The ‘Must Have’ Tools in your Sales Stack for Success- Kevin Dorsey


Kevin Dorsey talks about the tools that are available for sales and marketing teams to use. He talks about some of the most important categories of tools that will add to sales success. Technology makes sales processes easier for all who are involved, and Kevin recommends ways to implement these tools.


Kevin Dorsey is an accomplished sales leader. He is currently working to help train sales leaders to improve the success of their teams.


“Make it easy for your reps to book meetings make it easy to handle the round robins make it easy for people to show up to the meetings that you are trying so hard to set in the run. And that’s not just for new meetings. It’s for follow up pipeline meetings and everything else.”

“You need to have a data tool that tells you where my revenue is coming from? Which leads are converting the best. How many touches does it take in order to convert a lead? What is my close rate? Because if you’re not making database and data-informed decisions, you’re just winging it.”

Key Points

  1. Get sales reps involved in the selection of technology 
  1. Remember how long it takes to learn how to use new tools 
  1. Roll out new tools in phases 


What’s up rev Tech Summit, Kevin Dorsey aka KD here to talk to you about some of the must have tools you need to have in your sales stack to be more successful.

I have spent the last 10 years building high performing sales teams. And technology has been a huge part of that on my way to growth. But something you have to remember is that a fool with a tool is still a fool. And there’s a right way to still roll out all these technological tools out there so they actually get leveraged the right way. Because let’s face it, there are so many tools in this space now for marketing, sales, customer success enablement, we’re talking 1000s of tools. But if you don’t pick the right ones, and even more importantly, if you don’t roll it out the right way, nothing else matters. So I’m going to be diving into some of the must have tools in terms of categories, but also how to roll it out the right way so your team is bought in and actually executes against it once you have the tool so you get the results you were actually looking for.

So let’s talk categories first in terms of the most important categories I’ve found for my sales teams to be successful. So the first one is a call recording and coaching tool. It still blows my mind how we can spend millions of dollars on leads, on marketing, on our websites, on everything else, but then we don’t actually find out what is being said on the phone. You have to have a call coaching tool so you can hear what we are saying to customers. Even more important, what are the customers saying back to us. Are the reps delivering on the things that we’re looking for, but also hearing what the customers are saying? What are the prospects saying? You have to have a call coaching tool so that you can actually see what’s happening in the real world because you can practice it all you want. You can play book it put it in a script, but if it’s not being executed on the phone, you’re losing out on revenue and your reps aren’t going to improve the way that they need to. So you need to have a call coaching tool available. A lot of dialers have this built in already but you also have the gongs, choruses, wing man’s, refracts of the world where you can also build your score cards and so this is my first must have what is happening on the phone so I can coach my reps the right way to improve so first category, call coaching call recording.

Second category that oftentimes gets overlooked is data. Do you have a good data tool in place so that your reps are reaching out to the right people with the right contact information? It is so demoralizing as a rep to make call after call after call simply to have it not be answered or have it be disconnected or to be sending emails out and having it never be responded to or bouncing. Because something that we often overlook, especially in the Sales-marketing overlap, is if you’re sending emails out and they are consistently bouncing, that is going to destroy your domain, which then hurts all the other things you’re trying to do with your website. So having a great data tool where you can find who works where, what are their titles, and their roles. What is a good phone number, and what is a good verified email address for them is incredibly important. Because if you’re reaching out to people with bad contact data, nothing else matters, right? Those are coaching that we talked about already. Nothing happens because you’re never actually getting in touch with the people you’re trying to reach out to. So you need a great data tool. Now there’s many out there and each one seems to have a specialty in terms of what works for the right personas. There’s Zoom info, which is sales in help, all these different tools where you can find these things right. But each segment seems to have one that works best so you have to test these things out. Right. So first is called coaching. Second is a great data tool.

