Many organizations rely on sophisticated sales tools to automate sales activities, manage sales pipeline, better communicate with leads, close more deals, and improve their sales team’s performance. According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales 2020 report, 43% of salespeople said they’re using sales intelligence tools, which makes them top sales performers.
That said, some businesses are still struggling with adopting the software for sales. The reasons vary, but most of the time, it’s due to a disconnect between their sales reps and these innovative sales technologies.
Why does this disconnect happen? What are the consequences? How can businesses improve sales tool user adoption? Let’s find out the answers in this post.
What are sales tools?
Sales tools (or sales technologies) refer to software as a service (SaaS) tools that sales professionals use to assist their work.
Some sales tools categories include customer relationship management (CRM), email integrations, sales enablement, sales forecasting, sales analytics, sales coaching, deal guidance, and account-based selling.
Reasons for salespeople and sales tools disconnect
Let’s discover two common reasons your sales reps refuse to adopt sales tools and why it’s bad when such disconnect happens.
1. Sales tools are too difficult to use
Even though copying and pasting data into spreadsheets takes a lot of time, it’s easy to do. Meanwhile, sales tools are much more complicated and often not intuitive for beginners. Using those tools only adds unnecessary hurdles and friction to your sales team’s day.
How can your sales reps be willing to adopt new technology when they know they’ll have trouble learning how to use it? Many would rather go back to their unproductive working habits.
Think of it this way: When your sales reps decide to download a piece of software, they need it to solve a specific problem and want to use it immediately. If a tool fails to fulfill that expectation, they’ll uninstall it without a second thought.
Also, your sales reps are good at talking with leads, building relationships, and closing deals—which they get paid for. Their daily working lives are filled with emails, appointments, conversations, and reports. They don’t have time to learn new technology that doesn’t help them meet their quota.
2. There is a lack of training or no plan for user adoption
Implementing a new sales tool means shifting the way your sales reps currently work. So, it’s understandable when they resist this type of change.
When there is an absence of support and others aren’t using the tool, your sales reps don’t understand why they have to change, how the tool will help them work better and faster, and how it’ll be integrated into their existing workflows.
Even when your salespeople accept new technology, a lack of an effective adoption process discourages them quickly. They’ll be reluctant to work with the tool, which may lead to errors when inputting data, setting parameters, drawing insights, and more.
Most importantly, do you take a lot of time reading, researching, and testing before deciding to purchase a sales enablement tool for your business? The answer is always yes. So, it’s natural that you can’t expect your sales reps to know how to work with new technology right away.
How to avoid failure with sales tools
Here are 3 ways you can improve the adoption of sales tools among your salespeople:
1. Understand your sales reps’ needs, expectations, and challenges
After all, your sales reps are the ones who use sales tools. That’s why you must make them part of the technology adoption decision-making from the very beginning.
Conduct a one-on-one meeting with each of your sales rep and ask them the following questions:
- What tasks do they have to perform every day and take a lot of time to complete?
- What tasks are holding them back from achieving and exceeding their sales goals?
- What tasks are keeping them from spending more time with prospects and closing more deals?
- What do they think about applying technology to simplify and optimize their workflow?
- How do they evaluate their computer skills? Are they open to learning new software?
Once you collect their answers to these questions, you’ll learn a lot about your sales reps’ challenges and expectations. You’ll also get insights into what level of support and training you need to provide them when adopting new technology.
2. Provide the right training and support
As discussed above, proper training is the solid foundation for a successful sales technology implementation. By providing adequate support, you can create a frictionless adoption experience for your team and help them use a sales tool to its full potential.
You can try the following training techniques:
- Hands-on training: Provide learning-by-doing experience and practice for your sales reps.
- Group training: Divide your sales reps into smaller groups and assign a dedicated trainer to each group.
- Scenario-based training: Set up realistic scenarios and show your sales reps how to use the new sales tool to complete those tasks.
- Role-based training: Not every sales rep of your team needs to be familiar with every set of tools or every feature of a tool. It’s better to align what they need to learn with their responsibilities.
3. Apply automation to make your sales process more efficient
Sales automation refers to using sales tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to automate manual, time-consuming sales tasks.
McKinsey’s report about automation in the workforce revealed that automation can help reduce 50% of all repetitive tasks at work. These tasks include manually entering data and taking notes, following up with customers, updating work statuses, and more. When applying automation, the average worker can save over 6 hours per week.
Take Revenue Grid, for example. Using this AI guided selling tool, you can:
- Automatically update and synchronize data between Salesforce, Gmail, and Outlook.
- Get AI-driven signals to eliminate guesswork throughout the deal cycle.
- Track changes in your sales pipeline and sales forecast to quickly identify risks.
- Create automated sequences to engage leads and prospects with personalized content through email, calls, texts, and social media.
- Use conversational intelligence to sharpen reps’ skills.
A disconnect between salespeople and sales tools is often inevitable. But learning what your sales reps really want, creating an effective user adoption, and applying automation, you can increase the sales technology adoption rate in your company.
To learn more about how sales managers can use data and technology to improve their team’s performance, check out our webinar with Sales Hacker, How the Best Sales Managers Turn Data Insight into Actions.