The more things change, the more they stay the same, is never more true than when you're talking about sales. Even as the methods and modes of selling perpetually evolve at an ever-accelerating velocity, the core tenets seem to remain the same.
Still, even with its solid foundation of truths, the profession exists in a dynamic atmosphere. One that requires continuous evaluation and hypothesizing, if you want to keep up.
One area where the evolution of sales and its foundational truths have grown to intersect is a place called the tech stack.
In other words, the more things change, the more the importance of questioning your sales tools stays the same.
It's an area that's often overlooked, especially when sales teams are distracted by individual performance. But now more than ever, it's important to continuously evaluate your sales tools and processes to align them with your goals.
If you're unsure whether it's time for a tech stack change, take a look at our list of 22 signs that you're ready to re-evaluate your sales tools. If 4 or more items on the list resonate with you, stop suffering and start exploring. There are plenty of sales tools out there, and life's way too short for a torturous tech stack.
Keep reading for more information on each of these signs, and what you can do about it.
22 Signs That You Should Change Up Your Sales Tools
1. You're not meeting your quotas
If your sales team is no longer meeting their quotas, it's a sign that something isn't working. It could be that your sales tools are no longer effective and need to be updated, or that they never really fit your needs in the first place.
Alternatively, your team might not have an in-depth understanding of the tools available to them. Consider implementing quarterly training, sending monthly how-to videos or adding a channel in your communication platform specifically meant for tech stack questions.
2. You're losing customers to the competition
Sometimes the competition beats you because they're genuinely a better fit. Other times it just comes down to price.
But sometimes, you lose a customer simply because the competition is using better sales tools. Often, the experience that you can offer potential buyers and customers comes down to the tech you use as a team.
3. Your customer acquisition costs are rising
While several factors can affect acquisition cost, one factor (that's in your control) is the tools you're using. Rising costs could be a sign of an outdated tech stack. Updated tools can help you reach more potential customers at a lower cost.
4. You're not generating enough leads
Teams will always spend big money on lead generation software and tools because lead generation is a lifeline.
But if you're not generating enough leads, your first step in diagnosing the problem is to take a look at the tools you're using. What role do they play in falling short of your goals? Instead of pointing fingers at your team, it may be time to invest in new tools that can help you reach more potential customers.
5. You're losing deals at the final stage
If your close rates are dropping and your pipeline is slowing, it could be a sign that your sales tools have become irrelevant and no longer give you the edge you need to win deals. Here you'll want to focus on finding tools that support a consistent sales process and that help you focus on the buyer experience as a whole.
You should also speak to your team about what they're looking for out of their tech stack. You might be surprised by what they suggest- especially if you've never asked.
6. Your sales cycle is lengthening
If your sales cycle is lengthening, it could be a sign that your sales tools are no longer effective. This is where data management and analytics tools can also come into play.
If you're not already, look into keeping track of your sales pipeline, funnel and cycle. You may need to invest in new tools to understand the length of your sales cycle first. Then look at the tools that might be slowing it down. And finally, set out to find the tool to help you close deals faster.
7. Your leads are poor quality
If you're noticing that the leads you're generating from your current tools are of poor quality, it may be time for an upgrade. Poor quality leads can cost your team valuable time and money, so it's important to make sure you're using tools that will help you generate the highest-quality leads.
If you're considering making a change to your sales toolkit, be sure to do your research and choose a tool that will best fit the needs of your team as a whole.
8. You're using multiple tools to do the same thing
If you're using multiple sales tools to do the same thing, it's time to streamline your process and consolidate your tools. Too many tools can overwhelm your team and make it difficult to stay organized.
Choose one tool that meets the need in question, and eliminate the others that do the same thing. This will help simplify your sales process and budget, as well as make it easier for your team to stay on track.
Sometimes tools slip through the cracks. Make sure you're not keeping any around that fill a need that's already met.
9. Your tools are no longer supported by the manufacturer
If your sales tools are no longer supported by the manufacturer, it's time to upgrade to something new. Outdated tools can no longer be updated with new features and security patches, which can put your business at risk.
Choose a tool that is actively supported by the manufacturer so you can be sure you're always up-to-date.
10. You're not getting the features or support you need
A common complaint from sales teams is that a tool would be perfect, if. If only it had this feature or this capability in addition to its current functions. The problem is that this mentality contributes to using too many different tools.
Too often, teams will stick with what they already have and then add other tools to fill in the gaps, in a sort of a la carte style approach.
Instead, buckle down and focus on starting over. It will be a pain initially, but once you rid yourself of your dedication to building around the ill-fitting tools you're already using, you'll likely find one new tool that is much more comprehensive.
Start by pinpointing the exact features and support you require. If you're not getting that from your current tools, accept it and make a comprehensive change (not just a band-aid solution).
11. Your toolset is preventing you from scaling
If you're growing rapidly and your toolset can't keep up, it's time to change. You might need to switch to an enterprise-level solution that can handle more users, data, and complexity, or you may need to abandon the tool or tools altogether.
