Sales Technology: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Sales is a pressure-packed profession, with a new set of must-do goals always waiting to replace the set you’ve just accomplished. It’s part of what makes succeeding at sales so rewarding, both personally and financially. It also opens the door, ironically enough, to the proverbial snake oil salesman. You know the type. They’ve got a “miracle sales system” that they promise will do wonders for your career, and since you’re obviously such a nice person, they’re willing to share the miracle with you… in exchange for a small fee.
In that type of climate, it’s only natural for salespeople to be a bit skeptical when the Next Big Thing hits the market. Get too cautious, though, and you’ll miss out on the tools that really do make a difference. Sales tech is one tool that you won’t want to ignore. Used well, it’s capable of boosting efficiency and streamlining your whole sales process. Used wrong, well, we’ll get to that. Let’s take a closer look of the good, the bad, and the ugly of sales tech.
Sales Technology: The Good
Buy-in from your employees is the key to making any sales tech platform a success. In order for the technology to work effectively, your sales and marketing teams need to use it. It may take some convincing, especially with experienced, successful team members, but your employees will embrace sales tech as long as you clearly demonstrate how it benefits them.
Sales tech makes it much easier for your team to manage and nurture leads. It offers a centralized place for team members to record and view notes on your prospects, so your salespeople will always be informed when it’s time to make a phone call or in-person appointment.
Keeping everyone on the same page is a big part of sales success, and sales tech helps avoid the sorts of accidental oversights that can sink an otherwise sure sale. This is especially true for initiatives that involve multiple departments, where small communication breakdowns can lead to lost business.
Tech also generates tons of data, which you can use to analyze the effectiveness of your current sales tactics, and plot a clear path toward future growth. Use analytics to understand what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do to improve your team’s performance.
Sales Technology: The Bad
Sometimes, sales tech fails even when the people using it have the best of intentions. When this happens, it’s easy to place the blame on the sales technology platform. Usually, though, the problem centers around how people are using the platform. It all starts with educating employees thoroughly on how your sales tech works. If your employees don’t fully understand how to use the tech, then of course they’re not going to get the results you’re targeting.
Learning on the fly takes time, and limits effectiveness. If your team members are constantly stuck trying to figure out how to use basic functions of your sales tech as they go, then they’re losing valuable hours of productivity. Provide comprehensive training and continued, as-needed assistance to avoid this potential pitfall.
Management indifference is another sure way to keep your sales tech integration grounded. Show your team that you’ve taken the time to fully understand your sales tech platform, and they’ll be more likely to learn about it, too.
Sales Technology: The Ugly
It doesn’t have to be ugly, but sometimes it gets that way. Usually, the ugly comes when management adopts a sales tech platform simply for the sake of saying they did so. There’s no commitment to learning the platform, or rolling it out in a way that will encourage salespeople to use it. They simply drop it into the office one day, and expect it to start delivering results.
This type of haphazard tech integration is a waste of time and money for everyone involved. It leads to sales platforms collecting dust, and stirs resentment among team members who made the effort to learn a platform only to find out it’s not being supported, after all.
Employees will also be less willing to invest time in future sales tools, if they see that management treats sales tech as little more than window dressing. Apathy is bad for business, regardless of who’s feeling it or where it originates.
You don’t have to experience the bad or the ugly of sales technology, as long as you’re willing to fully buy into the process. An adjustment period is natural, as your sales team learns the platform and figures out the best ways to use it. That’s temporary, though. Once your sales tech platform is firing on all cylinders, your team will wonder how they ever lived without it.