Some helpful context first. We manage dedicated teams of sales development specialists for our client-partners. We hire and manage sellers, as well as support them with coaching, a modern selling process, and, yes, a sophisticated tech stack.
In other words, we help our client-partners outsource sales development so that they can move faster towards achieving their revenue goals.
Parsing tech stack options can get intimidating … and scary
You’ve heard about tech tools on the market that can do wonderful and magical things for your company. You start exploring these tools and quickly realize that every drop of the ocean is a tool to choose from and you are a diver that’s been left at sea like a scene from the film “Open Water.”
Does this sound familiar?
Not to worry. We are going to review the top priorities to consider when making your selections, so you can get back on the boat headed for dry land where the won deals are.
First, let’s examine the customer’s journey. The typical funnel flows from lead to prospect, to proposal, and then to the client. Throughout that seemingly simple journey, your lead may encounter many scenarios with different team members, including discovery calls, sales demos, proposal calls, legal discussions, contract signing, and invoicing.
How you manage this process is paramount. That brings us to priority number one.
1. Customer Journey
How does a particular tool impact your customer’s path throughout your sales process? Ask questions and think about how they may be positively or negatively affected.
For example, how easy is it for a potential customer to schedule a demo call when they are interested? Do you have a phone number or an email directing them to a sales team member that requires 15 minutes of their valuable time to get on your calendar? Or, can you put in place a tool that offers them access to available slots on your calendar saving valuable time for them and your sales team?
2. Process Efficiency
There seems to be a tool for everything. That said, just because there is a tool for everything, doesn’t mean that you need a tool for everything. Having too many tools in your tech stack could slow you down. Efficiency needs to be a priority consideration. Think carefully about ways that the burden of a tool may outweigh the benefits it offers.
For example, consider your sales team’s path through their sales process the same way you considered your customer’s journey. What processes slow them down or help them tremendously? Seek the tools you can identify to help with the sticking points.
3. Team Adoption
All the amazing tools you can add to your belt won’t make any difference if your team isn’t using them. If a tool requires too much setup configuration on the user’s part, has a steep learning curve, or is cumbersome to use, your team may prefer to continue with their old process.
Ensure that any technology you put in place is easily understood. Communicating how the tool will ultimately benefit the team, why the decision to use it has been made, and how customers may be impacted will help gain user adoption.
4. Integration Capabilities
We cannot discuss process efficacy and team adoption without mentioning integration capabilities. Your integrations determine how well your tech stack tools operate with each other. Tools that easily connect to each other make data sharing easier saving time for your sales team and ultimately money as well. The cost savings occur when you don’t need to hire a developer to make the connections and your sales team can operate with more fluidity, saving time they can ultimately apply towards closing more deals.
For example, let’s assume you have a tool that records and transcribes your meetings though it can’t integrate easily with your CRM. This means that one of two things is happening; Either the sales rep is forced to spend extra time manually inputting the meeting notes or they aren’t putting the notes into the CRM.
5. Success Measurements
Before deciding on a new tool to add to your tech stack, be sure to consider how you will measure its success. In what ways will it be monitored and reported so that you know if it’s working to elevate your business? Determine what your key performance indicators will be and how you will analyze them to make changes in tool use as needed.
A word about your tech stack budget
A modern tech stack sized appropriately for your business can get expensive. According to Blissfully’s 2020 Annual Report on SaaS Trends, the number of unique tools in use is up 30 percent year over year while spending is up 50 percent year over year as companies increase the number of licensed users and services.
The typical sales team is using roughly 5 to 13 different tools during their day. Not taking into account the internal tools you may want to consider for team collaboration and productivity, data storage and visualization, or sales management forecasting, let’s take a peek at what is the minimum required for the operation of a sales team.
Depending on the CRM you use, pricing can range from $35 to over $200 per month for some of the top selections. Calling tools can range from $20 per month for a Zoom phone line, to over $500 per month for CRM power dialers to speed your team’s productivity dialing and answering calls. Video conferencing software for the most frequently used comes in at $20 to $60 per month.
Sales enablement tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator for lead sourcing, an e-signature tool like DocuSign for quicker contract turnaround, or sales intelligence to better gauge deal health through conversational AI like Gong, can produce an even much larger spread of budget needs for sales teams.
You can see from these numbers that, at minimum, sales tools can cost your organization $75 to $760 per month per user depending on the tools you choose for your team. That quickly adds up to an annual cost per user of $900 to $9,120, and it doesn’t even include the enablement options or internal productivity tools you may want to incorporate for your team. The average company spends $4,600 per year for a single sales rep’s tech stack.
With options for tools consistently growing and consolidation in the marketplace paving pathways for increased budget needs, rapid team adoption, and return on your investment are ideal. Achievement of these is easier said than done when you factor in tool setup, configuration, and team training for use. You will then need a measurable amount of time factored in to assess the tool’s success and know if it truly provides value to your company’s processes.
Build your company’s tech stack to best support your team.
From CRMs and calendar features to conversational sentiment and workflow AI, you have many options in the sea of tech tools to arm your team.
Having a partner as you scale that has already done the testing or takes the burden for you is well worth the investment. This allows you to skip budget and time lost on tools that you’ll learn are not optimal for your business. You can familiarize yourself with the range of options available by visiting our pricing page.
Take these listed and other priorities unique to your business into account as you navigate the options and identify what may be best for your specific tech stack.
We love talking sales so reach out to start a conversation. Contact us at [email protected].