Today, SaaS tools exist to support just about every business function, and companies continue to prioritize cloud-based tools and computing over on-premise software. Business leaders now function as technology buyers and CIOs, and budgets for cloud-based tools continues to increase.
For sales leaders, investment in these tools is no longer an option; it’s a competitive necessity. A winning sales tech stack can help you keep track of key leads, automate outreach, maximize productivity, crush your quotas, and more.
But with so many tools available, how do you select which ones are right for your business’s sales and growth strategy? Here we’ll outline the key categories and tools you should consider when building your optimal sales tech stack.
What is a sales tech stack?
A sales technology stack, also called a sales enablement technology stack, is a set of software tools and technologies that sales teams use to optimize their performance. A thoughtfully implemented sales tech stack should streamline sales rep activities, making teams more effective, efficient, and productive and ultimately driving increased sales.
Sales professionals are focused on how to achieve the highest possible return on the time and energy investment of yourself and your team. If you’re a sales rep, the right sales tech stack will save you valuable resources at every stage of the buyer journey. If you’re a sales leader, the right tech stack is the difference between average-performing teams and exceptionally performing teams.
To build the best tech stack for your team, start by gleaning through each stage of your sales process, noting where steps could be simplified, shortened, or integrated. Then ask these important questions:
- Which, if any, manual processes can be removed or streamlined?
- Is there room for improvement in our engagement with prospects throughout the sales process?
- What can we do to improve our prospecting and consistently generate quality leads?
- What can we do to maximize our conversions throughout our sales pipeline?
- What sales KPIs are we focusing on (activity ratios, lead response times, etc.)? What tools can help our team improve those metrics specifically?
While the sales process remains consistent across many industries, companies that focus on employing the right sales tech stack to execute on their sales strategy can streamline their operations and separate themselves from the competition.
Essential sales technology tools
Customer relationship management (CRM)
First, you need the right customer relationship management software. Engaging the customer in lasting and meaningful ways throughout the pipeline should be at the top of your priority list.
The right CRM will not only track your relationship with a client from prospect to close but also increase retention, provide opportunities for upselling, track and analyze data from each customer, and manage any new product releases. There are several CRM tools available, but here is a breakdown of some of the most commonly used tools.
- Salesforce: Salesforce uses cloud technology to provide teams with a shared view of each customer and prospect, allowing sales teams to integrate customer data from any source, streamline email, social, phone, and chat support, and deliver targeted, personalized messaging. Salesforce also connects to many leading platforms—see how you can further expand the value of this software with the best Salesforce apps.
- Monday.com: Widely thought of as a project management tool, Monday.com also features CRM functionality, allowing you to combine your CRM and project management data in an easy-to-understand visual view not typical of many CRMs.
- Hubspot CRM: Hubspot CRM is another cloud-based option for small sales teams looking to manage their sales pipeline and respond to customer support issues within the same tool.
- Zoho: Not every business needs an enterprise-level CRM to manage their sales pipeline. For small businesses and sales teams, Zoho is an inexpensive, scalable, and user-friendly CRM tool that can help you automate outreach, track sales, and engage customers.
Sales enablement and automation
Look for tools that can help your sales team make the most out of your data, either by recommending next steps or automating parts of the sales process.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an effective sales enablement and prospecting tool that helps you connect with the right decision-makers, gain more visibility into extended networks, and build and nurture relationships with personalized outreach. Learn more about this tool.
- Outreach: Outreach is a sales engagement platform that strategizes and automates sales rep communications via four main components: email, social, voice, and text integration. An Always-On assistant automatically updates key info on prospects, while AI-based machine learning advises reps on next steps. The tool also tracks team performance tracking and provides feedback on the effectiveness of your messaging.
- Xant (InsideSales.com): Xant is a sales enablement tool that uses AI to provide bi-directional data exchange on anonymized consumer behavior via a direct CRM integration. They claim to use patented AI technology to “identify who the real buyers are, how they behave, and how reps should engage with them.”
