Typically, the Head of Sales or Sales Operations is the organizational “product owner” of any technology that is used in the sales organization. In some cases, the IT department may actually be the product owner. Regardless of who actually owns the strategic product mix, it’s important to take a look at the holistic view of your applications.
A CRM system is often the first technology purchase made in the sales department. Many CRM systems have solid integrations that spill into other departments, like Marketing, Human Resources, or Finance. Prior to acquiring a CRM system (or switching your CRM system), it’s important to conduct a needs analysis of each department who will have interfaces with the CRM system.
Once a CRM system is chosen, ancillary apps may be placed into the CRM natively, or may integrate with the CRM. I have found that choosing your CRM as the base app for the sales organization and then only filling your other needs with vendors that integrate into your CRM streamlines the experience for the users, who sometimes won’t even realize that you’ve chosen an app provided by a completely separate and different vendor!
Since a CRM launch or replacement can be consuming to administer and operationalize, don’t feel compelled to launch a complete integrated product to your users all at once. If you’re considering marketing automation, a Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) app, an analytics app, a knowledge base app, or others, firmly map out what your organization can handle in terms of acquisition, configuration, and adoption, and stick to it. It’s much harder to internally “relaunch” a technology that’s been used in small percentages with bad or even no habits than it is to have true user adoption from the start, so design your sales technology stack with intent.
Here are four things to consider before purchasing new technology for your sales team:
- Does this technology integrate with my CRM/core platform?
- What problem or unmet need does this application solve?
- Does this technology improve our current workflow, or does it create additional complexity?
- Will other cross-functional teams benefit from this technology?
Shannon’s a total sales tech geek, and she definitely wants to know what’s in your tech stack. Give it up below!