Improving B2B sales productivity has long been the goal of sales technology buyers. But the sales rep, the person who leverages the technology most, is often left out of the selection process. That leads to frustration, low adoption, and unrealized return on investment in sales technology.
A new report from Forrester titled Introducing The Forrester Digital Sales Experience Manifesto offers five guiding principles for putting the sales rep at the center of digital sales technology decisions and delivering more value from technology investments.
Forrester’s 5 guiding principles for delivering greater value from digital sales technology
Below is our recap of considerations Forrester recommends using to select digital sales technology designed to meet the needs of end users and improve sales productivity:
- Sales time is precious. A sales rep’s most valuable resource is their time. Any time they are not spent engaging with buyers, prospects, and customers is potential revenue taken away from the company. Asking reps to manually enter data into a CRM or track their forecast in a spreadsheet is not productive and leads to inaccurate data. Using a conversation intelligence and/or an automated activity capture tool is a big time-saver and can help streamline administrative tasks.
- Clicks matter. As outlined in number one, time is the most precious commodity. The time it takes sellers to find information or complete a task within an application directly impacts user adoption and satisfaction. The longer it takes, the less likely reps will be to rely on that technology. If your sellers HAVE to enter data into a CRM, make it as efficient as possible by hiding fields that aren’t relevant to your organization. Present the information reps need logically and intuitively to reduce friction and frustration.
- Data is not insight. Although they are closely related, they are not the same. Reps and their managers can quickly become overwhelmed by unstructured data and information. Putting the burden on the rep to decipher the data they receive typically leads to low adoption and does nothing to improve sales performance. Leverage AI-powered digital sales tools to capture data and glean actionable insights to highlight important information and help sellers determine the best next steps to move a deal forward.
- Begin with the end in mind. When first interacting with a buyer, identifying how your product or service can help them change the status quo is critical. Before going in with the details of your product, it is important to quantify and communicate the value your technology can bring them. Doing so creates need and urgency and increases the likelihood that your shareholders and end-users will buy in.
- Meet users where they are. The best technology in the world is useless if people refuse to use it. For users to get the most out of your digital sales technology, you must understand and address the different needs and attitudes about tech. Consider how end-users will use the technology and develop a plan to accommodate different levels of fluency, usage, and adoption. Assess the UI on mobile vs. desktop, and take care to address any privacy concerns. Ensure the digital sales tech you select will meet the different needs of each department to improve buyer interactions.
Improving the value of technology for sellers
You do not have to scrap your existing digital sales technology and start fresh to improve end-user value. Instead, you can focus on integrating and streamlining your existing tech to increase engagement and adoption levels. Forrester suggests starting here:
- Define the buyer’s journey. Align on what the buyer’s journey looks like. Use an accurate and up-to-date vision for buyer/seller interactions as the foundation for improvement.
- Conduct a sales activity study. Complete a study or survey to uncover how sellers function in their current environment. From there, identify what to streamline, automate, and remove.
- Assess the current tech stack. Take inventory of your current tools and establish a system to measure effectiveness.
Want more tips to get more value from your digital sales tech stack? Get your full, complimentary copy of The Forrester Digital Sales Experience Manifesto here.