What is a Sales Stack And Where To Begin​

If you have a sales team, and the sales organization is growing, then your tech stack and sales stack is growing too. But knowing which sales tools you should try, buy and invest in – let alone what each tool even does – can be a never-ending story.

I see too many cases where the different functions within the teams and organization have collected tools and solutions based on their personal or team preferences. Sometimes we all need to take two steps back and reflect on the tech stack we have created and if this is something you have been thinking about then let me guide, explore and explain the ingredients in a sales stack. Let’s look at how we make a holistic view. 

Sales stack that gives a holistic picture

These cases are all too far away from a holistic picture of the user/-consumer/-client and many of them are making heavy investments in new tech that will solve issues in their framework of systems. I will describe a model and the ingredients that many teams have as needs and then you can hopefully use this as guidance when you are choosing tools and are asking yourselves the question ”what business needs are this helping us with?” and wherein this framework does it belong.

Sales stack framework

The model gives a framework for understanding the way you can work efficiently and the interrelationships between layers. I have been inspired by the model from Nolan Clemmons for a long time and I will explain 4 necessary layers. You can also listen to Nolan Clemmons in this podcast. But before we dive into this we have to recognize that like any other model you have to start on the outside with the focus on the user/-consumer/-client and have this as a foundation before you create a sales stack or any other type of marketing technology set up within your organization because we have to begin with our target group.

Sales stack – target group

We have to begin with the target group, as we develop our go-to sales stack and market strategies. The most crucial thing to define is What’s our sweet spot? We need to very cautiously segment and define our ideal customers. By having only the salespeople chase the deals we don’t do a good job of this. After our target is defined we have to specify:

  • Do They Buy? 
  • What Do They Buy? 
  • Who Buys? 
  • What’s Their Purchasing Process? 
  • What´s the deal value? How do we sell? 
  • Who is selling and what (internal, field services, external teams etc)?  
  • The answers to questions like these form everything else in our strategy.

If we understand who buys then we can better understand how we create value for each of the segments that buy and it enables us to understand these different personas, ideal buyer personas, and psychographic profiles and how we can extract value for the business. Their purchasing process helps us shape and specify our selling process and we can better understand this if we do impact mapping.

Sales stack – impact mapping

If we create a cross-functional company strategy with impact mapping and with smart goals and priorities the Sales team can then execute the business strategy with the customers and marketing helps Sales reach the yearly revenue goal with marketing qualified leads. When we are focused and aligned with the strategies, goals, and priorities and we have created a measurement plan for analytics then we are good to go with the discussion of the sales stack or MarTech stack.

I know, you might be thinking (if you know me or my articles) that I am a technocratic person but I know that culture, values, what we want to stand for and how we want to be perceived. It’s all related and can affect the setup and influence how we go to the market and present ourselves and involve the right stakeholders. 

Stakeholder involvement

If the organization is controlled by financial KPI:s and shareholders then I recommend an extra focus on involving anyone in these categories: 

  • The Leadership Model
  • Sales department 
  • Marketing department
  • Business Management Process Programs 
  • Other People
  • HR
  • Coaching 

Some would say coaching is part of leadership and people, but I like to separate it since it is so important for success and so poorly executed.

Let´s have a look at the 4 layers and start with analytics and sales intelligence.

Analytics And Sales intelligence

In this first layer, you start with implementing Google Tag Manager and then you implement Google AnalyticsLinkedIn Insights Tag and how many Facebook Pixels you like from your Facebook Business Manager account.

If you have this in place it will enable you to work better with:

  • Retargeting
  • Consumer and market insights
  • Digital marketing and all your marketing channels
  • Paid and organic social media
  • Paid and organic search traffic
  • Content marketing
  • Opt-in email marketing
  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Events and trade shows (if you communicate around these in digital channels)

Then it’s time to move over to the second layer with research and prospecting.

Research And Prospecting

In this second layer, we can use tools like Leadfeeder and/-or  Albacross and Leadfeeder gets the data directly from Google Analytics and it is one of the world’s most popular lead-generation tools. We will also use the intelligence coming from the Linkedin Insights Tag into Sales Navigator and Direct Messaging. We also need to use qualification criteria and search parameters, industry and trade directories, 3rd-party data solutions and we need to cleans and structure the contact data. The contact data will be used as food for marketing aka custom and lookalike audiences. The contact data will then together with the marketing in the first layer go straight into the next third layer as marketing qualified leads, leads, and prospects.

Messaging And Outreach

In the third layer we use segmentation and data enrichment, personalization and social references and email sequences that will feed your SDR (Sales Development Representative) and through the sales process of phone calls and appointments get through to the next layer as SQL´s (sales qualified leads).

This is where we go to the fourth layer with deal pipeline and CRM.

Deal pipeline & CRM

When we have our SQL´s and the same person or maybe another title takes over like Account Executives (AE) we start with lead nurturing and quotes/proposals that will become negotiations and closing and then maybe of to onboarding and user experience. A lot in this layer will be accomplished with marketing automation.

When all this is completed I wish you leads will be taken care of and treated with other layers of programs and customer success teams.

If you need to close the gap between tools and teams likes sales, marketing, customer success, etc then I recommend you have a look at the HubSpot Growth Suite and I´ll help you from there.

Good luck on your Sales Stack or MarTech adventures and don´t be afraid to connect!

If you need a more detailed, masterpiece version you can visit Nolan Clemmons. 

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