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How To Choose The Best Sales Tech Stack For Your Stage of Growth

How To Choose The Best Sales Tech Stack For Your Stage of Growth
Veronika Riederle
February 10, 2022

Putting together the perfect sales tech stack is a lot like building the perfect house. It’s a never-ending task filled with pitfalls, difficult decisions, and subpar contractors.

Sounds like a nightmare, right? And it explains why 46% of B2B sales teams struggle with productivity and performance.

Having the perfect sales stack isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s essential to support your team, meet targets, and crush your revenue goals.

McKinsey & Company backs this up: companies with a >10% CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) are 62% more effective in using digital sales tools.

All you need is a little push in the right direction – and you’ve come to the right place!

So what sales tools will work best for your company? Keep reading to check out the tech stack we put together for you based on your company’s stage of growth.

P.S. Don’t worry about this being a theory-only exercise—​​you’ll also learn about 15 top sales applications.

First Things First, What’s a Sales Tech Stack?

A sales tech stack (or a sales technology stack) is a collection of sales-specific software solutions used by a particular sales team to fulfill their job responsibilities.

These digital sales tools are usually cloud-based solutions, and in ideal cases, they are well-integrated with one another to maximize productivity and ease of use.

Salespeople rely on technology stacks to complete a wide range of activities during the entire sales process, from prospecting to farming.

A few examples include sourcing leads, automating tedious jobs (like SMS touchpoints), building forecasts, tracking reps’ performance, and managing pipelines.

High-growth sales teams typically have an average of five platforms in their sales tech stacks, and these tools can be broken into five major categories:

  1. CRMs
  2. Automation & engagement
  3. Meetings, demos, & scheduling
  4. People & resource management
  5. Proposals & contracts

But before we go any further, we need to take a step back and look at your company to determine where you are in the business life cycle.

Just here for the tools? Jump ahead, here.

Next Up, Where’s Your Company At Right Now?

You can’t build the perfect home unless you know everything about who’s going to live there.

A $10 million NYC loft might look flawless on paper, but things are going to turn sour fast if you build it for a family of five that loves country living and the great outdoors.

The same principle applies to selecting SaaS tools for your sales team.

You need to align each platform with your company’s needs and objectives.

To keep things simple, let’s focus on the three stages of business growth.

This model is a fantastic proxy for quickly and easily understanding a company's challenges and opportunities and beats hiring expensive management consultants.

We will help you:

  1. Learn about the 3-stage growth model
  2. Understand the effects of the different stages on sales teams
  3. Figure out which phase your company is in
  4. Use this knowledge to build out your sales tech strategy
  5. Handpick the very best tools for your current situation

Executive Summary of the Three Stage Growth Model

In this quick start guide, all the knowledge you need is contained in this short table:

Executive Summary of the 3 stage growth model

And this helpful little graph:

SaaS Business Growth Stages

To skip over the detailed discussion of the three stages, click here.

If not, keep scrolling.

The Details Behind the Three Stage Growth Model

Startup

This is the first and the riskiest stage of a business’ life cycle.

In fact, 20% of new companies don’t survive it and fail during their first year.

Startups primarily focus on turning their business model into reality and creating high levels of awareness among their target customers.

The key to success is to demonstrate an ability to solve customer pain points better than the current players in the industry.

This is a period characterized by:

  • Low revenue
  • High initial startup costs
  • Financial losses (or little to no profits in the best of cases)
  • Tight budgets.

Sales teams are generally small, understaffed (<5 salespeople), and underfunded.

They tend to operate according to the “earn your way” approach, where management only invests in more salespeople and tech tools once current sales justify new investments.

This approach puts a great deal of pressure on salespeople to find leads and deliver high conversion rates, both proxies for demonstrating the startup’s validity and securing enough funding to enter the growth stage.

The most tracked key performance indicators (KPIs) are hence linked to the number of opportunities created and the percentage of deals closed.

Growth

Once a company takes flight and customers start flowing in, we can officially declare the growth stage open.

This is one of the most exciting periods to work in an organization — rapid sales growth inevitably leads to incredible earning and career opportunities.

Salespeople are tasked with the job of selling a product that’s taking the industry (or niche) by the storm, and prospects are happy to sit down and hear all about the new solution.

Demos, case studies, and solution selling are all key to success as they are fantastic ways for a sales team to demonstrate value and close deals.

The extra sales lead to headcount growth and departments doubling, tripling, or x-tripling in size. However, scaling sales teams can still be problematic as hiring lags behind the upsurge in opportunities.

As expected, KPIs focus on tracking the growth and incentivizing employees to make more calls, reach more qualified leads, and close more sales.

Budgets also grow rapidly, and there is an appetite for taking on new investments, providing they deliver positive ROI and maintain the forward momentum of the company.

Maturity

Your company has been confirmed and accepted as a legitimate player in the market. Growth is starting to slow, and some reinvention is required to remain relevant and reinvigorate revenue.

