Are you focused on sales operations? If so, you know there are plenty of tools that claim they will boost sales productivity. These sales technologies can reduce time-sink and improve sales team productivity if evaluated and implemented properly.
Your sales tools must be:
- Used in the right situations, for the right reasons,
- Integrated correctly or they’re just a waste of time, and
- Adopted by the team to optimize lead generation.
Sales teams need the right tools to support their sales effort. To stay focused, you should create a “sales technologies roadmap.” This plan helps drive the evaluation and the choices you make.
Our 5 step approach explains how to improve your sales with a properly defined sales technologies roadmap.
Step 1: Start with understanding and connecting with your prospect
What happens to your prospects when your sales technologies, workflow, and messaging are inconsistent?
- Chances are they will be confused or not understand the value you bring.
- Choices overload the prospect when information is disconnected.
- A broken step in the lead nurturing workflow may displease the prospect.
An inefficient set of sales tools cripples the sales team with too much “busy work” and causes the prospect relationship to suffer.
Step 2: Document sales technologies required to support operations
Start by taking into account corporate, product, marketing, and sales strategies. These will provide the vision of where the company is heading.
These details help you understand what sales tools will be needed to get sales there.
Dig deep for the critical objectives or goals where data must be collected or an obvious sales tool is missing. For example, the sales strategy may outline a stronger push into social selling and you know a “social listening” service is missing.
…Or you may see the need to reduce the sales cycle time.
…Or to increase the upsell pipeline to existing customers.
…Or improve the quality of sales leads through marketing automation.
All of these insights will help you document the sales tools or technologies you need.
We suggest downloading and using our Sales Ops Charter Template. This easy-to-follow template will clarify what role sales ops plays in your organization. You’ll find that it’s easier to make technology decisions when you clearly understand your charter.
Step 3: Identify what sales data is needed.
Sales operations must determine how current sales data is being collected. Explore the effectiveness of your sales technologies. Seek to eliminate issues and diagnose improvements.
Ask yourself and your sales team:
- How many customer accounts do we have?
- How many accounts are assigned to each salesperson?
- Who are we calling on? Is this the right person?
- What revenue is produced?
- What is our closing percentage?
This information clarifies the gap between the existing and desired situation, tied back to the higher-level sales strategy.
Step 4: Determine how sales data will be used
The sales data is used in various ways by various people. This can also dictate the type of sales tools needed. When it comes to sales strategy implementation, ask the following questions:
- What decisions can I make with this sales data?
- How are the sales tools helping my team derive insights?
- Where can we improve and make better decisions?
- How can I display the sales data?
- Who will use this data? Why?
- How often is the data needed?
Set yourself up for greater sales success. Think through the analytics and reporting needs across your organization. Find ways to capture this information and use it.
Layer the additional understanding into your sales technologies roadmap.
Step 5: Construct the “sales technologies roadmap”
Write down what technologies you need and how you will get them implemented – adopted. The final step is to document your insights into your roadmap. The previous steps help you match the sales technologies with the core objectives, challenges, or unresolved problems.
For example, the sales reps are responsible for following up on leads generated on the website. This work must be timely, include engaging content, score lead quality, and result in more business. Each step in the process has challenges.
The sales technologies implemented will eliminate issues within the sales workflow. Sales tools such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will enhance communication across the sales team as well as improve lead nurturing.
The key is to match core issues in the sales workflow to appropriate sales technologies. It’s best to use the smallest set of tools with the greatest integration.
Book more business with the right sales tools.
It’s easy to jump to the “sales tool du jour” in the hope that it will boost your numbers. This would be a mistake.
The sales tools you implement across your sales operations are defined by overall organizational needs. These needs are defined by the product, marketing, and sales strategies.
- You’ll end up with a satisfied sales team when you help them to be more productive.
- You’ll end up with happy senior leaders when you consistently hit your numbers.
The key to this success is our 5 step approach that results in a detailed, actionable, and adoptable sales tools roadmap. Explore additional sales productivity tips on the SBI Blog.