Many of my clients are interested in learning which sales technology to purchase. They are curious about new ways to create pipelines, close deals and reduce friction for sales leaders. They aren’t concerned about digital transformation. Instead, they want to find tech that will make sellers more efficient virtually and not automates them.
Without the adoption of technology by the frontline, a sales leader cannot expect to see a return on investment. Sellers don’t always adopt new technology for the benefit of the borg.
Sales managers need to determine which technologies their customers will use.
My clients are very busy and simple. I can answer any questions you have about technology for seller execution.
- What technologies can be used to increase seller execution virtually?
- What technologies do you recommend for sales teams?
3 Design Principles To Invest in Tech for Sellers
These three principles will help you deal with the everyday reality of selling through tech. Sales leaders can use these principles to help them develop a view of the type of tech that their sellers may use to improve execution. These principles can be applied to the three to five highest-impact use cases in a client’s sales process. They often end up with concept statements, which they use to evaluate vendors with hyper-specific outcomes.
Improve buyer engagement.
Increase customer engagement. It’s almost cliche. This is an opportunity to look at innovative ways to facilitate live meetings and asynchronous interactions between customers. All assumptions regarding how formal sales meetings are run and the role content play in between should be challenged. One of my clients used this principle to create an initiative that turned sales presentations into collaborative buying activities through Visual Collaboration Applications. The pilot cohort saw a significant increase in pipeline conversion rates from discovery to proof-of-concept.
2 Adapt strategies based on data.
We call this “situationally aware” insight. Equip sellers. Tech should be able to activate these insights through messaging, workflows and tactics. The seller is the most data-literate person in an enterprise. Tech can help them take the next steps. A client used this principle to increase QBR acceptance among clients. They were able to identify triggers for messaging based on service delivery, product usage, and contract data. Scheduling Automation technology was used to send customized QBR calendar invites to eligible clients. This increased the number of QBRs as well as pipeline contributions from upsells.
Simplify seller workflows.
Embedding technology into the daily workflows of sellers can improve day-to-day selling. Sellers must love the product. Failure to love the product will hinder its adoption. Consider the internal process of securing resources and facilitating collaboration among deal teams. A client used this design principle to create a better interface that allowed deal teams to share notes and input activity and opportunity data to their CRM. The client adopted the Seller Workflow Automation to allow them to share notes via Slack and log them dynamically to their CRM. This saved them over three hours per week. Do not underestimate the importance of eliminating internal friction for frontline salespeople.
Gartner’s Virtual Selling Technology Stack
Based on the design principles, we created a virtual tech stack to sell virtually. Sales leaders can now go shopping with the help of concept statements. These technologies are focused on selling execution. This is why they don’t feature more enablement or operationally-focused categories.
This graphic includes data from 168 sales executives on adoption levels and business results across 27 technology categories. Gartner clients have access to the data, analyst recommendations and stack versions.