sales tech

5 Reasons for Low Sales Tech Adoption (And How to Fix It)

With so many tools getting added to sales tech stack, why are adoption rates so abysmal? Get to the root of it in this blog.

The sales tech stack is getting taller. The average virtual selling technology stack today has as many as 13 tools!

The “shiny object syndrome” is very real. Businesses add sales tools to their tech stacks to treat the symptoms of sales problems. But rarely do they identify the underlying cause of these problems. 

Leaders deploy multiple tools to resolve multiple issues. The consequence is The Great Revenue Disconnect – when revenue teams are left to deal with disconnected software with disconnected data that leads to revenue leakage. And reps feel discouraged about adopting new tech. 

The result in 2022 – companies have wasted $313,000, on average, on sales tools that weren’t fully adopted by reps. 

Why haven’t reps warmed up to sales tech despite having so many tools in their basket? Let’s find out in this blog. 

What is Sales Tech Used For?

Here are a few ways leaders are deploying sales tech:

1. Boost Sales Performance

93% of reps feel that sales tools help build better relationships with buyers. That’s owing to intent and signal-based features that come with most sales software for correctly identifying leads and their needs.

2. Gain Deeper Insights into Prospects

56% of buyers want to communicate with a salesperson five or more times before finalizing a purchase. It means that sales reps need to have more touches per lead. And each interaction should be relevant and personalized if reps want to stay ahead of the competition.

3. Drive Faster Sales

75% of B2B buyers say that the buying cycle has become longer in the last two years. The buying process is more complex and involves virtual selling. Therefore, reps use sales tech to anticipate future needs and leverage multithreading to close deals faster. A byproduct of the process is improved sales productivity.

Reasons for Low Sales Tech Adoption (and How to Fix Them)

While the benefits of sales tech are noteworthy, sales and RevOps leaders are still facing adoption challenges over the years. We discuss 5 key reasons for low sales tech adoption and how you can fix them.

1. The Problem: Multiple Tools Lead to Mixed Priorities

With so many tools available, selling doesn’t get easier. 86% of sales reps get confused about which tool should be used for which task.

For example, if the head of sales asks for a specific report, your customer-facing teams might have to traverse through multiple tabs to get the latest report.

Multiple tools trapped in silos only complicate a sales rep’s job, making it difficult to focus on their main task – selling.

Adding to the issue, on average, only 28% of sales tools are integrated within organizations, despite the large sales tech stack. The result is disconnected systems between sales and other functions, leading to missed opportunities and revenue leakage from the sales pipeline.

It’s no surprise that multiple tools end up stunting growth. As much as 52% of sales leaders report that their CRM costs potential revenue opportunities because the system doesn’t meet their needs.

The Fix: Unified Data Solution for Better Visibility Across the GTM Team

A unified data solution automatically captures data – including contact, activity, and intent – which is otherwise spread across multiple tools. Without a unified data platform, reps have to toggle between several apps to dig out insights, miss quotas, and spend more time on training and other non-sales tasks, increasing costs.

But with a unified data solution, reps can build the leads pipeline more contextually, close more deals and avoid revenue leakage. 46% of salespersons spend less time looking for information with a one-stop data platform.

An added advantage of a unified dashboard is that reps access granular-level insights and consolidated leading indicators for current performance and future potential. They also have complete visibility of stakeholders within a buyer group, which helps them customize each interaction.

Multiple sales tools could also cause an information overload. A unified data solution prioritizes speed with real-time insights across the pipeline.

2. The Problem: Reps Aren’t Involved in Sales Tech Purchase

For 76% of companies, poor adoption of sales tools is a top reason they miss sales quota attainment. That’s because most of these tools are purchased based on buyer needs compared to user needs.

Generally, leaders (who aren’t involved in day-to-day sales) make the purchase decision for a sales tool. And consequently, vendors tailor the tool to leaders’ or managers’ insights. This also drives leadership-related reporting, analytics, forecasting, and pipeline visibility.

Features that make reps’ lives easier – meeting scheduling, buyer behaviour tracking, automatic contact capture – aren’t considered. This disconnect between managers and the frontline is so wide that 42% of managers say it’s clear which tool reps can use for a given task, but only 32% of reps agree.

As a result, sales tools don’t mirror how sales reps function. Your team may feel discouraged when they can’t figure out a successful way to make the tools work, resorting to conventional and slower ways.

The Fix: Make Sales Tech Work for Reps and Not Vice Versa

Trust goes a long way in managing changes in the sales process. To start with, you can include reps in the sales tech evaluation process by gathering their inputs and understanding their day-to-day tasks. You can use these insights to choose a tool that works for them, not against them.

