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Defining the sales tech stack for modern sales teams

Sales tech17 mins
Sarah Taylor|Updated Jun 14, 2023
Hands typing on a keyboard with screen in the background

Your sales tech stack can make or break your sales team’s effectiveness in the world of modern selling. Today’s sales teams are faced with challenges like less face-to-face time with prospects, complex sales motions, and long sales cycles. When you’re trying to close deals remotely, creating a compelling virtual buyer’s experience is paramount.

Get your tech stack right, and your sales team will be better equipped for success. Each individual sales rep’s effort will be multiplied. Sales velocity will increase, close rates will go up, and your buyer experience will be consistently exceptional.

Get it wrong, and your sales team will be frustrated and ineffective, constantly fighting an uphill battle to meet quota and hit revenue targets.

Choosing the right tools for your tech stack matters now more than ever. Increasingly complex sales processes create a need for a data-driven sales process—one that reliably delivers a great experience and outsized results.

What is a sales tech stack?

Simply put, a sales tech stack is the set of tools and technologies that your sales team uses to do its job. The tools and software in your sales tech stack enable team members to manage their sales processes and optimize their performance.

For sales professionals, the right set of tools typically means a far more efficient sales process. This saves your sales reps time, enabling them to contact more leads and have more conversations with prospects. It increases your sales velocity, which ultimately means more closed deals for your business.

The right sales tech stack also has a big impact on sales leaders. Using modern selling tools in smart ways will boost your team’s performance, accelerate revenue growth, and give you more clarity into where your process can be improved.

How to build a robust sales tech stack

Building a dependable sales tech stack is a strategic endeavor, requiring thoughtful consideration of your business's current status and future aspirations.

Here's the key 5 considerations to keep in mind when planning and building your tech stack:

1. Understand and align with business objectives

Begin with a comprehensive analysis of your business model, including the size, industry, products, services, and target audience. Engage with stakeholders across departments to ensure the tech stack supports the entire sales pipeline and aligns with the broader business goals.

2. Evaluate and optimize existing resources

Assess the tools already in place. Identify gaps and redundancies in your current tech stack and determine if these tools can be optimized, integrated, or if they should be replaced.

For a clearer vision of your ideal tech stack, try the 'blank page' exercise. Imagine building your tech stack from the ground up, free from current constraints. This creative approach helps you identify essential features and tools without being limited by existing systems. After designing this ideal setup, gradually reintegrate real-world considerations, comparing your ideal with the actual to pinpoint critical upgrades or changes. This balance between ideal and practical fosters a strategic and efficient tech stack development.

3. Forecast future needs and scale accordingly

Anticipate the evolution of your business and sales processes. Understand how your needs might change as your business grows. Choose scalable solutions that can adapt to increasing demands and complexities, ensuring your tech stack is future-proof.

4. Prioritize essential features and plan deployment

Clearly define the 'must-have' and 'nice to have' capabilities based on the collective input from different teams. Prioritize these features and create a phased deployment roadmap. Implementing your tech stack in stages allows for smoother transitions and minimal disruption to your sales operations.

5. Invest in training and continuous improvement

Acknowledge the learning curve associated with new tools. Invest in comprehensive training programs to ensure your team can leverage the full potential of your tech stack. Embrace an iterative approach, continuously seeking feedback, and making improvements to adapt to the ever-evolving sales landscape.

By methodically addressing these key areas, you can construct a sales tech stack that not only elevates your current sales processes but also positions your team for sustained success and adaptability in the dynamic business environment.

The benefits of a modern sales tech stack

Henry Ford’s great ambition was to create “motor cars for the great multitude.” Although he tried for years, he couldn’t achieve his goal until he invented (and iterated upon) the world’s first moving assembly line. While it may seem like a simple tool to us, the assembly line reduced the time it took to build a new car from twelve hours to about an hour and a half.

In the same way, the right sales technology stack can transform your sales department.

Without the right tools and systems in place, it’s hard to keep track of leads, manage customer relationships, and close deals. Sales can feel chaotic and disorganized. But introduce a well-designed tech stack and you’ll see your workflows get streamlined, repetitive tasks get automated, and your whole team begins pulling in the same direction.

The biggest impact of a modern sales tech stack is scalability. Using modern software that’s tightly integrated eliminates 'busy work' and frees up your team to focus on what they do best: selling your product. When your team can rely on technology to empower and equip them, you’ll find each team member is capable of delivering better results and more revenue for your business.

Some specific benefits of a modern sales tech stack include:

  • Improved pipeline management. Track the progress of each lead and opportunity so you always know where they are in the buying process.
  • Higher conversion rates. Effective proposal and demo tools help your sales reps demonstrate your value prop and close more deals.
  • Better data hygiene. The right tools make it easy to track activity and maintain your customer data, helping sales leaders make informed decisions.
  • Faster sales velocity. By automating tasks and keeping your team organized, a modern tech stack enables you to move more deals through your pipeline in the same amount of time.
  • Increased collaboration. Investing in the right tools help your sales team collaborate more effectively—with other sales reps and with other internal teams, like Legal or Finance—to keep deals moving forward.

