Source: Nancy Nardin, Smart Selling Tools, Inc.

“Only 35 percent of a sales rep’s time is spent selling,” says Nancy Nardin, founder and president of Smart Selling Tools. Instead of giving a majority of their time to selling, sales reps are having to update forecasts, client account records and other process-oriented tasks. Nardin says with the right tools and support from marketing, sales teams that increase their time selling to 50 percent could increase sales revenue by as much as 43 percent.

During Tuesday’s “Everything a Marketer Should Know About SalesTech (But Was Afraid to Ask)” presentation at our MarTech Conference in Boston, Nardin gave an overview of the sales tech landscape and offered guidance on how marketers can better support sales teams by leveraging the right sales tools.

600 sales tech vendors. Per Nardin’s sales tech landscape, there are 600 vendors offering sales technology solutions — making it one-tenth the size of the martech ecosystem. Even though it’s a small portion of what the martech landscape looks like — there is still an overwhelming number of sales tech providers.

“It’s too much information,” says Nardin, “We can’t make sense of it all.”

Nardin argues there are a number of ways marketers can better support sales, from making sure they have the right tools to making sure their sales teams are being smart about how they use the tools.

Identify capability gaps. To determine which sales tech tools are going to best fit a business’ needs, Nardin says companies first have to identify capability gaps.

“When you’re trying to figure out the right technology for you, don’t start with the technology,” said Nardin. Her team helps firms find the right sales technology by mapping out capability gaps within a department and assigning a capabilities hierarchy score — pinpointing the areas where there is room for improvement. Sales technology decisions can then be made according to which areas are most under-served.

6 distinct sales technology offerings. Finding the right sales training tools along with solutions that help reinforce product training are two areas where marketers can better support their sales team says Nardin.

The sales tech veteran outlined six distinct technology offerings that can empower sales staff: video selling tools, personalized scheduling, buyer portals, sales engagement and contact management solutions, and lead engagement using AI outreach technology.

Slower growth in sales tech, so far. Within the sales tech landscape, Nardin has divided the 600 solutions into 43 categories. She says sales teams, on average, are using 4.8 sales tools during their workday.

Separating sales tech into four pillars — CRM, online meeting tools, lead and sales intelligence and eSignature solutions — Nardin doesn’t see the same growth occurring within sales technology solutions as she does the martech industry. When asked about the evolution of the sales tech landscape, Nardin says it is a bit like a lava lamp — with certain sales tech categories expanding while others remain stagnant.

“I don’t see the the sales tech landscape acceleration happening yet,” said Nardin. She estimates there are approximately 100 new companies launching per year right now in terms of sales tech vendors.

How marketing can support the sales tech selection process. At the close of her session, Nardin reiterated the importance of starting with a capabilities assessment before trying to decide which sales tech is going to serve a team’s needs. Her recommendations: score the team’s capabilities, prioritize technology needs according to the team’s current capabilities and involve the sales team at every level.

You can review Nardin’s full presentation below. Find more presentations on the MarTech Conference SlideShare account.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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