For ToutApp founder Tawheed Kader (TK), building software that streamlines work for people just made sense.
After all, he comes from an engineering background. And he used to work at the largest hedge fund in the world, building software that streamlined work for traders.
Now, he spends his days at ToutApp doing that same thing for salespeople.
“Our mission is to build the Bloomberg Terminal for salespeople,” TK says.
TK joined us for the most recent broadcast of The Modern Sales Leader Hangout: “Build a Sales Stack that Amplifies Revenue.” Here are the best points he made about the sales tech industry, and how to build a sales stack that has ROI.
15 Things to Know About the Sales Stack
- “I think it’s an interesting time for modern sales leaders. I think we are just coming out of a period where people invested a lot in technology and a lot in tools. And we’re now coming up at a point where there’s a little bit of fatigue about that.”
- “This may be a little controversial, but it’s my view that we’re discovering that a lot of the core basics around selling — the old school stuff — is more relevant than ever before. And you almost need less technology and more of the core human-to-human connection and selling and value-building to succeed in sales and to win in B2B sales, in particular.”
- “There are over 300 vendors in the space selling tools around selling, they almost over-invested in tech and now they’re realizing that you can add all the tech you want, but you still need salespeople that are skilled in forging a human connection and driving value. And you need a few tools that work well together to amplify that.”
- “The modern sales leader is someone who’s looking at the practice and the tech separately and figuring out the right mix of it.”
- “I think people realized at a certain point that CRM isn’t the end-all, be-all solution for salespeople. I think people also realized that they need to figure out how to drive productivity and adoption of sales tools. There were a lot of tools being bought, but no one used it.”
- “The amount of venture capital dollars invested into this space has exponentially grown, almost to a point where venture capitalists are feeling like the space is crowded. Sales leaders are feeling it’s crowded and there’s way too many companies in the category. And sales leaders are feeling the brunt of it because they’re being sold to and prospected into by every SDR and every tech company that’s selling sales tools.”
- “You know [sales tech] has jumped the shark when there are three Y Combinator companies in the batch that are selling sales tools. And two of them are around prospecting.”
- “It’s my view that sales leaders are going to start demanding something that takes care of [pipeline, sales process and analytics.] And once you start taking care of all three, then you’ve got a real bundled solution … the vendor that consolidates that is going to win in the space in the long run.”
- “More sales leaders are realizing the problem, and they’re seeking the solution. And that’s what you want in a category, so the [sales stack] category is maturing.”
- “There’s wide recognition of the problem. And wide recognition of the inefficiency around trying to consolidate all of these different tools. And that’s when a bundling [of services] cycle happens, because sales leaders are going to say ‘Look, I have these 5 problems. I don’t want 5 vendors. Can I just work with you?’”
- “The thing is, still today, no sales leader and none of us that are running these companies know exactly what that bundled offering looks like. And, in a way, we won’t know until three big companies IPO in this category and kind of win.”
- “We’ve enjoyed a relatively lax period in the stage of this category where people just invested in technology because they felt like it was the right thing to invest in. We’re entering a stage where you’re going to have to show real ROI to continue to earn dollars. And at the end of the day, it’s either quota attainment or being able to raise quota. That’s the only ROI that any sales leader evaluating a tool should look at.”
- “Vendors tend to manufacture new ROIs, but ultimately the thing that really matters for any sales leader is: Is this going to help my reps hit quota? And am I going to be able to raise quota because they’re that much more productive?”
- “Don’t let the vendor set the ROI metric. You should know what your top three KPIs are for your sales team…own it, benchmark it (write down what that is in the beginning), run the trial and then compare.”
- “What you don’t want to do is just give [the tool] to the reps and let them decide. That usually yields in five more tools they’re going to want over the next three quarters. And what I’ve seen is reps, when they don’t hit quota, they’ll blame the tool.”
Bonus: “The [sales stack] market is huge. The number of companies that have a group of humans sitting together to sell something across the world is huge. The modern sales leader is going back to basics because there’s been so much thrown at them [from the sales stack space] over the last few years.”
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