Today’s sales landscape is an explosion of innovation with no signs of slowing. In fact, the latest inside sales technology landscape, produced by sales expert Nicolas De Kouchkovsky, brings one word to mind – overwhelming. The new grid features more than 450 logos, with 100 new sales technology companies added in the last 12 months alone.
High-growth sales organizations are keeping up with the wave of innovation. According to our study, the average high-growth sales organization has 10 sales technologies in their tech stack and 83 percent are using five or more.
A Critical Juncture
“Despite the dizzying number of sales technologies out there, it is more important than ever to get educated about and embrace new technologies,” said Bob Perkins, president and founder of the AA-ISP. “The perfect storm is brewing, an evolving buyer expectation for a remote relationship, an inside sales team more equip to meet buyer needs, and technology that supports the digital way of selling.”
In fact, according to the study, 79 percent of participants believe automation is already replacing daily sales activity for most companies and 75 percent of participants believe that half of today’s sales activities will be automated in less than 10 years.
“Technology, such as mobility, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtualization, will continue to grow in impact and importance, transforming sales organizations at an exponential rate,” said Matt Reid, vice president of marketing at Velocify. “Those organizations that ride the wave of automation, fully utilizing core technologies and experimenting with new technologies will set themselves up for long-term success.”
Balancing Innovation and Growth
Today’s sales organizations are challenged to innovate, while also scale their operations for growth. Leveraging the 80/20 rule can be helpful, focusing 80 percent on core technologies that drive predictable revenue and the other 20 percent on experimental technologies.
In our survey we asked participants what technologies they’d classify as “imperative to a sales stack” and what technologies they planned to invest in over the next few years. Here’s what we learned.
- Not surprising, pipeline management (CRM) ranked number one on the list of must-have technology tools, with 59 percent of participants noting it as imperative, followed by email tracking and automation at 50 percent and lead distribution and call management at 42 percent.
- According to the study, web and social prospecting are on the rise with 71 percent of participants planning on increasing their use of this technology within the next few years, followed closely by email tracking and automation at 67 percent and marketing automation at 66 percent.
- When asked about other futuristic tools, most believe virtual reality (72%) and automated chat bots (88%) are already useful or will be useful to their sales teams in less than 10 years, with 55% saying the same about holographic images.
The study also indicated that technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) will be most useful for automating routine tasks at early stages of the sales cycle. These technologies will keep sales professionals from drowning in routine tasks like appointment setting and data entry. Technologies like virtual reality and holographic images were cited as more impactful later in the sales cycle, at the pitch and negotiation phases. High-growth companies view these technologies as increasingly essential to maximize productivity and create an exceptional buyer experience.
End-User Adoption, a Critical Success Factor
The impact technology can have on a business is great, but it is only realized when the implementation is successful. When survey participants were asked, “What is most important for the success of a new technology initiative?” 48 percent of participants agreed that driving adoption is the most important factor when it comes to seeing a return on your investment. Training was second on the list, followed by ease of use.
To see how your organization’s sales technology stacks up, read the full report “The Evolving Sales Technology Landscape: Riding the Wave to Revenue.”
Velocify® is the leading sales acceleration platform. The company helps more than 1,500 sales teams sell more by bringing speed and control to the entire sales process. Velocify helps sales teams prospect with more precision, accelerate lead engagement, and implement optimized workflows, ultimately helping sales teams find and convert more leads.
Velocify has recently been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte and Inc. For more information about Velocify or its technology, please visit the company’s website and blog, or follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube.
The AA-ISP, the global Inside Sales association and our industry’s most trusted and respected resource for everything Inside Sales, is dedicated exclusively to advancing the profession of Inside Sales. The association engages in research studies, organizational benchmarking, and leadership roundtables to better understand and analyze the trends, challenges, and key components of the growth and development of the Inside Sales industry. Our mission is to help Inside Sales representatives and leaders to leverage our information and resources through published content, local community Chapters, global conferences, career development, and an Inside Sales Accreditation program.
For more information on AA-ISP, please visit www.aa-isp.org or follow the company on Twitter @AA_ISP.
Marketing Director, Velocify