How Sales Operations Can Help Organizations Get the Most Out of Sales Tools

Are you getting the most out of your investment in sales tools? On average, today’s sales organizations are using 10 different sales tools, with four or more additional tools planned in the next 12 months. (Click to tweet) (2018 Sales Operations Optimization Study) However, most are not seeing the efficiencies they hope for with their technologies. In today’s blog, we take a look at how sales operations can help sales organizations get the most out of their investment in sales tools.

Sales operations is well positioned to help organizations leverage their sales tools to drive them forward. (Click to tweet)

One of the things we hear from our survey participants is that, with 10 or more sales tools being the norm, it can lead to more, not less, complexity. The reality is that sales professionals are spending only a third of their time selling, and sales managers are spending twice as much time on internal items as they are on coaching their teams. (Click to tweet) As a result, continuous improvement of efficiency through automation and connecting tools and technologies to the sales organization were reported to be among the top 10 areas that need most improvement in the next 24 months.

The good news is that sales operations is already in a position to help organizations get the most out of their sales tool investments! The top two areas sales operations is most involved in are already related to sales tools (including CRM).

 
Here are three questions sales operations can ask periodically to help organizations get the most out of their sales tools:

  1. Do you have a journey map? Where does it fit into your sales tech stack? (Click to tweet) It’s important to be clear on the future desired state you want to get to with the help of the sales tool or technology you are looking to invest in. Use the journey map as your “true north” compass so that you don’t get distracted by the cool features of the sales tool. If it’s been some time since your initial rollout, you can review where you are on your journey and determine whether any adjustments need to be made. Finally, it’s also a good idea to plan for a periodic review of your sales tech stack landscape. Inventory what you already have, review what each tool was intended to provide vs. what it is providing (or not), and determine whether you need to add, replace or upgrade.

 

  1. When was the last time you looked at the state of your process and data? (Click to tweet) Sales process and sales data are key inputs for any sales tool implementation. If it’s been more than a year since you last took a look, it’s probably a good idea to review the current state of your process and data to decide what should be updated before you roll out a new sales tool. Ongoing review also is important to help ensure the sales teams are getting value from the sales tools’ outputs (e.g., reports, insights, proactive coaching, etc.). You also might find opportunities to update your process or clean up your data and how it’s organized as your sales organization starts using the tool.

 

  1. What new behaviors and mindsets do you need? (Click to tweet) Whenever we introduce something new, our “way of doing things” changes. Just like embracing a new habit, it requires a plan. It also might require new behaviors and mindsets. Sales operations can partner with both sales enablement and sales managers to determine what new behaviors and mindsets might be required for sales teams to effectively use the sales tool. This also applies after a new sales tool has been rolled out. Check to see whether behaviors and mindsets have shifted, and make note of the changed state – the latter will be important to reference during your next sales tool rollout.

 

With so many new sales technologies available today, it’s tempting to consider investing in them. But before you take the leap, it’s important to think through whether you need them, how they fit into your current sales tech stack and whether your organization is ready to use them. To get the most value out of what the sales tools offer, it’s important to both plan ahead and conduct ongoing review and assessments.

 

Questions for you:

  • How many sales tools do you have in your sales tech stack?
  • How often do you review your sales tech stack landscape?
  • In your past sales tool implementations, did you take into account behavior and mindset considerations?

 
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