In my last article, I outlined 4 Key Prospecting Fundamentals I Wish I’d Learned Sooner Today, we dive deeper into the holy grail of prospecting: Leveraging Sales Technology; AKA the Tech Stack.
Failing to leverage a Tech Stack is the biggest mistake that companies are making in their sales efforts!
Companies are investing millions of dollars in sales & marketing efforts, but they are leaving countless opportunities on the table because they are using outdated sales technologies. I have over 20 years of sales experience across several different industries including both B2C and B2B markets. I believe the Tech Stack is extremely critical no matter what industry you are in.
“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” – Stewart Brand
So, what is a Tech Stack? The term Tech Stack is derived from software development. It’s the combination of the underlying software and programming languages used to develop a web or mobile application. In sales, the Tech Stack is simply the combination of applications and web services available to the sales team.
Q: What Does Your Tech Stack Look Like?
Up until a couple of years ago, I would not have been able to answer this question. After two decades of working in sales, I wish I had known what kinds of tools were out there!
In recent years, there has been prolific growth in the sales tech space. Currently, there are over 950 participants in the sales tech landscape. While it’s nice to have options, it can be very challenging to figure out which combination of programs is best for your company.
I’m very fortunate that my sales journey has led me to my current position at InsideOut Lab. At InsideOut, the entire team has the privilege of developing and testing as much sales tech as we possibly can. Two of our main goals are to help our clients leverage sales technologies to close more deals and to help sales tech developers improve their products.
Today I want to help make it easier for you to understand the types of sales technologies available as well as provide you criteria for choosing the best Tech Stack for your situation.
Tech Stack Overview:
Q: Why is having a good Tech Stack so important?
A: The right Tech Stack provides you 5 critical benefits.
- Lead Generation – Keeping the pipeline full. Finding the right prospects for your product. Improving your chances of connecting with decision-makers.
- Organization & Productivity – Tracking past conversations, managing follow-up activities, optimizing the calendar, maximizing referral introductions.
- Sales Engagement – Having key prospect insights for timely and relevant conversations. Identifying new initiatives, challenges, or leadership changes that could help position your product.
- Communication – Streamlining all communication efforts both internally within your organization as well as externally to your prospects and clients. Improving quality, quantity, and timing of communication efforts.
- Business Intelligence – Reporting critical analytics to measure the success rates of sales efforts. Identifying what’s working and what’s not. Creating accountability metrics for the team.
Tech Stack Design:
Putting together the Tech Stack requires understanding the different types of sales tech available. While industry-specific needs vary, most sales tech will fall into 4 main categories. Most companies should be leveraging all 4 types of sales tech.
4 key components of the Tech Stack:
- Pipeline & Analytics – This includes the CRM database to centralize all prospect, client, and employee information and history. It allows for the rapid organization of information into useful insights. The CRM is the core foundation of the Tech Stack.
- Sales Intelligence – Filling the pipeline is often the hardest and most costly part of the sales process. Ironically there is so much prospecting technology out there! Sales intelligence tech can provide direct contact information for the right people at the companies that you want as clients. Some can even tell you exactly when a prospect is shopping for new services.
- Productivity & Enablement – While sales will always be about building relationships, there are many aspects of the sales process that can be automated. There are tools to help with everything from scheduling an initial introduction to finalizing the paperwork when a deal is done. Enablement tools allow the sales team to spend more time with prospects and less time with busy work.
- Engagement – Engagement tools are where the rubber hits the road. Engagement technologies are the direct components that drive prospect interaction. Engagement tools manage email, phone, and social media campaigns. Engagement tools help manage the day-to-day activities and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the individual components of your Tech Stack. Every company will have different needs when it comes to cost, complexity, ease of use, integration options, IT security, and reporting capabilities. It comes down to the specific needs of your company. While there’s no question that the Tech Stack will help drive revenues, it can be a very large investment.