Sales today is so competitive that one tool is not enough. The modern sales team uses several sales software tools that are designed to improve productivity and decision-making, and automate repetitive tasks. This set of technology is referred to as sales stack (or sales technology stack).
Of course, this does not mean that every modern sales team is a lean mean selling machine. Not all sales stacks are created equal; and not all sales teams are created equal.
As Bill Gates said: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
A business’ sales stack is only as good as their sales process – a crucial fact to remember once you set out to build your own sales stack.
What’s In a Typical Sales Stack
There are two perspectives to look at when sampling through typical sales stack set-ups: the sales rep’s and the sales manager’s.
On the sales rep stack, you have several tools that help with the different stages of the sales pipeline, including gathering and qualifying leads, product demonstrations and closing deals. Some examples are list building and emailing software, lead ranking apps, dialers, screen sharing apps and, of course, your CRM.
There is significant variation on the manager-side of the sales technology stack. Here, you’ll find technology geared more towards monitoring, analytics and management, such as call monitoring, real-time performance dashboards, predictive analytics and reporting software.
Of course, keep in mind that the ideal sales stack differs from business to business. A company that deals with a lot of inbound queries might opt for a stack made up of lead prioritization, routing and call recording apps. One with more outbound calls would want to have more auto dialers and call logging tools.
How To Build A Sales Stack
When you set out to build your own sales stack, it’s good to remember what Brandon Redlinger, Head of Growth at Engagio, an American software company, said: “A sale is not made based on the tools used. A sale is made possible through the process the rep used. The tools just makes the process scalable.”
So, before jumping into the sales stack, take a look at your sales pipeline first and the processes that you employ.
Consider the following:
- Average number of deals in the pipeline per set timeframe
- Average deal size
- Average deals at each stage of the pipeline per timeframe
- Average sales cycle time
What you’re trying to get at is an accurate measure of your sales process and the health of your sales pipeline. Do a workflow analysis and see where you experience gaps and bottlenecks. A sales stack that would truly benefit your team is one that’s implemented for a tight and efficient sales process.
Pay attention to the following sales competencies:
Lead Generation – Manual lead generation, while beneficial for certain industries, is time-consuming. Most businesses benefit from integrating third-party lead generation software with their sales process. Examples here include ZoomInfo and Datanyze.
Inbound Call Processing – Improve inbound lead gathering and lead scoring through tools, such as Leadspace, 6Sense and InsideSales.
Outbound Call Efficiency – Empower your team to become more effective outbound sales reps through tools, such as Yesware, ToutApp and Outreach.io. Lessen the bounce rates of email marketing campaigns with Rapportive, BriteVerify and other tools.
Product Presentation – Improve the effectiveness of your inside sales team with tools, such as Speakeasy and Join.me.
Proposal and Deal Closing – Shifting from product presentation to proposals and closing is usually an awkward phase in the sales process. Lessen the friction through apps, such as HelloSign and DocuSign.
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