The Pros and Cons of Using Sales Acceleration Tools

Posted on August 30, 2016

By Lucas Gerler

Tags: ,

sales acceleration tools

New to the partner sales acceleration world? Welcome to the next best thing since sliced bread. While many may have written the term, “sales acceleration” off as a buzzword, we think it’s here to stay (Just like sliced bread! I mean, really, what company doesn’t want to speed up the sales process? If that company exists, I need to know about them and make sure I don’t have any stock invested!).

For a quick intro for the sales acceleration uninitiated (and a refresher for the returning sales enablement leaders), let’s start with a quick (working) definition of sales acceleration:

sales acceleration: any set of sales tools which are utilized by sales teams to increase rep productivity and streamline movement from stage-to-stage in the customer buying lifecycle..

And while the true definition of the term differs according to the person or company who is using it,  or it is based on the needs of specific organization seeking “acceleration,” partner sales acceleration has come to represent an ever-evolving sales technology ecosystem.

Behind it all, sales acceleration software enables B2B sales teams to sell with increased confidence, at higher volumes, with more insights, bringing more value to each stage of the customer’s buying journey.

Whether you’re looking to dive into the sales acceleration world for the first time, or are simply trying to update an outdated system, below are the pros and cons of the wonderful world of “sales acceleration”.

Pros

It increases selling and response rates. Your channel sales reps work tirelessly to close deals while simultaneously trying to avoid those pesky, time-consuming deals that are highly unlikely or even uncloseable. But they’re only human after all. They can’t analyze every single call, every interaction, every job change, every Tweet, every post and every email efficiently and effectively, let alone every single time. Sales acceleration tools help your partner teams to prioritize deals that have actively engaged decision-makers—and you already know, those are the deals which are far more likely to close to begin with.

Sales acceleration can’t predict the future (yet). It can, however, increase your partner’s selling success and response rates.  When it comes down to that final decision between you and your biggest competitor, do you really want to lose over the 1% you can control? It is the small things that tend to sway deals from one company to the next. Are you arming your knights for battle? Or sending them charging up a hill?

It leverages situationally-specific data. Being blindsided sucks. Far too often, however, hiccups and delays in the sales cycle happen and we are hit with something we didn’t foresee coming. Sales acceleration tools can filter all that data from things like emails and leverage situationally-specific data, whether it is coming from your marketing automation, your CRM, or newsfeed – in order to ensure that your channel partners are empowered to sell NOW—quicker and more personalized (and with more pizazz!).

It drives channel results. If done correctly, centralizing all of your sales acceleration efforts can also greatly impact your channel sales efforts. By enabling both teams with acceleration software, you can earn how partners compare to each other, seeing who’s engaging with what training and what specific playbooks and then compare that data to your internal sales teams’ usage data. Your entire sales team can then gain insight and increase effectiveness through a truly collaborative approach to sales. Discovering what’s working and what’s not in the current market increases positive results—it increases sales productivity and accelerates your entire company’s sales processes.

Cons

It can create unnecessary burdens for IT and Salesforce administrators. Many times, sales acceleration tools claim to integrate with Salesforce. Hate to break it to you—some don’t. Many times, tools aren’t designed around Salesforce, and flawed integration is tacked on to make up for its shortcomings.

If this is the case, your IT team may be required expensive custom development for your tool to sync with your CRM. Likewise, your Salesforce team may be slowed down due to poor integration. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

It can clutter your existing CRM with additional, superfluous custom fields. As mentioned above, sales acceleration tools ideally make your direct sales and partner sales teams quicker and more productive. But sometimes, tools can add extra custom fields, contain inadequate dashboards, and come with poor reporting capabilities out-of-the-box. Make sure you choose a solution that can be tailored to the way you are currently doing business, and not one which requires you to add a new team internally to keep up with all the changes.

It can disrupt your team’s current workflow. The best sales acceleration tools boost your partner reps’ workflow overall, but this does require a change in behavior in the short-term. But keep in mind – these changes should be overwhelmingly positive and match as closely as possible the current workflow of your best reps. If your channel reps are armed with a clunky tool with a laughable onboarding process, it can negatively affect their tried-and-true workflow.

A bad user interface can hinder adoption and counteract the productivity gains that the tool is supposed to provide. How do you avoid a poor product? By trying before buying. Request an Allbound demo today to see how your channel sales can be streamlined today.

Lucas Gerler

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