Building a sales stack can be an exciting process.
The sales technology space is dense. The Salesforce AppExchange alone has more than 1,000 tools available just for sales. Every day, it seems like there’s yet another cool piece of tech coming to market.
But before you get started with that, there’s one thing you absolutely must do:
Define. Your. Sales. Process.
We cannot stress this enough.
Building A Sales Stack: Step One
Here’s the thing:
Assuming that building a sales stack will solve all of your organization’s problems is a mistake.
This will not work. We guarantee it.
As a sales leader, you have to use technology as a way to empower your team with greater productivity and efficiency.
To do this, you must start by defining your sales process. Technology should be assisting or automating the activities in your sales process. How can you even start to add it without understanding what process you’re trying to assist?
The good new is…
There’s a simple solution for defining your sales process: Take yourself through the entire lifecycle from lead to customer.
This will be different for every company, since every sales organization functions in its own unique way. (Defining your sales process for your sales stack will be similar to what you do when defining sales KPIs.)
The best place to start is where you acquire leads.
For example, inbound leads probably come from your marketing team; outbound leads most likely start with business development reps. Lead generation is a step.
How do you figure out if that lead is worth pursuing? Your process might include qualifying leads so that they become opportunity. Opportunity qualification is also a step.
After that, your sales team may perform a demo of your product or service. There’s another step.
Finally, the process likely ends with sending a proposal and then closing a deal. Those are both steps in the process.
Here’s what our example sales process would look like:
Following the sales process all the way through will both help you understand how each step functions and where technology might be beneficial.
When to buy:
The point where you buy is the intersection of process and technology. When you find that a piece of technology could increase productivity, efficiency or even automation of a particular step in your sales process, it could be a great fit.
Be wary though, building a sales stack requires further research and evaluation once you’ve identified tools that could assist your sales process.
Examine the ROI of each piece of technology; demo and test each piece before buying; have conversations and get early buy-in from your team members who will be using the technology.
Once you’ve taken the key step of defining your sales process, the who (who’s carrying out the process), what (what they are doing), when (when in the process they are doing it) and where (where technology would help) of enabling your sales process with technology should become clear.