For today’s sales ops leaders, selecting and managing sales technology has become a critical aspect of the job. With the right technology in place, each piece in sync with the rest of the stack, sales ops teams are better equipped than ever to pinpoint and remove sales friction, steering their sales peers toward sustainable success.
At a time when sales leaders are expected to improve sales productivity without increasing headcount and, generally, do more with less, investing in the right sales ops technology has become exceedingly important.
But when it comes to sales ops technology, how can we make sure we have the essentials covered without going overboard and giving ourselves too much to manage? And, how can sales ops leaders ensure their technology stack is as advanced as it needs to be, yet simple enough that it gets used regularly, with demonstrable results?
What to Consider When Building Your Sales Ops Technology Stack
Chances are you’re not starting from scratch. If you already have certain pieces of sales technology in place, some of it may be more entrenched than others, so every conversation needs to start with a realistic “current state” of your technology stack.
For each piece of technology that already exists, evaluate it in terms of current and potential effectiveness, ease of use, cost, ease of integration, cost to replace – whatever helps you more accurately gauge the sales technology’s future value at your company.
Granted, it’s easier to gauge a certain piece of technology’s worth when we know where or how it fits within the sales ops technology stack, so let’s address that. To get a full view into processes and pipeline, and to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders, today’s sales ops teams should have, at a minimum, access to the following functionalities:
- Sales enablement software
- CRM software
- Sales data management and analytics
Sales Enablement Software
At a high level, sales enablement software is technology that’s designed to help the sales team sell more effectively. Sales organizations enable their sellers by equipping them with the resources — such as tools, technology, training, and content — they need to excel. Ideally, effective sales enablement removes barriers in the sales process.
Given this broad range, there are literally hundreds of sales enablement software vendors that specialize in everything from lead qualification to content sharing to prospect tracking. The most familiar categories of sales enablement software are sales acceleration (e.g., SalesLoft and Outreach); customer relationship management (e.g., Microsoft and Salesforce); and sales intelligence (LinkedIn Sales Navigator).
Some sales enablement solutions focus on a very specific niche, which — depending on your line of business — might make sense to pursue. Others, like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, provide sales ops teams with a wide range of sales enablement capabilities right out of the box.
The CRM typically serves as the intelligence center not just for sales, but the entire company. That’s why it’s so important for the other pieces of the sales ops stack to integrate with the CRM, so that everyone, from the VP of Sales evaluating performance to the email marketer deciding whether to include your account in a campaign, can perform their roles seamlessly, based on real-time data. The video below provides a brief overview of integrating your CRM with Sales Navigator.