In its sales operations optimization study, CSO Insights found that sales technology is a key differentiator of high performing sales organizations. In fact, Salesforce found that 88% of high performers use sales technology. It’s easy to see… without sales optimization tools, teams simply waste too much time and lack the capability to effectively sell in the current marketplace.
Of course, you won’t suddenly just achieve your goals as soon as you install a sales application. You must first select the ones that will function best within your specific sales process. Then, evaluate them based on the needs of your sales reps, management, operations, and marketing. Also, you need proper implementation and an ongoing training strategy to ensure optimal utilization and ROI on the tools that you select.
To succeed today, you must have a highly effective sales technology stack that consists of tools and applications that streamline your sales activities and increase rep performance. Here’s what you need.
Your CRM is the backbone of the sales stack. This platform is the central location where customer and prospect data, interactions, engagements, and history is both stored and accessed. It allows all of this essential information to be shared across your organization.
The CRM ensures that sales processes are followed, tracks deals, provides access to critical data, facilitates personalization of customer interactions, and provides key insights for coaching and forecasting
But, a CRM’s value rests on its adoption rate. Proper, consistent use is the only way its information and data are complete or accurate. So, it’s not surprising that CSO Insights found companies with CRM adoption rates of at least 75% had 6.4% higher win rates and 3.4% better quota attainment.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator grants reps the ability to view more decision-maker profiles, and connect with twice as much as a normal LinkedIn user. This is essential for reps who are prospecting, or those who need to reach key stakeholders in the decision-making process. It also grants reps the ability to prioritize accounts, and warm prospects before cold calls. LinkedIn claims that reps who use Sales Navigator have a 15% higher win rate.
The value and importance of sales coaching is well established, and more and more companies are instituting a sales coaching to improve their performance. Therefore, sales coaching is both a way to increase sales rep effectiveness, and future-proof your team.
Sales coaching software grants the ability to coach at scale, and makes it easier to provide regular, consistent coaching. Coaching software that uses call recording or even conversation AI allows reps to capture key coaching moments to discuss with reps, and does not require them to spend hours of time listening to calls.
The usage of call recordings allows sales managers to coach specific rep behavior with real-world examples, and provides a library of resources that reps can refer to for self-guided lessons or onboarding.
Sales enablement tools often act as a hub for marketing content that can be readily used by the sales team. It helps sales reps find the best content for each prospect based on things like their persona, industry and stage of the buying process. It may also track prospect engagement with content helping marketing to continually improve its quality and messaging. These platforms are frequently used to coach, train, or onboard new sales hires as well.
A LMS is used to share and track online training initiatives. Assets are uploaded to the learning management system for easy access by remote learners and their learning progress is tracked within the system. It’s common to find these functions included in other software such as sales enablement or sales coaching platforms as well.
Call tracking allows sales and marketing reams to measure the value of inbound calls driven by promotional efforts. The software creates unique phone numbers that can then be attached to distinct website pages, partner sites, emails, and even offline materials like brochures and print ads. Then, when the number is called, the tool tracks the source, and can ever refer the caller to a specific rep. The application can be used to measure the quality of leads, revenue generated from the source, and informs later projects.
Screen sharing and web conferencing software facilitates face to face meetings with contacts regardless of location. These platforms make it easy for reps to provide live product demos and presentations as if they were in the same room. They can be a huge cost savings, too, by eliminating or minimizing costly travel expenses while enabling and accelerating live sales interactions.
Sales intelligence software helps reps build contact lists, prioritize accounts, and prospect efficiently. It fills in missing contact information, shows data around company size, and provides other information pertinent to your products so your reps can have informed conversations.
This type of software allows users to track emails and collect analytics such as open and click-through rates as well as downloads of email attachments. Email tracking solutions enable reps to monitor email delivery to recipients. It also helps identify optimal engagement points and improve communications with prospective customers.
Generating insights from sales data and metrics to identify trends and predict future sales performance, this type of software helps sales reps focus on improvements for greater productivity. These valuable insights may include conversation analytics, transcribing speech and converting it into actionable data.
Now the norm for any sort of signing, e-signature tools give users the ability to securely sign electronic documents, like contracts and NDAs. It significantly increases the speed with which paperwork can be completed, plus it tracks document status and provides storage capabilities.
Don’t forget other productivity enhancements like calendaring apps to simplify appointment scheduling or communications apps to improve and facilitate internal company communications.
The goal is to reduce manual tasks and improve sales productivity and performance. Less is more when it comes to the amount of software in your sales stack, so selecting solutions that meet your requirements while covering multiple functionalities is beneficial.