Sales Automation. Part 2: No-Code Tools for Sales and SDR Teams
You might have already heard about no-code or low-code tools. These are handy software platforms that allow you to build your own applications to automate various workflows with little to no special skills or knowledge of basic programming.
And they are pretty big right now, to say the least. How big, you ask? Well, Gartner expects the no-code market to grow by 23% in 2021 alone (and even account for 65% of all application development by 2024 🤯).
Since I’m a huge tech enthusiast and automation geek, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting tools to do some of my work for me — especially if it takes just a few minutes to set up the whole process. That is why I’ve become an avid no-code tools user over the past couple of years.
And I’m ready to share 25 of my top picks (+ some alternatives) with you.
Spreadsheets and Database Software
Spreadsheets and databases are basically where SDRs live most of the time. Being able to organize and easily access the information we need is a huge time-saver, not to mention the chance to automate some of the tasks related to that data.
That is why I’d like to start the list with my favorite no-code database software.
Airtable is an easy-to-use but powerful database/spreadsheet hybrid. In other words, you can use it to store and organize your data, collaborate on it with your team but also model and manage your processes, track and organize your workflows, visualize your data, identify relationships between concepts, and much more.
But what I like about it is the huge number of ready-made building blocks (mini-apps) you can mix and match — just like Lego — to do whatever you need. Airtable also has an impressive list of integrations allowing it to fit perfectly into any stack.
Clay is another noteworthy spreadsheet software that comes with basic coding capabilities for building automations on top of it. The best part? It has a ton of useful features and ready-made templates specifically for sales teams, e.g. the flows to enrich your leads by pulling info from any website, discover prospects based on hiring intent or their technographics.
The core platform represents a spreadsheet-like database for storing your data. Using this as a foundation, you can build custom flows to automate different actions based on trigger events or even create custom functions using third-party APIs or code.
Actiondesk is a full-fledged business intelligence tool within a simple spreadsheet. Just connect your CRM or other data source, import the data, and start exploring it with powerful filters and default formulas.
Sales teams can use the platform to easily analyze won/lost opportunities, conversion rate, lead pipeline, and even build custom funnel reports and performance dashboards (pulling data from Pipedrive, Salesforce, or Airtable).
Workflow Automation Tools
While some of the above-mentioned tools help you automate certain workflows, using dedicated software to orchestrate your work across your stack and outside of it is a whole different story.
So, if you want more flexibility and power to automate your workflows, the following no-code tools can do the job.
Zapier has long become a go-to solution for workflow automation. This handy software serves as a bridge connecting any and all tools in your stack, seamlessly syncing data across multiple platforms, and triggering specific actions based on preset parameters.
The so-called ‘zaps’ — automated workflows — consist of trigger events and corresponding actions. For example, you can use it to send a notification in Slack once there’s a new response to any of your campaigns or add Zapier action as an automated task directly in Reply sequence to enrich the lead via Clearbit, verify email, or even send a hand-written note.
Tray.io is one more “general” workflow automation platform that allows you to integrate two or more apps via APIs and streamline data management and processes across them. So, if the app you’re using has RESTful API, you can connect to it.
What really stands out to me about Tray.io is their visual workflow editor. It’s super convenient and easy to use. Also, there’s a white-label version of the platform called Tray Embedded that you could use to manage integrations and workflows in your own environment.
Parabola is an up-and-coming automation platform that is specifically built to streamline data-heavy tasks in sales and marketing.
While it is mostly aimed at businesses using Shopify, there are still many useful sales reporting capabilities in general. For example, you can use it to move your data between different apps, create automatic sales reports, and calculate anything from your customer lifetime value (LTV) to compensation plans for your sales team.
airSlate is an all-in-one no-code document workflow automation platform that combines eSigning, robotic process automation, contract negotiation, document generation, and web forms in a single solution. Sales teams use airSlate to streamline their price quoting and proposals, sales orders, discount requests, purchase invoices and contracts.
airSlate's easy-to-configure no-code Bots help sales reps and departments maximize their performance and efficiency by optimizing end-to-end sales pipelines. Role-based document routing allows for making the most of prospects’ information, while ensuring data privacy and compliance.
