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The sales technology space is faced with tremendous competition and often with that comes confusion. Recently, I provided some input for a report by TrustRadius, “How to Navigate the Sales Technology Landscape,” which delves into buyer, vendor and market trends – specifically, why evaluating, selecting and implementing new sales technology is so darn hard. Here are three key reasons and ways to make it less painful.
Many sales teams find assessing different sales technologies overwhelming. There are tons of point solutions in the marketplace and, in many cases, too much overlap between feature sets. Buyers are struggling to assess which pieces to buy and how they will best fit together with their existing technologies.
Take a look at what you currently have and how it is being used by your sales force at all levels in your organization. Review and ascertain what, if anything, needs to be improved upon or added. Ensure that the sales technologies you’re currently using are being utilized to their highest potential by sales reps, managers and sales leaders alike. If there’s a gap in your sales technology or you’re not getting your required outcomes, then fill the gap. But don’t get overwhelmed with the myriad of choices. It’s better to have less functionality and use it fully than to have more stuff that no one uses.
Once you’ve pieced together the sales technology puzzle, you’ll need to look at the two biggest considerations for buyers: adoption and return on investment (ROI). Unfortunately, in regards to adoption of new technologies, many solutions are implemented using more stick than carrot. However, if implemented correctly, the benefit should be obvious, removing any reason to hit anyone over the head to use the new technology.
New sales technology is often viewed as requiring effort from sales reps while providing benefits only to sales leaders. Many times, reps and sales leaders are slow or reluctant to adopt these new technologies if they don’t see any immediate, personal benefit. Meanwhile, executives who have dedicated tons of resources to technology projects fear they’ll fall short on the ROI if it doesn’t gain uniform adoption.
Make sure the executives are on board with the initiative and actively manage the change. Ask your technology vendors to share how other companies achieved high adoption rates and ROI using their solution. To maximize the success, get a pilot group together of your company’s most influential key stakeholders to ensure the technology is implemented with the users in mind.
Fragmentation in the sales technology industry is starting to peak. Although there are still many point solutions, more platforms are consolidating. Some tools are very hot for a moment and then they fade out, while others get gobbled up by bigger vendors. The emergence of new SaaS solutions, which are faster to develop and launch, provides buyers with even more product options. Changes will continue as the market matures.
Don’t get overwhelmed by too many options and too much change at once. Think about the big picture. Stay abreast of new sales technology and assess what you truly need and how it’s going to work for your company. When it comes to your sales organization, less is always more. And remember, the more sales technology can get you to your desired goals while reducing the amount of effort, the better.
What’s been your biggest challenge in evaluating, selecting or implementing sales technology?