Modern sales leaders who are strategic about sales and buyer enablement experience a similar transformation as Ford’s factories: faster and better results, with lower effort. By putting the right systems and tools in place, you’ll ultimately drive more predictable revenue on a consistent basis.

The key components of a sales tech stack

A modern sales tech stack should automate as much of the sales process as possible. This helps each sales opportunity take less time, increasing the capacity of each team member while also decreasing manual errors. Modern sales tools enable a seamless sales experience for your buyers, while also reducing the effort required from your sales team.

We all know low-value leads have the potential to eat up a lot of time in the sales cycle. You want them to understand how your product solves their pain points. You want to educate them on how you can help. You want them to have a personalized experience.

But all things being equal, you’d probably prefer your sales team to invest their time and energy in the largest deals with the highest likelihood of closing.

With an incredible tech stack doing most of the heavy lifting, you can deliver a highly personalized, effective sales journey while spending a minimal amount of time.

The key components of this kind of sales tech stack will usually need to include applications from the following categories (at a minimum):

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Prospecting tools
  • Sales productivity tools
  • Sales intelligence software
  • Scheduling tools
  • Product demo and meeting tools
  • Revenue platforms

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Your CRM impacts more than just your sales cycle—it’s how your business manages interactions with all customers, leads, and prospects.

A good CRM typically includes functionality like contact management, lead tracking, sales pipeline management, and customer analytics.

CRMs are frequently used to store customer data and track customer interactions across different channels, but today’s best sales teams are also using them to automate key sales and marketing processes. Some great choices of CRM include options like HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho CRM, Salesforce and SPOTIO's field sales CRM.

Preview of Hubspot's interface

Preview of Hubspot's interface

Prospecting tools

Prospecting tools are a foundational piece of the modern sales tech stack. These tools help your sales team find, learn about, and connect to your audience. They supply your teams with information about your prospects, both at the company and individual levels.

Many prospecting tools also include automation, often powered by generative AI like ChatGPT. This functionality can include things like generating outbound campaigns, automating LinkedIn connections and DMs, and automatically adding qualified leads to your CRM.

Great examples of modern prospecting tools include ZoomInfo, Cognism, and Plena.

Sales productivity tools

While sales productivity tools are a fairly broad category, the tools included here are essential for scaling up a modern sales team.

These tools offer a wide range of functionality, but they’re all aimed at the same thing: helping your sales team close deals more efficiently. They free up your sales reps so they aren’t spending all day on administrative tasks. They empower them with AI to accomplish more in less time.

A few examples of modern sales productivity tools include:

  • Qwilr - Qwilr enables sales teams to create customized and interactive sales materials at scale. From proposals to other collateral, Qwilr’s customizable templates and powerful integrations empower your team to create beautiful sales content in less time, helping you scale your sales team, with valuable buyer insights along the way that enable sales reps to drive deals forward. Personalized and interactive sales collateral closes the gap between buyers and sellers, improving your sales velocity and giving your team more insights to work with.
  • Dooly - Dooly’s wide range of features include everything from automated note-taking during sales calls to building out sales playbooks. It enables the easy creation of dashboards for improved visibility into your pipeline, giving sales reps a real-time look at every deal they’re working.
  • Lavender - Lavender bills itself as the best AI-powered sales email coach on the market. Its powerful AI enables sales teams to write better emails, faster. The impact is big: more time to sell, higher close rates, and a constantly learning sales team.
Qwilr proposal editor preview

Preview of Qwilr's proposal editor

Sales intelligence apps

Sales intelligence tools provide insights and data to help sales teams make informed decisions and improve their sales performance. These tools gather data from a variety of sources and use smart analysis to identify trends and extract learnings. Modern sales intelligence tools are powered by cutting-edge AI, making them far more effective at uncovering insights and driving improvements in your sales team’s performance.

Sales intelligence software can uncover information on prospect demographics, buyer behavior, and market trends, allowing sales teams to better target their efforts and tailor their messaging. By providing real-time insights and analytics, these tools can also help your team identify new opportunities, prioritize leads, and close deals faster. Some great choices of sales intelligence software are Gong, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Outreach, and ZoomInfo SalesOS.

Scheduling tools

The art of sales includes meetings, phone calls, and communications galore. Good scheduling software allows others to see when your team is available and book appointments. Make sure whatever you choose can integrate with your sales reps’ individual calendars. This prevents prospects from booking appointments when your team is unavailable.

Great scheduling tools include Calendly, Chili Piper, and AcuityScheduling. If you’re a small team, trying to keep costs down, consider choosing a CRM that includes this functionality, such as HubSpot or Zoho CRM.

