How to tame the sales tech beast (and close more deals)

WalkMe Team
By WalkMe Team
Updated October 3, 2023

What do CRM applications, sales intelligence software, prospecting tools, and forecasting technology have in common? Sales organizations turn to these solutions to help them sell more, easier, and faster.

While technology offers great potential when it comes to increasing productivity, the reality is that it often creates digital friction. Unintuitive software, complex digital workflows, and administrative obstacles are a distraction for sellers, making it difficult for them to do their jobs effectively. 

The result? Overwhelmed sellers who often choose to use minimal app features, put off certain tasks, or simply avoid them all together. Ultimately, this leads to wasted time, lost opportunities, prolonged sales cycles, and unfulfilled ROI potential.

In today’s uncertain economy, sales teams are feeling the squeeze while being asked to bring in more deals with flat and declining budgets. Enterprise tech has to be cost-efficient and provide maximum returns – and it’s entirely possible with the right tools. 

In this article, we’ll look at the challenges faced by sales organizations when it comes to technology and explore how solutions, such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs), can help to tame the sales tech beast. 

The top 5 tech challenges in sales

There’s more tech than ever to help sellers sell, and that tech is more powerful than ever. But years of software spending has resulted in an unprecedented level of digital friction in sales departments. The very tools that were purchased to help sellers do their jobs have become the job themselves. 

Here are the top 5 challenges faced by sales leaders today:

  1. Difficult and complex sales processes that span multiple systems

Complex workflows and user friction contribute to lower adoption of critical systems resulting in wasted time, lost opportunities, protracted sales cycles, and frustrated sellers.

  1. It takes too much time to ramp new sellers

Outdated training methods slow time-to-value, reduce employee productivity, harm talent retention, and inhibit the ability to scale. 

  1. Lack of end-to-end visibility across the sales pipeline

Without insights into how sellers are using or not using software and features, sales organizations cannot optimize processes to realize the full potential of their tech investments. 

Poor visibility across the sales pipeline and operations leads to ineffective opportunity management, inefficient use of resources, increased cycle time, reduced forecasting ability, and increased risk. 

  1. Incomplete or inaccurate current account & forecasting data

Employee tech burnout can cause insufficient adoption of software features. The resulting user friction means sellers fail to perform critical tasks, resulting in incomplete and inaccurate data collection. 

Poor data integrity leads to forecasting inaccuracy, missed opportunities, reduced conversion rates, seller inefficiency, and poor relationship management. 

Thankfully, digital tools, such as WalkMe’s DAP, automatically validate critical data at the point of entry to ensure accuracy. 

  1. Effectively managing change

New software and frequent updates to existing systems – including new features and changes to the user interface – must be adopted without harming performance or desired business outcomes. 

Whether it’s new tech or a legacy platform’s umpteenth update, the question is: How are enterprises supposed to support their sellers in navigating these changes without harming productivity? Read on to find out how.

Common approaches to sales tech – and why they’re flawed

Try as they might, many sales leaders make the mistake of approaching sales tech in the following ways:

Relying on traditional training methods and re-training

Staying on top of the seller training can prove difficult, especially in the face of constant change.

As applications become more advanced and features continue to evolve, traditional methods no longer cut it. A module created today will likely be outdated tomorrow. This results in a never-ending cycle of training that takes reps out of the field.  

Additionally, digital dexterity varies among sellers, making one-size-fits all approaches ineffective for keeping everyone up to speed. 

This means that reallocating resources toward training and retraining is increasingly necessary in order to stay competitive; however, this takes away from valuable time spent engaging customers and lengthens onboarding periods.

Buying more software

Innovation across the sales organization is no doubt critical for driving business growth and maintaining a competitive edge.

However, implementing these new technologies can lead to tech sprawl and complex user experiences that put an extra burden on sellers who must navigate multiple applications with evolving workflows in order to complete tasks efficiently. 

And what are you left with in the end? A “Frankenstack” of random tech applications causing fractured processes and stunted productivity. This frequently leads to increased friction between seller and technology, slowing down velocity throughout the entire selling process. 

Trying to solve the problem with incremental fixes

With a lack of insight into major digital roadblocks, sales teams often rely on piecemeal fixes that manage the immediate problem but fail to consider the bigger picture. 

This fragmented approach can lead to delays and missed opportunities, inhibiting the full benefit of tech investments. Furthermore, time spent waiting on IT leads to delays and disruptions in operations.

To avoid this pitfall, unified visibility is essential for creating an integrated solution that works across departments.

Boosting ROI with digital adoption: A rep-centric approach

Technology is not always the issue. It is about implementing and managing change effectively. And humans are at the center of that change. It is about helping people understand and use changes in the right way. 

Traditional training and change management programs are no longer enough to ensure successful digital adoption. However, it is possible with a holistic approach. A people-first digital adoption strategy, when done right, empowers sellers to maximize the value of enterprise software. 

Digital adoption platforms (DAP) enable you to quickly identify and resolve the digital friction points in your software stack that are killing your sales team’s productivity, distracting them from the job of selling, undermining your forecasting accuracy, and damaging your margins. 

A DAP helps sales leaders by providing an end-to-end solution that enables them to quickly understand and leverage the full potential of their sales software. Furthermore, DAP delivers an intuitive user interface that allows any seller – no matter their digital dexterity – to use any sales software with ease and accuracy.

The benefits of a digital adoption platform:

  • Gain visibility into the tech stack – Analyze user journeys in your sales applications to identify friction points and areas that can be automated or otherwise optimized.  
  • Streamline onboarding and software training – Deliver training within the flow of work so that new hires are quickly onboarded and existing sellers can be easily brought up to speed with new software.  
  • Simplify workflows with a unified seller experience across processes – Create custom cross-application workflows, giving sellers an intuitive and user-friendly experience that boosts productivity.
  • Improve data collection at the point of entry – Ensure the data you collect provides a complete and accurate picture of your sales figures to improve forecasting while limiting confusion.   

Given the uncertain economic climate, it is more crucial than ever that enterprises take control of their software spend and focus on extracting the most value from what they’ve got. With a digital adoption platform, sales leaders can finally overcome digital friction and achieve full ROI on tech investments. 

The new way forward

Sales organizations face a number of challenges in today’s techscape. While traditional training methods and buying more software may seem like solutions, they often fall short due to the constantly evolving nature of technology and the varying digital dexterity among sellers. 

To tame the sales tech beast and close more deals, sales organizations need to focus on finding ways to simplify digital workflows, improve visibility across the sales pipeline, and ensure data integrity. At the same time, they need to provide adequate training and resources to sellers to help them navigate the ever-changing technology landscape – all of which is possible with WalkMe. 

WalkMe Team
By WalkMe Team
WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.