Auditing your Sales Tech Stack in 5 Steps

Kristina Eventov
October 26, 2021

There are new sales tools flooding the market every day. Read our 5 simple questions to help you optimize your sales tech stack.

The sales technology landscape has seen vast development over recent years. There are new apps, technologies, and updates launched daily, which is why you should audit your sales tech stack regularly to ensure your tech stack is supporting your team in the most efficient way. 

What Is a Sales Tech Stack?

A sales tech stack is a group of technology-based tools that businesses use to boost their efficiency in operations and marketing, and optimize the customer experience.

A basic sales tech stack of a SaaS company might look something like this:

  • CRM to store lead and customer information.
  • VoIP to reach out to prospective customers.
  • Video conferencing for online sales meetings.
  • Analytics, e.g., conversation intelligence to get insights into your sales team's performance.
  • Sales engagement for efficient sales sequences.
  • Sales enablement to equip your sales team with relevant content for the sales process.
  • Meeting scheduling app for smooth processes.
  • Coaching and training tools to provide regular and relevant feedback.

Of course, depending on your company size, target group, and sales strategy, you may not need all of these tools. As your business adapts and grows, your sales tech stack will change as you seek to maximize efficiency and lower costs. In 2019, Blissfully reported that an individual employee used an average of 8 apps in 2019, and companies with 200-501 employees used approximately 123 apps. No matter how many sales tools are in your tech stack, they should each serve an important and unique purpose.

Why You Should Audit Your Sales Tech Stack

Whether it’s a lack of integration between tools, or new errors coming up, your tech stack may not be as optimal as it once was.

As mentioned in the introduction, new tools and technologies launch all the time and, if you’re not regularly checking what’s out there, you could be missing out on a tool that will change your SaaS company’s game.

Beyond optimizing your (employees’) workflow, a tech stack audit could also help your company finances. By actively analyzing each tool in your sales tech stack, you can figure out if anything is not working and which you can do without (and stop paying for!). Alternatively, you could realize that you’ve not been maximizing a tool’s potential and make a point to properly onboard everyone on its functionalities.

How to Audit Your Sales Tech Stack

So we know why a tech stack audit is necessary, now let’s look at how to do it.

When auditing your tech stack, check what tools are in place, as well as what purpose they serve. Identify if each tool is actively used and, if not, why – does it not provide any benefit? Is the team not educated enough on how to use it? Or is it not properly integrated into the workflow?

Here are five questions to ask that will help guide your sales tech stack audit.

1. Is This Sales Tool Saving Your Reps’ Time?

In every step of their job, your reps want to work as efficiently as possible. By extension, any tools you implement into your team should decrease their workload and admin, not add to it.

For example, after a sales call, do reps have to manually input information to an external CRM, add it elsewhere, and then update the team on a third app? While automation can be helpful, make sure that any tools implemented reduce the number of steps your sales reps need to take before completing a task. Check how many steps it takes to successfully finish a task using each tool and see where you can cut down. 

Whether there’s an overlap in tools’ remits, reps have to do the same thing twice (check out question 3 for more), or there are just too many clicks involved, make sure each tool lets your sales reps work smarter, not harder.

2. Are Sales Reps Actively Using This Tool?

Maybe you’ve subscribed to an app, and it turns out that no one in your sales team is actively using it. If that's the case, you first have to identify why your reps aren’t making the most of this tool. Do they not know you have a license? Do they not know how to use it? Or do they not see any benefit in using the tool? For these questions, it’s essential to imagine a typical workflow and see how that tool fits into it. 

Although it might be advertised as the godsend product for sales reps, it may just not be useful for the specific work you and your team do. Don’t boast how many tools your tech stack contains. Cut down the excess and make sure every app in your sales tech stack helps you achieve your goals.

Alternatively, you may be paying for a higher subscription tier when, in fact, you don’t need all the features provided. In this instance, while the tool may still offer some benefit, check whether you’re getting bang for your buck and if it’s worth downgrading your subscription.

3. Can We Consolidate Any of Our Sales Tools?

According to the State of Software Happiness Report 2019 from G2, 52% of workers said they have "become dissatisfied at work due to missing or mismatched software."

What does this mean? It means that the sales tools that reps are given access to don’t align. Whether that’s duplicate functions or mismatched approaches, these can be a real pain for sales reps.

For example, rather than using Zoom along with a second tool that simply records your sales call and a third tool as your CRM, you could implement Ciara. Ciara combines a video conferencing tool with unique conversation intelligence and sales coaching functionalities. Hubspot is a great tool to use alongside Ciara. Not only is it a sales engagement platform and meeting scheduling assistant, but it is also a CRM that can be integrated with Ciara and updated automatically with all of Ciara's call insights and details.

By consolidating your tools in this way, you can hit three (or more!) birds with one stone. Do a deep dive analysis of your tools’ functionalities and check for overlaps. After that, you can compare user experience (i.e., how easy to use your reps find each app) with value-added and decide which tools can be cut and which can be combined (perhaps in the form of a new tool that covers more bases).

4. Is This Sales Tool Helping Us Reach Our Goals?

What drives you and your sales team are your goals. Without them, how do you know what to work towards? Likewise, every tool in your sales tech stack should be helping you reach your goals.

Similar to our previous tip, by analyzing each sales tool’s functionality, you can assess whether or not they are crucial to meeting your sales goals. However, you can be somewhat flexible with what this means for you. For example, if a tool helps you reach more prospects faster, then that is most likely aligned with your goals. Alternatively, say you have a tool that helps facilitate faster in-call note-taking. Though it’s probably not directly related to a sales goal, tools that help reduce your sales reps’ admin workload and accelerate their workflow are indirectly helping you reach your goals too. 

5. Are There Any Gaps in Our Sales Tech Stack?

Now you should have a good idea of how every tool in your sales tech stack is contributing to your SaaS company’s overall sales goals. But, there may still be areas of your sales reps’ workflow that could do with some more assistance.

For example, maybe you’ve combined a CRM with a call recording software, but your sales reps are still having to make manual notes elsewhere. Perhaps your sales team is missing a meaningful overview of all of their deals. This could be an opportunity to add a new tool to your sales tech stack. Like our second question for auditing your tech stack, imagine a typical workflow and see which aspects are pain points for your reps and could be improved. From there, you know what to look for in your next tool.

Keep in mind to check any new tools with the criteria mentioned in the previous tips!

Build a Better Sales Team with the Right Tech Stack

Your existing sales tech stack may be tried and tested, but with the number of new tools flooding the market every day, you’re doing your sales reps a disservice by not keeping up to date with new releases. While you shouldn’t hop on the bandwagon of every new tool, it is worth considering whether you can consolidate your existing sales tools and if they are bringing sufficient value – both financially and in terms of smoothing your sales processes. 

No matter what your sales tech stack looks like, strive for quality over quantity.