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Sales Technology Research on High Performing Sales Organizations

Sales-Technology-Research-on-High-Performing-Sales-Organizations

IDG Enterprise recently published results from a study across B2B sales and marketers to better understand Sales Technology Research on High Performing Sales Organizations.

Sales technology is a software category that is focused on sales acceleration to maximize revenue improving sales effectiveness and sales efficiencies. Typically included within sales technology is the automation of sales processes, increasing sales velocity, the identification of the best prospects and more meaningful, relevant, intelligent conversations at the right time in the buying process.

Key Findings of the Sales Technology Research Include

  • 65% of respondents report that their organizations can successfully track the ROI of their sales technology investment
  • 55% of respondents reveal that their organizations have achieved at least moderate levels of Sales Technology adoption
  • Most organizations state that their organizations invest in 3 sales technology tools or solutions
  • Juts under 30% of respondents communicate rate the overall effectiveness of their sales technology investment as very or extremely effective
  • Sales technology adoption is in the mainstream adoption phase of the technology adoption cycle
  • Respondents point to lack of management buy-in/enforcement of use as the number one obstacle to purchasing or successfully implementing a sales technology solution
  • Over 80% of respondents believe that sales technology is having a significant impact on:
    • Sales pipeline management/customer engagement – 86%)
    • Pre-call research (86%) and account management – 81%
    • The vast majority of respondents report that their organization spends in excess of $500/year in sales technologies per sales rep

Sales Technology Research – Effectiveness of Sales Technology

Even though sales technologies are in mainstream adoption and many organizations spend between $500 to $3,000 per sales rep, just over a third of companies assess their sales technology as somewhat effective in positively impacting sales success and just under a third rate their sales solutions as very effective or extremely effective.

Sales Technology Research – Effectiveness of Sales Technology Breakdown

  • Somewhat effective – 37%
  • Very effective – 21%
  • Very effective – 19%
  • Not at all effective – 15%
  • Extremely effective – 8%

Sales Technology Research – Sales Productivity Tools

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are the most popular sales productivity solutions in use today. In fact, over 80% of organizations state that they use CRM tools to manage and optimize customer relationships across sales and other functions.

Sales Technology Research – Sales Productivity Tools Breakdown

  • CRM – 84%
  • Webinar, Demo, Screen Sharing, Conference Calling – 58%
  • Contact Management – 46%
  • Sales Email Automation – 44%
  • Marketing Automation & Lead Scoring – 40%
  • Social Media – 40%
  • Sales Configure/Quote/Proposal – 32%
  • Sales & Account Intelligence – 28%
  • Contract Management – 24%
  • Sales Content Management – 22%

Sales Technology Research – Sales Management Tools

The top 3 sales management tools identified by survey respondents include sales forecasting solutions, sales activity management tools and sales training tools.

Sales Technology Research – Sales Management Tools Breakdown

  • Sales Forecasting – 54%
  • Sales Activity Management – 43%
  • Sales Training – 33%
  • Sales Process management – 28%
  • Data Cleansing & Validation – 26%
  • Sales Performance Management – 20%
  • Territory/Quota Management – 17%
  • Sales Compensation – 13%

Sales Technology Research – Sales Pipeline & Analytics Tools

Sales pipeline management tools are the most common applications used to assist sales in building, managing and tracking opportunities throughout the sales cycle.

Sales Technology Research – Sales Pipeline & Analytics Tools Breakdown

  • Sales Pipeline Management – 72%
  • Email Open & Click Tracking – 58%
  • Sales Analytics – 51%

Sales Technology Research – Number of Sales Apps

Survey respondents communicate that more than half of sales reps use between 1 to 3 sales apps.

Sales Technology Research – Number of Sales Apps Used

  • 55% use 1 to 3 apps
  • 24% use 4 to 6 apps
  • 4% use 7 to 20 apps
  • 15% do not us in app
  • 2% use more than 10 apps

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Sales Challenges

As the thousands of technology companies target the same buyers with emails, phone call, events, webinars, conferences, mailers, etc., it is difficult to cut through all the noise to communicate your value proposition to the right person, at the right time.

