The sales tech landscape is overwhelming. With more than 700 sales tech vendors and countless tools, it’s enough to make any sales leader’s head spin. How do you decide which tools are worth your while and which ones are just bright shiny objects that will distract—or worse, detract—from your selling goals?
Never fear, intrepid leaders! Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Officer at Marketo, has the inside scoop on how to get the best value out of your sales technology. As an expert on marketing automation and a self-described “salesperson trapped in a marketer’s body” (she spent a decade building the marketing automation space as a sales leader at Eloqua) she’s uniquely qualified to comment on how to make the best use of the seemingly boundless sales tools at your disposal. Here’s her advice:
You need a sales tech strategy
As a team—and ideally, as an organization—you need to have a unified tech strategy. This means understanding your individual business needs: the goals you have and the kinds of tools you need to achieve them. Jill recommends thinking about “the pains and the challenges that our organizations are having that can be solved, in part, by leveraging technology.”
Additionally, she warns that what works great for a small business might be disastrous for an enterprise company, and vice versa. Even if something is a great piece of tech, if it’s not aligned with your business goals it’s going to be ineffective and costly.
Less is more
Think about it: for every new piece of tech you add, that’s another tool that salespeople have to get trained on, remember their login for, and remember to check. It’s better to have a few, carefully curated tools that work well together than all the latest shiny toys and a sales team that isn’t able to leverage all of them effectively. Save your tech investments for tools that are aligned with your specific business goals and that work well with your existing technology.
Sales tech evaluation checklist
So what should you look for in new technology to avoid the pitfalls of bright shiny object syndrome?
1. What is the problem or pain point that this technology will solve?
As Cogsworth says in my favorite punny Beauty and the Beast one-liner, “if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!” You should have a well-defined purpose for each piece of tech before deciding to add it to your stack. Does it solve a particular pain point? Allow your salespeople to reach goals you haven’t yet been able to achieve? Think about how it will help serve your team and how it will, in turn, help them serve the customer.
And it if doesn’t fit into your strategy? Save your budget for something else.
2. Does it integrate with your existing systems?
Next, consider your existing sales tech stack. How will this new piece of technology integrate with your existing systems? You want to make it as easy as possible for your salespeople to use so they’ll be happy to adopt it. That also means thinking about their existing processes and workflows—how will this fit in? Will it make their lives easier or add additional complications?
3. How will we implement it?
Finally, think about training and enablement. Who in your organization might be best suited to help you launch this new tool? Contemplating how to get the tool up and running before you even make your purchase decision will not only make your team’s adoption much smoother if you decide to buy the tool, it will also help you decide whether the investment of time and training is worth it.
I hope this article has been helpful and inspired you to think critically about your next tech evaluation. Want to find out how we evaluate sales tech at Vidyard? Check out Business Development Director Dan Wardle’s post Evaluating Sales Technology: An Insider’s Look.
What criteria do you use to evaluate new sales tech? Sound off in the comments below!