How to approach sales and marketing software to improve sales outcomes and reduce frustration and time waste.
Credible estimates tell us that sales reps spend only one-third of their time selling with the rest of their time spent on administrative tasks or data entry.
It’s a safe bet that your sales team is spending at least 5 hours or more each week just managing the technology they need to communicate.
That’s more than half of a day, wasted every week.
But that’s not all, 72% of salespeople spend another hour a day in data entry.
There went another half day.
Then it gets worse because 75% of salespeople spend an hour each day analyzing what their technology is telling them.
Now they've burned 3 hours a day or 15 hours a week. That doesn’t even count all the other things they have to do when they close a sale or communicate internally.
Could technology management and data entry be costing you 25% to 30% of your sales productivity?
For a lot of companies that is what is really happening.
That’s not just clunky, it’s frustrating.
Some popular solutions aren’t really helping
Some popular solutions aren’t actually helping. If you look at reviews for Microsoft Dynamics marketing and sales software, what you hear are words like “clunky” and “slow.”
Another DIY tool that we tried is called Sharpspring. It was recently purchased by Constant Contact, and maybe they will improve it, but we found it was really hard to use, and today you can’t even find a review on G2.
One trap that people fall into is trying to stack up a bunch of low-cost DIY tools to get various jobs done, but that’s just adding to the mountain of distraction that salespeople already face.
Enterprise-level tools like Salesforce and HubSpot have taken a different approach, and offer a single platform that serves as the “single source of truth” for salespeople and managers. This is a CRM-based system that is designed to integrate seamlessly with lead databases, marketing, and event software. The ability of the platform to be a single place to work from, along with effective external integrations is a powerful combination.
This platform approach allows you to keep your salespeople engaged in actual sales, instead of administrative duties. It will reduce the total tech stack burden and add real efficiency.
We’re a HubSpot Solutions Partner, so we can speak meaningfully about how HubSpot solves the clunky problem. Salesforce certainly makes similar claims and we also integrate HubSpot and Salesforce for many people. We find consistently that a streamlined sales system reduces time wasted and boosts sales outcomes.
Five important factors in streamlining that will de-clunk your sales system
Level of Adoption.
Since we are talking about salespeople here, then the level of adoption is central to how well any system will work. Anyone who knows sales knows that salespeople are a fierce lot. If the system fits the workflow and sales processes of the team, then the adoption level will be much higher, and productivity and sales will get a boost. If the system is overly complicated and requires a long-term administrator to make it work effectively, then adoption is likely to suffer.
Time Savings Across Departments.
(This can also be called “the Time Cost of Ownership”) If a CRM could become truly the “single source of truth” for sales, marketing, and customer service, then it would multiply time savings and productivity across the company. Cutting down the time that it takes for salespeople to complete new documents, and submit paperwork to inform operations or accounting can be an additional boost to focused sales outcomes. The problems that salespeople are having are also being experienced by marketers. You can solve all of these issues at one time.
Sales Management Visibility.
The ability of an owner or sales manager to coach and support the sales team requires good visibility into the work that they are doing. You need access to robust sales activity and outcome reporting - without asking salespeople to fill out additional reports. This information should come from the regular workflow and CRM use, not from additional reporting projects.
Total Cost of Ownership.
The cost of ownership for any software includes the software license itself, the cost of onboarding, and ongoing administration. Add to this any additional costs for data enrichment or lead sourcing. For some software, the administrative cost of keeping the software effective can be almost as much as the software itself. Ask about this because it goes into the total cost of ownership. Salesforce, as an example, recommends a long-term administrator vs. HubSpot which does not require this level of administrative support.
Improved Communication Impact.
The degree to which software can give salespeople an edge in the communication process or method is an important consideration. This may be hard to measure with anything other than outcome data, but if your team is sending out inconsistent or poorly branded communications, a lift in this area will improve the sales outcomes.
De-clunking with streamlined software will boost sales
The right approach to streamlined sales software can have a big impact on the productivity and morale of a sales team. It should never be a "use it or else" situation, but rather a "use-this-and-sell better" opportunity. A recent quote from a company that we helped onboard to new sales software at HubSpot said this about the streamlined tools: "This is 'special...so helpful...great for my team.'" When you save salespeople time by eliminating data entry and administrative tasks and upgrading their ability to communicate effectively, that's the kind of reaction you'll get.
Talk with us about streamlining your sales and marketing.