How to Drive Sales Success with The Right Tools

How to Drive Sales Success with The Right Tools
(Photo : Max Bender via Unsplash)

If your company is still struggling to find the right tech stack to support lead generation and sales, you’re not alone. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of tool adoption in sales, many companies still haven’t found their footing.

Pipedrive’s State of Sales 2020-2021 report found that lead generation and prospecting are the two biggest challenges facing salespeople. Despite this fact, almost 40% of salespeople don’t use any technology or automation tools to help them source and qualify leads.

Why is this? Only 24% of those not using technology report that they don’t have a need for it. The majority cite reasons that boil down to resources and implementation:

  • My company hasn’t found the right tool yet

  • My company doesn’t have the budget for this

  • My company doesn’t have the right staff to use this

  • My company doesn’t have the time to implement this

  • My company tried tools before, but it didn’t work

Around 58% of salespeople now spend most of their working time outside of a traditional office. Moving forward, your team needs flexible tech solutions to help them communicate, track activities, and report outcomes no matter where or how they work.

Sales managers must assess the tools they’re using and determine if they are effective in boosting performance. In this assessment, managers should also identify gaps that technology can fill.

Most sales teams use some kind of technology to assist their team. According to our report, 79% of salespeople use a customer relationship management system (CRM) to track sales, while 17% use a spreadsheet and 4% still use pen and paper.

Finding the right tech stack and implementing it well is a challenge sales teams should prioritize in 2022 and beyond. These key findings from the State of Sales report will help you understand why tool adoption is important and how it can boost sales performance at your company.

Tool adoption increases sales performance across the board

First, teams need to consider the rationale for adopting tools and tech into their processes. Since tools take time and money to implement, they need to offer ROI.

Survey respondents who reported they were happy with their tools and technology were 14 percentage points more likely to hit their annual sales goal in 2020. When considering new tools for adoption, look for one that’s designed with the sales team in mind and include them in the process.

In addition, respondents who were happy with the tools and technology at their disposal were 11 percentage points more likely to consider themselves successful at sales and 18 percentage points more likely to be satisfied in their current role. Simply put, it pays off to integrate tools into your workflows.

Lead qualification tools are sales target shortcuts

Data from the report show that tech adoption for lead qualification boosts sales. Around 67% of sales professionals who used tools to source and qualify leads hit their sales targets for 2020, compared to less than half of those who didn’t enlist tech help.

Lead qualification tools can help salespeople to:

By having a system to generate, store, and organize your leads, you’ll be able to focus on the activities and leads that will have the best ROI for your business. Most tools also have metrics to measure the effectiveness of individual and team performance, so you can identify weaknesses and make corrections.

Automation removes the legwork from lead gen

Lead generation takes up a large amount of bandwidth in sales. Some 46% of survey respondents reported that they spend their largest amount of time on prospecting. In fact, prospecting passed selling as the most time-consuming activity for salespeople in 2020.

In addition, salespeople put in long hours with 63% working more than 40 hours in a week. By saving time on admin work, salespeople can focus their time on talking to prospects and actually selling.

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of salespeople who used technology or automation tools for lead generation increased from 51% to 63%. This jump was likely due to pandemic workplace changes.

Over that same year, that group reported fewer challenges with lead gen. In 2020, the number that “usually” or “always” struggled with lead generation fell from 30% to 20%.

Here are some examples of lead generation tools and automations that can save time and administrative work for salespeople:

  • Chatbots and web forms to pre-qualify leads and collect data when offices are closed

  • Lead scoring automation tools to highlight high-priority leads for follow-up

  • Research tools like Crunchbase, LinkedIn, or Pipedrive’s Smart Contact Data to pull company information automatically

  • CRM tools like customizable fields and email snippets to save time

  • Custom landing-page creation tools like Wishpond to send leads to your CRM

  • Analytics tools, like Leadfeeder, to filter your website traffic by company

Wrapping up

At the end of the day, you can’t control who will purchase and who won’t. What you can control is managing your leads so no one slips through the cracks, using intelligence to inform your sales and using automation to drive leads beyond what your team can do manually.

Let’s go back to the biggest pain points for tool adoption: resources and implementation. Once you’ve made the decision to dedicate budget and staff time to finding a new sales tool, you’re halfway there. The next step, however, is critical.

For implementation success, look for a tool that’s optimized for its users: your salespeople. Involve your team in the decision-making process and dedicate ample time for training and implementation. Measure early and often, and once your team is up and running on the tool, you’ll enjoy the ROI of your investment.

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