Evaluating Your Sales Technology Stack
Sometimes breaking up is hard to do, but we all know deep down inside that continuing a personal or professional relationship that has no future is not good for anyone. Updating or changing out a sales technology resource seems like a daunting task, especially considering the time spent aligning your processes with a vendor, training your staff to utilize the solution, and integrate into their workflow. Yes, it can be difficult to evaluate what you really need out of a sales technology vendor until you know exactly what you don’t need in one. You may have a wonderful relationship with your current vendor or your account manager, but if their product no longer matches your organizations’ challenges or priorities and there is a solution that does, it may be time for a change. The following are points that we address when we work with you on evaluating your sales technology stack.
Always Remain Focused on Your Goals and Objectives
It is easy to be influenced by a sales professional, especially one who does not want to lose your business. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear and agree to almost anything. If you are ready to move forward with a new or updated sales technology strategy, first you will need to know what you want and that means you need to do some homework. Don’t start by soliciting any peers outside of your company for advice, they really don’t know or understand your organizations pains and frustrations and offer little to no value.
Your first step should always be focused on understanding your current sales process and whether that aligns with your business objectives. Too often, our sellers follow a playbook that doesn’t match or align with our buyer’s journey.
Know Your Stakeholders
Understanding the stakeholders involved and their potential impact, is a crucial step in your sales technology evolution. There are a number or roles who will be directly impacted by a sales technology change within your organization. Knowing who will help or hinder a hurdle a new technology strategy forward is incredibly valuable and often the key to your integration and adoption success.
Each role has a different responsibility and may see the solution in a totally different way. Marketing may want to better understand a customer’s interest through interaction and consumption of content. IT/CISO may want to understand how a new solution may impact or leverage existing systems and what security concerns may exist. Field or Inside sales may want to know how the solution could overcome common housekeeping responsibilities and automatically update 3rd party systems including the CRM with customer communications and activities.
Make Sure You’re Not Part of the Problem
Knowing what technology may already exist within your company and how it is being utilized cannot be overlooked. Many organizations have technology spread across multiple departments that is redundant and a significant impact on their overall technology budget.
In some cases, the capability to utilize and support some of these resources may fall on a specific department. An audit of each stakeholders existing technology stack and their capabilities to utilize what already exists in addition to any new technology being considered is also very important. Knowing whether your end users are more capable of driving a KIA versus the Corvette should always be a consideration when transitioning to a new technology.
Analyze Solution and Fit
Now that you have considered all these factors and which business objectives the potential solution aligns to; you are ready to evaluate which technology could potentially fill those gaps.
Which solutions align with your process to extract value? Does the solution align with your capabilities, challenges and key performance indicators that you have already defined? Will a new solution require additional training resources or incremental headcount? When should you expect to see a return on investment? What would be the cost of doing nothing?
At the end of the day a vendor should be adding value to your bottom line! If they are not, your first step is to determine if you are you using the product and its features to their fullest potential. Very often only a small portion of the salestech solution is used because we did not consider all the points we have listed above. Utilizing the Vendor Neutral’s free sales technology identification and selection resources is a great place to start to determine which of your challenges and priorities align with the more than 500 sales technology solutions existing today.
Reducing or consolidating the number of required sales technology solutions could easily save you tens of thousands of dollars if not considerably more, depending on the size of your organization and your customer facing staff. By Taking the time to define your process, audit your existing technology stack, and an understanding your capabilities will provide a roadmap for your long-term sales technology success.