Building Your Sales Operations Technology Stack: The Essentials

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For today’s sales ops leaders, selecting and managing sales technology has become a critical aspect of the job. With the right technology in place, each piece in sync with the rest of the stack, sales ops teams are better equipped than ever to pinpoint and remove sales friction, steering their sales peers toward sustainable success. 

At a time when sales leaders are expected to improve sales productivity without increasing headcount and, generally, do more with less, investing in the right sales ops technology has become exceedingly important. 

But when it comes to sales ops technology, how can we make sure we have the essentials covered without going overboard and giving ourselves too much to manage? And, how can sales ops leaders ensure their technology stack is as advanced as it needs to be, yet simple enough that it gets used regularly, with demonstrable results?

What to Consider When Building Your Sales Ops Technology Stack

Chances are you’re not starting from scratch. If you already have certain pieces of sales technology in place, some of it may be more entrenched than others, so every conversation needs to start with a realistic “current state” of your technology stack. 

For each piece of technology that already exists, evaluate it in terms of current and potential effectiveness, ease of use, cost, ease of integration, cost to replace – whatever helps you more accurately gauge the sales technology’s future value at your company.

Granted, it’s easier to gauge a certain piece of technology’s worth when we know where or how it fits within the sales ops technology stack, so let’s address that. To get a full view into processes and pipeline, and to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders, today’s sales ops teams should have, at a minimum, access to the following functionalities:

  • Sales

The Tech Stack of the Future for Inside Sales

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If you’d been around salespeople as recently as the 1990s, you might have heard a top rep brag, “Just give me a phone and a roll of quarters, and I can make money.” Thirty years ago, having a silver tongue and access to the right people was about all it took. Companies invested in field reps with the style and skill to sell ice to Eskimos. Their tech stack consisted of a phone, a Rolodex and a company credit card.

Today, that’s all changed. A skillful and tenacious rep still makes a significant difference. But the competitive edge rests with one’s tech stack and all the insight and control it can provide. If you’re slow to adopt new technology, your goal attainment could drop 12% year-over-year. If your tech stack is up-to-date, however, your ability to achieve goals could rise as much as 11%.

In many respects, the tech stack gave birth to the growth of inside sales. It did so by putting more customer data, analytics, sales resources and leads at the inside sales rep’s fingertips.

The inside sales rep’s keyboard command center delivers powerful tools for monitoring the status of prospects and setting sales strategies:

  • Lead management software helps reps manage the sales pipeline.
  • Sales enablement tools provide access to sales materials.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow reps and managers to monitor the progress of every lead, opportunity and deal in the making.
  • Content management and automation tools give reps easy access to videos, whitepapers, presentations, competitive literature, blogs and more.
  • Forecasting and predictive analytics help management set expectations and gain insights on customers and high-value prospects.
  • Configure price quote software even optimizes the pricing and quoting process.

But where does the tech stack go from here?

Where Is Inside Sales Technology Going?

The best way to

Ford new CEO Farley eyes software, tech stack as differentiator vs. rivals

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New Ford CEO Jim Farley’s plan for the automaker includes a heavy dose of software and services for its commercial vehicle business as well as new consumer experiences to drive loyalty.

Ford, which is in the middle of a turnaround of its core business, is trying to navigate a shift to electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles as well as an industry that is increasingly more about software. Farley takes over for Jim Hackett, who streamlined the automaker over the last three years. 

Farley outlined a series of leadership changes and a plan that includes “expanding its commercial vehicle business with a suite of software services that drive loyalty and recurring revenue streams” and “unleashing technology and software in ways that set Ford apart from competitors.”

In addition, Ford is looking to develop connected vehicles and create new businesses from the Argo AI self-driving system.

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Ford is also looking for a new CIO as Jeff Lemmer is retiring Jan. 1. His successor will lead Ford’s technology and software platform.

The tech strategy from Farley lands after a Sept. 16 investor presentation by Kenneth Washington CTO. Washington outlined the connectivity required from smart vehicles in the future that will include 5G, satellites and edge, cloud, and fog computing.

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Washington said the plan is to build out a tech stack that’s future proof.

Our tech stack is designed to accelerate the development and delivery of differentiated customer experiences. And this includes both our retail and our commercial vehicles. We’re designing this tech stack to be future-proof, to connect the vehicle to the smart world around it. It’s going to be able to evolve and continuously integrate into the smart world and