Do you feel like every time you mention a need for improvement in your sales process, someone always suggests a new tech tool? There are literally hundreds of SalesTech solutions out here, and the industry is growing exponentially. Solutions exist for everything, from building better customer relationships and data management to marketing automation, finance and internal relationship building.
Sales tools promise to increase productivity, close more deals and ultimately boost revenue. However, buying a new tool is not always a great idea, and there are times it can be detrimental to productivity. When should you invest in sales technology? Let’s answer that by addressing five situations when you definitely don’t want to purchase a new tool.
1. You Just Hired More Reps
Onboarding new hires is critical to long-term success and reducing turnover. Research from Glassdoor found that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Effective onboarding is a challenge and takes a well-developed process.
On the other hand, introducing a new tech tool is a lot of work. In addition to training staff, it drains resources that should be dedicated to effectively onboarding the new members of your team. This is especially true if your vendor doesn’t offer much post-sale support. If managers, internal tech support and other team members are distracted and stressed with trying to figure out a new technology, they are not going to focus on welcoming the new hires. Your new reps will likely get lost in the shuffle. If a new tool is deemed necessary, wait until the initial onboarding process is over. Or, if possible, get the new technology up and running before you hire a bunch of new reps.
2. You Just Bought Another Tool
One study showed that 65 percent of small business owners feel that IT disruption will play a strong factor in their tech spending decisions. They know that adding new technology on top of new technology is just a bad idea.
Why is more not better? Simply put, your resources will be diverted. Adding another tool before you master an existing one will result in a less than perfect job of getting both tools onboarded. Nail down one before you add another to your plate, so that your attention and resources can be focused on fully optimizing the new tool.
Make sure your employees are fully functioning with a new tool before adding another. Get the new tech process working at 100 percent, with all the kinks worked out. Then, focus on the next issue and what tool will help you solve it.
3. Your Results Just Aren’t Good Enough
While tech tools can make you more productive, they can’t close deals for you. If your sales results are lacking, a new sales tool might not be the solution. Focus on people first. Who is producing well? Tap their expertise. Can they mentor lower-producing sales reps? Provide resources and training on a regular basis. “One of the best ways to keep new and seasoned talent sharp is by making it a point to have training on a recurring basis,” advised Entrepreneur magazine. Tech tools take great sales people and make them greater. Improve your results by optimizing your staff first. Then, look at tech tools that will make them even better.
Tech tools are all about solving a problem. To invest in the right tech tool, you must know the root of the problem. For example, are you expecting a tech tool to make sense of chaotic data? Is it supposed to fix inefficient workflow? While tech tools can help with both these problems, they are not magically going to fix ineffective processes.
4. Under New Leadership
Regardless of industry, all CEOs are tech CEOs these days. They know the critical role technology plays in the success of their companies. The tech path they lead may be what defines their success or failure. Therefore, when new leadership comes in, they often want to overhaul everything, including the sales technology stack. Especially if sales have not been great, new leaders will want to launch a new general strategy and change the approach of the whole team to bring it more in line with their ideology. Slow down. Sanity check everything. Why?
Harvard Business Review (HBR) noted that 74 percent of new leaders say they are unprepared for their new role, and nearly half of them disappoint or fail entirely after just 18 months. What leads to this scenario? HBR reports that they “judge too quickly, making snap decisions that prove to be ill-advised, or wait interminably to gather more facts.”
New leadership should take time to learn workflows, processes and staff needs before recommending new technology. Additionally, making decisions about new technology should always follow a process that gathers feedback from a cross-section of employees, not just one leader.
5. Just Got Funding
Sudden access to cash can sometimes feel like it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Many business owners are quick to starting scaling, which means spending on more people and more tools. While wise investments are critical to growing your business, remember that you shouldn’t hinge your future success on a big stack investment. Technology will change. You’ll continue to grow. Tech tools should always supplement an already existing effective business strategy.
Take the time to think about how available tech solutions will integrate with your existing workflow and current technologies. Will it add more work for your team or create efficiencies? Will it grow with your business? You don’t want to invest precious funding in technology that will be obsolete if you have a big surge in business. Tech solutions must be able to adapt and respond to changing market conditions. This is especially true if you must justify expenditures to investors. They want to see that you have used those funds wisely.
Research shows the majority of companies are not getting full value from their tech investments. Why? Simply put, they are making unwise decisions when it comes to tech investments. Accenture explains, “As these less-than-ideal choices add up, they create what we call the innovation achievement gap. That’s the difference between the potential and realized value of their efforts.”
What’s your innovation achievement gap? Need help deciding what tech tools you need and when you should implement them? Vendor Neutral provides professional guidance via our SalesTech Roadmap. Get free results with our simple stack selector.