The need to invest in technology and tools is not optional – rather, building a sales tech stack is critical to staying competitive and enabling your team to be successful in their roles.
There are several options on the market and the need for each of them depends on several factors:
- The stage of your company
- The size of your budget
- The size of the team
- The capacity the team has to implement and utilize the tools
Investing in tech will help automate parts of the process and maximize the productivity of the sales reps, but be careful not to let your reps ‘hide’ behind a fancy sales tech stack and blame the techology if they are underperforming.
In a study into the State of Sales Tech Stacks, GetAccept found that 97% of respondents in the sales and marketing industry use at least one digital selling tool, with the average falling between four and ten tools per sales tech stack. By investing in specialist software, your team will compete on a level playing field with other sales organizations.
However, it’s important to ensure you’re investing in the right areas. When prioritizing which tools to invest in first, weigh up your pain points and priorities. What does your team do well and, on the other hand, what do they need to improve on? The tech stack you choose should ease pain points within your team and shorten the sales cycle rather than make things more complicated. Don’t just add processes for the sake of it. Of course, if you’re yet to start a team, go with the basics to give them the best start possible.
Below, we’ve listed the top tools that’ll help enable your team to succeed and glide prospects through the sales cycle as efficiently as possible.
This article about sales tech stacks is from our latest eBook, the SDR Handbook. This comprehensive guide contains all of the information and tools you need to manage, grow and develop a high-performing sales development team.
Customer Relationship Management
Also known as a CRM system, Customer Relationship Management is often thought of as the most important tool for any sales team. While these systems vary per platform, they’re designed to keep track of your team’s communication with prospective and current customers as well as allow them to automate touchpoints and easily store contact information – you can also achieve that in a sales engagement platform, but they often are fully integrated and need to work in sync.
You and your team will be able to access real-time updates and the history of communication with each prospective client, making it much easier to keep track of the sales cycle.
By consolidating all the information into one area and automating areas of communication, you can expect increased productivity, organisation, and customer satisfaction. Simply put, it simplifies yet optimises the way sales development representatives manage client relationships and get the best out of each touchpoint.
If you’re going to prioritise investing in any piece of technology for your sales tech stack, it should be a quality CRM system. In fact, a study found that CRM systems were found to increase conversion rates by up to 300%.
Examples of CRM systems: Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM
Equipping your sales team with the correct data is essential in getting the most out of connections, allowing them to target the right people at the right time. Utilising data vendors will allow them to discover new connections, ensure contact information is correct, capture lead information and enhance conversation rates. This will save time both in terms of prospecting and calling the wrong number.
Examples of data vendors: Zoominfo, Lusha, Seamless
Sales Engagement Tools
Sales engagement tools ensure your sales representatives communicate effectively with prospects by streamlining processes and optimizing workflows with automation. Beneficial for both account-based sales and marketing teams, these platforms offer an array of tools to drive communication, track results and generate reports to help ensure you’re interacting with the right people at the right time using their preferred means of communication.
Helping you create multi-touch campaigns, sales engagement tools are an essential part of any sales tech stack. They’ll automate actions such as sending emails, keeping track of tasks, phone calls and connections requests, as well as generate reports to oversee your team’s productivity and performance.
Examples of sales engagement tools: Salesloft, Outreach, Apollo, Cognism
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an incredibly helpful tool, and deserves a section of it’s own. It’s designed to give sales reps everything they need to identify and build relationships with target accounts, using a host of data to do so. You can track key developments, such as key decision makers changing their jobs and indicators of buyer intent, prompting conversations when it matters most.
Calling prospects by hand becomes a thing of the past with a sales dialer. These tools automatically dial phone numbers for sales representatives, minimising errors and giving them back some of their valuable time.
Often, they have other features such as conversation recording, tracking, call analysis and transcribing, as well as integration with your CRM.
A telephony system, on the other hand, involves using a phone network that is hosted in the cloud. This means that sales representatives can call from anywhere at any time, as they can use their work mobile number on their personal phone or computer.
Examples of dialer systems: 8X8, Aircall, 3CX, Twilio, Ring Central
Conversational intelligence tools refer to technology that use AI to record and analyze sales calls, saving the time it would take for a manager to trawl through hours of conversation themselves. They allow for a better understanding of what works in a pitch and what may need to be improved on, understand team performance and identify areas that your team may need to develop, making them a key part of a sales tech stack.
Examples of conversational intelligence tools: Gong, Chorus.ai, Jiminny, Allego
Imagine this: your SDR has piqued a lead’s interest via email and needs to follow up with a phone call. Excellent, right? That is until they waste precious time going back and forth trying to decide on a time that works well for the prospect.
Avoid this by investing in a scheduling tool; this will allow SDRs to send a link that allows prospects to see your availability and book a meeting that works for you both. According to research by Yocale, online booking software reduces an average of seven hours of administrative tasks per week.
Examples of scheduling and email optimization tools: Chili Piper, Calendly, HubSpot Meetings Tools
Direct Mail/Gifting Platforms
Direct mailing and gifting platforms aren’t a necessity but can be beneficial for some sales teams to make a buyer’s experience more special. As the name suggests, direct mail marketing is where you send physical mail, gifts or merchandise to a prospect’s address.
There are a number of platforms that are designed to streamline this process, with common features including gift selection, shipping, tracking and metrics to measure ROI. Not only will this make the strategy more efficient, but also help you decide if it’s worth investing in.
Example of direct mail platforms: Alyce, Sendoso, Postal, Reachdesk
Intent Data Platforms
Intent data platforms collect metrics regarding your target audience’s purchasing behaviour and intent. This data will enable your SDRs in determining if a prospect is ready to purchase your solution, or are in the consideration stage. In turn, this will help them alter their messaging depending on the prospect’s needs, as well as nurturing leads in the consideration stage.
Examples of data platforms: Bombora, 6Sense, TechTarget, Demandbase
Sales Tech Stack Summary Points:
- In this chapter, we covered the types of technology available in the market to make SDR teams more productive.
- Deciding what solutions should be part of your sales tech stack depends on the size of your team and your budget.
- If you are just getting started with your Sales Development team, we suggest the starter combo: CRM + Sales Navigator + Data Provider + Telephony system + Sales Engagement Tool.
- A more advanced tech stack for larger teams and bigger budgets would typically include: CRM + Sales Navigator + Data Provider + Telephony system + Sales Engagement Tool + Scheduling Tool + Conversational Intelligence + Intent Data + Gifting Platform.
Want to read more about building, enabling and managing a successful sales development team? Download the free SDR Handbook here – no sign-ups required.