When sales progress an opportunity through a sales cycle and close a deal, they should always indicate the reason for a lost sale in their CRM system. Why? Leadership can learn from this feedback and identify if there are any underlying issues behind why they are losing sales.
Beyond understanding why a closed/lost occurred, do you have the right sales technology stack to support your current and future revenue goals? What key performance indicators are you considering?
At a minimum you should be considering the following KPI’s and how the data collected can be leveraged if you are striving to become a modern selling organization enabled by technology:
- New Customer Acquisition
- Existing Customer Growth & Success
- Cost of New Customer Acquisition
- Close Ratio
- Recurring Revenue
Let’s review each of them…
New Customer Acquisition
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget the wider goal when recruiting new tools into your sales stack. If you want to improve team efficiency, that should still equal more new customers in the end compared to what you were getting per month/quarter/year. Don’t allow yourself to place the performance of a vendor into reports that don’t impact the bottom line, regardless of what the vendor does or what it helps you do.
Existing Customer Growth & Success
This may not apply to every single piece of the stack, but everybody knows it’s easier to upsell existing customers than to win new work. So, consider use cases and practices that can help you with existing customers when you bring on a new sales stack member. Can it help with customer conversations? Can it help with customer communications? What about their overall experience with you. Suddenly there are a few avenues to explore, where usually customers get ignored and the new customers you want to win become the focus.
Cost of New Customer Acquisition
Any time you can ramp down your cost per acquisition and keep the quality of client, you should. Doing things quicker, better, with fewer gaps in the process helps. New stack can enable you to do that, but find out tangibly how much vendors can predict and have seen this happen before. Have a target here. Try to reduce the cost by X and see if the vendor agrees that it’s a good target. Have them work with you on steps to get there, not just on-boarding.
You should always strive for better prospects, better deals, and better close ratios. More deals that don’t close doesn’t help anyone. You can’t expect groundbreaking change to your close ratio but aim for gradual improvement. After-all, any sales tech vendor should help you achieve results quicker, with less time, or more results. In many ways, buying a sales stack that doesn’t impact the whole sales cycle may only impact your close ratio slightly. But you should always aim to increase it even slightly.
This is one you may not think about immediately when thinking about what impact a new sales stack vendor should have on your team. It’s not that a new sales tool should always prevent churn, but you should always aim for better quality prospects with better quality deals and uses cases on the customer side. This should mean less churn and more successful customers if you do everything right. Don’t forget to consider growing recurring revenue when on-boarding new stack, that’s the overall goal.
Clearly, keeping a strong and flowing pipeline is the goal of any sales tool. It’s not about email productivity or anything else. It’s about unlocking more actions and capability to drive pipeline that closes in every instance. If your vendor has good case studies on how they helped companies like you to increase their pipeline, you’re on to a good one. Pipeline, pipeline, pipeline. And nothing else. Maybe except closed deals!
To identify return on investment from your sales stack is to understand the impact that salestech has on our sales cycle and customer success strategy. Which technologies impact your sales cycle and customer success strategies? And in what way? There is a lot of great data potentially collected here including an ability to measure their success. This could be as simple as adding a field to your opportunity section of CRM and requiring sales reps to identify which sales technology was used dropdown list.
In many cases and especially within larger organizations it is a very complicated sales cycle and equally complicated technology stack. While still leveraging the concepts previously mentioned, we can also better understand their potential ROI at a much more granular level by taking this approach within each stage of the sales cycle. This can be accomplished by asking, which sales technologies truly impacted each stage of the sales cycle and each level of the sales funnel?
Currently, almost fifty percent of the sales technology landscape directly aligns with the top of funnel activities like lead generation with categories like; Lead Engagement, Lead List Building, Prospect Engagement, Outbound Prospecting, Mobile Selling, Account Targeting, Field Sales Engagement and many more. Is new customer acquisition an essential part of your success or is it a balance that includes the middle of funnel and bottom of funnel salestech categories like; Sales Enablement, Video Selling, Conversation Intelligence, Knowledge Sharing, Customer Value Management, CPQ or eSignature and many more.
By segmenting the technology by its potential to provide the greatest impact for your sales cycle and its respective funnel level, you will have a much greater understanding of which sales technologies potentially make up your ideal salestech stack.