It’s really easy to fall into “new toy” syndrome when it comes to buying sales tools.
You know how it goes . . . that sharp-looking dashboard comes out, and we can’t help ourselves. No matter how “cool” a sales tool may seem, it’s crucial to know how it solves a pain point for your team.
Hampus Jakobsson, founder of Brisk.io, shares his 3-part checklist that every sales team should use before they buy their next sales tool.
When to Buy a New Sales Tool
It’s shocking how many companies prematurely buy a tool they don’t actually need.
Companies may think, “Eh, what’s $10, $50, $100 a month? Just because you can afford it in the budget, doesn’t mean your sales team needs it.
Instead of immediately coming in with the “fix it” mentality, take time to analyze the problem, break down why it’s happening, and determine what practices are contributing to the problem.
Hampus Jakobsson says Brisk often gets approached with questions like “Which email template solutions do you prefer?”
And their answer is a bit more long-winded than expected.
Clients are perplexed when Hampus responds back with questions like:
“Well, what problem do you want to solve? Do you want centralized templates and everyone using the same ones?
Do you want quick and agile sharing between the reps?
Do you want email templates?
Do you want LinkedIn InMail templates?”
It might seem overkill for a simple question about templates, but problem discovery is key before you can find the best solution.
What Sales Tools to Buy
Now that you’ve analyzed the problem, you’re equipped to find the best solution—not just any solution.
Fishing through the sea of sales tools on the market can feel daunting, but Hampus offers three easy questions to ask yourself before making your decision.
Every sales tool you purchase should answer yes to one or more of the following:
1) Does it gather data for marketing and forecasting?
Tools should scrape data from top to bottom for information such as lead process time, open rates, industry categorization, and lead sources. The more information it can pull, the better!
Marketing can later use that data to track the success of campaigns or see the time it takes to close a lead, for example. It will enable them to improve campaigns, shorten the sales cycle, and so much more.
Most sales reps and managers won’t really care about this data, but it’s important to the company’s growth and success.
2) Does it save your sales reps a couple of hours every week?
A great tool should save your reps at least a couple of hours a week.
Managers ping reps left and right over weekends, asking for updates they need for Monday meetings. If those updates could be automated, it would save the manager time and headaches.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the average worker spends 20% of their workweek looking for internal information and hunting down colleagues who can assist with tasks. That means your employees are spending a full day every week reaching out to each other instead of pursuing leads.
Find the problem that’s eating up most of your sales team’s time, identify why it’s such a time sucker, and then search for tools that can help.
A great resource for discovering time-saving tools is the Tick Tock podcast.
3) Is it highly actionable?
Being highly actionable means the tool actually changes the reps’ behaviors, depending on the result it finds.
A highly actionable tool will do this:
If the tools shows ‘X’ result, the sales reps will perform a certain task; if the tool shows ‘Y’ result, the reps will do another.
For example, you might be able to see which templates have a higher open rate, but other variables play into that data like date and time sent, tailored content tweaks, etc.
The template isn’t the only variable in play. In that case, would knowing the template open-rate directly change the reps’ behavior? Probably not.
The goal should be to create more opportunities for your sales team to gather useful data, save time, and/or make effective changes in your sales team’s behaviors.
Accomplishing one or more of these will lead you to purchasing a tool your team will thank you for.
Listen to the episode that this post was based on here:
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).