Are you looking for tech tools that will help you build your Pipeline & Revenue? This Buyer’s Guide will help you navigate the market.
Did you know that today’s sales professionals only spend a third of their time actually selling? More often than not, they end up getting bogged down in cumbersome manual processes, like curating and following up with leads, instead of adding value to the company.
Technology can solve the problem. However, the selection process can be a nightmare, given the huge variety of tools available. Furthermore, making the wrong choices can leave you in a worse situation than when you started. Knowing where to start is the first part of the battle.
In this guide, we’ll explore our proven framework for helping you make the right decision when buying sales tech. This is a top-down process consisting of six steps across two phases, where you start with clearly defining the problem you’re trying to solve.
The most important thing when choosing any kind of tech is to keep the end goal in focus. No digital transformation plan should ever be carried out for its own sake. The focus should always be on the end-user experience you want to achieve. That’s what your goal must encompass.
Answer the WHY
In this case, the end users we’re talking about are your sales development representatives or SDRs. You need to have a clear picture of the problem they’re trying to solve, so you need to work closely with them from the outset of the decision-making process. You need to reverse-engineer the problem by understanding the pain points you want to address, why it’s important to address them, and why it’s important now.
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down the list of potential options to a single, albeit broad category. You can now select a quadrant from the Tenbound Market Map that will narrow down the solutions that are within the scope of your project. Finally, bookmark the top players in the industry to create a shortlist.
Define processes and requirements
The next step is to determine how your current environment will accommodate any new sales development technology you choose. This is the stage where you start mapping out the project itself by defining the processes, requirements, responsibilities, and dependencies. As before, you’ll need to work closely with your SDRs to ensure they’re onboard throughout the process.
Most of the time, there will be issues that need to be addressed before making a decision. For example, you need to be clear on who will own the contract and any contractual requirements involved in switching vendors. This will help inform an optimal timeframe and realistic budget.
You’ll need to thoroughly evaluate your existing technology and processes too, to get a better idea of how your new tech will work with your current systems. Chances are, some things may need changing. The output of this stage should be a thorough map of your existing processes and tools, who owns and is responsible for what, and the technical requirements or limitations that any proposed solution must accommodate.
Prioritize the defined requirements
Now you have a list of requirements, responsibilities, and dependencies, it’s time to prioritize. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a silver bullet that solves everything perfectly the first time when it comes to tech, and some tradeoffs are usually an inevitability. To keep disruption to a minimum, you need to prioritize pain points and translate them into technical requirements that will help you prune your list of potential solutions.
Once again, you’ll need to work closely with your SDRs to understand which, if any, tradeoffs they’re willing to tolerate. For example, deploying the new technology might take time, during which disruption will likely be inevitable. Finally, validate your solution requirements and their importance with your team, and be sure to balance the needs of sales managers and SDRs. The importance of taking a collaborative approach can’t be overstated.
Now that you’re clear on your technical and process requirements and their prioritization, it’s time to start narrowing down your list. This phase will ultimately help you bring your list down to just three possible solutions when using the Tenbound Market Map.
Shortlist potential companies
The next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of your potential solution providers and their products. This includes identifying any solutions that are widely used to solve problems similar to your own but are not quite successful enough in meeting your specific criteria. If possible, try to find out which other companies, similar to your own, are using the tools, and how they’re using them. Any vendor that’s been around for a while should also have some case studies to share.
It’s also important to balance your resources, taking into consideration things like your budget, the required level of in-house expertise (if any), and the availability of your team. Be sure to break down your costs thoroughly, including any capital expenses and ongoing support costs required to maintain the solution. This will also help you determine a realistic expected ROI, both in terms of finance and the net expected benefits of having such a solution.
Finally, make sure you have in order your implementation timeline based on these parameters. Depending on the vendor you decide to go with, there might be various implementation options and timeframes available.
Narrowing down your list
Now it’s time to narrow down your list into three possible vendors by thoroughly evaluating their solutions with respect to your identified requirements and their prioritization. That said, it’s not quite time to make a final decision. After all, the effectiveness of any chosen tech is highly dependent on continuous evaluation. To that end, you should approach this framework as a cycle that narrows down your list until it ultimately reaches a conclusion.
Most vendors offer trials or demonstrations, which will help you reduce your list and ensure that you don’t end up implementing a solution that sees poor adoption rates. Finally, be sure to consolidate the entire process with thorough documentation. This reduces the time needed to make the right decision while ensuring that everyone’s on the same page and accountable for their role in the process.
Tenbound helps B2B companies build sales and talent pipelines with insights and advisory services. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation.