ million contacts.

Key Features

  • The AI writing assistant uses the vast database and multiple data points to create highly personalized emails for each prospect.
  • Advanced analysis powered by AI generates automated follow-up emails emails based on the sentiment of responses
  • Automated sales plays allow for the creation of automated go-to-market strategies tailored to each prospect

What sets Apollo apart

Apollo distinguishes itself from the competition with its enormous database and integrated AI features.

It bills itself as the all-in-one sales platform, covering everything from finding leads to closing deals.

ChatGPT

No list of AI sales tools is complete without the one that kicked off the AI frenzy—ChatGPT.

Of course, ChatGPT isn’t only a sales prospecting tool. It can handle pretty much any task you throw at it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also an incredible tool for building pipeline.

The right prompts can transform ChatGPT into an AI-powered sales assistant which can assist with tasks like prospect research, qualifying accounts, and writing outreach emails.

Key Features

  • Generative capabilities for producing a wide range of outputs tailored to specific prompts or questions.
  • The ability to research live data sources and provide explanations and summaries of findings.
  • The conversational nature of ChatGPT can be useful for sparking ideas, refining large blocks of text into neat summaries, and offering feedback.

What sets ChatGPT apart

ChatGPT and the GPT-4 technology the current version is built on is the engine that powers many AI sales tools. It’s the OG AI tool, if it’s possible for such a new space to have such a thing.

However, the broad utility of ChatGPT is also the limiting factor when it comes to prospecting—you need to be a decent prompt engineer to unlock the true power of the tool to use it for effective prospecting.

Reply.io

Reply.io is an AI-powered platform that automates and scales sales communication.

Its robust feature set allows sellers to engage with leads across multiple channels like email and social media. Offering email deliverability capabilities, AI-assisted writing, predictive analytics and a built-in B2B contact database, Reply.io helps sales teams find and connect with ideal customers more efficiently.

They also recently released Jason AI, a personal assistant powered by ChatGPT built to automate outreach sequences, handle responses, and book meetings.

Key Features

  • Automates multichannel sales outreach across email and social networks, specifically LinkedIn.
  • Provides AI-driven suggestions for creating more engaging and effective email content.
  • Offers a database of B2B contacts to help sales teams find and connect with potential leads without needing to rely on an external data provider.

What sets Reply.io apart

Reply.io’s differentiating capability lies in its ability for multichannel automation.

By combining a vast database with integrated AI, it uses automation to streamline the process of locating, researching, and reaching out to ICP leads on the channels in which they’re active.

Seamless.ai

Seamless.ai is a search engine for “the world’s best” B2B leads.

It uses artificial intelligence to help sales professionals identify and connect with potential customers, using real-time real-time search capabilities to find, verify, and deliver contact information.

By enriching existing lead lists, finding key decision-makers within target companies, and automatically updating your CRM with this information, it helps sales teams hit their entire TAM and get more deals and increase revenue.

Key Features

  • Real-time B2B sales lead search engine to directly connect with ideal customers.
  • Chrome extension for easy access to contact information anywhere on the web.
  • AI-powered writing tool for effective sales and marketing messaging.

What sets Seamless.ai apart

Seamless.Ai differentiates itself by providing a real-time search engine for B2B sales leads, offering verified contact information with a focus on accuracy and recency.

Its unique approach involves AI to scour the web in real-time to ensure up-to-date data, contrasting with traditional databases that may become outdated.

Lavender

Lavender is an AI-powered outreach email coach.

By analyzing and providing feedback and scores in real time, it helps sales reps craft better outreach messages as they write it. The dashboard contains all the key metrics and information, while the Chrome extensions analyzes emails as and where you write them.

Key Features

  • Real time analysis, coaching, and scoring helps improve emails as you write them.
  • AI-powered analysis to evaluate and improve email content for effectiveness.
  • Real-time suggestions for personalizing emails to boost engagement and response rates.
  • Integration with popular email platforms, offering in-the-moment guidance and coaching.

What sets Lavender.ai apart

Lavender.ai is a brilliant tool to help write better emails. But its utility as a prospecting tool starts and stops there. Unlike other tools on this list which handle the entire outreach process from finding leads to researching accounts and generating & sending personalized messaging, Lavender.ai is a point solution with one goal: increase the quality of manual emails. Though it performs this goal admirably if that’s what you’re after.

Orum

Orum is an AI-powered sales dialler that automates outbound cold calling.

By providing tools for sales coaching and analytics, it not only helps sales reps make more connections but also improves sales performance, during those conversations.

The platform is built to support sales teams by fostering a high-energy sales environment, improve outcomes by helping book more meetings on the phone, and record progress by integrating with existing sales tools.

Key Features

  • Streamlines cold calling by dialling multiple numbers simultaneously and connecting sales reps only when a live person answers.
  • Provides sales coaching tools and insights to help sales teams improve performance through better understanding of call outcomes.
  • Integrates with existing sales tools and workflows, enhancing efficiency without disrupting established processes.

What sets Orum apart

Orum stands out by focusing on automating the initial call connection process, thereby significantly increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of sales teams.

