The Problem with Your Sales Technology Stack…and How to Fix It
How a Sales Technology Ecosystem Drives Sustainable Growth
In an ideal world, sales technology solutions make your sales team more efficient, effective, and productive, and they pay for themselves many times over by saving you time and driving more revenue. Too often, though, it’s not an ideal world, and sales technology solutions end up draining your time and costing more in licensing than you see in benefits. So, what’s the solution? A sales technology ecosystem.
The Problem: The Common Approach to Sales Technology Selection, Adoption, and Integration
Before jumping into the solution, let’s look more carefully at the problem in the market today. When it comes to sales technology solutions, most companies fall into the same cycle:
- They identify a problem within their organization.
- They find a sales technology solution that can address that problem.
- They purchase or license it.
- They experience poor adoption rates and see little to no return on their investment.
- They deem the sales technology solution ineffective.
- They start over with a new solution.
Consequences from a Lack of Sales Technology Strategy
Getting caught in this reactionary loop has tangible and significant consequences.
(Lots of) Wasted Resources
Unused, underused, or misused sales technology accounts for a tremendous amount of wasted money in organizations. According to one study, there is $259 worth of unnecessary software…on every single computer in every single office.
Think about that staggering fact. This amounts to $34 billion of needlessly spent money—in US and UK companies alone.
Going through a proper sales technology audit can help you identify the following:
- Solutions that provide no value to your organization but cost you in licensing.
- Solutions that provide some value but not equivalent to or better than the cost of the solution itself. (These are a net loss for your company.)
- Multiple solutions that provide overlapping services or capabilities.
- Solutions that could provide optimum return on your investment but are being misused or unused by the team.
In many cases, it’s not the sales technology solution that’s causing the poor financial return. It’s the company that doesn’t have a formalized, strategic process for selecting technology, fostering adoption among the users, implementing the system throughout the organization, and scaling that system once it’s viable.
Stakeholders are frequently frustrated by sales technology. They feel it actually costs them time. Solutions are constantly changing, just as they start to get familiar with the platform. They aren’t consulted about what solutions are implemented or what company challenges actually need to be addressed.
For any number of reasons, sales technology is too often a thorn in the side of salespeople instead of a genuinely helpful tool. This contributes to poor adoption.
The Solution: A Formalized, Strategic Sales Technology Ecosystem
If that’s the wrong, ineffective, expensive way to approach sales technology, what should a company do? Implement a comprehensive, strategic sales technology ecosystem.
Here are the five important components:
Conduct a thorough audit of your stakeholders, their needs and requirements, your current technology landscape, your supporting content, your current use or adoption rates, and any technological gaps.
After you’ve thoroughly audited all your systems, people, and processes, it’s time to move to execution of strategy. Always start with your goals and defined sales outcomes. After all, if you don’t know where you want to get, you’ll have no metric by which to judge success. Make all selection and integration moves with those goals in mind.
Rather than being reactionary when a problem arises, create a framework for how you select your sales technology. By imposing this strategy and thoughtfulness into your selection process, you can see the biggest gains and most impactful results with your sales technology choices.
Once you’re ready to move to selection, you want to identify your biggest priorities. This will allow you to focus your search on sales technology tools that will address your biggest challenges and provide the most impact. Make sure your selection process aligns with your existing adoption plan. (See the next bullet point.)
Today’s technology landscape is extremely crowded. (This blog outlines the ten types of sales tools to utilize in 2021. Within each category, there are countless options!) If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start with selection, check out this free sales technology selector. It’s a quick questionnaire that narrows down potential solutions based on your priorities.
Adoption is, arguably, the most important step in this process. If you don’t get buy-in and ongoing adoption of your sales technology stack from your stakeholders, you’re never going to see a return on that investment. Ever.
For a more detailed look at an effective adoption approach, check out these ten tips to increase your solution adoption.
With this strategy and system in place, you will likely see an increased return on your investment. That not only facilitates buy-in at every level (from end user to executive), but it also gives you the revenue opportunities to scale your sales technology stack as needed.
Interested In Learning More About A Sales Technology Ecosystem?
Are you interested in the idea of a sales technology ecosystem? Do you think your organization could stand to increase revenue and to improve your bottom line by being more strategic in how you select, adopt, and integrate your sales technology solutions?
Then join us July 29 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern) for our free upcoming webinar, Why a Sales Technology Ecosystem Is Essential to Growing Your Sales Org. We hope to see you there!