Sales Technology Stacks, also known as Sales Stacks, are a set of digital tools used by your sales and marketing team to manage, monitor, and analyze your sales process efficiently.
There are three important words in this definition: tools, process, and efficiency.
First, a Sales Stack is a tool. It will help the sales and marketing team with their tasks. It will support their campaigns and organize their resources. However, it will not do the selling for them.
Second, Sales Stacks can make the sales process more manageable, moving its various components across the digital supply chain.
Finally, the end goal of Sales Stacks is to heighten the efficiency of the entire sales process. At the same time, it is not an automatic magic pill that will remove the intrinsic flaws in the process that can only be corrected by a change in policy or a major adjustment in operations. As Bill Gates once described the relationship of the Sales Stacks to a sales process: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Think of Sales Stacks as innovative instruments of transformation, still subject to how their users wield them. Sales Stacks are like a hoe, a harvester, or a gun. Success in sales using the stacks is still up to the salespeople and the managers who coach them.
Before deploying a Sales Stack, first examine your sales process. Understand it completely and identify bottlenecks that slow down the system, or gaps like communications that need to be remedied. Use and incorporate technology in time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Enhance monitoring and oversight for improvement coaching by identifying weaknesses and scale/replicate your strengths.
Corporate sales and marketing processes differ from company to company, but it more or less follows the same funnel. Here are the various ways how Sales Stacks can help modern sales:
Lead identification and generation
Identifying leads in your target demographic, that may or may not purchase depends on the quality of the leads themselves. Some companies rely on marketing teams to pass warm/hot leads to sales teams for closing, while others such as boutique realty offices do everything themselves.
Sales Stacks’ lead generation can hone in on details that will help the sales team estimate how close the lead is to buying a product. This information includes purchase behavior, the relevance of the product to their needs, and signals indicating the intensity of their intent to purchase. This data certainly beats human guesswork, and can point out to the sales teams the leads they should focus on.
Unbounce draws in a product’s specific market demographic that needs what the company is offering at that point in time by giving them free-of-charge helpful material that they can use. For example, a 10-page ebook that provides helpful tips to diabetics how to manage their blood sugar level will attract those specific kinds of patients; at the same time, it will filter out the merely curious who might worry about their sugar level, but have not even consulted a doctor yet.
Once leads are identified and classified in the database, Sales Stacks can assist the sales team in nurturing and growing them into becoming actual buyers. The lead generation picks out the customer who has the greatest interest in buying the product; it does not necessarily mean that they will. Lead generation is like Disneyland that invites the tourist to spend a few hours on the rides; lead nurturing encourages them to become frequent visitors who stay in the hotels every couple of months.
Sales Stacks lead nurturing function literally tracks and watches every digital interaction that the lead had with the brand. They operate on the premise long known by sales teams: the actual purchase is the culmination of a long and patient courtship. The Sales Stacks will not only observe the behavior of the potential customer—but will engage with them in an unobtrusive way until they click on the shopping cart.
For example, Pipedrive’s lead nurturing tool sends several enticing, yet earnest, emails to the lead who had downloaded the free e-book. For example, the next email, sent after a couple of weeks, would be an invitation to try out the other health-related titles in the company catalog. The third email, sent after another two weeks, could be a birthday greeting that wishes them a long and healthy life. By the time the fourth email comes along — a discounted offer of the brand’s new, sugar-free cake — the lead would have been primed up enough to consider actually trying it.
While some companies can convert leads into sales online with minimum engagement and negotiations, big-ticket items, B2B, and service-oriented businesses need your sales team to close the deal. The Sales Stacks can streamline this particular part of the process.
The appointment setting function acts as a bridge between the sales team and the lead, who in this aspect is the decision-maker who approves the purchase of any item in their company. It persists in persuading the human decision-maker to attend a meeting with the sales team. To accept, this lead will just click on the appointment-setter button. Once accepted, this tool will inform the sales team of the date, and even email them relevant proposals that they can use during the actual personal meeting.
Sales presentation and proposal
This part of the sales process is critical in closing a sale with a B2B customer. The first meeting in particular is vital. If the client’s decision-maker is the one actually attending the meeting, they can decide on the spot whether to buy the product or not. If there are other decision-makers that still have to be courted, the first meeting can open those doors, or leave them closed.
Slides are powerful support tools that help the sales team communicate their message in a more persuasive manner. Sales Stacks often incorporate them in their arsenal, with PowerPoint, ClearSlide, SlideDog, Prezi Business, and Canva among the more popular ones.
Customer relationship management
The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is the heart that ties your Sales Stack together, enabling the sales team and their managers to coordinate their work and communicate through one dashboard. This model is an advanced form of the traditional CRM platform which generally acted as a repository of sales-related information, such as customer names, sales letters, emails, transactions, etc. It has the latest tech AI-guided functions such as business intelligence and analytics of sales-tracking results. A CRM that is part of a top-of-the-line Sales Stack is not just a digital library.
Another thing that sets this innovative CRM apart from its predecessors is that it can be customized. The old model had one cookie-cutter format which all the sales teams had to follow. But today’s sales team cannot just subscribe to one pattern; the behavior of the market in one state will be different from that of another; so will the strategies needed to sell to them. The CRM of the Sales Stack must be flexible, and can be customized to respond to the different requirements and processes of each sales team in both states.
Today’s customers are constantly evolving when it comes to their market choices. The sales teams dealing with them must be equally agile. Sales Stacks can enable them to adjust and change as they walk down the path of a dynamic customer journey.