Time and again, while performing Sales & Marketing Assessments - typically being called in by either lead investors or humbling leadership teams of startups - one common finding is that companies have purchased sales tools that achieve the opposite effect for which they were purchased. Almost inevitably I sigh, close my eyes, and shake my head - because the root cause of what I'm talking about steps from not looking at the obvious.
The manager at the time usually, that adopted the "sales enablement tool, which usually also took some finagling with finance to get approved, makes an all-to-witnessed error of common sense. Or, the lack there of. They don't actually perform a workflow of the tool. The sales demo and, at best, some reference calls to existing "t-d" up users, is all the diligence prior to signing a annual multi-year contract.
Without performing a sales tool "real life" workflow examination that entails a real trial with all the interfacing or API integrations that were "sold" during the demo is the culprit here. And, so easily avoided with just simple workflow examination.
So, what the hell am I literally getting at, or trying to convey here? Let me illustrate one recent real life example... Client X purchased a sales cadence enabling tool, in this case it was SalesLoft - a great tool in its own right, or at least it was when it integrated with SFDC which is only the CRM for about 95% of the funded startups. All this insane effort goes into onboarding the tool, building out the cadences for each subsegment of targeted prospect types, which includes emails to boot and follow. A lot of work goes into implementing one of these tools just like any other key operations and sales efficiency tool does. In this case, with this real life startup, the manager who implemented the tool didn't realize that because the SalesLoft didn't interface with SFDC, and their created BDR account record buildout process, adopting this simple cadence tool caused the BDRs to have to click back and forth into actually three different browsers to perform the simplest of functions of their jobs. My analysis was that it took up 17.4% of their work time. The solution that the manager first recommended to solve the problem once uncovered... Get this shit! Add an extra two monitors for the sales reps. Enough said! Bush league in my useless opinion.
Moral of the story? Before signing up for a lengthy contract for the latest and greatest hot sales enablement tool... Perform real life workflow analysis as part of the diligence in evaluation. If the vendor will not provide a full working solution trial prior to signing then they themselves are bush league and I'd stay away because they already know what they don't want you to know.