Growth Hacking Automation
Growth hacking is a concept that is wildly popular in the marketing world. Yet, sales development teams can benefit from adopting some of the growth hacking tactics and tools as well.
Here are some of the growth hacking tools I would recommend to any SDR.
TexAu is a no-code data extraction and automation software that has become a must-have tool for growth hackers and SDRs alike. It allows you to build automations and streamline workflows related to lead generation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and many other platforms.
With 180+ ready-made “spices” (automation scenarios) in store, it’s super-easy to use. If you use LinkedIn in your sales sequences, TexAu can help you boost engagement by automatically liking posts/comments, viewing profiles, sending connection requests, etc.
Phantombuster is another popular no-code automation and data extraction platform used primarily for growth hacking. It allows you to chain triggers to specific actions and create scalable workflows for lead generation and business growth.
Similar to the previous tool, Phantombuster can help you scale your social media engagement activities by automatically following targeted profiles, liking their posts, sending personal messages, accepting requests, etc.
More useful no-code tools for growth hacking:
High-quality data is the backbone of any sales process. Yet, getting that data can be a real challenge at times. That is where data scrapers come in handy.
Despite being frowned upon, they are still an important part of any SDR toolset. If you’re looking to add a no-code scraper to your stack, here are some options to consider.
Just like many other tools listed above, Dashblock allows you to build automations without coding and trigger those automations from an API to collect structured data. On top of that, the platform offers a ready-to-use engine to fuel your sales funnel with quality leads by scraping the data from various sources and enriching the records in your CRM.
Simplescraper is an easy-to-use but powerful web scraper. You can either use its Chrome extension to run locally in your browser or build automated data extraction flows to scrape web pages and turn them into APIs (to download in CSV or JSON format).
You can turn each web page you scrape into an API that you can call for fresh data whenever you need, save the extracted data to Google Sheets or Airtable, or push it to Zapier.
Import.io is a full-fledged enterprise Web Data Integration (WDI) platform with a rich arsenal of tools for data extraction, preparation, and integration. Its no-code web scraper works like charm: All you need to do is enter the target URL, point and click on the required data and it will automatically extract it for you (even if it’s behind a login).
Import.io uses advanced machine learning techniques to train the extractor when you interact with it so after some time it can be set to run automatically, according to a certain schedule, creating larger datasets for you.
Internal App Builders
There are thousands — millions of tools on the market. Yet, finding the one that will perfectly meet your requirements and satisfy all of your needs (in terms of budget or features) seems to be mission impossible at times.
If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and build your own app from scratch (yes, you read that right), this section is for you. Here are some of the no-code app builder tools to consider.
Bubble is one of the most well-known products in the no-code space. Just ask which tool you should use to draft some MVP or internal tool and you’ll see people rushing to recommend it. And it’s no surprise — the platform is extremely powerful, claiming it can empower you to build something like Facebook or Airbnb.
Not sure about Facebook-like apps, but Bubble is a perfect solution if you want to draft some decent tools for your sales team to use. For example, you can build a full-fledged custom CRM to manage your pipeline, add new leads, and track the status of the current deals.
Honeycode (Beta) is a step into the no-code app development competition from a tech giant. The platform relies on the familiar and convenient spreadsheet model and allows you to get started in minutes with a ton of ready-made app templates, including a customer tracker or demo schedule for sales teams.
To make sure your Honeycode app perfectly fits into your current stack, you can easily integrate it with a number of popular SaaS platforms or AWS services via Zapier and Amazon AppFlow or connect directly using API.
Stacker is another platform that offers a complete toolset to build internal or customer- or partner-facing apps without a single line of code. You can also use it to build a bespoke CRM — a collaborative environment with flexible permissions (for external partners) tailored to perfectly fit your requirements.
The apps can be safely connected to Airtable, Google Sheets, or Salesforce to pull the data and then personalize it to make your SDRs feel at home with branding, i.e., corporate colors and logo.
