Sales technology has taken off as one of the major tools salespeople need to be successful. Plenty of programs, software, apps, cloud-based operations and integrated technologies have flooded the market, so discerning which tools are right for you can be confusing with so many options.
Statistics from the Sales Management Association say nearly half of all businesses increased their spending on sales tools from 2013 to 2015, and as many as 60 percent plan to spend even more going into 2017. The main reason behind the increased spending is rapid changes in sales markets — what worked in 2010 may not work in 2016. When consumers change, your sales process has to change too. Luckily, you have five easy rules to follow when purchasing a sales technology upgrade.
In this case, scalability does not necessarily refer to the number of sales you make or customers you bring in. Instead, it refers to how the sales technology meets your future needs beyond solving today's dilemmas. If you plan to increase the size of your sales team in six months, can the platform expand to include five, 10 or 50 more employees?
2. The Right Tools
You need to know if the tools you buy are right for the job. Identify the problems you have in your sales department. and then examine the capabilities of sales technology that can solve those problems. Do you need instant updates among salespeople so they know precisely what's going on at any given time? Do you need better lead generation? How about integrated tools that encompass every aspect of your entire business?
Keep in mind that sales technology does not necessarily stay within the confines of sales teams. The sales department must stay on top of industry trends, sales figures, competitors and metrics. A great sales tool compiles all these items and makes the sales process easier, not harder, for teams.
Sales analytics tools are worthless unless they turn data into reports that sales teams can interpret. Can the tool you choose integrate everything into an alert for your salespeople? After that, it's up to team leaders to train staffers how to use those reports to an advantage.
5. Return on Investment
The final rule involves the return on investment. You need to make sure a $50,000 upgrade brings in higher sales with less staff time. Look at how any software cuts down on the time representatives spend doing clerical tasks versus the time they spend actually selling something. Any time-savers that decrease the time from qualified lead to closing the sale could be worth an upfront investment.
Sales technology all comes down to giving sales teams the right insights to complete the process, as tools should measure steps to success from start to finish. Getting data is just one aspect of the proper tools — the technology must interpret the information to make it valuable and worth your investment.
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