Employee Spotlight - Sarah Carey - Unseen Impacts of SaaS Mismanagement
Attaining utopia with sales technology ...
…ecosystems isn’t an easy feat, whether it be trying to align many business units, overlapping technology or low adoption rates throughout the sales team. But, one thing for sure, addressing the amount of unused technology is something that businesses need to get on top of, for their own sake, and to help curb wider unseen ramifications.
In our first employee spotlight, we speak to Sarah, who’s helping some of our top clients achieve operational excellence within their sales technology ecosystems. Read on below for insights into why sales teams are stressed out, how organizations can get on top of their sales tech and the wider impacts if they don’t.
Sarah Carey - Employee Spotlight
Before we dive into all things SaaS, we’d love to know more about you? How did you end up as a focal point guiding enterprise organizations towards sustainable sales ecosystems?
It’s been a journey! I have always been interested in systems and organizational change but originally pursued my interest in food and farming. I was eager to find ways to connect people to each other and the environment and felt food was a perfect portal to drive larger self and social awareness. After realizing farming wasn’t my strong suit, I worked in international education and experiential travel for several years.
In parallel with my daily responsibilities I launched a Green Team which expanded to ten offices globally within a year and eventually led to an established CSR team and company commitment to address carbon emissions. I left to work for a friend’s startup after they were featured on Shark Tank to focus on holistic backyard habitats and bat houses, yes bats!
After teaching 9th and 10th grade English for a semester, I connected with Vendor Neutral in the fall of 2021- I was really grateful and eager to transfer my passion and skill sets into the tech space. It’s been fun to see the similarities of these seemingly different industries through our various projects.
Hubspot reports 68% of sales people are ‘stressed out’ – are you seeing this and what do you think are the causes?
I see this statistic is a reflection of our culture as a whole to be honest. While there are specific Sales roles, at the end of the day everything is Sales. With a consistent focus on exponential growth I feel we really need to reevaluate how a company wants to define success- does it relate to employee experience? Repeat customers? Engaged employees and professional development?
While there is so much you can focus on within the market itself, taking a step back and looking at how the people feel behind these numbers is just as important. Who wouldn’t be stressed with a definition of success that is unsustainable within our current definitions? We live in a world with finite resources which is becoming increasingly clear- we need to think about success and leadership in different ways in order to adjust to this evolving landscape.
Onto the topic of SaaS miss-management – how do you see this affecting organizations?
I believe a lot of SaaS mismanagement comes from a disconnected culture and lack of understanding around technology and its capabilities. Technology selection isn’t a one stop shop solution. Culture and processes need to change in order to accommodate the new technology. Change needs to happen across the board.
With holistic change, visibility and awareness of the challenge/opportunity being resolved/addressed is crucial- if you don’t bring the right people in with processes to refer to and follow, detractors can discredit the need for these solutions and derail the momentum. You can very quickly lose the potential of these crucial (and expensive) initiatives without a holistic approach at the very beginning.
Beyond organizations – what is SaaS mismanagement doing to environmental sustainability?
I feel the SaaS mismanagement reflects a cultural acceptance of excess; that it’s okay to waste resources if we don’t see them. These technologies and their data take up space whether or not they’re actively being used. Because there is a lack of broad awareness on the energy usage around technology it’s hard to hold companies accountable for an issue they should actively resolve.
30% of SaaS solutions are entirely unused – how does that happen?
Again, I think there can be a disconnect between decision makers and those who are directly affected by the solution being considered. Due to a lack of research, preparation and understanding it’s easy to accept/buy whatever seems to meet a surface level need of a fundamental problem. If there isn’t a cultural commitment to fully engage with new solutions and resources, it’s impossible to maintain the initial momentum and knowledge base of this technology.
Reference – if you’ve noticed low internal adoption rates with your sales technology – download our sales technology adoption checklist now.
Can you offer 3 key areas of advice to organizations wondering if they have got into a SaaS muddle?
It’s safe to say that everyone is overextended in some capacity with their technology solutions/platforms. I can barely keep track of all of my passwords, how are organizations keeping track of all the details/functionalities of their technologies? Passwords aside, there are three crucial needs to consider.
- I would encourage you to take stock of your company network and the perspectives they bring. Are they all from the same department? Same title? Same office? If so, your perspective is too siloed to truly understand the broader department or company needs.
- Dive into an issue or topic with a broader group of stakeholders.
- Slow down to better understand your organization and needs before moving forward or selecting a solution.
If you and your team don’t have time for that, or it’s too large of a project, getting help from an outside perspective is a great way to avoid office politics and get a fresh perspective.
What is your vision for the future of Sales SaaS technology?
I have no idea but I am excited, so much is constantly changing. We’re at a really unique point of innovation and reevaluation. Covid showed us we can make changes overnight that were originally thought of as impossible- we should carry that sense of possibility and creativity as the workplace and workforce continues to evolve.
Leaning into your passion for environmental sustainability – in 2017 it’s thought we (the world) threw away nearly 50… million tons of e-waste with roughly 15-20% being recycled. Are SaaS vendors part of this conversation and if not, should they be?
The movement around corporate accountability has accelerated dramatically since 2017 and there are so many issues being addressed due to public interest/concern. I think because e-waste is not always top of mind, there is a lack of accountability and questioning from the broader community. I hope as more people work from home and make changes in their lives to address other aspects of their environmental footprint, our digital footprint will be further criticized.
If the environment doesn’t make us realize how interconnected we are, the internet should. Our movements can’t address one cause and call it a day. The sooner we embrace and address the nuances of the complex change that’s needed, the more we can achieve.
Thank you for your insight and thoughts Sarah – it’s much appreciated.
If you would like to connect with the Vendor Neutral team about your sales technology ecosystem and how our consultancy support can drive greater ROI from your tech investment – then book into a 15 minute discovery call below.
Not quite ready for a call – download our sales technology buyers roadmap to enlighten the path to successful sales tech deployments.