Ways to think about the ROI of sales tech

By Anders Björklund

Ways to think about the ROI of sales tech

The case for digital transformation doesn't have to be repeated. But, as decision-makers, the right digital technologies can help empower teams, engage customers and optimise operations.

We recognise the potential upsides of investing in our tech stacks, but we also know that the actual cost goes beyond dollars and euros. It includes the resources and time that go into implementation, coaching and training, for example, and those factors weigh on the ROI.

With reports of economic headwinds creating uncertainty, deciding to invest in your tech stack is more challenging than ever. But it's also more imperative than ever before. The way of working has changed and with it, so has the landscape for B2B sales. We now operate in an era of borderless business with hybrid engagement set to default and an expanded buying committee to contend with. 

With buyers exploring new possibilities and enjoying more options, sellers have a real urgency to step up their game. Some B2B companies are already evolving and changing their culture and motions, enabled by technology, with trusted data at the core. They are leveraging sales intelligence platforms to gain insights to engage the proper accounts, relationships and opportunities at the right time.

In the context of all that's happening, I'd like to suggest three other forms of 'returns' to include in your ROI considerations. These are less conventional and yet highly relevant in today's landscape. 

Year after year, I realised that successful B2B companies have a healthy relationship with technology. These companies research before reaching out to their target audience. These successful companies don't use technology to knock on more doors; they use it to knock on the right doors.

To win in a hybrid business world.

Even as the pandemic turns endemic, there are no signs of a total return to in-person selling, and the shift to hybrid selling is not just permanent; it's positive. 

This is because many buying committee members currently work more than half the time remotely; perhaps more significantly, 68% believe remote work has made buying more accessible. With the consensus that this new way of working is here to stay, sales organisations must ensure that they are set up for the desired long-term success.

Adapting to this emerging preference is an excellent example of how to practice the buyer-first ethos, i.e. the idea of putting ourselves in our buyers' shoes to understand their evolving needs and, in this case, investing in tools and technologies now so that your teams quickly access relevant data to gain deeper insight into their accounts, to identify and engage buyers the way they want to be involved. It's the first step to developing partnerships built on trust. 

To use technology to fuel commercial performance.

Year after year, I realised that successful B2B companies have a healthy relationship with technology. These companies research before reaching out to their target audience. These successful companies don't use technology to knock on more doors; they use it to knock on the right doors. 

There are two factors at play in these companies. 

The first is dirty data. Among sellers' the two most significant data challenges are incomplete and inaccurate market data. Working with a limited data view is dangerous. It may lead to sellers spamming potential customers about products, solutions and services they don't need and annoying them.  

The second is ensuring that tools, software and tech are well integrated with their commercial teams' workflows and that they invest in training to intelligently and effectively wield these tools. 

When reliable, accurate and precise data is handed to sales teams who are apt at using that data to identify prospects with higher buying propensity, that sets the stage for better performance across your entire sales organisation. 

To prepare for the ongoing change.

The digital natives bring their digital-first expectations into the workplace. So embracing digital transformation by taking a good look at your tech stack now is a move to future-proof your organisation and way of working.

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it: technology is the powerful and essential enabler that shall be deployed to augment human ability. The right tools, software and tech, used in the right way, will supercharge your commercials team to create the results you desire — and that's the ultimate ROI. 

Digital transformation research checklist

As you look for online solutions, there are a few essential considerations. Software is a significant investment, especially when working with several different products.

Use this online research checklist to determine who will useware, what's available (+ read reviews), the pros and cons, and what you'll need to use the product.

Download checklist

 

 

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Anders asks many questions and knows what to do with the answers.
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