Sales technology is constantly evolving. We’re always looking for the next tech tool that will help increase productivity, bring in more leads and boost conversion rates. McKinsey Global Institute revealed that 40 percent of sales tasks can now be automated, and they estimate that number will be closer to 50 percent as advancements continue.
Sales teams are reaping the rewards of technology. The State of Sales Report found that 73 percent of sales professionals use technology to close more deals, and 97 percent say that sales technology is either important or very important to closing deals. Just look at the difference AI technology is making in the area of lead qualification. While technology is helping us bring in boatloads of new leads, research shows that 75 percent of leads are still not followed-up on. When organizations started to use AI for lead generation qualification, they experienced a 100 percent touch rate.
However, wading through the plethora of available sales technology is overwhelming. Companies must avoid investing in tech that is just simply not worth it. In fact, “cut unneeded technology” is one of Inc. magazine’s top ways to cut waste. How do you know when a sales technology tool will actually help you and not end up classified as “waste?” Here are five signs to look for.
1. You Have a Very Specific Use Case.
If you have identified a specific area that sales technology will move the needle, clearly and directly improving a specific process, you’re making a move in the right direction. For example, if your problem is low close rates, identify why they are low. What will improve it? If a sales technology application can improve that one specific problem, it’s a good use case.
Entrepreneur magazine published its list of 4 Trends in Sales Tech That Will Determine Success in 2020. Its first trend was “Relevance Beats Variety.” Is the technology you are considering really relevant to your team’s workflow? “Practical tools that fit both budget and audience deliver better results and create fewer headaches for sales teams,” said the article. Is the tech tool practical? Determine your answer by identifying the specific use case.
2. Your Sales Reps are Crying Out for the New Tool.
Sales rep buy-in is critical. They know their process best. They are the ones that will be using the technology and benefiting from it. So, if they say they want it, it’s time to listen up. As companies move toward a more customer-centric approach, the role of sales has become more critical.
According to Salesforce, 69 percent of companies say Sales has increased influence within the organization. That’s because Sales is on the front lines, interacting with consumers more than anyone else. If your Sales team says the new sales technology tool offers something worth investing in, it’s probably time to invest.
3. Data Shows Weak and Strong Areas.
Sometimes identifying the specific use case can be challenging. This is where data reviewed by your leadership team should shed some light on where your sales team is weak and where they are strong. Create an initiative that identifies the weak spots and strategies for improvement. Gather feedback from the sales team. Remember, their buy-in is critical. Then, proceed with a technology buy that targets the areas outlined in the initiative.
Speaking on the topic of communicating key sales data, Entrepreneur commented in the same article referenced above, “many companies fail to communicate that data effectively between departments. When that happens, marketing efforts go to waste, and sales teams feel frustrated by their inability to use the insights they receive.”
Put the data you collect to good use. Don’t restrict data reports to the leadership team. Share and engage your sales team. Empower their success with knowledge and the tools to turn bad trends around.
4. Prospect and Customer Feedback Has Identified a Flaw.
Converting customers today involves a complex strategy that involves many steps and might involve days, weeks or even months. That’s why companies identify and closely watch their buyers’ journeys. The best way to see if each step of the journey is doing what it should is to ask the prospect or customer. Prospects and customers are in the best position to help you identify gaps in that buying journey. If the sales technology you are considering fills that specific gap, that’s a good sign you should go for it.
5. You’re Wasting Time on Things That Could Be Automated.
Companies that invest in sales force automation see a 64 percent increase in sales. Advances in AI and Deep Learning have enabled sales technology companies to design tools that retain personalization while creating a time-saving automated process. If you are finding that your team is wasting a lot of time manually performing takes that could be automated or at least streamlined, it’s time to invest in a sales technology tool that will save precious time. Here are our top three areas where you could benefit from automation.
- Send email. Forget spending hours writing custom emails to prospects. Automatically generate correspondence that addresses the receiver’s specific need and their place in the buyer’s journey.
- Qualify leads. The same sales tools that bring in loads of new leads can also stifle the process because reps do not know who are the high-priority ones. As a result, much time is wasted sifting through data to uncover the most promising leads. Instead, invest in automated lead scoring tools that can help identify the most engaged leads.
- Automate basic tasks. Sales reps work hard so that their leads do not go cold. That means they are always putting reminders on calendars, recording correspondence in spreadsheets, etc. Make this process more efficient with task automation.
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