As you endeavor to improve sales operations efficiencies and effectiveness, you will inevitably face the task of researching and purchasing new sales tools. Adding to your sales stack is overwhelming when you consider the sheer volume of sales tech available. Just take a look at the Sales Technology Landscape created by Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools.
Source: Smart Selling Tools
You may be asking yourself these questions:
Which of these tools are a “need to have now” and which are a luxury item to be considered in the future?
Am I purchase a new tool simply to fill a gap? How can I make a strategic decision that will streamline my sales process?
How long will it take to implement and train on the new platform?
How will the new sales solution integrate with my current sales tools?
How can I consolidate my sales stack and get more value for my investment?
These are all valid questions. Consider the following goals in making your decision:
- reduce time and administration
- positively impact cash flow and reduce spend
- reduce training time
- scale with your organization’s expected growth
- close more deals, faster
Your new purchase should not:
- duplicate the functionality of existing tools
- be a stand alone solution (it should connect to our CRM)
Average Sales Stack Adoption
According to recent research completed by Miller Heiman, Sales Operations teams have already invested in 20 out of the 25 sales tool categories!
Let’s take a look at the category labels listed here:
Source: Miller Heiman Group
If your sales operations team uses multiple sales tools, you may well know the issues that can arise. Using more tools means more vendors to work with, more tools to learn, more money spent, and gaps in coverage. One of the biggest issues, however, is that there is no single source of truth about buyers.
Evaluate Your Current Sales Stack
To begin the process of consolidating your sales stack, it’s helpful to lay out your sales process and align it with the tools you currently use.
Consider this flow:
Prospecting > Qualification > Justification > Quoting > Negotiating > Closing > Onboarding
Look for areas for improvement:
- Where are you incorporating technology throughout the process and where are the gaps?
- Where is there duplication of functionality in our current tools?
- Where are you spending too much time on manual administrative tasks?
- How can you better engage prospects throughout the sales process?
- Where are the bottlenecks in your current sales cycle?
- Where are the opportunities for analytics on buyer interest?
- How can we increase conversions throughout the pipeline?
- Where are you using tools that aren’t giving you the ROI you expect?
Keep this in mind. The sales process is everything. Your tech isn’t your process – your tech must automate your process. The technology you use makes the process scalable.
Consolidate Your Sales Stack
Once you have evaluated your current sales process against your sales stack and have determined the gaps and areas for improvement, you’re ready to explore opportunities to consolidate your tools. You may discover you are using tools that can be eliminated and tools you already have that you are underutilizing.
You may also discover that you need to add tools. Look for a platform that covers multiple phases of the buyer’s journey. Remember, you’re looking for a tool that streamlines your sales process, helps sales reps be more productive, and allows them to operate from one source of truth about buyers.
SEP Selection Criteria
When selecting a Sales Engagement Platform, consider these factors:
- Who are the winners that will benefit from a consolidated stack?
- Sales Reps – that spend too much time in admin and away from ‘active selling’
- Sales Operations – who have to continually upskill and train on how to use the 20+ tools that have been purchased
- Procurement & Finance – reducing the operational overheads without compromising growth is an ideal outcome, reflecting well for any company that is serious about pursuing an IPO or Exit
- What core areas are optimized through this consolidation?
- Time and administration
- Cash flow and spend
- Focus on essential tools that add value
- Reduced training time
- What to avoid when choosing a Sales Engagement Platform:
- Purchasing a software that was not purpose built
- Purchasing legacy technology with no product road-map
- Purchasing a software with hidden additional charges
- Purchasing a technology that is extremely high-touch and is not intuitive for your average team member to use
The Cost of Not Consolidating
Duplication of information and effort, increased training time, increased costs for implementation and support, time spent monitoring multiple tools – these are just a few of the ways your sales stack may be negatively impacting your ROI.
According to HubSpot, sales reps spend only 34% of their time talking to prospects. If your sales team is spending the majority of their time interacting with complex and varied sales tools, that’s less time spent moving buyers forward in the pipeline. Increased complexity means decreased effectiveness, which has a huge impact on revenue.
Sales Stack Essentials
Focus on the essential tools that add value and insight on your buyers through the sales funnel:
- Target Accounts (e.g. Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg)
- CRM (e.g. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot)
- Email / Call Prospecting Automation (e.g. Outreach, InsideSales, SalesLoft)
- Targeted Channel: Linkedin PPC & Sales Navigator
- Deal Proposal Platform & CPQ (e.g. DealHub)
We now know both the cost of not consolidating, as well as the strategic and revenue benefits of consolidating your sales stack.
Consolidating your sales stack enables you to reduce training time, cut administrative costs, and focus on effective sales tools that tie directly into your deal stages. ROI is driven up as sales teams operate from one source of truth when looking at their buyers.
We encourage you to evaluate your sales tech and improve your team’s efficiency and effectiveness. Increase your sales team’s performance by consolidating the software used in the final deal stages using DealHub’s Sales Engagement Platform. Our all-in-one Platform allows you to create a personalized buying experience from prospect to close that includes interactive content, CPQ, contract management and approval workflows to give you the competitive advantage in each deal.