According to CSO Insights, organizations are using an average of 10 sales tools and plan to add another four within the next 12 months. As teams pile on more and more applications in the hopes of finding that “magic bullet” that will let them decimate their quotas, sales technologies stacks continue to expand.
But where is the tipping point? At some point the number of tools sales teams use will become a weakness, the tech stack will be bloated to the point where reps don’t know where to go or what to use. Furthermore, as these companies seek to grow their market share and uproot their competition, they add features and uses that will cause tools to become redundant.
Some companies may have already reached the tipping point. With over 500 (and growing) distinct sales tech solutions available, teams likely have already exceeded the number of tools that is best for them, overrun budgets, and sown confusion within their reps.
When do you have enough tools in your stack? Does what you have properly align with your sales goals and actually help you accomplish them? Does your sales stack need optimization? Here’s how to tell.
For optimum efficiency and to minimize user frustration, all the tools in your sales stack should seamlessly integrate with your CRM. When they do, it feels like one system as opposed to a disjointed collection of separate parts. For example, if running reports means having to continuously shuffle CSV files between tools, your managers are wasting valuable time marrying data to gain insights. A well-integrated sales stack makes it easy to view dashboards and run reports with a few clicks of a mouse. Plus, completing day-to-day operations or sales processes should not mean clicking from screen to screen.
Duplication of capabilities between applications in a tech stack can cause confusion about which one to use for those operations. Plus, it means that you are not fully utilizing every technology you’re paying for. Stop paying for the same features twice. Your team will thank you and your data will end up in a single CRM field instead of two, giving you more reliable reporting. Your team will be clear on where each process should be completed.
If your sales reps aren’t able to complete all their work in one consolidated place, your tech stack may not actually increase their productivity as much as it should. In fact, it may lead to a decline in sales performance. It may be a challenge to leverage so many different technologies, especially since each has its own separate learning curve. The more technologies new sales reps need to learn, the longer it takes to ramp them to full productivity.
Ever-changing buyer behaviors, industries, and marketplaces translate to continually evolving sales processes. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your competitive edge. So you also need to routinely re-evaluate the effectiveness of your sales technology to confirm that it is supporting your current sales process and addressing any newly-identified needs. If you don’t do this, you’ll soon end up with a useless collection of applications that don’t align with it properly.
Are your reps and managers actively using all the tools you’re paying for? If not, you’re wasting your money and they aren’t providing the results you intended. The reasons for this might include the technologies not working well together, too complex a mix of solutions, insufficient training and support or that your team doesn’t see any benefits. Regardless of the cause, a low adoption rate may mean it’s time to streamline your sales technologies.
Every piece of sales tech has a price including the subscription rate, training, administration and updates. If you shorten your stack by doing more with less, think of what you could do with the time and money you save! Not to mention, your reps would spend less time toggling between applications and more time selling. This would most likely increase the ROI for your remaining sales technologies while adding more revenue to your bottom line.
New sales tools are being introduced every year and new enhancements are being added to existing ones. So it’s a good idea to check periodically to see if you can accomplish the same efficiencies with less applications. Consolidating your sales stack in this manner makes life easier for IT, system administrators, sales management and, of course, your reps. Even if the resulting stack contains the same functionalities, you’ll reduce training and other costs while increasing efficiency, reducing confusion and accelerating new hire ramp time.
There’s no sense in including more tools in your sales stack than absolutely necessary, especially when you save time and further increase efficiency while containing costs. Consider these signs when re-evaluating your sales technology stack. You have nothing to lose but the overkill of having too many tools to accomplish the same end result.