B2B sales leaders are constantly looking for tools and technologies that offer insight into their team’s productivity—tools also known as Sales Force Automation (SFA). The problem is that SFA, particularly CRMs, only facilitate measurement, rather than the sales process itself.
This is not to say reporting and measurement isn’t paramount to achieving company growth; it absolutely is. But think of it this way: if given then choice, would you rather have a working furnace this winter or a thermometer that tells you the temperature? Gas in your car or an instant MPG reader to tell you about the car’s fuel economy?
The point is, the best sales stacks empower execution just as much as performance measurement. With all that said, let’s examine a framework for building a better B2B sales stack.
Examine the existing applications within your technology stack.
As modern buyer’s become more sophisticated and educated, sales teams have pivoted away from spray and pray outbound strategies to more consultative outreach. To support this approach, studies show 50% of “high-growth” organizations have developed sales technology stacks with 5 or more applications. (Source: TOPO, 11 Sales Development Strategies for High Growth Companies)
These applications tend to range in functionality, but for this exercise, we recommend you simplify each tool’s use case to understand how it fits within your sales process.
Start by really thinking about your prospecting cycle. How does your team identify targeted accounts? Research and find contact information? Then, think about which channels (email, phone, social media, etc) your sales reps prefer to engage prospects. Where are the inefficiencies?
Turnover rates in B2B sales fluctuate, but according to TOPO, the average sales development representative (SDR) only lasts about 14 months before either being promoted or moving on to different company.
So, while gamification apps, predictive analytics, and the like can be effective, if you’re sales reps are not happy with your existing technology stack, you should probably avoid shiny new toy syndrome. While developing your stack, more often than not, simple is better.
Conduct interviews with key stakeholders.
Get in the weeds and talk to your sales team. Gather your best reps and involve them in any technology procurement initiatives. In the end, involving the team will not only will this improve your stack, it will also increase user adoption.
Invest in market intelligence to automate workflows and enable sales technologies.
Chances are, after conducting interviews, you’ll find that activity logging and manual data entry i is a huge bottleneck. First of all, it’s time consuming. Secondly, it increases the likelihood of error.
Fortunately, common applications — like auto-dialers and email automation — scale execution and integrate with CRMs to log activities in real-time. Increased productivity AND insight for management? Awesome!
Not so fast. These tools rely on complete and correct contact and account data within your CRM in order to work properly. Market intelligence tools integrate with CRMs and other prospecting tools to provide sales teams with reliable contact data. Identify, connect, and engage with qualified buyer personas faster!
Looking to improve your sales productivity in 2017? ZoomInfo can help! Contact us today to learn more.