4 Considerations for Reducing Your Sales Stack
More sales tools don’t translate to more sales. In fact, it’s often just the opposite.
According to a 2018 Inside Sales study of 720 sales representatives, the average salesperson spends just 35 percent of her time on revenue-generating activities. What does she do with the remaining two-thirds? Almost all of it — 63 percent of sales reps’ total time — is spent using sales technologies, with email clients claiming the most time.
The reason salespeople spend that much time with sales tools becomes obvious when you consider their tool set. The average enterprise uses 43 cloud-based CRM or sales tools and a whopping 91 marketing tools. Look a little deeper, though, and you’ll notice something: Top-performing enterprises tend to use far fewer. Microsoft, for instance, uses about 40 tools in its sales and marketing stack; Cisco uses 39.
Slim Down Your Stack
Importing, exporting, and toggling between sales and marketing tools takes more time than many leaders realize. To consolidate your sales and marketing stack:
1. Make the most of your foundation with workflow automation.
The first and most critical choice you’ll make when paring down your sales and marketing tool kit? Which tool will be your “home.” At most companies, this will be a CRM. Because CRMs store customer data and track touchpoints, they tend to be the most time-consuming part of a sales stack to swap out.
Once you’ve settled on your foundation, try to accomplish as much within it as possible. Salesforce users, for instance, don’t need a separate suite to manage their drip email campaigns. Workflow automation with an integrative tool like Mixmax can help users get the most out of their CRM foundation; salespeople, for example, can book meetings, automate follow-ups, and save time logging information with the right integrative tool. Automation can also help prevent the human error of a missed connection that could lead to lost deals. Workflow automation software ensures salespeople always send effective emails to the right people at the right time, schedule more meaningful meetings, and keep CRM data updated.
2. Give up on “shelfware.”
Once you’ve determined what you definitely want to keep, your next step is to identify tools that you definitely don’t. If you’re not sure, ask your team which tools they haven’t used in a month or more. Rather than push people to start using them, accept that they aren’t part of your team’s workflow. According to a Flexera study, 93 percent of enterprise companies struggle with so-called “shelfware,” or purchased software products that rarely or never get used.
Why does shelfware happen, and where should you look? Product innovations are a big cause. A company that now sells an online service instead of a physical product, for instance, probably doesn’t need point-of-sale software any longer. Another is canceled initiatives. If your company tried and moved on from experiential marketing, it may still be paying for pricey tools like Limelight or MainEvent. Others may simply be the result of miscommunication