‘Tis the Season to Haggle
Yes, the holiday season is about gifting others, but it’s also the season to save your organization money. In my world, it’s the season of haggling. You see, by now, we have built our 2024 org charts, know what our strategy is, and are now trying to figure out how we will, as a team, execute that strategy. It’s the time of the year that we start to look at different tools and what they can do to support our organization’s growth. I enjoy this time because I get to see all the pretty tools and technologies, imagine the ways that it will streamline our processes, and actually, get quite giddy in trying to get the most for our dollar. You see, the more I save, the more I can buy. So, every year, I have our team make a list, and check it twice: what are the tools that you need to help you improve the execution of your role?
Now, no organization is perfect, and as a leader, we should be having these conversations with our teams and trying to find solutions to the challenges they are facing. It’s also the time of the year that you have the most wiggle room with vendors, everyone is trying to close their year strong. The end of quarter or year is the best time to shop – so what are the challenges your organization is trying to address and are there tools that can help.
This year, the ITBD Revenue team took a look at all the wonderful tools we think will help our organization be more efficient and help growth. I’ll list them for you here, because believe me, we are doing our research and I strongly recommend that you do so as well, but it’s tough with so much going on. So here is my filtered list:
- As a revenue leader, managing quota is one of the hardest things to do. And don’t even get me started with having to do draw backs – I shudder… Having a tool that can help you manage sales performance and provides clarity on what people will get paid, how much, and when – is a game changer. Most of us are probably using Excel sheets and our poor accounting teams are trying to keep up – you are not a unicorn, and your incentive plan is not special. There are tools out there that can customize comp plans and save you a lot of time and effort in managing sales performance. The two I’m looking at are QuotaPath or Spiff – feel free to leave me comments if you have an opinion on either.
- We all produce content – but how much is read, what is engaging and what fell flat? The amount of time we are spending on curating content, we should be able to measure if that time and effort is producing the results we need. So we are investing in a tool to help us manage our content better – this one I’ve made the decision already, and we are going with Turtl (yes, that’s how it’s spelled). We like the fact that it is backed by science in how users consume content. I don’t think this type of tool is exclusive to marketing teams, I think it’s useful for any team, be it HR or Service, it’s about the effectiveness of how you disseminate content.
- Customer experience is always a team that you want to take the time to support. How can you do your QBRs better? What’s your customer’s health? Finding a good tool that provides insights and clarity in advance of an issue is key. For this, I’m looking at Humanize IT, Gainsight, and a few other tools. Make sure that you have some tool that is able to measure the health of your customers, because believe me, we all know how hard it is to find customers, so our best growth strategy needs to be retention.
- In strong revenue teams, there is a lot of collaboration across departments. Having a great project management tool will help ensure that all the dependencies upon each other are clearly visible and we are holding each other accountable. For years, we have used Microsoft Planner in Teams, but we finally had to put our big boy pants on (or girl) and look at a tool like Asana and Monday.com. Both tools are pretty similar, but we chose Monday.com because of the ability to also budget – which is a key component of measuring ROI and success of campaigns.
- You think I’m done, oh no, I was in prime haggling spirits this year. The sales team wanted another tool (so needy) to help them make prospecting easier. Now remember the old days when we used to call, then we all shifted to email, and now we are all back to calling. Well, tools like SalesLoft will help create efficiencies for Sales teams. Custom email sequences, recorded voicemails, call recordings…. it goes on and on.
- If data integrity is your thing, then make sure you have a tool like Zapier to connect your PSA, Accounting software and marketing automation tool. This makes sure all the numbers are always up to date and accurate.
Now most of these items aren’t specific to the IT Channel. They are for any business leader thinking about how to create efficiencies within your team. Take the time during the holidays, grab some hot cocoa, sit with your team and think about the upcoming year. What can you do to make their world (well work world that is) a better and more efficient place to be? These strategies will not only help your organization grow but will also help your teams see how much you value and appreciate their input, and that you are invested in helping them be successful. Many wonderful things can come from a good strategy this holiday season, so happy haggling and good luck.
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