Why Too Many Sales Tools Is Leading to Rep Fatigue

Our CEO and Founder, Tawheed Kader (TK) recently participated in The Modern Sales Leader Hangout with LevelEleven’s CEO Bob Marsh. During the virtual hangout, Bob asked, “how does a modern Sales Leader build a sales stack?”

Before we can answer that question, we need to set the stage for the conversation and understand what the problem is before solving it.

In 2015 alone, 40 companies joined the sea of sales tools and are all vying for a Sales Leader’s time, resources and reps. Just look at what Sales Leaders have to face:


The 6 Biggest Sales-Tech Trends to Watch in 2016 by Nicolas de Kouchkovsky (VentureBeat)

Forty new companies promising useful tools don’t emerge for no reason. In the past few years Venture Capitalists and Sales Leaders have begun to take note of the sales technology space and have heavily invested in the market, thus more and more tools popping up on the map above. But this kind of thinking around “the more, the better” just doesn’t work—especially for Sales. Why? More tools doesn’t mean ROI.

“It’s an interesting time for modern Sales Leaders. I think we are just coming out of a period where people invested a lot in technology and a lot in tools. And now we’re coming up at a point where there’s a bit of fatigue about that,” said TK.

Too Many Tools, Not Enough ROI

The Sales industry is seeing immense growth and if 13% of all US jobs are full-time Sales roles, Sales Leaders are looking to build a sales stack that drives ROI. In the past five years the industry saw:

  • New sales roles emerging that require technology (Inside Sales, sophisticated Field Sales, etc)
  • The decline in rep productivity via inefficient manual tasks
  • CRM isn’t the all-in-one tool for Sales

Combined with the emergence of shiny new sales tools, Sales Leaders jumped the gun and purchased upwards of eight tools for their team. Even still, with all those tools, rep productivity is at an all-time low (last year, Hubspot predicted that 34% of reps will miss their quota).

Reps are overwhelmed with tools. There’s a tool for everything—a productivity tool, a chat tool, a CRM, an email client, a calendar tool, a dialer, the list goes on. To book a meeting alone reps had to toggle between two to three tools and that’s all before confirming the meeting. This toggling back and forth between tools is ruining productivity, yielding a lower return and harming the sales process.

Sales is Not About Tools

While it’s important to keep a pulse on emerging trends and learning efficiencies through best practices, at the end of the day, sales is not about what tools reps are using. Sales is about delivering value to customers, solving pain points and building a human-to-human relationship. In short, sales tools should amplify the process, rather than dilute it.

Instead of investing in eight different tools that solve for one aspect of the sales process, Sales Leaders should invest in a full-suite platform that empowers reps to focus on the customer. To win in today’s sales race, the basics around selling are more important than ever. With 300+ vendors competing for your time and money—technology should allow reps to focus at the deal at hand, not trying to figure out which tool does what function.

Enabling your team with technology and tools to be efficient at their jobs is one thing, but over investing is a completely other beast that leads to wasted money and little to no ROI.

“It’s my view that Sales Leaders are going to start demanding something that takes care of [pipeline, sales process and analytics.] And once you start taking care of all three, then you’ve got a real bundled solution… the vendor that consolidates that is going to win the space in the long run,” said TK.

To get more in-depth information on how to build a sales stack that amplifies revenue, head over to LevelEleven’s site to watch the full hangout recording with Bob and TK.