Sales and technology have come closer and closer together. Unlike a few decades ago, it's relatively difficult to find a business operation that doesn't use at least a CRM.
Whether it's for recording information about negotiations or monitoring the evolution of the sales funnel, these types of sales tools can (and should) become sales manager's best friends.
However, the market offers us much more than CRM as a sales platform with the power to leverage the results of the teams.
In times when even rockets go backwards, it is clear that there is a series of technologies that can help sales managers and their teams to automate all types of work, in addition to improving process monitoring.
Our goal throughout this article is to show you the vast universe surrounding a Sales Technology Stack and help you to improve your performance.
All About Sales Technology Stack
Anyone who has worked in sales in recent years knows that there is at least one sales platform for every need in the industry.
Whether you're focusing on lead generation, email automation, recording calls, digitally signing contracts or tracking real-time KPIs, the possibilities are endless.
We'll dive into each of them to illustrate how they can maximize sales force and productivity.
Automated Lead Generation
Generating leads for Outbound teams has always been a struggle. It was necessary to buy lists, join professional associations to gain access to their affiliates, among several other non-scalable strategies to reach this goal. In summary, the ways to generate Smart Leads in good volume for the sales team were very restricted.
Furthermore, these strategies (in addition to being expensive), took some time to generate results. And those who work especially with Outbound know that it is necessary to make several prospecting attempts to reach the ideal number of leads, whether through cold calls or emails.
In face of this scenario, making Outbound Marketing in small businesses became an inglorious mission.
But today (in addition to the non-scalable forms mentioned at the beginning of this section), there are sales platforms that do a lot of this work in an automated way.
We have solutions like Seamless, Apollo and FindThatLead that can very quickly generate a large amount of relevant lead information. Whether it's contact information (such as email and telephone), to billing and number of employees, they are great alternatives for companies that need to generate a high and qualified number of leads.
But remember that this type of sales platform only works in markets where people are online (preferably on LinkedIn). At the same time, don't overlook the potential for generating results in other ways. There are great alternatives to generate good leads and complement the work done by the aforementioned tools well (such as outsourcing SDR teams, for example).
Anyone who works with a low average ticket and a high lead volume knows that it's virtually impossible to prioritize all incoming leads for sales.
At the same time, it is necessary to somehow approach them in the best way possible. And for those who work with Outbound in this type of scenario, they need to reach several companies at the same time, paying close attention to follow-ups so, sales platforms that perform the automation of cadence flows becomes a very important alternative.
With them, it is possible to automate from the first contacts to follow-ups. And even for those who have a slightly higher average ticket and work in a complex sales context, they also allow creating semi-automated flows, which give the possibility to customize the triggered emails, which consequently increases conversion rates.
There are several options, and the best known are Salesloft, Outreach and Mixmax.
I believe that most of the companies' sales sectors at some point made cold calls. If not, at least they did follow-ups over the phone.
To effectively follow-up on what was discussed in these calls and provide feedback to sales reps, having a VoIP solution is essential. Some of them even have CRM integration to link the connection to their respective businesses, facilitating the management's work when contextualizing this interactions.
An excellent platform to do this work is Aircall. The integration with Pipedrive works very well.
Another interesting alternative is Hubspot's own VoIP tool. Hubspot already works natively within CRM (but it is not available in the free version).
Digital Contract Signing
This was one of the tools that brought greater productivity gains within the sales processes.
Today, it is possible to send a contract 100% digitally for your client to sign, without the need to print a document, send it by mail and wait for all this procedure to happen. As a result, the speed of the end-of-funnel sales cycle has become much faster.
There are solutions that have valid digital signatures. We mention here DocuSign as a great option to help you streamline this step of the process and also save paper. Nature thanks you!
For those who are not yet familiar with the term CRM, its acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management and is an essential part of your business success.
Have you ever received a telemarketing call from your telephone operator trying to sell you something, as if you weren't already a customer? Have you noticed how common it is whenever a store changes its sales team, there is a momentary drop in service quality?
These examples above (in addition to being linked to staff training), are connected with the adoption of a CRM by these companies.
Previously, all the management of interactions with customers and leads was done on paper or even memorized. However, we know how easy it is to lose written documentation and how difficult it is to train a team relying only on their memory.
As in all human beings, our memory fails (today more than ever due to the volume of information we consume daily) and we forget sensitive information, hampering the transfer of knowledge to team members, while at the same time damaging our relationship with the base of customers and potential customers.
Therefore, the primary function of a CRM platform is to manage information from the moment we start a negotiation (or generate a lead through Inbound Marketing), until the moment that the same person remains a customer.
Hubspot and Pipedrive are excellent choices.
Management and Analysis of Sales KPIs
Anyone who has worked with sales data has certainly suffered while using spreadsheets. They are extremely versatile, but they also have some limitations, especially when there is a high volume of information traffic. Furthermore, there is a need to create several formulas to perform the necessary calculations, not to mention the integration procedures with other systems that is required for them to work effectively.
For anyone looking to get rid of spreadsheets, there are a few solutions. One example is using a Data Warehouse to centralize information from your CRM and other sales platforms in one place, and then connect to a reporting tool such as Power BI or Metabase.
However, this solutions require a high IT effort, and have a high maintenance cost. Also, this option do not guarantee 100% integrity of your information. For those who want to do this work at a low cost, quickly and without the need for high investments, there is also Insight Sales, which can be connected directly to the CRM in less than 1 minute, without the help of developers.
See how possible it is to have a sales platform for any stage of the sales process?
Important considerations when building the perfect sales technology stack
When hiring a sales platform, several important aspects must be taken into account. In the technical part, the main ones are:
• Does the sales platform have an open API?
• Does the sales platform have integration with other solutions in use by the company?
• Is it easy to operate by the sales team?
We highlight these three points in particular, because without an open API it is difficult to integrate the sales platform with any other existing solution within your company. Whether it's your own SaaS or finance's ERP, sales platforms need to work within the company's technology ecosystem, not in isolation.
If it does not have an open API, it is important to check if the sales platform already has ready-made integrations with other solutions within its process, again focused on inserting it into the ecosystem of existing solutions in your business.
And last but not least, you need to assess whether the usability is good. Any solution within sales that has a complex interface that is difficult to work with has a tendency to be rejected by salespeople. Therefore, extracting the result from them becomes increasingly difficult.
Now it's up to you! What other points do you see as important to analyze when hiring sales platforms for your process? Share with us.