This approach uniquely combines AI and automation to ensure sales teams can focus more on meaningful conversations rather than manual dialing.

Salesfinity

Salesfinity is an AI-powered smart parallel dialler that promises an “endless live customer conversations on the phone”.

By using AI to take care of the busywork that comes with cold calling, Salesfininty allows sales reps and sales teams to focus on having better conversations with prospects over the phone more often.

Key Features

  • AI-Powered smart parallel dialing capabilities automate outbound calls, increasing the chances of connecting with prospects.
  • Intelligent lead scoring and prioritization helps focus efforts on the most promising leads for better efficiency.
  • Seamless CRM and sales engagement platform enhances workflow efficiency.

What sets Salesfinity apart

Salesfinity sets itself apart with its smart parallel dialing feature powered by AI. By integrating intelligent lead scoring and call prioritization, sales reps can automatically focus their efforts on the most promising prospects.

Amplemarket

Amplemarket is an AI-powered platform that enhances sales by automating outreach, identifying ready-to-buy leads, and improving email deliverability.

It offers access to a huge global contact database, claims to triple response rates through automated outreach, and increases email open rates by ensuring emails reach their intended inboxes.

Key Features

  • Automated outreach workflows to engage potential leads through personalized communication.
  • AI lead identification prioritizes leads that are more likely to convert into customers.
  • Email deliverability optimization ensures emails reach the intended recipient's inbox

What sets Amplemarket apart

Amplemarket distinguishes itself with a strong focus on automating sales outreach and optimizing email deliverability.

Its AI-driven approach to identifying ready-to-buy leads and personalizing communication helps sales teams significantly enhancing response rates, and the platform's capability to identify and improve email deliverability issues distinguishes it by ensuring higher open rates and engagement.

HeyReach

HeyReach is a tool designed to scale LinkedIn outreach for sales teams without scaling the team.

With social selling being such an integral part of a modern prospecting process, HeyReach helps make rep’s approach even more effective by automating manual tasks.

It automates the process of sending invites, messages, and follow-ups, and allows for managing multiple LinkedIn accounts.

Key Features

  • Automates sending of LinkedIn invites, messages, and follow-ups.
  • Enables management of multiple LinkedIn accounts from a single platform.
  • Integrates with CRM systems for streamlined outreach and contact management.

What sets HeyReach apart

HeyReach distinguishes itself by offering specialized tools for scaling LinkedIn outreach efficiently, without the need to expand the sales team.

This focus on leveraging LinkedIn for outreach, combined with automation and CRM integration, positions HeyReach as a tailored solution for businesses looking to maximize their social selling sales strategies.

The best AI prospecting tool for sales teams?

After evaluating the playing field, it's clear that OneShot.ai is a must-have AI prospecting tool.

When it comes to leveraging AI to automate finding & researching leads and conducting highly personalized outreach, nothing on the market comes close to the specialized functionality and technical depth that OneShot.ai can provide.

Here are a few ways OneShot.ai stands out

  1. True personalization in bulk, at scale

A true highlight of OneShot.ai is the ability to scale in-depth research and personalized messaging generation across your entire prospect list in one click.

Other AI tools only allow you to work one prospect at a time. With OneShot.ai, sales teams can scale and replicate the same approach for all of your contacts with one action, producing highly personalized outputs for each.

  1. Specially trained AI

Our AI is trained on email prospecting best practices and is finely tuned to produce messages that get you more positive responses.

If that’s not enough, you also have the flexibility to implement your own prompts. That means you can build your own personal AI SDR that’s trained on your company, your value proposition, your ideal customers, and how you solve their pain points.

  1. Automatic campaign optimization

OneShot.ai runs a powerful machine learning process known as reinforcement learning that continuously monitors the performance of each campaign.

This intelligent system responds to engagement in real time. It doubles down on what’s working and scales back when prospects aren’t as interested. This means that each interaction with your potential customers is optimized for a good experience, setting you up for success now if they’re ready to talk or later if they need a little more nurturing.

  1. Built by both sales and tech veterans

We’re quite confident that OneShot.ai is the only AI prospecting company founded by both sales and tech veterans.

Between Gautam’s 20+ years in enterprise sales and Venki’s decade-long stint building AI products at Salesforce, we have a unique perspective on both the challenges of modern outbound selling and the technical capabilities to build the best solution.

Considering these factors, it’s clear that OneShot.ai is the only AI prospecting tool you need to put your outbound on autopilot.

Clearly, we’re biased—but several happy customers agree with us.

However, we’ve attempted to approach this tool review in as fair and impartial a manner as possible.

Implementing an AI prospecting tool into your sales team and process is a consequential decision that will have a real impact on your pipeline, your company, and your career.

If you’re currently considering the value of implementing such a tool, you need a clear view of the competitive landscape so you can make the best decision for your team. Hopefully this article accomplished that for you.

Want to see for yourself how OneShot.ai helps you generate more revenue from outbound with AI? Reach out and we’ll set up your 1-1 demo.

OneShot.ai uses AI to power outbound at scale. See how by booking a demo.
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