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Sales Rep Productivity Spend Tops $1K

August 9, 2017

“You have to spend money to make money” is one of the oldest clichés in business. Enterprises are following that advice in how they build their sales teams, according to a recent survey of 400 sales executives.

A new “SalesTech Report” from CITE Research, on behalf of SugarCRM, found that 80 percent of companies spend at least $1,000 on technology annually per sales representative to equip them with the right tools to do their jobs effectively. Furthermore, nearly one-half (49 percent) of the respondents said they spend at least $2,000 per sales employee.

While building an effective sales team requires a great deal of investment in both hardware and software, the good news is that respondents said technology is helping their sales team be more effective. These days, sales professionals use a wide array of tools. A CRM system is the most frequently used and the most valuable tool to the sales team. A majority of respondents rated 11 common tools, everything from smartphones to CRM to data enrichment services as “valuable” or “extremely valuable.”

“The results of the CITE Research survey match Nucleus Research’s own findings. The research indicates a modernization of sales culture where using tools to gather, analyze and share data is much more important than wining and dining potential clients,” said Rebecca Wetteman, analyst at Nucleus Research. “What I find interesting about the report from CITE and SugarCRM is that organizations are no doubt willing to spend money, but many are in the experimental phase. Other than CRM, organizations are dabbling in a variety of other tools in a trial-and-error phase to determine what is absolutely critical for sales people to be more effective.”

The survey of 400 sales executives in the United States and United Kingdom was conducted to define what the technology stack for a modern sales team looks like. Moreover, the survey tried to explore what tools are most important to optimizing the customer experience.

Survey highlights include:

•80 percent of companies spend at least $1,000 annually per employee on sales technology tools, two-thirds spend at least $1,500 and nearly one-half spend $2,000.

•Deploying all these tools does not come without anxiety. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of businesses are concerned about the need for training staff, while 63 percent are worried about keeping pace with innovation and keeping systems up to date.

•CRM remains the most frequently deployed tool for sales teams, with 70 percent of organizations saying they use CRM. However, organizations are also finding value in other hardware and software. In addition to CRM, laptops, smartphones, tablets, lead development applications, collaboration and productivity tools, digital transactions software, online meeting schedules, web meeting platforms, internal messaging tools and data enrichment services are all “valuable” or “extremely valuable.”

•Other than cost, the top concerns about deploying new technology are security (36 percent), product complexity (34 percent), employees’ resistance to change (30 percent), and a lack of skills in using the tools (20 percent).

“In today’s digital age, technology is a crucial asset that increases the effectiveness and productivity of sales teams,” said Larry Augustin, CEO, SugarCRM. “However, these survey results indicate the challenges organizations face when it comes to innovating and evolving the way their sales teams work. It’s clear there is still work to be done when it comes to overcoming obstacles and reframing how we think about technology in the workplace.”

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