Adam Sockel

Entering the Matrix: Sales tech stacks for success

Tech stacks are complicated. Whether you’re juggling a massive collection of sales tools, working on adding to what you have for your reps, or seeking ways to get the most out of what already exists, it takes constant management and communication to get it right.

In this on-demand webinar, Terry Husayn, Orum’s VP of Sales Development, Kristin Agnelli, Sr Global Director of Sales Development at ThoughtSpot, and Carol Chen, VP Revenue Operations at Flywire dove deep into the idea of sales tech stacks to offer best practices on how to thrive in this ever changing digital environment.

Watch the on-demand version of Entering the Matrix: Sales tech stacks for success

Determining the best success route for your tech stack starts by understanding who is managing it and how the various tools are being used.

Who manages the tech stack?

The answer varies depending on your company, but what matters most is that everyone is aligned with who manages what. At the end of the day, tech stack management can run more smoothly when the budget and vision are centralized within a team like RevOps.

The way the current economic market is, business cases for bringing on new tools need to be extremely thorough and polished before any approvals can be put in place. This means any sellers need to understand that there will likely be a longer sales cycle than they’re used to.

From a sales perspective, this matters because you need to be able to truly show the value proposition for your tools within the tech stack of your prospects. In fact, understanding how tools work together in the modern business world matters more than sales skills now when it comes to landing new clients.

Business Process Mapping

For sales managers evaluating new tech, before diving into solutioning and adding new tools to your arsenal, be sure to do some business process mapping to better understand how tools are being used. Are features being properly deployed? You may not need another tool if you can deploy your tech stack further. This can lead to better processes and less needed enablement.

There is a delicate balance currently in sales between automation and human connections. Prospects want human connection and direct conversations but sales reps can drive those conversations by using automation tools in their tech stacks. To achieve this, however, you need to see, click by click, how those tools are implemented and used. This is business process mapping. Make time for managers to shadow a rep and see how they’re actually using the tech stack in their day to day. You may be surprised by the friction and inefficient processes that are in place. Business process mapping is a critical first step when evaluating whether to further deploy your existing stack or choose new tools. 

Doing more with less: the current sales mantra

The discussion naturally transitioned into the current expectations every sales team is facing. They are being asked to build greater pipeline with fewer resources and lower headcounts than ever before. The panelists talked about the concepts of “Frankenstacks” where multiple tools are spliced together vs. all-in-one tools that seemingly can manage it all. You can save budget if choosing an all-in-one, but if you choose best-in-class and negotiate well you can save there too. If you can nail the change management of an all-in-one, go for it, but always fully explore how good the vendor is in that specific function and recognize what you might lose by not using a best-in-class. Make sure to always pay attention to the potential business impact.

Every panelist agreed that success comes down to democratizing data. Data has to be in the hands of everyone involved in the sales process. It needs to be centralized, clean, and everyone has to know what it means. Your ops team should be centralizing data in the cloud connected to a tech stack that allows all teams to run queries and self-serve. Democratized data means individual teams don’t have to wait for a data team to get insights into the business.

The panel finished up the webinar by discussing how they approach analyzing new vs. existing tools and the importance of centralizing everything within a single CRM. Something to always keep top of mind when considering new additions to your tech stack is the hidden cost of change management. How long implementation will take, how much enablement you’ll need, and how long the new tools will take to accomplish current tasks should all be considered when determining what tools to bring into your tech stack.