Phil Harrell, VP, Senior Research Director

Show Notes:

Sales technology decisions can make or break a sales organization. But given the dizzying array of options, how can sales leaders make the best choices? In this special episode of What It Means, VP and Senior Research Director Phil Harrell explains the criteria that B2B sales leaders should consider when evaluating new sales technologies. You’ll also get a sneak peek at Forrester’s new Ask A Sales Leader podcast.

Despite the surfeit of sales tools available, the use of sales technology represents a fairly recent shift. A more traditional reliance on the art of selling, Harrell says, is yielding to investments in tech that help sales reps be more productive and effective. In addition to tools that automate data entry and guide reps toward best next steps with prospects, sales leaders today also can choose from tools that help with sales forecasting, improve coaching and onboarding, speed up pricing and quoting, and more.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the promise, Harrell says sales leaders need to think first about what’s most important to accomplish. “You want to prioritize projects where investments in technology will have a major impact in improving some of your organization’s main challenges and where you can do this relatively easily,” Harrell says. Also essential, he adds, is having sound, defined processes in place, since layering technology on top of weak processes will only worsen them.

Later in the episode, Harrell explains the criteria that sales leaders should use when evaluating sales technology. These include ensuring that new tools integrate with the systems used by marketing and customer success teams so that buyers have a smooth, unfragmented experience. Harrell also shares his predictions on how technology will shape the role of the sales rep and hiring in the future.

This week, we also introduce Forrester’s Ask A Sales Leader podcast. Every two weeks, Harrell will interview a sales executive on challenges they have overcome and best practices they have implemented to succeed. Sales leaders can dive into the first three episodes here and check back every other Tuesday to hear a new episode.