As sales leaders weather the economic storm of 2023, sales technology remains key in firms’ ability to win, serve, and retain customers. Decreased budgets and pressure to perform in a challenging economy are forcing sales leaders to optimize their technology stack. We recently published The Forrester Tech Tide™: B2B Sales Technologies, Q1 2023, which explores 20 distinct types of sales technologies to help sales leaders and sales operations professionals understand the right investment approach to sales technologies for their firm.

Maximizing value from sales technology is more important than ever while budgets are lean and the economy continues to waver. As part of our recent Tech Tide, sales leaders were interviewed to gain insight into the current state of sales technology, revealing several key themes:

    1.  A new wave of personalization is coming. Firms are feeling overwhelmed with the number of options in the marketplace. Each leader interviewed in our report referenced a need for vendors to offer personalized pitches that apply an understanding of a firm’s specific business needs. Otherwise, offerings become just another tool in an already full toolbox.
    2. Integration is key. Sales leaders are tired of spending time adopting new technologies only to abandon them later due to a lack of integration with other core systems. Forrester’s Sales Activity Study showed that, in 2022, sales professionals spent 26% of their time on administrative tasks such as engaging with technology stack problems. Vendors need to reduce the time to value of their solutions and enable sellers to spend more time on core selling activities by automating administrative tasks and streamlining integration with supplemental sales tech.
    3. Data is no longer an afterthought. Sales leaders are interested in evaluating how, and if, their tools lead to deals and revenue growth. An application needs to provide data that demonstrates its efficacy. Leaders want to see how a technology connects to an opportunity or closed deal. Applications should contribute to a feedback loop that shows how the technology connects to an opportunity or a closed deal.
    4. Expect cuts in spending. Salesforce’s recent cuts are not an anomaly. Technology companies can expect a squeeze in the next few months, leading practitioners to maximize their existing technology stack rather than acquiring new systems. Instead of buying a new best-in-class solution, leaders may explore untapped capabilities from their current stack or pay for additional features.

Insights such as these can help leaders understand why and how certain tools can help them reach their goals. The Forrester Tech Tide takes a deep dive into the options that sales leaders face to provide clarity and insight.

If you would like to explore these findings and what they mean for your organization further, join me at Forresters B2B Summit North America in June. I will be leading a session titled “The State Of Sales Technology: Findings From Our Tech Tide.” Learn more about this year’s event.