Getting Your Head Around Sales Technology: Why Senior Leadership is the Key to Revolutionizing Team and Organizational Success

This post originally ran as Senior Leaders: 3 Focus Areas For Sales Technology Success on the Forbes Business Development Council at:


Maybe you noticed. Over the past year or so, the role of technology in the sales process has evolved not just rapidly, but exponentially. The convergence of technology and sales is reshaping traditional paradigms and opening exciting new avenues for growth.

To take full advantage of these new opportunities, however, company leaders face a new challenge: recognizing and addressing the pivotal role technology plays in driving sales efficiency and enhancing organizational performance. That means keeping up with, and responding effectively to, the extraordinary pace of technological change selling teams now face.

No, nobody can make sense of everything that’s happening. Fortunately, though, we don’t have to. There are three clear, strategically vital areas where the most effective senior leaders are getting their heads around the technology-driven changes their sales teams are navigating. Let’s look at each of these  in turn.

Getting Your Head around  … the Complex Buyer Journey

Gone are the days of linear sales processes. Today, the buyer journey is intricate, fueled by virtual selling and propelled by relentless advancements in technology and digital engagement. The modern buyer committee decision-making process demands a synchronized effort between marketing, technology, and sales to drive success. To compete effectively, successful sales teams embrace digital tools and technologies – and a simple, game-changing concept that makes colleagues who work on other teams allies, instead of rivals: “Buyers buy in packs … so we sell in packs.”

Today’s complex buyer journey means there is no one right way to engage. Cutting-edge sales engagement strategies have evolved to encompass a wide range of tactics, including video presentations, buyer persona analysis, conversational intelligence, and the intelligent leveraging of professional networks like LinkedIn. And yes, these strategies also encompass carefully planned “touches” that leverage internal alliances with teams who don’t sell for a living.

Understanding the digital breadcrumbs captured by marketing on each individual member of a buyer committee is now essential. This new insight allows for personalized engagement – meaning engagement that is tailored to individual preferences and challenges. By the way, that’s the opposite of LLM-composed spam messaging … though resources like ChatGPT do play a critical role in helping us find the likely personal and organizational pain points.

Getting Your Head around … a Working Culture that Embraces Sales Technology

Sometimes, having too many options degrades, as opposed to improves, operational efficiency. Creating and sustaining a working culture that embraces sales technology means making good choices about what to use … and also about what not to use.

There’s no question that the proliferation of sales technology options presents opportunities for sales efficiency and performance enhancement. However, without a well-defined sales tech stack strategy, companies risk poor adoption, wasted expenses, and diminished performance. How do we curate a cohesive set of technologies that streamline the sales process and minimize friction for sales representatives?

At the core of this tech stack, of course, lies the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, serving as the nucleus of the sales rep’s universe. At cutting-edge organizations, supplemental technologies for sales content management, training, prospect/customer engagement, account planning, virtual selling, and pipeline management seamlessly integrate with the CRM to empower sales teams.

Sales enablement organizations play a pivotal role in driving tech adoption by providing ongoing training and showcasing success stories to highlight the tangible benefits of key tools. Yet they can’t do it all. Leadership sponsorship and direct personal engagement with the tools is just as essential to foster a culture of technology adoption and ensure utilization across the sales organization.

To paraphrase the film Field of Dreams: If we build it, but don’t use it, they won’t come.

Getting Your Head around  … Empowering Sales Leadership

In an era of data abundance, the most effective sales leadership is transitioning from mere pipeline management to proactive coaching and leadership.

Prioritizing leadership skill development and advanced sales strategy over simple data collection is a non-negotiable priority for organizations that are serious about driving dramatic increases in revenue performance. This means giving sales leaders the tools and preparation they need to succeed in a complex,difficult role.

Today, more than ever, sales leaders require training. They cannot be assumed to be “natural” team leaders because they performed well as salespeople. Given the support, time, and resources this challenging job demands, they can help their teams do what they were designed to do: produce scalable revenue as the engines of a high-growth organization.

Leading by example, cutting-edge sales leaders can demonstrate personal commitment to technology adoption and use. They can facilitate team and individual proficiency and productivity in real time. Rather than simply gathering information, effective sales leadership can focus on understanding the “why” behind sales outcomes and on devising effective strategies, at both the team and individual level, leveraging successes and rectifying inefficiencies. And they can personally model an effective, tech-enabled selling culture.

Sponsorship from senior leaders is crucial for easing the (now-inevitable) shift from manager to tech-savvy coach within the sales leadership role. That means CEOs and company founders are well advised not just to understand, but to invest time, attention, and financial resources in:

  1. a) cultivation, promotion, and professional development of sales leaders.
  2. b) codification and reinforcement of a viable sales culture based on the principle of making and keeping clear future commitments.

Make no mistake. Tech, on its own, can do neither of those things.

Key Takeaways for Leaders

  • The convergence of technology and sales is reshaping traditional paradigms and opening new avenues for growth.
  • By using advanced technologies to support the complex buyer journey, embracing digital engagement strategies, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement through proactive coaching, we can execute aggressive growth strategies.
  • Cutting-edge sales leadership leverages technology to accelerate revenue pipelines and drive sustainable growth in the competitive marketplace.
  • Leaders who invest time, attention, and financial resources in sales leader development, and in support of a viable, commitment-focused sales culture, will enjoy sustainable competitive advantage.