In today’s high-tech world, nearly all businesses are driven by the best combination of management and productivity tools. Knowing which software works better than other solutions can give business leaders a leg up on growing their company’s efficiency and bottom line.
More software and vendor options in today’s spiraling business software marketplace entice organizations to buy all-in-one solutions, with sales automation tools becoming an essential component of this software mix.
To that end, venture capital firm Bowery Capital in late January published in its annual Startup Sales Stack Report. It reveals the top trending software tools and sentiments within high-performing sales and marketing teams from over 5,000 companies.
Nurturing leads and relationships with customers is the lifeblood of any high-growth company. Those processes ensure that sales and marketing departments are tapped into the rest of the organization amid our new hybrid work era has remained a longstanding industry challenge.
The seamless integration of an all-in-one or multiple-tools-in-one compared to not having to deal with multiple different vendors, buying cycles, renewal cycles, and potential integration problems is a trend we expect to keep growing, according to Eugene Godsoe, director of growth at Bowery Capital.
“Marketing automation specifically continues to be a growing trend with user satisfaction very high. Sales automation tools are growing, and we expect further developments to optimize workflows for SDRs (sales development reps), AEs and leaders, but we do not believe anything is truly replacing a human’s ability to personalize and connect with a prospect, yet,” he told CRM Buyer.
This sixth annual report serves as a guiding framework for anyone evaluating sales solutions. Some of the findings show significant insight into what this year brings.
Bowery Capital pulled data from business software and services reviews firm G2’s extensive library of real user reviews to fuel the report. Researchers found a number of notable technology adoption trends that helped these teams address many of the pain points businesses suffer.
Research shows vendor consolidation was one of the strongest trends in 2021, and it will continue, according to G2 VP of Brand Marketing and Communications Palmer Houchins.
Large, novel companies are evolving their tech stacks to more categories than ever. Notable software firms that have emerged as top players in multiple categories are HubSpot, Outreach, PandaDoc, and Groove.
Source: Bowery Capital Startup Sales Stack Report 2021
In particular, this has been a dominant year for HubSpot, a top player in seven different categories. Hubspot emerged as the top-ranked tool in four categories: sales analytics, sales performance management, email tracking, and sales engagement.
“Although there have been some newcomers to the report and “best-in-breed” type solutions being developed, players like HubSpot continue to dominate,” Godsoe said.
Automation Vendors Get Boost
Marketing automation vendors also polled good news. Business users are content with their current tools. This category displays one of the highest overall satisfaction ratings among top companies in the space, with an average of 95.4 (out of 100).
Bowery Capital observed a spike in VC investment (greater than 43 percent YoY growth) into artificial intelligence and machine learning. Those technologies continue to advance the frontier of sales tools in all the report’s analyzed categories.
“Companies that can adopt and build on this new technology will have an advantage in their respective market,” Godsoe observed.
G2’s Houchins offered additional insight into this year’s extensive software results.
Enterprises are evolving their tech stacks to more categories than ever before. For instance, large, well-established companies continue to dominate the CRM space.
This indicates that CRM is a much more mature category than others. In addition, many of these CRM leaders offer complimentary sales tools.
Another trend shows proposal tools used to help sales or partnerships have made major advancements since last year. The leading companies are making gains in every category: overall satisfaction, ease of use, ease of setup, and quality of support.
Sales Software Vendor Lock-In
With ZoomInfo acquiring Chorus.ai and Salesforce also acquiring companies, you can see more players are trying to capture customers across different categories, Godsoe noted.
He expects the main players to continue acquiring and developing products across the different sales tool categories.
One of the main significances of the report’s findings is the benefit to the sales software vendors, he added.
“Once implemented, they become stickier, and it becomes more difficult for best-in-breed vendors to take their business unless they have something truly unique or differentiated that a prospect needs to have rather than is nice to have,” Godsoe explained.
The Bowery Capital Startup Sales Stack Report 2021 is available here.