Google Sheet to API Tools
I’ve previously shared a hack to connect any app to Google Sheets. That is the DIY approach that has worked just fine for me for years. But if you’re more comfortable using a dedicated tool, we’ve got you covered too!
Here are some of the tools that can help you turn your Google Sheets into an API.
Sheetsu allows you to turn your Google Spreadsheet into a database in minutes. The integration works both ways, so you can put a custom form on your website or mobile app to collect any types of data (from lead contacts to user feedback and login details) and have the data automatically recorded into the spreadsheet for easy collaboration and processing.
The platform also has language bindings so you can use whatever language you like or simply paste HTML code (if you lack the coding skills).
API Spreadsheets stand out from other API tools out there mostly due to the simplicity of their process. Just upload your file (Google Sheets or Excel), generate the API link, and start building on top of your data. The platform supports basic CRUD (create-read-update-delete) actions.
Dropbase is another powerful tool that allows you to import, process, clean up, and export your data to a live database in just one click. Unlike other tools in this category, it works with Google Sheets as well as CSV and Excel files.
As a result, you can streamline data workflows across your stack and centralize your offline and online data to make it easily accessible to your team.
Be they simple meeting notes or your team’s sales playbook, having a convenient place to organize and store your documents is very important. What’s even better is when your documents can adapt to your needs or even turn into a space for team collaboration and creativity.
If you’re looking for something more powerful than a simple Google Doc, here’s a couple of note-taking apps I can recommend.
Notion is the app that I use daily to keep track of my ideas and draft content. In fact, this very article has been written in Notion — along with dozens of other posts for my LinkedIn or Substack blog.
Yet, aside from being a note-taking app with a powerful text editor, it’s also an all-in-one workplace app to store and organize your information, share knowledge, collaborate with the team, and visualize and coordinate tasks. As for the sales role, it’s a great place to store your playbooks.
Coda has a simple goal of helping teams get organized and work effectively in one place instead of switching between documents, spreadsheets, and apps. Similar to Notion, it has advanced text editing capabilities that rely on certain commands (e.g., type “/voting” to create a quick poll).
It’s very easy to use with a set of building blocks (tables, buttons, etc.), ready-made templates, and packs — plug-ins you can use to connect to your favorite apps. The interface has several customizable views so every team member can find their own convenient setting for getting work done.
The listed tools can already craft a solid tech stack to please even the most demanding sales development professional. Yet, there are more tools that are definitely worth your attention.
So, here are some of the helpful extras that I’ve been using recently.
Bannerbear is an API for automating image and video generation. I’ve mentioned it earlier among other tools for image personalization. You can use it to create visuals for social media, web banners, dynamic images for email outreach, and much more.
MonkeyLearn is a suite of text analysis tools that you can train to identify sentiment, intent, or keywords within the given text. You can use it to tag and route incoming messages and source insights from your sales conversations.
Databread is a Chrome extension that makes switching between the tabs and tools unnecessary. It connects to all of your favorite SaaS apps, so you can access them or get the required data with a single click, whenever and wherever you need.
Better Proposals is a great software that helps you create and send high-converting business proposals. They offer a vast library of proposal templates, so you can easily find the best one for your needs. The editor is easy to use and doesn’t require any design experience. All proposals come with a digital signature option, payment integrations, proposal analytics and more.
Levity is a no-code AI platform that automates workflows involving documents, images, and text. The use cases include checking documents for completeness, customer insights and email categorization, social listening, tagging email attachments, etc.
Blobr allows you to build a unified portal for all of your APIs. You can use it to create, customize, manage, and distribute your API products in minutes without a single line of code.
SpreadSimple is a no-code tool that can transform a spreadsheet into a functional website in minutes. In other words, it’s a customizable CMS with tons of ready-to-use templates and integrations.
Here you go — the total of 61 amazing no-code tools to help you 👇
- build, automate, and organize your workflows;
- source, share, and analyze the data;
- connect and expand your toolset;
- collaborate and share knowledge within the team.
I hope you will find something interesting here to power up your sales development efforts.
Stay tuned — I have more sales automation hacks to share!
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