It seems like there are sales enablement tools for everything these days. Ask these three questions to figure out what you really need.
It’s not easy to be in sales. Salespeople need the right information, content and tools in order to do their jobs effectively. Fortunately, the sales tech world is booming. But technology has its pros and cons. While a smart investment can amplify sales’ efforts, a new tool that goes unused will simply waste time and money.
Sales Tech 101: What’s in your stack?
Since sales technology is hardly a brand-new concept, you likely already have a sales tech stack in place – even if you haven’t been calling it that.
“Sales technology” includes any systems or tools that make the sales organization’s job easier or faster, including improving how they communicate with prospective customers.
The main sales enablement tools typically fall within one of these categories:
- Customer/client relationship management (CRM)
- Content management
- Sales intelligence
- Amplification tools (social selling, email tracking, account-based marketing)
- Dashboards and analytics
Sales Tech 201: How does your stack measure up?
But how do you know if your current tools are the right ones? And what about all of the new tools that seem to emerge each month?
First, start with an audit of your existing tech stack. Inventory what you have and its role or purpose. From there, you can gauge any gaps or weakness, and identify specific new tools that will contribute to the strength of your overall ‘stack,’ in relation to how it supports sales along the customer’s journey.
Here are three questions to ask as you evaluate if your tech stack is working for you:
- Do salespeople actually use the technology? It’s not unheard of for tools or software to simply go unused. Find out who uses each specific tool (and who doesn’t) and ask why. It might be due to a lack of training or knowledge, or perhaps it’s just not solving any of sales’ challenges or friction points. See what usage data you can glean from the backend of the system and complement that with one-on-one interviews or small focus groups to uncover what sales needs – and what they don’t.
- Does the technology create efficiencies? Once you have several different software providers in the mix, things can get complicated. But one of the primary goals of technology is to make work more efficient. When a tool or system doesn’t communicate with other systems, it can lead to more administrative time or unofficial workarounds. If the sales team is spending extra time to manually correlate data or enter the same information twice, that’s not speeding up or simplifying anyone’s job. Integration is key to creating a cohesive tech stack.
- Does the technology contribute to business ROI? All investments should produce a return or measurable result. And major investments should tie to the company’s biggest goals! Find what results or impact the technology is having and assess whether the technology is worth the money you’re spending. Technology investments are intended to help sales sell and companies grow, so if they’re not – it might be time to cut them loose.
These are only a few starter questions to help you begin your tech stack evaluation journey. Dig into the details and ask the hard questions.
Technology can absolutely enhance the sales process, just make sure it doesn’t take too much time away from sales activity. With an honest evaluation of your existing tools and a clear vision of what sales needs, you can take steps to invest in the right technology. Trust me, whatever your need or challenge, the right technology for you is out there.
Sales Enablement is a complex but critical piece of your operations, especially in the B2B space. Standing Partnership has worked with many organizations to find the best sales enablement tools to meet their sales targets and improve other aspects of the sales process. To learn more about sales enablement, download our sales enablement playbook.