One of three opportunities to drive sales success in the new year, according to the leadership vision 2022 for Gartner’s chief of sales, is to prioritize technology investments to create an AI-enhanced sales function. Gartner asserts that 88 percent of CSOs are considering investing in sales budgets in new technology to support AI and analytics, or are already doing so. If you are one of them, here are things to evaluate when making a tech purchase.
Don’t be fooled by the bells and whistles. No matter how great technology is, if it doesn’t help your sales team’s workflow or isn’t relevant to your business, it’s not for you. Review the strengths and weaknesses of the sales team. This analysis can focus your efforts on practical technology that will reduce rather than add to your sales force’s problems.
Your reps know better your sales process. Make sure the team evaluating new sales and marketing technology includes members from those teams. When members of marketing and sales are part of the buying process, they are more apt to be the champions of technology. These inner champions are important to successful adoption by salespeople.
Any new technology needs to play well with your existing technology suite. So, before investing in technology, send potential vendors a list of the technology your sales team is currently using to ensure simple integrations that won’t drain your IT resources. Unfortunately, many projects aimed at increasing revenue fail to achieve ROI when IT engages in time-consuming integrations.
Cybercriminals will take advantage of any opportunity. Ensure that potential vendors can express the safety and security of their technology. It is essential to keep your customers and your data safe. Don’t assume that all technology service providers offer comparable security measures.
Most companies want a new sales and marketing technology to increase the volume of deals or conversions. Regardless, you need to determine the ROI of purchasing technology not just to get support from the procurement team but to compare the potential effectiveness of the technology solutions. Many technology providers will help you build a business case for the technology and understand the revenue you should expect to generate from the investment.
Technology is an investment in your future. To better understand how new technology will impact that future, ask the provider to share their product roadmap with you. You want to make sure you have a plan in place to develop the features and benefits of the technology. The perfect match would be a suite of technology products that align with your company’s plans.
Before signing the contract, you need to understand what life will be like after doing this. The technology provider’s implementation process and customer success team can be the deciding factor on who you choose when all other factors are equal among competing technology solutions. The implementation team will be critical to your success. You will work closely with them through deployment, training, and troubleshooting as your company is on board with the new technology.
With a clear view of the problem and a critical evaluation of the technology that promises to solve it, you can invest in the right solution for your business.
Benj Cohen founded Proton.ai to help distributors harness the latest artificial intelligence technologies. He learned about distribution firsthand at Benco Dental, a company started by his great-grandfather. Later, while studying applied mathematics and data science at Harvard University, Cohen saw an opportunity to combine his two worlds. It is on a mission to provide distributors with the innovative technology they need to thrive in modern markets. Reach it through proton.