As brands continue to struggle to fit into the rapidly changing digital world, they are moving from digital marketing and messaging footprints that maintain their brand messaging from silo sales and marketing channels, toward the view that digital is THE means that drives their growth. This trend is being played out as executives are scaling investments in technologies that help sales and marketing staff improve. In fact, more than 50% of brand executives say they are spending on sales and marketing technologies that support integrated content, analytics and CRM and other applications that can improve support for sales activities, resulting in revenue growth.
Sales productivity technologies are often deployed by larger enterprise as well as medium to large business to business (B2B) brands that require staff within their sales and marketing processes. Companies such a SaaS (software as a service) providers, technology hardware manufactures or even healthcare equipment providers all require sales teams that call on their prospective customers. Tools and software applications that make these efforts more efficient and effective fall into the sales productivity category.
According to a recent Forbes Insight Report, brands that see the best results from sales productivity technologies, tend to have a strong alignment between sales and marketing, and they focus on the combination of content and technology to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their sales force. In fact, the difference between high performing enterprise brands and all others is pretty staggering. Only the top 10% of the top performing brands are made up of organizations whose executives are above or well revenue targets, consider sales productivity as the top priority, and say they are “above average” or “leading the way” with regard to sales productivity.
Key Factors That Are Driving Sales Technology Investment
1 – Digital marketing considered to be the main factor for driving growth – Therefore brands are pushing a higher level of sales and marketing integration that leverage digital tools.
2 – C-level executives are recognizing the critical role and value of sales productivity tools – Enterprise and B2B brands understand that in order to achieve growth and maintain or create competitive advantages, advanced sales technologies are a requirement.
3 – Content is front and center – Top-performing firms are investing in content and foster an environment where reps are able to spend time creating or looking for content. This time however is seen as a top productivity challenge, and nearly 50% are seeking sales enablement technology to help them more easily create high-quality sales and marketing content as well as to proactively provide content recommendations to reps in specific selling situations. Furthermore, 67% of these top brands focus on creating content that is relevant to the needs of the customers and use content to communicate the company’s story.
4 – Technology as a priority – Top companies are recognizing that in order to drive improved sales productivity and overcome challenges, technology is the solution to address this need.
6 Sales Productivity Technologies Executives Are Investing In
1 – Sales Enablement Technology – 55% of US executives say they are investing in solutions that provide integrated content, training or coaching solutions to their sales representatives and managers.
2 – Analytics – 54% of executives said that they are investing is sales content analytics that can help identify the best
content to drive results.
3 – CRM – Customer relationship management technology is seen as a top sales productivity investment by 53% of executives and they express the need for reps to be able to seamlessly and quickly access sales content in the field.
4 – Learning Technologies – 45% of enterprise executives say they are investing significantly in sales learning technology.
5 – Mobile – 44% of executives are investing in mobile technologies that provide sales reps with the resources and information they require on the road, in coffee shops and on site with customers.
6 – Social – Somewhat late in the game, 32% of executives are investing in additional social selling technologies for their sales organizations.
Leading enterprise and B2B companies that are performing higher than their counterparts recognize the value in a clear alignment of sales and marketing. In fact, 3/4 of these organizations say that they have this strong alignment, whereas those brands that are performing more poorly say that they do not. Brands that seek to improve their performance utilizing sales enablement technologies should invest in professional assistance that will align their messaging, content and other digital marketing components WITH their sales environment before investing heavily in additional sales productivity tools. Failure to do so could compound challenges that are not fully understood and achieve poor results in both the near and long-term.