Marketing and Sales Tools: How to Know What’s Right for Your Needs

Exec Summary@4x

Executive Summary

Choosing the right marketing and sales tools is critical for your organization’s success. Today, we’re looking at some of the key questions every business should consider before selecting the marketing and sales tools for their business needs.

In today’s online world, new tools for marketing and sales analytics are released daily. Choosing the right ones is critical for your organization’s success.  However, there are so many options available on the market that it is hard to ascertain the best.  Product overload leads many marketing and sales decision-makers to just go with the most recently released or top-ranked tool.  Too often, this purchase leads to a solution that is unsuitable for that business’s specific needs.  

A better approach is understanding how adding a particular marketing and sales tool could benefit or hinder your business set-up and long-term objectives.  Considering all the implications before purchase will ensure that added marketing and sales analytics tools will streamline employee tasks, improve customer experience, and boost business revenue. 

Today we look at some of the key questions every business should ask before selecting the marketing and sales tools for their business needs. 

7 Things To Consider Before Purchasing Marketing & Sales Tools  

  1. Understand Your Business 

Before considering the purchase of new tools for marketing and sales analytics, you must understand your business as it operates now. 

  • Here are some questions to consider: 
    • Is your business B2B or B2C?   
    • Do you have products to sell, or do you just offer services?  
    • What support does your organization have? Business Development Teams? Sales Teams? No Team? 
    • What tools are currently being used by your staff? 
    • What is your current marketing and sales funnel process? 
    • What pain points are you currently experiencing? 

The nature of your business will impact the type of marketing and sales analytics tools required. For example, let’s examine how audience targeting differs between B2B vs B2C. B2B businesses have a more limited customer base, which makes lead generation a focus for B2B marketers. Therefore marketing and sales tools that help build top-of-funnel prospect lists, followed by highly integrated remarketing and lead generation marketing funnel are vital. One-the-other-hand, B2C businesses have a broader audience target which requires marketers to advertise broadly then use marketing analytic tools to create a warm lead list and remarket to those people in order to close a sale.  

Articulating your business requirements and narrowing down the essential functions will help a marketing consultancy isolate the marketing and sales analytic tools your business needs most.  

2. Identify Your Goals 

Once you understand where your business is currently, it’s time to articulate the business goals.  What part of your marketing and sales process do you want to improve or streamline?   

Have you already started looking at tools?  If so, what features do you find most desirable? It is likely that sales and marketing teams will have different and possibly conflicting needs and wants. A strategy for identifying the difference between the needs and wants is to ask each of the marketing and sales teams to list all the features they have in their current solution and the ones they would like to have in a new tool.  Then together organize the lists by must-have versus nice-to-have.  Also, list your budget.  

If you’ve ever purchased a new home, you’ll recognize this process.  No one home will meet all of an individual’s wants and needs.  Choosing that home gets more complicated if two people are involved in the purchase and have different wants and needs. Likewise, there won’t be one marketing and sales tool or even a combination of tools to achieve everything your business desires within a given budget.  

However, completing this exercise can help your business ensure it gets the best solution for your business needs at a reasonable budget.  Additionally, this process can help eliminate paying for extra features your business doesn’t need.  

Ultimately, you want to make sure that the marketing and sales analytic tools will solve your business goals. You want to purchase something that will solve a real business problem, so determine that success together.  

3. Know Your Business Growth Plans 

The primary intention of implementing marketing and sales tools is to help your business grow, which makes understanding how marketing and sales analytic tools can handle increased operations vital.   

Will the tools grow with your business?  

Will the system require upgrades in the future? 

How much will those upgrades cost? 

Will you require an entirely new set of marketing and sales analytic tools once your business reaches a certain size? 

As you outline your business goals, you should also create a roadmap of everything that you hope a new marketing and sales solution can do at implementation, one year after, and five years down the line. Determine the longevity, relevance, and efficiency over time, not just what it can achieve for your business today. 

Understanding your business growth plans and investigating how new analytical tools will support this growth can eliminate future issues in migrating systems or adding additional tools at a later date.  

4. Ask About Tool Integration 

Suppose your business has already invested significant dollars on a set of core technologies that are working. In that case, the last thing you want to do is dismantle that infrastructure. That is why understanding how new marketing and sales tools will integrate with existing tools is such an important consideration in the decision purchase process.  

Always ask if the marketing and sales tools that you are considering will directly integrate with the tools you want to keep. Also, investigate whether an additional third-party tool is required to complete the integration. 

5. Determine What Training and Support is Required 

A business doesn’t purchase sales and marketing tools.  Instead, it invests in creating a more efficient and productive sales funnel for its employees.  Therefore, understanding how easy it will be for your employees to adopt and use new sales and marketing tools is vital. If no one knows how to use the system or doesn’t have the time to learn the new system, it is a wasted investment.  

Therefore, it is imperative to determine what training will be required and what system support is offered.  For example, some marketing and sales tool solutions include training and ongoing support with purchase.  Others have training and support plans that must be purchased.  

Either way, you will want to choose the system that your employees can adopt quickly and easily. Selecting a highly complex solution that takes a considerable amount of time to implement is also a waste of dollars.  If you decide that a more complex solution is required, make sure that the vendor offers training and support. This will ensure implementation is a success.  

6. Consider Required Metric & Reporting Options 

Marketing and sales strategy has its backbone in analytics.  Without numbers and metrics, it is impossible to evaluate what is working and what needs adjustment. 

Which makes the most sophisticated marketing and sales tools worth nothing if they don’t provide the hard data businesses need. The right marketing and sales tools for your business will include the metric and reporting options that you need. The tools should be able to create reports and be shareable across the company.  Consider what data your business needs to know on the backend and make sure the marketing and sales tools you decide on can provide that information. 

7. Pinpoint a Rough Budget 

All businesses have budget constraints.  However, when considering what sales and marketing tools your business needs, don’t decide based on budget alone. The price should be secondary to the features and the tool’s ability to streamline processes and boost sales. 

A better way to evaluate the price and pinpoint a rough budget is to think along the lines of ‘This product will pay for itself in X months.’  Alternatively, ‘This tool will increase revenue by X% in one year.’ Thinking about how the chosen sales and marketing solution can reduce costs, save employee time, improve customer experience and boost revenue is a better indication of the value of a product than just cost.  Once you can identify this relationship, you can pinpoint a rough budget.  

Just remember that if you have a marketing and sales funnel problem, there is usually a fair market price tool available to solve it.  

Simplifying the Sales and Marketing Analytical Tool Purchase Process 

Choosing the right marketing and sales analytical tools for your business begins with assessing your business, identifying gaps in your process, deciding your business needs, and researching solutions to bridge those gaps. 

If that process seems too overwhelming, el Linke can assist your business in each of these steps.  Together we can identify and implement the best marketing and sales analytical tools to drive growth and scale with your business. 

For more information, contact us today. 

We’ll partner with you to close the missing LinKes in your sales and marketing pipelines and provide value beyond traditional marketing frameworks.