Many organizations rely on sophisticated sales tools to automate sales activities, manage sales pipelines, communicate better with leads, close more deals, and improve their sales team’s performance.
That said, some businesses still struggle with adopting software for sales. The reasons vary, but most of the time, it’s due to a disconnect between their AE’s 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 that sales professionals use to assist their work. Things like customer relationship management (CRM), email integrations, sales enablement, sales forecasting, sales analytics, or sales coaching.
Reasons For Salespeople and Sales Tools Disconnect
Let’s discover two common reasons your AE’s refuse to adopt sales tools and why it’s bad when such disconnect happens.
1. Sales tools are too difficult to learn 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. They need it to solve a specific problem, and if it fails to meet that expectation, they won’t use it.
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.
How to Avoid Failure with Sales Tools
Here are three ways you can improve the adoption of sales tools among your salespeople:
1. Understand your sales reps’ needs, expectations, and challenges
After all, your AE’s 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 AE’s and ask them questions like this:
- 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?
- 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 AE’s 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 AE’s.
- 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 AE on 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.
A disconnect between salespeople and sales tools is often inevitable. But learning what your AE's really want, creating an effective user adoption, and applying automation, you can increase the sales technology adoption rate in your company.