How to Vet an Enterprise Sales Technology Consultant
10 Questions to Ask before Hiring an Enterprise Sales Technology Consultant
Carefully Vet Third-Party Consultants for Maximum ROI
Sales technology has the power to revolutionize how you sell and how much revenue you generate. Too many organizations, though, struggle with this process, seeing poor adoption and experiencing low or even negative return on investment. If you’re looking to use the expertise of a third-party sales technology consultant, here are the top questions you might not think to ask:
Must-Ask Questions for Any Potential Enterprise Sales Technology Consultant
Thinking about reaching out to a consultant? Don’t make your decision without considering these ten important questions:
- What do you provide—above and beyond the deliverable?
When it comes to your sales technology stack and working with a consulting partner, you need someone who is committed to providing more than just a “deliverable.” Instead, they should enter into the work with a clear partnership mentality.
One of the most difficult aspects of having success with your sales technology is that there is no cover-all answer that works for every organization. It’s all about creating a personalized strategy. This means the right consultant—the one who will provide tangible and financial results—will be the one who has a true advisory approach and a commitment to providing personalized advice and guidance.
- Can you describe how you apply systems-based thinking?
So many organizations believe success with sales technology is just about identifying the right solutions. In reality, selecting your sales technology should be the absolute last step in this process.
The first steps should revolve around taking a hard look in the mirror and asking yourself difficult questions. It’s about fixing underlying organizational issues and creating a sound and strategic plan for not only how to identify effective sales technology solutions but how to successfully adopt, integrate, and scale them within your organization.
Remember, sales technology solutions are just tools. If you don’t have the right approach, those tools are not going to be effective for you. (Think about it this way. If your swing is off, the best golf club in the world is only going to help you slice into the woods faster!)
You want a sales technology consultant who can build that essential interconnectivity between your people, processes, information, and sales technology. They should think about your company holistically, helping you see how every system affects every other system throughout the organization.
Thinking about your entire company as a functioning ecosystem can be a powerful way to frame your success. Learn more about the sales technology ecosystem here, or check out this on-demand webinar, Why a Sales Technology Ecosystem Is Essential to Growing Your Sales Org.
- Are you aligned with a few specific sales technology vendors?
A prevailing problem within this industry is a general lack of neutrality. Many consultants are associated with or aligned to one or two sales technology vendors. When these consultants then make suggestions to their clients about what vendors to engage with, it shouldn’t be surprising when those one or two companies keep coming up.
Prioritize consultants who work with a broad spectrum of vendors. This helps ensure your consultant is knowledgeable about a wide variety of options within the sales technology landscape. It also helps ensure they come to your engagement with full neutrality, offering potential solutions that actually best fit your situation, address your needs, and accomplish your goals.
- Do you provide a unique solution to every client?
Having success with sales technology is all about tailoring everything to your situation. No other company is exactly like you. You have a unique place within your vertical, industry, and market. You have a unique customer base. You have unique challenges, goals, strengths, and gaps. The sales technology that’s going to be financially rewarding for you depends on all these factors.
A sales technology consultant should always appreciate that every client is different. While the framework they use to determine your sales technology stack might follow the same outline, no solution or conclusion should be cookie cutter across clients.
- How do you help ensure the adoption of sales technology solutions?
One of the most challenging aspects of sales technology is actually getting your stakeholders to use it. Adoption is a critical piece to sales technology success. Even if you do every step right along the way, a failure to see initial and ongoing adoption will derail all your efforts. Poor adoption can mean everything from not using the tool outright to misusing it to underusing it.
A standout sales technology consultant will have a strategic and strong adoption process and plan. They will work with you to implement the techniques that get you genuine and lasting buy-in with your stakeholders.
Want to learn more? Discover several proven sales technology adoption techniques here.
- What are the metrics you use to determine success with sales technology?
Another key differentiator between sales technology consultants is how they define success. You want to work with a consultant who always keeps revenue generation as the ultimate goal. A dollars-and-cents mentality ensures you create processes and systems that are both initially viable and scalable as you grow.
Things like the number of meetings booked might look good on paper, but if those meetings don’t result in closed deals and signed contracts, they ultimately mean nothing. Don’t aim to improve how many activities your sales reps do in a given day; seek to increase the impact of their actions.
Be wary of any consultant who is pushing toward vanity metrics at the expense of tangible financial results. When it comes to sales technology, this business mindset is essential.
- How do you ensure my sales technology stack is scalable?
Another aspect of a sales technology stack that many organizations overlook or don’t realize is how fluid and dynamic it needs to be. Your sales technology should never be viewed as “static” or “done.” Your sales technology is there to address your specific needs, to overcome your challenges, and to reach your goals. Needs, challenges, and goals, however, are always shifting for a company. That means your sales technology stack needs to as well.
The right enterprise sales technology consultant will work with you every step of the way to ensure all systems, processes, and sales technology tools are working together in a systems-based approach and are implemented in a strategic, scalable way.
They’re not suggesting the sales technology solutions and walking away. They’re ensuring the ROI is strong enough to sustain growth, expansion, and scaling, and they’re advising you through every step of that recurring cycle.
- Do you have a broad understanding of the sales technology landscape?
Prioritize working with sales technology consultants who know a lot about the sales technology landscape as opposed to having highly specialized knowledge in one aspect of it.
Why is that crucial?
Part of what makes sales technology so challenging is how complex and overcrowded the landscape has become. (Check out the 2021 sales technology landscape from Nicolas de Kouchkovsky and his team for some context.) It can be overwhelming trying to pick a solution among so many choices. Having a partner who knows these vendors well can help ensure you get the solution that addresses your biggest priorities in the most economical way.
A consultant who has a limited view into this landscape simply might not be aware of a solution that aligns to your overall business and sales strategies and offers a significant financial impact for your organization.
- How will you help improve my customer’s experience?
Sales technology is often invisible to the buyer. It’s implemented and used behind the scenes. The right sales technology, though, can help the customer have an improved experience at every point throughout the buyer’s journey.
The right sales technology can help a sales rep deliver valuable, relevant content at the right time. (Read here to learn how essential value is in client retention, and learn why it’s one of the biggest keys to a successful sales enablement technology strategy.) It can help amplify your messaging. It can even prompt you to interact with prospects when and how it’s most effective.
A sales technology consultant won’t interact directly with your customers, but their actions will affect those prospects. Make sure your customers are part of the conversation when vetting potential consultants.
- How do you help me identify my biggest priorities?
It can be hard knowing where to start with your sales technology approach, but a great sales technology consultant will have a strategic process for helping you define those essential pieces. This includes the following:
- Your stakeholders (who they are and what their biggest challenges, pain points, and goals are).
- Your existing capabilities.
- Your gaps (in people, processes, and sales technology).
- Your overlap.
- Your goals.
Ensure any potential sales consultant has this strong auditing process and system in place. This allows you to gather the necessary information about your organization and make informed decisions moving forward.
Learn More about How to Have Success with Your Sales Technology
Feeling overwhelmed when choosing your sales technology stack? Seeing poor adoption and weak ROI with your existing solutions? Learn a better way. Download our free guide, How to Dramatically Enhance Your Sales Technology ROI.