In today’s digital economy the sheer volume of sales stack solutions that are bought and never used continues to cost Buyer’s time and money. Studies over the years estimate that buyers waste 30-45% of their IT budget on unused technology solutions. We need better processes and measurement capabilities to ensure that we are optimizing investments in time and money.
That sounds like a wonderful goal, but how do we do it? The success of technology outcome is measurable, but you have to have a strategy defined with clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before the deal is closed. Both Buyers and Vendors have a role to play in defining the outcome and KPIs needed to measure success which includes tracking activities across multiple roles and departments. There are three key steps in the Buyer’s Journey that should be considered for KPIs– preparation during the buying process, technology outcomes, and on-boarding.
Starting The Sales Stack Buying Process
First let’s start at the beginning of the buying process – a buyer and a vendor have discussions about the goals and the strategy to add a new technology to the sales stack. A buyer should not close the deal with the vendor without defining technology outcomes. It is critical to identify how the technology solution is going to drive efficiency or increase profitability for the buyer. A vendor should help the buyer identify the outcomes and demonstrate to the buyer how to achieve the outcome. So the KPI for this should measure whether or not the technology outcome is defined by the end of the buying process.
If you have achieved the first KPI of Defining the Technology Outcome, you will have also defined at least one more KPI to measure the outcome. For example, a buyer wants to add a technology for eSignatures in order to shorten the sales cycle from lead to signed contract. The KPI for the technology outcome is a shorter sales cycle post implementing the technology solution. If you are having trouble thinking through technology outcomes read this article.
Second let’s dive deeper into on-boarding. The KPI for this falls is both the buyer and the vendor responsibility buckets. This needs to be a joint effort between the buyer technology champions and the vendor customer success team. This is also the hardest KPI to measure. There are work efforts on both sides that need to be accomplished to manage the change associated with the new technology solution.
If we only measure that people are logging into the new technology solution we will not be successful. We need to measure that we identified and completed all the activities necessary to help people adopt the new tool. Activities include communications, information sessions, training sessions, and help sessions throughout the pre/post implementation of the technology solution. The KPI should measure the completion of all necessary activities.
Thinking Bigger Picture
Third let’s look at the bigger picture for the buyer. There are other KPIs that should be considered when planning the activities for on-boarding. For example – sometimes a sales team that is paid hourly needs a different set of on-boarding activities than a sales team on salary. Every minute a sale rep is taken off the floor it has a financial impact to the bottom line. Careful consideration is needed here to determine how to achieve the technology solution outcome without impacting the operational KPIs.
In conclusion, to optimize technology adoption and the buyer experience “All your people must get on board, effectively use and proactively support your technologies” as discussed in a previous article here. Make sure the strategy for the new technology solution is defined before the deal is closed between the buyer and the vendor. Own your technology outcome by using the three KPI methods – Define the Outcome, Define the Outcome KPI, and Completing On-Boarding Change Activities.
About The Author
Jennifer is the President of Everchanges providing strategic change management consulting services to sales and sales enablement clients undergoing transformation, change, and improvement initiatives triggered by events such as mergers, the sale of a company, establishing new programs, and organizational restructuring.
She’s also our first ever 3rd party Host of one of our webinars. You can find out more about the webinar here, where Jennifer hosts 4 sales enablement vendors discussing how to create the killer sales content playbook you need.