Is it time to upgrade your sales tech stack?
In a perfect world, your sales team would spend 100% of their time selling. In the real world, sales teams often spend way too much time researching, prospecting, and doing paperwork. In fact, according to Nancy Nardin, founder and president of Smart Selling Tools, salespeople are actually only spending about 35% of their time selling, And while the amount of time the sales team spends on tasks unrelated to sales sounds like their problem, it’s actually a marketing problem too.
All too often, the disconnect between marketing and sales teams–as well as the idea that every team should be responsible for purchasing its own technology–means that the marketing team may be privy to customer information, like purchase history and intent, that the sales team never sees. All that time the sales team spends chasing down new leads and manually inputting customer data could be solved by adopting a more advanced sales tech stack that cuts way down on busy work and human error for increased sales, better alignment between teams, and more accurate sales predictions.
What is a sales tech stack?
Every interaction the sales and marketing teams have with customers generates a valuable data point about what that customer might be looking for, both from brands and from sales teams themselves. Connecting and recording these data points can lead to a complete picture of who a customer is and what pain points products and services might solve for them.
However, outdated tools that don’t record much more than names and contact information do very little by way of helping forge connections between sales teams and clients. But a recent study by Hubspot found that 40% of salespeople are still using these outdated tools when a more sophisticated tech stack could give them much more time to focus on selling.
With the rise of SaaS companies allowing businesses to pick and choose the right services for their industry and specific sales needs, there’s never been a better time to build a customized, cost-effective tech stack. But with thousands of solutions out there, choosing the right technology for your sales team can be tricky. It’s imperative to make sure you’re getting the services that are right for your business and avoiding overpaying for features you don’t need.
How can a better tech stack help your marketing and sales teams?
Understanding exactly what you want from your technology is the first step towards moving your marketing and sales teams into the 21st century. Here are some common benefits which a better tech stack could offer your team.
1. Increased productivity
Great salespeople love to connect with clients and could talk about the benefits of their product all day long. Unfortunately, all too often, being in sales requires spending a lot of time on tasks that aren’t selling–paperwork, prospecting, scheduling, and researching. In fact, according to VOIQ, about 22% of a sales rep’s time is spent on tasks that have very little to do with actual selling. If this sounds true for your team, picking the right technology can cut way down on the time spent performing tedious tasks, which means more time spent selling.
With a prospecting tool, B2B salespeople can gain access to a global database of business profiles and companies, and create personas of their target audiences and then use that database in order to match with the customers most likely to need their product.
2. Faster problem solving
Many times, it’s difficult to identify a problem in the sales pipeline until it’s become a major issue. That’s because most of our data is reviewed in hindsight. But the right tech stack can provide real-time metrics that make it easier to identify and solve problems as they arise, which means instead of reviewing performance based on data from the past, you can plan from the future using up-to-the-moment information.
In the not-too-distant past, most sales forecasting and analysis was conducted by teams of business analysts who made assessments based on data that was often months, or even years, old. And even the best analyst’s predictions were sometimes inaccurate because data was often incorrect or incomplete. Collecting information was a cumbersome process that left a lot of room for error–every sales team leader of a certain age knows the horror of a thousand-row Excel spreadsheet.
These problems weren’t the fault of the analyst who did their best with the technology available to them. But like all business tasks performed by humans, it was subject to the whims of human error. If your team is still one of those relying on Excel and Outlook for your analytics, upgrading to AI technology could cut down on many of these errors.
3. More accurate planning for the future
The AI revolution is making it much easier to collect and manage huge amounts of data in order to make real-time predictions much faster than any human analyst could. An analytics and forecasting tool can provide foresight and visibility across the entire sales cycle, offering smarter forecasting as well as actionable and timely pipeline insights at a granular level. With that kind of tool, sales teams are able to use data to improve revenue consistency, free up their time, and create a predictable system for hitting targets.
For more information about creating the perfect tech stack for your business, download Cognism’s white paper “Building the Perfect Sales Tech Stack.”