Follow This 6-step Plan
From automating tasks that were done manually to eliminating the need for in-person meetings, the functionalities of sales technology tools are designed to save your business time and money. However, to maximize the return on investment, or ROI, from your existing sales technology stack, it’s critical to assess through a strategic lens.
To get the most out of the tools you’re already using, follow this six-step plan.
How Most People Buy Sales Technology…and Why It’s Wrong
Before we jump into the six steps, it’s important to identify the big problem that continually crops of when securing technological tools. Many organizations don’t approach this process from a strategic standpoint. It’s often a haphazard amassing of tools, selecting resources in a reactionary way. A problem comes up; a technological tool is licensed or purchased to address the problem.
Companies today hear so much about building a sales technology stack, and they assume they need an entire suite of resources. For some companies, that’s true. For others, it’s not. Whatever the vertical, size, and organizational structure of your company, the important thing is not to build a big stack but a smart stack—one that solves the problems you regularly encounter in the most financially prudent way.
After all, the cost of getting this wrong can be huge. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step plan.
6-Step Plan for Maximizing ROI from Your Existing Sales Technology Stack
- Step #1: Define How a Task Is Currently Done
The first step is to thoroughly assess a current task your business does. Consider the following:
- Who in the organization does this task?
- What does doing the task entail?
- What technology is currently used to accomplish or to assist with the task?
- How often is this task done?
- Step #2: Identify the Current Costs for That Task
Knowing how much it costs to complete the task is critical, but don’t just look at the fee you’re paying for the technological tool. Make sure to identify all aspects that affect cost. This can include how much time it takes to complete that task and whose time is being demanded. For example, does it require the personal attention of your CEO, whose time might be better spent on other, more profitable tasks?
- Step #3: Set Goals to Reduce the Costs
Once you’ve defined the parameters of the task and you know how much that task is costing you, you’re ready to set realistic goals to reduce your cost. Reducing real-world cost could mean increasing the efficiency of the task (i.e., completing the task in less time), or it could mean doing the task more effectively (i.e., increasing your revenue, shortening the sales cycle, or reducing task complexity).
- Step #4: Determine the Cost of the Solution
Isolate and identify how much your existing technological tool costs. How much is your licensing fee or subscription?
Again, though, when thinking about cost, consider the whole picture. If you expect to grow, can the tool scale with you? Would it make more financial sense to move to a technological solution now that has that capability, knowing the switch could minimize the cost of retraining employees and gaining buy-in?
When assessing the costs associated with your current tool, consider factors such as these as well:
- Internal IT support costs
- Premium resource support, if needed
- Integration capabilities with other existing tools, such as your CRM
- Reporting capabilities to gain data that illuminate cost
- Internal implementation costs, including training
- Step #5: Estimate the Solution’s Benefits and Value
If you’re using a tool that provides reporting and tracking, your estimates might be highly accurate. If not, do your best to gather relevant data to determine how much value your existing tool is bringing and how much it’s saving you. Think about productivity savings (increased efficiency or efficacy), revenue improvements (leads generated and converted, improvement to the sales cycle, and deal size), adoption and compliance rates, and other factors relevant to your business and tool.
Still unsure what metrics to be looking for? Here’s a quick breakdown of five key benefits to sales technology.
- Step #6: Assess the Current Costs and the Estimated Value and Benefits
Now you’ve gathered all the necessary data, it’s time to analyze your results. Based on your stated goals, can your existing technological solution get you where you want to go? Is there an option (either a standalone solution or a tool that serves multiple functions) that makes more financial sense? Determine your payback period, or how long it takes for benefits to equal cost, to give you a time frame for breaking even. After you’ve done a full assessment, you should know your best option: staying with your existing solution, upgrading or downgrading that solution, choosing a new solution, or opting for no technological solution at all.
ROI Is about More Than Cost
When thinking about ROI, it’s critical to think about the big picture. With a piece of sales technology in your stack, it’s not just about how many leads or deals come from that technology. This end result is important and must be considered, but you also need to think through everything that’s impacting cost.
What does it cost to identify, to train, and to onboard a new rep so that he or she has an understanding of the new technology? What’s the net cost of changing from one solution to another? Don’t forget, the time frame should be factored in as well. Will most or all of this expense be up front, or will it be a recurring cost you’ll accrue by adopting the new technology?
The biggest takeaway here is that ROI is a lot more complex than comparing a before and after price. It’s part of what makes selecting the right sales technology so difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this prospect or need guidance assessing your current sales technology stack, reach out to us today. Our consulting services are designed to determine where you are today, to identify where you want to go, and to create a plan to get you there.