It's normal to outgrow what once worked. That's why it's important to get in the habit of re-evaluating your sales tools regularly.
12. You're not happy with your toolset
Perhaps the most obvious sign that it's time to re-evaluate your sales tools is feeling unhappy with them. Only you know how you feel when you log into that CRM every day or open up that analytics tool you've been using for years.
The feeling that your tools give you is important because you're living in it while you work.
Pay attention to the moods that your tools put you in. Maybe you've never had the explicit thought, "Oh I don't like this about this platform," but if you feel agitated every time you sit down to use it, that's usually a sign something can be improved.
In short, when your tools are truly serving you, they'll make you feel happy. Or not grumpy, at the very least.
13. You're paying for features you don't use
If you're paying for features you don't use, it's time to find a sales tool that better fits your needs. There's no point in paying for bells and whistles you'll never touch.
Instead, invest in a tool that has the features you actually need to help you close more deals.
The same is true for the integrations a tool offers. If the cost is higher because of all the integrations the tool supports, but you aren't using any of them, pay attention to your other options.
There may be a similar service or solution out there with a lower cost, and without the extra features or integrations.
14. You're spending more time managing your tools than using them
If you find yourself spending more time managing your sales tools than actually using them to sell, it's a sign that it's time for a change.
There are too many options on the market to be stuck with a tool that's more trouble than it's worth.
15. You no longer have visibility into your sales pipeline
If you're using a tool that doesn't give you visibility into your sales pipeline, now might be the right time to change that.
Without visibility into your pipeline, it's hard to track progress or measure success. It's also difficult to ensure your teams are on track to achieve their goals.
If you're not measuring, how do you know if something is working?
16. Your sales team is using different tools than your marketing team
If your sales and marketing teams are using different tools, it can lead to many inefficiencies. For example, duplicate data entry, missed opportunities, and confusion about which tool to use for what tasks.
It's important that your teams are using the same tools so that everyone is on the same page.
This will make it easier to track progress and avoid duplication of effort. Apart from streamlining your workflows, sharing tools between marketing and sales is also a smart move because it's cheaper to consolidate.
17. You're not able to integrate your sales tools with other software you use
When your sales tools are extremely segmented, your will have a choppy experience daily. Segmentation slows you down and disjoints your workflow.
The good news is that integrative sales tools have become a standard.
If you haven't taken a second look at your tech stack in a while, the tools you're using may be behind that standard. Start shopping around and you'll see that expecting integrations is not too much to ask.
18. The cost of your sales tools is increasing without adding new features or benefits
When evaluating your sales tools, it's important to benchmark not only the features but also the price. If you're paying more for the same (or less), it may be time to look for a new tool.
Many affordable options on the market can provide the same or better results as the expensive ones. It's time to do some research and find a tool that fits both your needs and your budget.
19. You can't get the data you need from your sales tools to make informed decisions
If you're unable to track or measure important data points, you're working in the dark. That's not an effective way to operate as a team.
It's important to have visibility into your sales process to make informed decisions. If your current sales tools don't provide the needed data, it's time to look for something new.
20. Your sales team is using too many different tools
If your sales team uses a hodgepodge of different sales tools, it's probably time for an upgrade.
Inefficient sales teams often use multiple tools to try to get the job done. But using multiple tools can actually lead to more inefficiencies. It's important to have a streamlined tech stack so your team can focus on selling, not managing a bunch of different tools.
21. Your CRM is outdated or difficult to use
Your CRM is one of the most important tools in your sales toolkit, so it's important to ensure it's up-to-date and easy to use. If you're using an outdated CRM or one that's difficult to use, it could cost your team valuable time and money.
Consider upgrading to a newer, more user-friendly CRM to help your team work more efficiently.
22. You're seeing more churn
This sign is related to sales and CS teams that use the same tools. If you see an increase in churn, it could be a sign that your tools are no longer as effective as they used to be. Your customers may have outgrown the same tools you used to prospect and engage them at the buyer stage.
You may need to invest in additional technologies (such as cross-channel measurement, personalization, and more) to help you keep your customers longer.
There are tools out there that support both sales and CS workflows and it will benefit you to find them. If your team is spending their time on inefficient tasks such as tracking opportunities or manually writing emails, you can see a significant uptick in performance with newer tools that help them spend their time on more revenue-boosting activities.
Overall, experiencing one or two of these signs probably isn't enough to warrant a major change. Still, getting into the habit of assessing the tools you're using is always useful.
Make it a yearly routine to sit down with your team and talk about the products or services you're relying on. Discuss how they're measuring up, how they're used and how they interact with each other. Don't forget to look at cost, unused features or integrations and the support required.
However, if you're experiencing a handful of these signs, don't ignore that it's time to question your tools.
Choosing the right sales tools can be a challenge - there's a never-ending stream of options out there - but taking the time to find the right fit for your business will pay off in the long run, not just for revenue generation, but for some peace of mind.