Preview of Calendly's meeting booking solution

Preview of Calendly's meeting booking solution

Product demo and meeting software

If you’re selling technology or software of any kind, chances are you’ll need virtual meeting software. Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation where you can see a prospect’s expressions and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Virtual meetings and demos can happen on tools that we’re all familiar with, like Zoom or Google Meet. Modern sales teams supplement these basic meeting platforms with tools like the Gong App for Zoom, which records, transcribes, and analyzes your conversations with prospects. Chorus.ai and SalesLoft Conversations are similar tools, each offering unique features to help train your sales team and improve performance.

For a more interactive demo experience, you might want to check out a tool like Storylane. Storylane empowers go-to-market teams by enabling the creation of personalized, live website demos, ensuring that sales meetings are with qualified leads and aiding demand generation teams in driving increased volume.

Qwilr proposal editor preview

Preview of Qwilr's proposal editor

#7 - RevOps platforms

Revenue operations—or RevOps—is a quick-growing function across most businesses today. And while RevOps tools can include a lot of the functionality mentioned in the above categories, these tools are important enough to modern sales teams to get a direct shout out.

Similar to sales productivity tools, revenue operations software covers a wide spectrum of functionality, all focused on one thing: maximizing your organization’s revenue. Examples include:

  • Breadcrumbs - AI-powered lead scoring and insights that help you uncover additional sales opportunities.
  • InsightSquared - InsightSquared is a powerful sales forecasting and analytics tool, empowering your RevOps team with improved visibility into your sales performance.
  • Revenue.io - This sales enablement platform uses AI to provide real-time coaching and recommend next steps to your sales team. It cuts through the noise—the thousands of things your team could do—to help them understand what they should do to have the biggest impact.

And while it’s not glamorous, your sales tech stack needs to include tools that enable you to send invoices and accept and record payments. This functionality blurs the lines between Sales and Finance, but without it your team is dead in the water. Some well-known tools to make this happen include Stripe, Square, FastSpring, and Quickbooks.

Additional considerations for larger sales teams

The components of your stack will depend on the needs and goals of your specific organization. That means factors like the size of your team and the complexity of sales motion will also impact your sales tools.

If you’re running a larger team, you may find it valuable to include some other tools in your tech stack—tools that are really only ‘nice-to-haves’ for smaller sales teams.

Account planning tools

Long gone are the days of selling to a single buyer—in the modern world, your sales reps need to approach entire buying teams to secure deals. But it’s hard enough to remember which cousins belong to which aunts at your own family reunion, never mind recalling the names and roles of 20 different people at 50 different companies that you’re trying to sell to.

That’s where an account planning tool comes in handy. Software like DemandFarm and Prolifiq can help your reps make sense of the hierarchy and relationships at prospect companies, while also shedding light on market challenges and opportunities. You can also leverage tools like Lucidchart, Creatly, and SmartDraw, to create your own flexible org charts for planning how you’ll approach certain accounts.

These tools help you better understand the needs of each player on a buying team, enabling you to tailor your approach accordingly.

Contract management software

Creating, tracking, and managing contracts can get overwhelming—and can be a major time suck. It’s especially challenging when there are numerous people involved in the process, as you’ll often encounter when selling to enterprise organizations.

Larger teams deal with greater contract volumes, and high-value deals tend to lead to more complex contractual terms. A contract management tool like Malbek or Gatekeeper helps you manage the entire lifecycle of a contract, from creation and negotiation to signature and renewal. Robust contract management software helps your team close deals faster, reduces errors, and ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Try Qwilr

Implementing the right sales tech stack can significantly impact the success of your sales team (and your business as a whole). Whether you’re a small start-up or a large enterprise, leveraging the power of modern sales enablement tools like Qwilr and HubSpot transforms your sales processes, improves productivity, and provides a superior buyer experience.

If you’re ready to build or evolve your sales tech stack, you can check out a free trial of Qwilr right here.

About the author

Sarah Taylor, Senior Content Marketing Manager

Sarah Taylor|Senior Content Marketing Manager

Sarah leads Qwilr's content marketing efforts – specialising in field marketing, campaign planning, content, brand and communications. Sarah has both agency and global corporate experience spanning Australia, Asia and the UK.

FAQs

Determining the optimal number of tools in your sales tech stack isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. It hinges significantly on factors like your business size, the complexity of your sales processes, and the specific challenges your sales team faces. Generally, a more extensive team with diverse roles might require a broader set of tools, while a smaller, more focused team could operate efficiently with a leaner stack.

For instance, a small startup with a sales team of around 10 might thrive with a compact tech stack consisting of essential tools for CRM, communication, and prospecting. In contrast, a larger enterprise with, say, 50 or more sellers, might need a more comprehensive stack. This could include advanced CRM systems, sales intelligence platforms, dedicated prospecting tools, contract management systems, and sophisticated AI tools to cater to the varied needs and roles within the team.

The key is to ensure that every tool in your tech stack is purposefully chosen for addressing specific needs, promoting efficiency and collaboration, and offering scalability and seamless integration to streamline your sales process.