Here’s a comprehensive list of questions you can ask the reps:

  • What challenges do they face in the sales process?
  • What’s inhibiting them from selling better?
  • How much time do they spend on sales versus non-sales tasks?
  • Do they feel stuck in mundane tasks like CRM data entry? 
  • Are they confident in their sales pipeline, including visibility and opportunities?
  • Are they successfully multithreading with buyer groups? If not, what difficulties are they facing?
  • Is the tool sales-centric or marketing-centric?
  • Are they effectively aligned with marketing?
  • How much training would they need to learn the new tool?

Deploying a sales tool and ensuring its adoption becomes easier when leaders and reps collaborate on efficiency-improving processes. This also makes reps more receptive to change. Additionally, if one or more reps start seeing benefits with a new tool, you can communicate these benefits as proof of success to other team members, motivating them to continue using the solution.

To adopt sales tools, you can start by training reps on simpler functionalities. Quick wins encourage them to keep using the tool.

3. The Problem: Inadequate Coaching Leads to Unmotivated Sellers

Each rep may have different expectations and needs from the same software in a real-world setting. For example, Rep A is great at cold calling, so they’ll want the software to be seamless with contact data. On the other hand, Rep B is better at upselling to existing customers and will need prospect history.

You can’t address both salespersons’ requirements in a general training session. If reps don’t receive adequate one-on-one coaching, they won’t know which features suit them best.

Eventually, they lose motivation to keep performing well and achieve quotas, making them less productive. About 38% of sellers feel inadequate coaching is a barrier to success at work.

Moreover, a single training session isn’t enough to boost daily adoption. Amidst a host of selling activities and complex cross-functional processes, reps may not implement the training practically. Also, they can’t retain extensive information for long; 87% of sales reps forget the information they learn within a month.

You may also rely on annual revenue, win rates, sales cycle length, and quota attainment to train reps – all of which are lagging indicators. Coaching based on these indicators is reactive, not future-forward, leaving reps indecisive when a new situation (like a pandemic) arises.

The Fix: Coach Reps Individually 

High-performing sales teams are backed by coaching. As much as 80% of these teams rate their coaching processes as outstanding.

To begin with, you can uniquely showcase the tool’s benefits for each rep. It gives them deeper insight into features most useful to them. If we revisit the previous example, Rep A can use lead qualification and sales enablement to take on cold calling. Rep B will do better with pipeline building and management to find hidden upselling opportunities.

Second, coaching lets you communicate with reps and drive performance back to shared goals. If you see a salesperson struggling with selling to a prospect, you can show how the rep can provide value through the tool. To make this possible, your sales software must enable real-time feedback.

Lastly, tech is regularly updated to keep up with changing needs. Continued coaching keeps reps up to speed with newer features, making them agile and responsive.

4. The Problem: Challenging Access to Actionable Insights

Most CRMs need a certain amount of manual intervention to input, store, or update account data. Sales reps may log in contact information, emails, phone call summaries, and meetings’ talking points, which become a part of their daily routine.

But they’re only human. Reps could make errors while entering data, more so when using multiple software. Inaccurate or incomplete data disrupts the entire CRM system and gradually affects reps’ confidence in the tool. The consequences of dirty data are also monetarily significant, causing organizations to lose an average of $15 million yearly.

With some tools, sellers must dig through heaps of data to get insight. Human perspectives are subjective in nature, making them prone to errors.

Reps also have little time to waste training for new sales solutions, only to jump from one tool to another between buyer interactions. Not only do they miss actionable insights and quota attainment, but they also spend additional hours on non-sales tasks, subsequently increasing costs.

The Fix: Automated Solution for Improved Productivity

An automated solution identifies CRM gaps, captures missing data, and adds it to the system without rep intervention, leading to a complete pipeline. More activity data also gives reps better chances at focusing on customers with high purchase intent.

Sellers don’t need to log in meeting details after each buyer interaction. Conversational intelligence automatically transcribes or records each discussion and pulls out actionable insights. Moreover, these solutions automate documentation processes for proposals, pitches, quotations, and service agreements. These features help reps close deals quicker.

AI mines data from sales tools for improving decision-making, supporting coaching, setting selling priorities, and monitoring performance in real time. Reps can stop worrying about creating additional charts and spreadsheets in conventional systems; instead, they focus on closing deals for higher revenue.

Nektar makes this easier with deal alerts and deal health scores to quantify high purchase intent opportunities into sales.

