June 19th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

Research from Velocify and the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) reveals that the average “high-growth” sales organization has 10 technologies in its stack, and that 83 percent of those organizations use five or more on a regular basis. This comes at a time when there are 450 companies offering sales-specific software, with 100 of those 450 releasing their capabilities in the past year.

The report, titled “The Evolving Sales Technology Landscape: Riding the Wave to Revenue,” is the result of a survey that sought responses from 400 enterprise-level sales professionals to determine what their organizations were doing to keep up at a time of rapid innovation, when automation is on the minds of businesses of all sizes and industries.

And, according to the study, 79 percent of participants are under the impression that automation is already replacing the routine daily activities of most sales organizations. Three quarters of the participants feel that half of the activities sales teams spend their time on today will be automated in less than 10 years’ time.  

The organizations were also asked to classify technologies according to what they felt was “imperative” to the sales stack, as well as which tools they planned to invest in in the coming years. Number one on the list of “must-have” tools was pipeline management, with 59 percent saying it was imperative; in second was email automation and tracking, with 50 calling it imperative; 42 percent said lead distribution and call management tools were highly important.

Web and social prospecting are also seeing rising interest, with 71 percent of respondents planning to increase adoption in the next few years. About two thirds of respondents indicated that in the near future they would up the use of email tracking and automation, as well as marketing automation.

As far as cutting edge technologies go, respondents are optimistic that they will be of use. 72 percent found that virtual reality is (or will be) beneficial to their teams, in less than 10 years. 88 percent felt similarly about chatbots, and 55 percent said that holographic images would find an application.

“Despite the dizzying number of sales technologies out there, it is more important than ever to get educated about and embrace new technologies,” Bob Perkins, president and founder of the AA-ISP, said in a statement. “The perfect storm is brewing, an evolving buyer expectation for a remote relationship, an inside sales team more [equipped] to meet buyer needs, and technology that supports the digital way of selling.”

“Technology, such as mobility, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtualization, will continue to grow in impact and importance, transforming sales organizations at an exponential rate,” said Matt Reid, vice president of marketing at Velocify, in a statement. “Those organizations that ride the wave of automation, fully utilizing core technologies and experimenting with new technologies will set themselves up for long-term success.”

A key to long term success, the report finds, is end-user adoption. When asked what was most important to a new technology initiative, 48 percent of participants said that driving adoption was the top factor in gaining ROI. Training was second, followed by ease of use.

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