A Template for Setting Up Your First Sales Tech Stack

A Template for Setting Up Your First Sales Tech Stack (with recommendations)

When you begin to research sales tools, you’ll probably come across the term “sales tech stack.” A sales stack is a group of software used to make the lives of the sales team easier. This group of tools, comprised of software and apps, makes the sales process more efficient. In this post, you’ll learn how to streamline your processes and the best products to do it with. 

To determine the right tools for your company’s sales stack, start by looking at your sales process. Examing each step of your sales process allows you to pinpoint the tasks you can automate. Find out what activities your reps spend too much time on and aim to cut or reduce them. Although everyone’s sales process varies, you can start with a general outline of tools:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Your CRM comes first because it’s the foundation of all sales activities. Your CRM is a living record of all sales and marketing activities within a company. CRM software manages relationships with customers, keeps you focused on the right tasks, and speeds up sales cycles.
  2. Automation. Make sure you’re up to date on which sales activities you can automate. You can now use software for email, prospecting, website chatbots, content management, and reporting.
  3. Scheduling. Part of getting a prospect to agree to a sales call is making it as quick and painless and possible to set one up. That’s where appointment scheduling software comes in. Back and forth with customers on a mutually agreed upon times can slow the sales process. Scheduling software allows customers to choose from pre-approved time slots with one click.
  4. Presentations and Demos. There are two main components of a successful sales call. One is the platform that allows you to “meet” the prospect. The other is the software used to share visual information. You’ll want a communication platform + a presentation software. To make a good first impression, these tools should be user-friendly and reliable
  5. Contract Management and E-Signature. Use these automated tools to close deals by sending and receiving contracts. You can also use them internally for offer letters and nondisclosure agreements. The key feature is the automated reminders sent to customers who have yet to sign the contract. These tools keep agreements organized and can speed up the sales cycle.
  6. Internal Communication. Communication amongst the team is just as important as customer interactions. “Inbox 0” is the new goal as companies attempt to declutter their emails. Reps need to be able to relay information instantly and effortlessly.

Despite the learning curve of any new tool, sales productivity will increase in the long term. The time spent learning the technology upfront is well worth the time saved on manual admin tasks. 

These product recommendations are a great place to start:

1. CRM

 

 

Teamgate strikes a balance between price and quality. Their interface is visual and simple which will make for easy adoption. 

Salesforce has been around since 1999 and is now a top choice for big companies. Their solution is oriented toward larger organizations which makes it a pricer option.

 2. Automation

Appollo.io.  I used them when they used to be Zenprospect. Rebranded as Appollo, this tool is great for prospecting, lead generation, outreach, and sales intelligence. This all-in-one platform saves sales reps time on their most important sales activities. 

Reply.io. Like Appollo, this is a SaaS product that automates one-to-many outreach. It handles sales, PR communication, or account management.

3. Scheduling

Calendly eliminates phone tag and other back and forth communication by allowing prospects to schedule an appointment with you by selecting times that you pre-approved. This also gives you more control over your schedule by only displaying the blocks of time you’re able to take calls. 

Appointy. Although Appointy has the same function as Calendly, this scheduling software has more device options available. You can use Appointy on Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, and the web.

4. Presentations

Prezi has been around for quite some time. I used them for college presentations, which speaks to its user-friendliness. Think of Prezi as PowerPoint, but chock full of rich features. It makes presentations more eye-catching with animations, fonts, and templates. This is a great way to present your sales deck in a fun, engaging way. 

Zoom. There’s a ton of conferencing solutions out there but Zoom seems to be the preferred tool right now. It’s easy to sync with calendars which is key for setting meetings. The recording feature makes it a favorite for those who want to play meetings back later on.

4. Contact Management

HelloSign and DocuSign. Throughout my sales career, contract management software has been one of my top tools. The auto-reminder feature saved me from hounding customers to return signed contracts. Having my contracts organized meant always following up and never dropping the ball. These two brands do pretty much the same thing. While DocuSign integrates with more programs, HelloSign seems to integrate with programs that are more relevant to today’s sales teams such as Hubspot, Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and Evernote.

6. Internal communication

Slack is the market leader when it comes to internal communication platforms. What I loved about Slack at my last company was the search ability to go back and look at old conversations. As a sales team, we’d have group discussions where we shared customer questions and objections. As new reps joined the fast-growing team, they were able to search for their questions within the Slack archives. Also, instant communication was helpful for the field reps that worked in satellite offices across the country. Instant communication helped our sales team seem unified despite being a national company. 

Hangouts Chat lives in Gsuite which is convenient for companies using Gmail. While Slack has more features, Hangouts is easier to learn and use.

 

Christine Gomolka

Christine is a technology copywriter specializing in the sales enablement space. Her background is in sales and management, working for both startups and Fortune 500’s. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her rescue dog, doing yoga, and spending as much time at the beach as possible.

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