Modern account planning requires an equally modern approach. After all, you’re not selling to a single buyer anymore—your sales reps need to identify an entire buying team in order to secure a deal, and you need the right tools to find those decision-makers and determine the best way to approach them.
Lucidchart: Lucidchart aligns your revenue team and serves as a dynamic roadmap to help you land more deals and grow accounts quickly. Sales reps can build account maps to better understand their buyers, and with its Salesforce integration, it helps sales teams take action on their CRM data easily.
Once you’ve identified your prospects, built some rapport, and gained some interest, it’s important not to slow down the deal by going back and forth with archaic and inefficient email scheduling. Get smart and let your prospect choose a time that’s best for them—and fortunately, there’s a tool for that.
Calendly: Calendly solves the problem of aligning everyone’s schedules. It provides lists of available meeting times, regardless of region or time zones, securely integrates the times with your calendar, automatically adds the meeting to all calendars, and updates the schedule in the CRM accordingly.
At this point, it’s time to show them what you got. Product demos are great when done in person, but the modern sales team should be ready with digital solutions to display your product or service to a prospect who isn’t available in person. Your demo can range anywhere from live product demonstration to a video or a PowerPoint—your primary concern should be that it’s shareable and compatible across all devices.
Zoom: Zoom provides a platform to host webinars, online meetings, conference calls, and even allows file sharing and screen sharing, all in an easy-to-use interface with a limited version that comes free.
After finding your lead, making your case, showcasing your product, submitting a proposal, and receiving the go-ahead, a closed deal is the sweet fruit of your hard labor. Why put that at risk by having your prospect print out a contract or—worse—wait to receive one in the mail?
Digital e-signature tools are the best way to get a verified legal agreement with your new client, securing your sale while creating an archivable digital file.
DocuSign: DocuSign provides a secure, confidential platform to sign public or private agreements between parties, while also seamlessly integrating with your CRM.
People management and communications
Great! Your contracts are signed, but the deal is only just starting! Now it’s time to onboard your product or service and align departments on how to best serve and retain your new customer.
Modern work can be unorthodox, with global teams working across timezones and some employees working remotely. Your sales tech stack needs to include a way for your team to remain collaborative and enthusiastic.
Slack: Slack is a multi-faceted digital collaboration software that allows teams to create and communicate across channels organized by topic, team, project, and more. Sales teams can even integrate Slack with CRMs to enable notifications that make sure you never miss a moment when a file is shared or a video call is initiated. If you're interested in adopting this software, check out our beginner and advanced tips for using Slack with your team.
Creative and brand management
Your visual messaging, verbal messaging, and actions all contribute to your brand identity. Being consistent is the best way to speak your language to your consumers and make them better able to speak that language to their peers, friends, and family.
Drift: Drift is a conversational marketing platform that offers sales and marketing products like chatbots, personalized emails, video marketing, and automated AI-powered solutions.
From pitch to proposal, and from onboarding to renewal, a reliable project management software is essential to your sales enablement tech stack. Your digital infrastructure will keep projects on time, teams in communication, and clients happy.
- Workfront: Workfront gives sales teams a central, customizable platform to manage workflows, create content, collaborate on projects, and share ideas across departments, regions, and projects.
- Trello: Trello is a simple web-based, Kanban-style tool that gives teams the ability to organize and list projects based on priority and due date, compare progress, and tag individual team members on different projects.
In today's marketplace, there's a tech tool for just about every type of job function, all built to help you streamline work and deliver better results for your business. These tech tools are also increasingly intertwined through integrations and processes, so it's critical to invest in what will work best for your team rather than the next bright and shiny tech tool.
Building the right sales tech stack may involve some trial and error, but the process will help you fine-tune your sales strategy and invest in the tools that will help your team close more deals.
Lucidchart serves as a dynamic roadmap to help your team close bigger deals faster.Learn more