In almost every industry, technology spend continues to increase year over year, and sales is no exception. Currently, some companies spend more than $12,000 per salesperson and year in sales technology, not counting implementation costs and lost productivity.
In this webinar that I presented recently, I highlighted how a sales stack can easily surpass $12,000 per salesperson per year if you go with the mainstream offerings.
As the maker of a sales enablement CRM platform, you might expect that this information gives me joy.
It does not.
In fact, I believe most sales organizations are overspending on sales technology, and I would like to see you spend less and reinvest the savings in ways that would do a better job of increasing your effectiveness.
Why? Because your technology stack is eating up more than just your budget–it’s making you less effective, destroying efficiency, and sucking up resources in all kinds of obvious and less-obvious ways.
On the one hand, your central piece of technology, your CRM, has become a many-headed monster that your team spends all its time-fighting. I wrote more about that in this article.
On another hand, the many pieces of point technology you purchase to solve various problems in your company are becoming pollution rather than solutions. You can read more about that here.
On all hands, sales effectiveness fails to increase in proportion to spend, and that’s a situation that needs to stop. It’s not just that you’re overspending–it’s that the dollars you’re spending on technology could and should be used more effectively elsewhere.
In complex b2b sales, there is generally much more at stake for buyers than whether they can get the features and price that they want. You may be offering a product or service that is intrusive and will impact the way they do business or how they operate on a day to day basis.
There may be a substantial risk, or at least perceived risk, in choosing your product or service.
You may be up against competitors with more features or slicker marketing, even if they’re not a better solution.
Your market landscape may be constantly shifting.
In today’s complex b2b sales, relationship, trust, and problem-solving are the critical elements that overcome these challenges.
That means that your salespeople must be skilled at developing trusting relationships, and at understanding and addressing the needs and concerns of everyone on the buying team.
No doubt, technology can help your salespeople in a lot of ways:
But what technology can’t ever replace is the critical human element of trust, relationship-building, and effective complex problem-solving.
To do this, your organization must invest in effective customer-focused sales strategy, as well as skills training, coaching, development, and enablement.
In my opinion, there is currently an imbalance in the way our industry invests in our sales teams. We are spending too much on technology and too little on these critical factors.
Unfortunately, many organizations feel trapped by their technology spend, because it feels like a necessary evil–a many-headed problem they can’t just sail away from. And because they’re spending so much on technology, they feel like they can’t afford to invest in these other aspects at the level they need to.
It’s no secret that I believe Salesforce to be the biggest source of technology overspend in our industry. While the initial per-seat outlay for Salesforce seems modest, the average cost per seat quickly escalates as organizations find they must bolt on plug-ins, develop workarounds, and fix bugs in order to get it to do the things they bought it to do.
My suggestion: Ditch the one-size-fits-none CRM behemoth, and purchase a purpose-built complex b2b sales enablement technology that does exactly what you need it to do without all the costly add-ons.
An effective technology designed specifically for complex b2b sales enablement will provide the precise built-in tools you need, including:
When your core technology already provides all of the effectiveness tools you need to execute on your sales strategy, you are free to focus your attention on developing and improving strategy, process, skills, coaching, analysis, and content.
I designed Membrain to make your sales organization more effective–and that includes reducing your technology spend.
For one thing, it already includes everything your complex b2b sales team needs in a gorgeous, intuitive, easily customizable and dynamic environment. No need for expensive plug-ins or complex workarounds.
Second, we developed our pricing model to meet your needs, rather than ours. In short, we offer a tiered pricing model that reflects the fact that some of your people need all of our software’s functionality, and some people only need access to certain aspects. This means that you can give more people access to your rich wealth of sales data while spending less overall on technology.
If you’re a sales consultant or trainer, I would love to show you how you can help your clients spend less on technology so they can spend more (and get higher ROI) on your valuable services. If you’re a complex b2b sales leader, I’d love to show you how our technology may be both the most effective and the most cost-effective solution for your organization.
Contact us today to start the conversation.
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. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.
Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn