Key Learning from Dreamforce: The Sales Tool Adoption Problem

  September 29th, 2015  
  Sales Training
dreamforce 2015 sales tool

Among all of the keynotes, sessions, marketing, and other noise thrown my way during the chaos of Dreamforce, there were great takeaways.
I had the opportunity to connect with many sales executives during the event, and perhaps one of the most interesting discussions was around the adoption of tech tools.
Tech tools are quite a relevant topic given that there were over 400 partner sponsors at the Dreamforce Cloud Expo pushing their latest and greatest products and/or services.

The Sales Tool Adoption Problem

In a group discussion, I heard several sales leaders asking how to solve the “adoption” problem.
Now, I’m not talking about tool fatigue for the sales rep that has every single new app. These are the reps who work at companies whose leadership have big budgets (or have extra venture capital money to burn) and have high hopes that every new tool will incremental ROI. That is in contrast to the rather reasonable sales costs, that we shall call the “revenue tool stack,” which are just entry costs for a sales team.
Teams can’t even do the basics of sales without contact info, email, a phone and a system of record to store it all. You can’t call prospects without data and dialers, and you need a CRM to record sales activity in in case the sales rep gets hit by a bus (or worse case – go to a competitor). However, what about all of the other sales acceleration and productivity tools, add-ons and plugins?
How do you drive adoption of these sales acceleration and productivity tools that can help bring us to the fiscal revenue goals at the end of the rainbow?
At first, the group was discussing tips, tricks and challenges of managing millennial sales teams, but what really caught my attention was when a software veteran stood up and said, “When did using these sales tools even become optional?”

Sales Productivity Tools Are No Longer Optional

It’s true that these sales tools need to be easy to use, but if you look at other “non-tech” industries, the tools acquired to help employees use their jobs are just part of how they do their jobs. Period. There is an entire industry around driving customer success, with the goal of retaining their recurring revenue, and it’s important that tech companies continuously improve their product offering and functionality. If a tool helps solve a problem and bring productivity value, it should be used by sales teams. Period.
The most primitive example is a factory worker or construction worker who literally uses tools. These tools are meant to make their jobs easier and drive productivity. So, why can’t it be the same with tech tools? If your company invests in tools that are meant to make it easier to find deals, run them smoother and close them faster, why wouldn’t sales team adopt them? As long as the sales tool does what it says it can do, there shouldn’t be a reason to worry about adoption. If adoption is lacking, the issue is not the tool; the issue is the salesperson. When hiring salespeople, be sure to ask questions to uncover if they will use tools that will make them more productive.
If you hired a lumberjack and they only want to use an axe and not a chainsaw, don’t you think you should go and find a different lumberjack?
To learn more about how using sales tools and sales training can help your team increase deal sizes and close leads faster, download our free guide on How to Create Sales Training Your Reps Will Love (And Remember).

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