This stage is called maturity, and it’s primarily triggered by increasing competition and market saturation.

So what do you do? You focus on:

  1. Retaining your existing customers
  2. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales force
  3. Upselling and cross-selling

Basically, anything that increases your bottom line even as your revenue growth starts to flatten.

This is a time of significant change in the sales department as maturity leads to:

  • Account managers and “farmers” gaining in importance and status
  • Better resource allocation and tech optimization
  • KPIs shifting away from growth in favor of conversion rates and sales efficiency

Your Decision

It’s time for step three.

“Which stage is your company in?”

Think about it carefully based on what you’ve just learned, and be honest with yourself and your colleagues.

Your ideal sales tech stack is highly dependent on where your company is in its journey.

Sure about your answer? Excellent.

Now let’s move on to discussing the best sales tech stacks for each phase.

We’ll primarily focus on tech stack examples as diving into concrete solutions is the best way to show you examples of how your team can get their jobs done better, faster, and cheaper.

Please use the shortcuts below to jump straight to your current growth stage:

  1. Startups
  2. Growth
  3. Maturity

The Best Sales Tech Stack for Startups

Key Considerations at This Stage of Growth

  • Costs should be minimized and free/freemium solutions prioritized if available
  • Sourcing should be as effortless as possible because salespeople in startups don’t have the time or capacity to spend ages researching and/or trialing a solution

The software tools themselves should:

  • Have an excellent user interface (UI)
  • be easy to use
  • come with a wide range of integrations that eliminate the need for custom development

Sales Stack Example for Startups

CRM — Hubspot

Hubspot CRM - Platform

Price range: From $0 to $50 per month (for the Starter CRM Suite package)

Hubspot is one of the best free CRMs on the market.

It provides you with a wealth of sales and marketing tools, automation, up to one million stored contacts, and unlimited user access. That’s hard to compete against.

You can also upgrade to a cheap Starter package if you need any more features. Although there are many other Hubspot alternatives you can consider, this is an easy favorite and what we used at Demodesk to scale up.

Automation & Engagement — Growbots

Growbots- Automation and engagement

Price range: From $49 per month

Growbots is a lead generation and automation platform that can help you reach your potential customers faster and more efficiently than ever before.

You get access to over 100 million contacts, including a wide range of decision-makers, to ensure your automated, personalized emails land in precisely the right inboxes.

Meetings, Demos, & Scheduling — Demodesk

Price range: From $25 per user per month

Demodesk helps you roll many of the key tools you need within a sales cycle into a single easy-to-use tool.

Optimize the process of scheduling meetings by eliminating back-and-forth emails and calls. You can let prospects book meetings directly in your team’s calendar or route them to a specific rep or link.

What’s nifty about Demodesk’s scheduling is that it connects directly with the Demodesk meeting tool. No need to add more tech to your stack!

Once the call is scheduled, all you need to do is jump into the meeting and all the right content will be available for you to use. Anything from your playbook and battle cards to speaker notes and customer information. This makes running demos as easy as pie.

People & Resource Management — Google Drive / Workspace

Google Drive - Resource management

Price range: From $0 to $18 per user per month

Google Drive is a phenomenal platform for storing, accessing, and collaborating on all the different types of content your business needs.

This one-stop-shop also integrates with the tools and formats (i.e., Microsoft Office files) your prospects are using, making it easy to stay flexible and get straight to work.

Proposals & Contracts — HelloSign

HelloSign - Proposals and contracts

Price range: From $0 to $40 per month

HelloSign is an easy solution to send, receive, & manage contracts. The UX makes it super easy for new customers to sign with you and keep their information with you secure.

The platform also integrates with a lot of other tools like Google, OneDrive, Hubspot, etc. to make sure that every contract & important document is where you need it at the right time.

The Best Sales Tech Stack for Rapidly Growing Companies

Key Considerations at This Stage of Growth

  • Reducing costs is no longer the number one priority, and reasonably-priced paid solutions should be prioritized as these deliver more advanced features.
  • Sourcing should include a free trial and guided demos.

The software tools themselves should:

    • Deliver a wealth of features not available in free tools
    • Facilitate efficient working from home
    • Be easy to use and master
    • Integrate well with one another
    • Support rapid growth by being easily scalable

Sales Stack Example for Growing Companies

CRM — Pipedrive

Although Salesforce may be a good option for some companies willing to take on this big investment & operations work, Pipedrive tends to be a good option for growing businesses.

Pipedrive - CRM

Price range: From $15 to $119 per user per month

Pipedrive is an all-in-one sales CRM designed by salespeople for salespeople. And that’s what makes it fantastic for growing revenue.

The company claims that users close 28% more deals after one year of using Pipedrive, and we believe this stat given how intuitive and powerful its pipeline, mobile CRM, and automation features are.