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Sales Challenges Include

  • Finding quality leads – 63%
  • Long sales cycles – 53%
  • Connecting with decision makers – 49%
  • Sales Rep Productivity 45%
  • Time spent on non-selling activities – 39%
  • A managed, repeatable sales process – 33%
  • Demonstrating ROI from investments in technology – 33%
  • The cost of customer acquisition – 25%
  • Low conversion rates throughout the sales funnel – 22%
  • Effectively communicating the value proposition – 22%

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Obstacles to Success

Unfortunately, the value of sales technology is not obvious to all. Specifically, survey respondents report that the single largest obstacle to purchasing and successful implementing sales technology is gaining alignment throughout the organization – the lack of management buy-in. Objections to sales technology are typically centered around demonstrating ROI, integration with other systems, alignment across teams in the organization and poor data quality.

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Obstacles to Success Include

  • Lack of management buy-in/enforcement of use – 44%
  • Lack of integration with other systems – 38%
  • Lack of alignment with marketing and other departments – 38%
  • Poor data quality – 38%
  • Lack of demonstrable ROI – 36%
  • Lack of expertise – 28%
  • Difficult to use – 24%
  • Lack of budget – 22%

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Impact Areas

Survey respondents that are using sales applications report that the most significant impact on sales performance has been documented in opportunity and pipeline management, pre-call research, sales intelligence and account management tools.

Sales Technology Research – The Biggest Impact Areas for Sales Technology Include

  • Opportunity pipeline management / customer engagement – 86%
  • Pre-call research sales intelligence – 86%
  • Account Management – 81%
  • Reporting and analysis – 79%
  • SDR/ABM – 78%
  • Territory management – 76%
  • Lead generation – 72%
  • Customer onboarding – 71%
  • Lead qualification – 58%
  • Deal negotiation/closing – 54%

Sales Technology Research – Key Performance Metrics

More than half of organizations that invest in sales technology are believe that the investment will increase revenue by building and converting as solid, consistent and sustainable sales pipeline to meet or exceed quota. By products would include an increase in deal size, meaningful appointments and qualified leads.

Sales Technology Research – Key Performance Metrics Breakdown

  • Revenue – 58%
  • Opportunities – 54%
  • Deal size – 44%
  • Leads – 42%
  • Appointments / Meetings – 38%
  • Conversion rates – 38%
  • Calls – 29%
  • Pipeline value added – 27%
  • Conversations 23%
  • Proposals sent – 21%

Sales Technology Research – Sales Technology Investment Priorities

Organizations believe that investments in sales technology will drive two business outcomes: an increase in sales (sales pipeline generation) and increase efficiency (sales enablement, automation and reach).

Sales Technology Research – Sales Technology Investment Priority Breakdown

  • Pipeline generation – 48%
  • Sales enablement / boost in sales productivity – 46%
  • Ability to reach more prospects – 46%
  • Automation of manual tasks/ Sales process automation – 44%
  • Increase lead quality – 42%
  • Increase win rate – 37%
  • Customer engagement/ nurturing customers to up-/cross-sell – 35%
  • Better visibility into the sales funnel – 31%
  • Accelerating sales cycles – 31%
  • Better predictability of sales performance – 29%

Sales Technology Research – Technology Spend per Sales Rep

Over one-third of organizations spend over $1,000 on sales technology per salesperson each year and 50% of organizations surveyed budget over $500 per year per sales rep.

Sales Technology Research – Technology Spend Per Sales Rep Breakdown

  • 7% of respondents spent less than $50
  • 11% of respondents spent less than $51 – $100
  • 11% of respondents spent less than $101 – $500
  • 19% of respondents spent less than $501 – $1,000
  • 30% of respondents spent less than $1001 – $3,000
  • 7% of respondents that spent more than $3,000

In general, all companies will need sales technology in order to be or remain competitive. The best B2B sales and marketers will purchase and implement a series of single point tools or a sales technology solution. However, those that concentrate their efforts around a business outcome with supporting strategies, organizational structure, systems, processes and people will be the long term winners – driving the selling process, assisting sales teams improve their productivity, profitability and attainment of revenue goals.


Additional Go to Market Resources From Four Quadrant

Strategic Account Plan Template >>

Sales Pipeline Planning Model >>

Go to Market IT Spending Research >>

Go to Market Charts for Sales >>

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