The Enterprise Sales Holiday Wish List

Sales and Revenue teams are an attractive target for new tools and companies. Why? Because anytime you can tie the impact of your product to revenue, the more the willingness to pay grows for that product.

And if you get the formula right, you can hit it big — just look at Salesforce, Hubspot, Outreach, Linkedin as a few billion dollar examples. Add to that the impact of COVID, which has upended the way the best teams get work done, and you have an opportunity to help these teams evolve their tech, processes, and how they close deals.

However, anyone that has actually tried to sell to sales leaders knows that it’s not easy. The value prop, ROI, and efficiency impact of new tools must be abundantly clear, because these leaders can see through holes in a story like a piece of swiss cheese. To get a better picture of what the best sales leaders are looking for in tools today, we talked to 25 of the best sales leaders across Figma, Hopin, Confluent, Loom, and more, and partnered with Office Hours to better understand what technology is top of mind for them today.

Here is what they said:

Top sales leaders are quick to hire and fire their tech — and stick with what works

The best sales teams move quickly — whether it’s updating their tech stack to adopt the latest and greatest or moving on quickly from a tool that doesn’t work. As Kyle Parrish, VP of Sales at Figma noted:
This mindset is evident in the tech stacks of leading companies. For core functions, such as CRMs and Prospecting tools, new teams are quick to adopt on what they consider the leaders in the category — Salesforce and Hubspot.

But relatively new players can catch on quickly, as half of organizations consider call recording and coaching tools such as Gong a critical part of their technology stack. And 25% of companies have trialed new workflow tools — a space that has gained popularity with startups in the past couple of years.
As the best sales leaders approach their tech as an evolving model. In the 2021 Tech Stack survey(1) by Revenue Collective of over 100 sales leaders, only 4% of people do not anticipate making any changes to their tech stack this year. Of the remainder, over 70% believe they have gaps in their tech stack and another 17% want to evaluate new vendors for products they have today. The overwhelming majority of sales leaders are looking to upgrade or add to their current tech stack on a regular basis.

They also must navigate a shifting landscape to stay on top

The same research study also found that through COVID 60%+ sales leaders actually made significant changes in their tech stack to respond to the workforce and workflow changes precipitated by COVID. This includes everything from changing vendors to better deal with a shift to remote work, to adding tools to support new workflows, to consolidation to cut costs in a tough landscape.  

We asked top leaders about some recent innovations they thought would have a big impact on their go to market motion.

Here’s what’s most top of mind for them:

They still have big tech needs for that are unsolved

Even with focus on the above opportunities, top sales leaders are always thinking about the future and how to continue evolving their model. To get a sense of what is most top of mind for leaders, we gave them the most ideal blank check — “if you could have a team of engineers for 6 months to build any tooling you want, what would you ask for.”

A few areas rose immediately to the top:
Deal Acceleration
Never before has the phrase “strike while the iron is hot” held more meaning for sales leaders. In a world of short attention spans and shifting priorities, every day, hour and minute counts to get a deal done. Tools that can help internal teams move faster to get to a contract will always be a focus for investment.
Because data exists in different places, it’s still difficult for leaders today to get a clear picture and forecast for the business. Add to that the need to be objective across teams, and the picture of the future can get a little murky. Products that bring more insight into the future value of the business are still a critical focus.
Lead Prioritization
Last but not least, leaders still struggle to find tools to help them focus their efforts on the best leads. With a freemium business mode and the advent of conversational AI, you have more data than ever to qualify leads, but building the right model to predict high potential “hand raisers” still leaves something to be desired.

The best sales leaders need proof of value first

When you’ve seen it all, very little can sneak past when evaluating new tools for your team. That’s why when asked which tactics were most effective to recommend new tools, sales leaders were quick to point out that the value of a product must be evident before they spend the time to evaluate it for their team.

Much has been made about the impact and value of community building, and while that helps build awareness and recognition for a product, leaders consistently share that the most tried and true sales tactics still work the best — leveraging your network for personal customer recommendations and letting teams try the product and delivering value before they buy. And surprisingly enough — even cold outreach can still work — if you make the value of the product clear.
In the end, the value of your product must speak for itself — even if it is amplified through the voices of others. And on a final note: never be too salesy when selling to the best sales leaders…they can see through that in a heartbeat.
Methodology and sources
Data Collection

Data was collected through survey in partnership with Office Hours to get access to 25 sales leaders, with a split of 80% B2B, 20% Consumer focused companies across business models including SaaS and marketplaces, serving markets including but not limited to enterprise, SMB, healthcare, and education. Our survey methodology consisted of a dynamic survey to leaders over email, and questions were pulled from a bank of 20 total questions asked based on how they self identified their business model and focus, target market, and technology needs.

Other reference materials

Additional references were used, including direct conversations with sales leaders at Figma, Loom, Confluent, Hopin, Podium, Scale, and Clearbit. We also referenced the Revenue Collective and Wizard of Ops Tech Stack 2021 Survey as an additional data point.