Today’s businesses have to be nimble. No matter the size or structure, companies have to shuck and jive fast. Making moves to ensure growth is more like guessing whether some new technology, or new flow will pan out to revenue. Well, there are some keys to the kingdom worth mentioning to salespeople and service providers everywhere that this article covers. All businesses have an umbrella that consists of three major components. CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software), MAP (Marketing Automation Platforms), and Sales Enablement tools are the backbone of most businesses today. This is especially true in the SaaS world, but even retailers, service providers, and consultants are beginning to see the light when it comes to buying sales technology and building a scalable techstack.
The Power of 3 When Buying Sales Technology
If we know that businesses rely on these powerhouse tools that help them measure, grow, sustain, and generate revenue, then it’s in our best interests as value creators to find and provide technologies that are complementary to these 3 cornerstone platforms. Let’s break down each one of these three and talk a bit about what they do and why they are important.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) is like your digital rolodex. However, these platforms, are more than just cards holding phone numbers. They house any and all things related to your prospects and customers. This includes but is not limited to accounts they are associated with, opportunities created, follow ups, events, and so on and so forth. This is the proverbial waterhole that sales professionals draw from today. Gone are the days of stalking house to house banging on doors to sell your service or product. Now, it’s a report we pull in our CRM. If you want to see all the leads in your CRM that were created last month that have not been contacted yet, who’s name starts with “A”, it’s merely a few clicks away and there you have it. All those people’s names, numbers, and email addresses are all there for you to leverage. CRM changed the way businesses go to Market.
It’s important to think about ways your tools, products and services compliment a CRM. This can be one specific CRM or multiple. The more then better, but many multi-million dollar companies exist that serve only users of one CRM. There are so many ways that CRM can be enhanced. Maybe your tools get data into the CRM, help track emails, or contracts. Maybe they create quotes, or auto-merge duplicate records, plague on CRM. The bottom line herem, is that when selling in the SaaS space, complementing or enhancing a company’s chosen CRM is a good angle to take upon approach. These are costly tools and seeing a full ROI from them is often a big focus for firms utilizing a CRM.
MAP (Marketing Automation Platforms) are essential for scalable growth and sustaining a large customer base. There was once a time when it took eons for a company to make a change of any kind. Not because their people moved slowly. No.
The reason for the slow move to change is logistical. “How can we let all of our clients know this change is coming before we make the change?” Imagine stalking door to door, city by city, or sending one letter at a time to people informing them a change is coming to a service they already pay for. A single change to your products or services would take months, and in some cases years to roll out. You’d have to wait that long just to ensure your paying clients got the word. Then there was still no way of knowing how they feel about it. Until thy cancel, of course.
Today, MAP’s gives us the ability to reach out to a massive amount of customers and prospects at once. Informing them of changes, offering them special pricing or collateral to take action against. Here’s the drawback. When prospecting using Marketing automation as a delivery mechanism, everything traces back to the CRM. Without a strong communication bridge between CRM and MAP, chaos ensues! Duplicate records all over the place start popping up, triggers are going off and notifications are being sent to multiple people for the same lead. Too many sales reps begin reaching out to the same companies and no one is getting traction or meetings because the conduit that moves information from MAP to CRM is broken or nonexistent.
Think about all the ways your product or tools help solve the problems MAP’s cause, and you’ll find a buyer that has that exact problem. While they are powerful, MAP’s require constant maintenance, supervision, and editing to ensure they are delivering what needs to be delivered and not irritating potential buyers and existing customers. How does your product or service enhance or compliment MAP’s?
Finally, Sales Enablement takes the stage as the final piece of the Power 3. There are countless ways to look at sales enablement. These are platforms that do many things. They manage cadences, or sequences, they track email opens and link clicks, they make managing a pipeline easier in many ways. They even incorporate social touches which enables salespeople to become more personal with their platforms. Platforms are all the rage in sales today because they enable salespeople to have a better view of what’s happening with that prospect as they move through their pipeline.
What’s happening to those emails after you send them? How many times has this email been opened at this company and by how many people? Of the seven attempts to connect with this prospect, how many times have they actually picked up the phone or responded to my messaging? These questions (and more) can be answered with the use of sales enablement platforms.
How does your tool set benefit a sales team leveraging a sales enablement platform? If you can tie your product or service back to a platform that your prospects are already successful with, you have some great talking points and are quite able to be effective in moving the conversation forward.
In short, my submission is that sales pros everywhere should be finding ways to enhance or compliment one of the three major platforms most enterprise companies use today. Consultants should be out there educating SMB’s and startups to take a look at this Power 3 and consider how they will use them to grow into the giants they want to become. There’s no telling when the next change to this mashup will take place, so we should all be looking to familiarize with these cornerstone pieces of software before the current state becomes the past state and the next big SaaS change slaps us all in the face.
About the Author:
James Buckley is Director of Business Development and Partner Manager at JB Sales Training. He is a Sales Trainer, creator of the popular #saywhatsales and podcast host who inspires sales representatives to own their own brand. James writes and creates video content to inspire sales professionals to create unique personal brands. He’s also the author of “Tip of The Spear”, a handbook for new sales development reps that seek to get a strong start in the sales industry.”