It’s no secret that I believe that many sales organizations are overspending on technology. Right now, while many organizations are cutting payroll and looking for other ways to grow lean during a challenging time, I want to encourage you to take a good, hard look at your tech spend.
You may have more opportunities to cut back than you realize. In fact, I suggest now is the perfect opportunity to downsize your tech while simultaneously upsizing your team performance. Here’s how.
1. Clean up your pollution
Almost every day, new sales technology solutions enter the market. There are more today than there ever have been. Many are backed by VC funding that enables them to heavily market their benefits, but the reality doesn’t always live up to the marketing.
Without a clear strategy backing their purchase, these solutions often end up cluttering the technology landscape within the sales organization. I call this “point pollution,” and it may be eating up a larger portion of your sales budget than you realize. Now is the time to review every technology product your organization uses and subscribes to, and eliminate the excess.
2. Sail away from your Hydra
Many companies have invested heavily in a large, central piece of technology that is eating up massive amounts of time and money. Most often, this is a large CRM platform that promised to do everything except wash the kitchen sink.
Unfortunately, giant one-size-fits-all CRMs very often are not purpose-built to serve your specific needs.
To get them to do so, you need to purchase upgrades, plug-ins, and custom coding. Every time you do, the increased complexity can cause problems elsewhere in the system. I call this the “Hydra” problem, and it is time to sail away.
3. Evaluate your customer-focused strategy
In times like these, it is critical that you get a clear picture of what your clients need and want, and what is in the way of them getting those things. Take the time to really listen to your customers and prospects, and gather data on what’s going on for them and how you are best positioned to help them.
Then develop a customer-focused strategy designed for the time.
4. Make it actionable
Your strategy should not end up on a shelf, gathering dust. Translate it into a milestone-based process, and then embed that process into your salespeople’s workflow, together with embedded training content, so they learn it and consistently follow it. Which leads us back to the technology question. Now that you’ve cleaned up your technology landscape, it’s time to look at where you can invest in order to get the best returns.
5. Choose a technology platform that is custom-built for your sales environment
Instead of a sea of point pollution and a giant Hydra in the center of it all, choose a single, central technology platform that is custom built to help your salespeople sell better in your specific sales environment.
Your technology should enhance performance rather than simply being one more expense on your balance sheet. If you operate in a complex b2b environment, here are the features you should look for:
Agile and customizable. In fast-changing times like we’re in now, you can’t afford to wait for an overburdened development team to make changes in the code in order to make adjustments to how your technology is working for you. Look for a technology that makes customization simple, intuitive, and fast.
Easy to use. You also don’t want to have to heavily invest in technology training for your team. An easy-to-use and beautiful interface will reduce training time and investment, while simultaneously increasing adoption and efficiency.
Guides salespeople through your staged and milestone-based process and presents different workflows and tools for prospecting, opportunity management, and account growth planning.
Serves training and enablement content directly inside the workflow, based on context.
Effective data and analytics functions. Your analytics should allow you to easily see where your team needs help in order to be most productive, and data collection should be clean and provide you with the right data to gain the insights you need.
A technology that provides all of these functions will help you adapt quickly to the changing environment while scaling adaptations across multiple teams. This is especially important at a time where more teams are working remotely.
By choosing a streamlined technology designed specifically for your sales environment, you can both reduce your technology spend, and increase your sales productivity. I would love to show you how Membrain was built to do exactly this.
George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills and processes.