Automation & Engagement — Reply

Reply - Engagement

Price range: From $50 to $120 per user per month

Reply is a sales automation and engagement platform specializing in helping growing companies automate and scale their outreach efforts.

This software uses a mixture of artificial intelligence, automation, and analytics to enable your sales team to drive more leads, more demos, and ultimately more sales.

Meetings, Demos, & Scheduling — Demodesk

Demodesk - Meetings, demos, and scheduling

Price range: From $25 per user per month

Full disclosure, Demodesk is our very own SaaS solution.

But that’s not why it’s here.

We’ve included it because we believe Demodesk is the leading sales meeting platform on the market. It empowers customer-facing reps, automates non-selling tasks (like updating your CRM), cuts down on ramp-time, and accelerates growth and productivity.

How do we do it? By following this simple formula:

Smarter coaching and sales processes = better product demos = higher conversion rates = more revenue

People & Resource Management — Slite

Slite - People & resource management

Price range: From $0 to $15 per user per month

Slite is the ideal workspace for your company if you’ve embraced flexible and remote working during your growth stage.

It’s been designed and built with the needs of async teams in mind, so you can be sure that all your talented team members will benefit, regardless of their time zone, working habits, and geographic focus.

Proposals & Contracts — PandaDoc

Pandadoc - Contracts

Price range: From $0 to $49 per user per month

PandaDoc is a proposal and document management solution that enables businesses to optimize the creation, editing, and e-signing of documents.

It also provides you with the analytics to track proposal views and signatures in real-time.

The Best Sales Tech Stack for Mature Organizations

Mature companies can afford the best technology, and investing is more than justified by their sales departments' complexity and strong sales performance.

They need leading technology solutions to empower their large sales teams and enable them to better serve and protect their existing clients.

Key Considerations at This Stage of Growth

  • Market-leading, paid solutions should be prioritized, and reducing costs should be a secondary target
  • Sourcing should be a thorough process that ensures a proper fit between the company and the software tool — free trials are only part of the equation
  • The software tools themselves should: Deliver cutting-edge features, Integrate flawlessly with one another, Enable mobile working via any type of device, Have a variety of packages and price points

Sales Stack Example for Mature Organizations

CRM — Salesforce

Salesforce - CRM

Price range: From $25 to $300 per user per month

Salesforce is the world’s gold standard for CRMs.

And for good reason — it’s a cloud-based solution that provides sales teams with all the tools they need to succeed in lead generation, forecasting, contact management, coaching, and mobile access.

That’s why Salesforce is pretty much a must-have if you’re looking to create a cutting-edge B2B sales tech stack.

Automation & Engagement — ZoomInfo

Zoominfo - Automation

Price range: Available on request

ZoomInfo is an account-based marketing platform that combines two major capabilities into a single piece of software:

  1. A B2B database that offers unparalleled business intelligence on 300+ contact and company attributes
  2. An advanced automation tool that enables you to efficiently reach the prospects you uncover

Meetings, Demos, & Scheduling — Demodesk

Price range: From $25 per user per month

Demodesk is back.

We’re still the best choice for sales meeting software, even for mature enterprise companies.

What sets our solution apart?

  1. Playbooks and battlecards that help build standardized processes and sales narratives
  2. Real-time coaching & meeting shadowing
  3. Powerful automated scheduling
  4. Automated CRM sync (and native integration with Salesforce)

People & Resource Management — Guru

Price range: From $0 to $20 per user per month

Guru is used by many large companies including Slack, Square, & Spotify – which is as good a claim as any to prove it's one of the leading resource management apps available.

It’s amazing at:

  • Bringing teams and departments together, wherever they’re located
  • Boosting knowledge sharing & documentation
  • Organizing resources so that they are easier to find when you need them

Proposals & Contracts — DocuSign

Docusign - Contracts

Price range: From $10 to $65 per user per month

DocuSign is another massive SaaS platform — over 1 million customers in 180 countries use it every day to handle their document management and digital signature needs.

It replaces printing, scanning, faxing, and overnighting with a fully digital workflow. This lowers costs, improves customer satisfaction, and accelerates turnaround times.

Conclusion: Recapping the Best Sales Tech Stacks

You’ve just learned how to pull together an excellent sales tech stack for your company based on your current growth stage (startup, growth, or maturity).

But there’s no point in patting yourself on the back if you don’t put your newly-acquired knowledge into action and upgrade your current solutions.

Here’s a quick summary of the B2B sales tech stack examples we’ve covered in this article to make it easier for you to continue your research and plan your ideal technology stack:

And one last thing:

You should definitely check out our seven-day, full-access free trial of Demodesk.

We’re 100% convinced our software can empower your sales reps and boost both productivity and performance across your company’s entire life cycle.

And yes, that includes startups if you are up for it like our customer, Personio.

That’s all the sales pitch we have time for, so thanks for reading, and good luck with assembling your tech stack!

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