  • Deal alerts can be personalized for you, depending on your sales process. Reps can act on an alert to convert an opportunity, and you can provide coaching with deal guidance for successful closure.
  • Deal health scores capture 25+ parameters, including deal momentum, buyer-seller engagement, and playbook compliance. This can also be customized for your processes, giving you the most reliable status of ongoing deals.

5. The Problem: Poor Strategic Implementation

Resistance to change is an ongoing problem across businesses. Regarding sales, reps can get too comfortable using traditional tools like spreadsheets (which they’re highly familiar with). Something new they’ve never used before can be more complicated. 

Other times, reps feel that CRMs monitor their activities and stack up evidence that managers could use against them later. And so, they continue working with conventional software even if you’ve provided new tools.

But conventional tools don’t provide in-depth analytics and encourage dirty data buildup. This results in poor insights and, subsequently, poor decision-making. Running reports and monitoring performance also becomes challenging, leading to higher CAC, lower conversion, reduced revenue, and poor ROI.

Sometimes, leaders must show reps the strategic value of implementing sales tools. If you can’t demonstrate how these tools achieve KPIs more effectively, your reps are less likely to adopt the technology.

Also, sales tools must enable smooth collaboration between the team, managers, and cross-functional departments.

The Fix: Encourage Them to Adopt a Value Mindset

For reps to adopt a tool, getting them to understand its ” need ” is key. You can demonstrate how a tool will add value to their process, leading to higher win rates and revenue. Further coaching will guide the reps even after initial training is complete. So they can continue unlocking new use cases from sales tech.

But avoid overloading reps with too many benefits. As discussed previously, reps don’t retain too much information for long. They need to practice these benefits to adopt a tool fully.

Regarding strategic insights, AI captures and analyzes the data, making it less prone to errors and supporting sound decision-making. Clean data gives sellers access to otherwise nuanced and hidden insights. Ultimately, your reps can maximize these insights to improve ROI and earn better incentives.

Another way to encourage a value mindset is by setting expectations clearly and providing incentives to reps who maintain them. You could also simplify their workflows, share actionable intelligence, give complete and current contact information, and share contextually relevant best practices.

Further, by aligning with cross-functional departments like marketing and customer success, sales can evaluate the entire buyer journey and optimize several customer touchpoints for more effective closure.

So, how do you select the right sales tech for your reps that makes these fixes a reality?

Choose the Right Sales Tech for Your Business

Here are three considerations to account for before you invest in sales tech.

1. Understand the Problem

Start with understanding your reps’ issues before setting out to arm them with tech. An insight into their daily activities will give you more information.

Questions you need to ask are:

  • Does the tool solve specific and key problems?
  • Does it just report gaps or actually fill them in?
  • Is ROI easily measurable? 
  • Does the tool seamlessly integrate with other sales tech?

Once you’ve defined the value you want to derive from sales tech and audited your existing tech stack, you’ll know better which software to invest in.

2. Connect the Dots Across the Tech Portfolio

A unified sales tech stack ensures existing workflows aren’t disrupted. 

Any new sales tools must connect to the rest of the tech stack. This acts as a single source of truth and intelligence on leads. Each tool then serves as a connection within the sales team and cross-functional departments to take prospects through the buyer’s journey for successful deal closure.

Integrated sales tech lets you move from engagement to driving growth via value creation.

3. Keep it Simple, Invest in Tech and People

The ultimate goal for all sales tech is to simplify workflows and drive revenue for sales teams.

Sales tools shouldn’t complicate things for sellers, operations, and enablement executives who manage these systems. Instead, keeping the benchmark as user simplicity contributes to natural user adoption and is way more sustainable.

Wrapping it up

With the right sales tech, you can address the adoption problem and master revenue growth. 

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for the perfect tech stack. But clean and unified data becomes a non-negotiable part of a great tech stack. If your teams have visibility into their actions, and they have access to insights that tell them what they need to do next, they will take their tech seriously. The larger goal is to make the lives of your GTM team easier with tech. The more tabs they have to open, the more they will prefer to go back to their spreadsheets.

About Nektar:

Nektar’s unified data capture solution requires a zero rep adoption. It’s a no-code revenue operations tool works silently in the background. It simplifies workflows for reps through automated contact updates, deal prioritization, pipeline management, single view for all contact data, smart sync of contacts to opportunities, and enriched CRM data for accelerating revenue – without reps needing to input any data or even lift a finger.

Choose a tool that your reps want to use and drive your adoption in an organic way.

Get in touch with us to learn more.


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