Read This Checklist before Purchasing Sales Tech Solutions
Many companies jump at sales technology solutions because they offer appealing functionality. For successful adoption, however, picking the actual sales tech should be the very last step in your process. (Surprised by that? Read all about step number one here.)
Before you start researching specific vendors, before you calculate licensing costs and seats, before you even think about investing in new sales technology solutions, here are the questions you need to answer about your company:
Answer These 10 Questions for Better Sales Tech Adoption, Implementation, and ROI
- Who are the stakeholders, and how will they be involved long term?
You can’t have success with your sales tech solutions if you don’t take into account the people who are going to be affected. Identify all your relevant stakeholders, and then open an ongoing dialogue with them. Find out firsthand about their pain points, challenges, and needs rather than assuming a given sales tech solution will fix their problems. Keep these dialogues going before, during, and after implementation to ensure ongoing buy-in and long-term success.
- What are the ongoing costs to support the use and value of the solution?
When assessing sales tech, always be thinking in terms of economic value. If the solution doesn’t improve your bottom line, it’s not worth it! Make sure to consider all factors that go into the ongoing support of this tool. That includes the training required for implementation—initial training, upkeep, and onboarding of new employees.
One component of this question many companies miss is determining the cost of not taking action at all. If you didn’t implement any solution, how much would you be out? Always factor that into your assessment of ROI.
- What is needed for successful implementation? What time, resources, and environments are required?
Before you implement any solution, you must ensure you have the capabilities and infrastructure to support that tool. Think through the time required for implementation. (How willing, excited, and adaptable are your stakeholders? A team that hasn’t bought in is going to take longer to onboard and train.) What other resources—financial and otherwise—will be required to implement? Factor all these into your assessment of ROI as well.
- What business objective does this sales tech solution work toward? What problem will it solve?
Always determine the “why” of a sales tech solution. If it’s not solving a problem you’re experiencing or helping you achieve an objective, then it’s not the right solution for your company.
- What is the probability this sales tech solution will demonstrate a return on investment? If yes, how quickly?
Return on investment can be a difficult metric to fully capture, but every tool needs to demonstrate its economic value. Otherwise, you’re looking at a net loss. Assess as thoroughly and accurately as possible the likelihood this tool will be a financial positive. If the answer is yes, determine who long your company will have to wait for that breakeven point. Does that timetable make logistical and financial sense?
Remember to think about the tool’s value holistically. Do the net benefits offset all the costs (training, upkeep, amended processes, onboarding, and more)?
6. How much of the sales tech solution functionality will we use?
Consider this question in terms of capability (how much functionality your infrastructure can support) and necessity (how much functionality your company actually needs). These are two common ways companies lose revenue on sales tech solutions. They pay for more tool than they can handle, or they pay for a comprehensive suite of functionality when they only need a few pieces.
7. How will performance of the sales tech solution be measured?
Data, metrics, and analytics are key to determining if a sales tech tools is doing its job. You need hard numbers to make informed decisions about a tool’s performance.
You also need established goals and objectives. If you don’t know where you’re heading, how can you assess if that tool is helping get you there? (Goals and objectives are so key to this process, we put them as part of the first step in our sales tech buyer road map.)
8. What other sales tech solutions need to be integrated with this solution?
Seeing a positive return on investment hinges on your sales tech solutions integrating well together. If a solution pulls your sales rep out of his or her work flow, then that tool is simply going to be a distraction and a time waster. One survey found sales reps only spend 35.2 percent of their time actually selling, and at least some of that waste comes from unintegrated, unorganized, scattered sales tech solutions. Proper integration allows your reps to spend more time selling, and that’s the best way to boost your bottom line.
9. What processes are necessary to extract maximum value from the sales tech solutions?
As companies start to work through this process of sales tech acquisition, it becomes clear that success often relies on some holistic changes to processes and mind-set. If your departments are siloed, for example, communication is going to be stymied, and that’s going to negatively affect your adoption rates. Cross-functional alignment and open communication are key.
This is just one facet to consider. To get the most value out of your sales tech solutions, you need to assess your business at this high level and determine all the necessary procedural changes. Only then will you create an environment that’s conducive to tech integration and success.
10. What concerns do we have related to sales technology implementation?
Always take time to identify and to address your company’s particular concerns. Every company is different, and every tech solution works differently in those disparate environments. Figure out what’s keeping your company up at night as it relates to tech implementation. These company-specific concerns should never be ignored!
Can you confidently answer all these questions? Do you feel as if you’re ready to start the sales technology selection process? Great! Once you’ve put your systems, strategies, and processes in place and you’ve identified a potential vendor, here are 10 questions to ask before committing to that solution.
Feel as if you understand your company but don’t know where to start in the sales tech selection process? Try out our free sales tech selector tool to begin this journey.
Feeling overwhelmed by the entire sales tech process? Need a partner who can help walk you through organizational changes and the subsequent tech selection process? Check out what our consultative services can offer your midmarket or enterprise business!