Is your sales technology a "tomtebloss"?

George Brontén

Like many Americans, we Swedish celebrate the New Year with fireworks, sparkling wine, and lots of snacks. Among our children, "tomtebloss" are a particular favorite. In the US, I think they're called sparklers.

Every winter when our children were small, my wife and I would buy some tomtebloss for them. On New Year’s Eve, they would stay up late with the adults and wave their beautiful sparkling sticks in the air to celebrate a new beginning.

On New Year’s Day, we would go out to the yard and clean up the mess of burnt-out tomtebloss sticks and fireworks.

Tomtebloss are fun and beautiful when they’re first lit. They’re inexpensive and non-intrusive–an easy purchase. But they have a short life and in the end they only represent a new beginning if indeed a new beginning is begun. More often, they simply become garbage.

And if this sounds like a description of your “tech stack”... well, you’re not alone.

How your new technology is like a tomtebloss

There’s a very successful company that sells prospecting data to sales organizations. Their pitch is slick, and their product is useful. Once you subscribe, you log in and select detailed criteria including industry demographics, technologies in use, number of employees, and much more. The software generates a prospecting list and delivers it straight into your hands.

A "tomtebloss" has a short life. Just like point solutions in a complex sales stack.
George Brontén

It’s like Dun and Bradstreet on steroids.

It’s an easy buy for most companies because it’s non-intrusive and it promises to solve a common problem: Salespeople complaining that they don’t have enough leads.

In many cases, it’s also a tomtebloss.

Why? Because it’s used to put out the fire of “not enough leads” without any attention to whether the lack of leads is the real problem.

Usually, complaints from the sales team and/or poor performance are caused by something deeper than simply a lack of leads. It could be that they don’t have the skills or motivation or tools. And until you know what the deeper problem is, buying new technology is merely a temporary distraction.

And when the salespeople are done playing with their shiny toy, it becomes garbage for you to clean up.

What do I mean by that? If your organization is buying up technologies to solve point problems, without an overarching strategy, then you are creating an ecosystem filled with technology complexity. Complexity that weighs your salespeople down, rather than enabling them.

In short, buying technology simply to make whining go away is a bad strategy.

Here are some other bad, but sadly common, reasons to buy sales tech:

  • Because it’s easy
  • Because it’s cheap
  • Because it’s non-intrusive
  • Because it’s pretty and fun

If you want actual sales results, do this instead

Chasing shiny objects, no matter how sparkly, is a great way to enjoy thirty seconds of happiness, but no way to run a sales organization.

If you want actual results from your sales initiatives and technology, you need four things:

  1. Strategy
  2. Process and methodology to support the strategy
  3. Training and coaching to support the process and methodology
  4. Technology that supports and enables execution of all of the above

Many organizations get one or two of these right, but unless you nail all four of them, your investments are unlikely to return mediocre results. Strategy alone is a dusty book on a shelf. Process alone is a path with no destination. Training alone is not enough. Technology alone is just one more thing for salespeople to manage.


Together, however, those four things can powerfully transform your organization into a high performing engine to generate more revenue and more profit.

This next quarter, choose high performance over shiny objects.

At Membrain, we’re proud to partner with sales consultants who help sales organizations achieve their sales goals by bringing together strategy, process, methodology, training, and coaching with our product. Membrain makes it easy to execute on strategy and reinforce process, methodology, training, and coaching. I’d love to show you how. Contact us for a demonstration.

George Brontén
Published May 8, 2019, written by

George Brontén

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.

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