You probably think you like options. And you do benefit from having them—but only to an extent. In an age when time and attention are among the most valuable commodities, an abundance of options can drain resources.
As a sales leader, you understand this. You know all too well the administrative drag and low adherence involved with an ever-growing list of tools whose existence, ostensibly, is devoted to making your job easier.
Spoiler alert: not every one of those 17 sales tools is working for you! And here’s something else: all that sexy software may be distracting you from critical white spaces.
The trap of choices
Choice overload. The idea that having too many options can harm your ability to decide, and your satisfaction with the option you do choose. If you’ve ever stood in line at a fancy ice cream parlor, paralyzed when it came your turn to select just one of 20 obscure flavors—thyme-scented cabernet sauvignon sorbet, anyone?—then you already have a visceral understanding of this concept.
Also known as choice paralysis, overchoice, or the paradox of choice, the phenomenon seems intuitive enough. But it is also at odds with conventional wisdom that having more options leads to better outcomes. To get some clarity, a group of researchers from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University analyzed a collection of studies on the topic.
As it turns out, there is “strong evidence” suggesting that choice overload is a thing. (No surprises here. We took one bite of that wine disaster and immediately regretted not just opting for a pint of generic gas-station chocolate.) The Kellogg meta-analysis identified something called “choice-set complexity” as one of the factors likely to create the effect of choice overload. And here is where the problem lies for sales teams drowning in software tools.
When more is worse
The greater the choice-set complexity, the more likely a chooser is to be overwhelmed. Choice-set complexity refers not to the total number of options available but instead to how complex the process of choosing among those options is. Is there already a dominant option? Are you evaluating for only one feature or for several?
If, for example, a rep has a dozen different tools that they can send an email from, and each of those tools is connected to its own platform with various add-ons for other equally important functions, that rep is likely to experience choice overload. In trying to evaluate not only which tool is the best for email-sending, but also for five other purposes, mental fatigue sets in. Time gets lost.
Inevitably, each person creates their own workflow. Often, it is not the most efficient one. What’s more is that the multitude of tools and functions can distract salespeople from growth opportunities that are right under their noses. They mistakenly believe that they have everything covered—and this oversight is costly.
The value of “invisible” tools
Sales organizations can help themselves by keeping it simple. Minimizing tool bloat. Carving out clear processes. Identifying what’s missing. The tools they do move forward with should interoperate seamlessly and add as little complexity as possible to people’s daily tasks.
These self-evaluations can surface gaps in process, in which case adding to your sales stack may make sense. Bear in mind, however, that when your goal is to maximize benefits while minimizing complexity, it pays to invest in tools that are essentially invisible.
As sales leader Brian Collins put it to tech news hub Built In: “The future of sales tech are tools that provide value but are neither seen nor heard.”
What’s the best way for a tool to accomplish this? Automation.
Optimizing your sales stack
Consider the human power eroded by CRM inefficiencies. Expensive lead lists make their way into the hands of your team already outdated. In the absence of someone with the time to painstakingly fact-check titles and companies, old contacts get spammed repeatedly. Within a year, 70 percent of this already low-quality data degrades even more. It’s a colossal waste of effort and money.
But what happens when you introduce an invisible tool? A sophisticated AI-based relationship mapping software that keeps this kind of data enriched? This smarter software is able capture important data from your teams and your prospects—like recurring meetings or email connections—without the headache of manual data entry, saving your people hours in admin time.
This is what Introhive does. Because it connects to people’s email servers, the software can collect current insights and feed them directly into your CRM without anyone having to doanything that they weren’t already. By automating tedious tasks, Introhive effectively converts customer management into relationship intelligence. The dots connect themselves.
Future-looking software like this is uniquely equipped to uncover solutions you didn’t know you already had in your possession. Delivering fundamental business insights, it allows you to streamline your processes and drop the tools that no longer make sense for your teams.
Check out The New Revenue Superpower: Essential Tools for Tech Sales Teams on the Rise to learn how to keep your sales tech stack agile.