The next one, which is possibly the most important, is a sales engagement tool. This is where you can map out your entire sales process for a rep to follow. They don’t have to remember it right. Sales reps love to trust their memory way too much. Oh yeah. I’ll remember to follow up with that lead. Yeah, sure. Oh, remember to send that email or make that call. And you build a map out a sales process of day one touch one day to this email. They find this call they nine a LinkedIn touch, right? You need to map out this process of how you expect leads to be followed up with, especially if you’re in marketing. How do you want a demo request followed up with compared to a white paper download? What does that nurture process look like? And if you’re relying on reps to get in a lead, remember to create a task to follow those tasks and it becomes overwhelming. So a sales engagement tool where you can map out when you want the touches to occur? Who should be making those touches and what sort of messaging should be happening when you make those touches? You have to have a sales engagement tool, right? So these are sales loft outreaches of the world where you can map out day one, day two, this type of lead, this type of touch that your reps can just go in and run those steps. And that also gives them more time to personalize those touches because they’re not having to spend time remembering who to reach out to. So you have to have a sales engagement tool in place. Otherwise, you have 50 reps 100 reps doing things differently at different times reaching out to different leads in different ways and it makes it impossible to actually know what’s working, which leads to the next tool you need to have in your stack.

You have to have a great data tool. You need to know what the data is telling you about your leads about your revenue and being able to quickly do this. Now some CRMs HubSpot Salesforce closed at i o right so many things are already built in with reporting. But you need to have a data tool that tells you where my revenue is coming from? Which leads are converting the best? How many touches does it take in order to convert a lead? What is my close rate? Because if you’re not making data-based and data-informed decisions, you’re just winging it. And you’re going to get beat by someone who is optimizing their data who is looking at the data and saying these are the places that I can get the biggest lift or these are the places we’re missing out on revenue the most and I can train my team the right way. Everything comes back to data. Alright, a rule I had with my team all the time, right is that you have to bring data, more is not a number. A lot is not a number you need to speak to here’s how often this is happening. So having a great data tool like a Clary and atrium where there’s so many out there now insight squared, where you can bring in this data and look and see what is actually happening on my team so I know what’s going well and how to do it more and also what’s broken and how we can fix it. So having a data tool is incredibly important.

Now another tool that I’ve always had with my teams that is overlooked, oftentimes is a good calendaring tool. How can you make it easy for us to book time with prospects? Right if you’re always chasing them down? And not sending out reminders, because oftentimes, the hardest part is getting that Yes. And then we don’t follow up the right way to actually help them show up to the meeting. So having a calendar tool, it makes it very easy to book with you right here’s the time they can see the account and that back and forth, but also those reminder emails, prospects are busy all they are so busy, and you have to make sure that you are reminding them of the meeting, but not just the generic Hey, can’t wait to talk. Being able to customize that messaging saying hey, we discussed these problems on the call or I’ve done this research. I can’t wait for my director to speak to you as well as having a great calendar tool. Calendly Shelby Piper mix Max. Those are three great ones that you can look into and make it easy for your prospects to book time with you. Especially looking at some of the ones that integrate with your website, where the moment they fill out a form, they can book a time with a rep right then in there, that is so much easier for the prospect because you got to remember, the prospect opts in, they’re probably opting into a lot of websites. The one that makes it easiest to get in touch with someone is going to win. So having a calendar tool that integrates with your website and with your webforms can be a massive win for your team.

So so far we’ve covered call coaching and data tool, a sales and engagement and then also looking into a calendar tool to make sure that you can make things easy for your prospect which at the end of the day we’re trying to do both of those things with technology is if the tool isn’t making your reps life easier, it sure is how does it making your prospects life easier. So we need to remember that this technology is supposed to help our reps but so often nowadays, technology is actually bogging our reps down. And it’s also making things harder for them in order to follow up, book meetings, book deals, because they have so many tools. And I’d be willing to bet if you went and looked at your tech stack right now and said how is it actually being used? Like, am I actually using all the functionality of the tools that you’re already paying for? Oftentimes the answer is no. Because it was never rolled out the right way, which is what I want to touch on next as we talk about how to bring this all together, because you can buy the best tool in the world. But if it sits on the shelf, it brings no value.

So when you are rolling out a tool, one of the first things you actually need to do is identify who your domino reps are. So domino rep is for the reps that if they fall one way, the rest of the reps follow along, who are the ones that either are quick to adopt technology, or who are the ones that are sometimes slow to adopt technology. Those are the people that you want to pull in early. Because if all of a sudden you walk down from the mountain with the gold tablet saying, here’s this new tool, go use it well of course no one’s gonna buy into it because they don’t understand how it works for them. So often as a decision maker, we buy tools that we don’t use, and because we don’t use them we don’t understand the time it takes, the energy it takes on how it will affect the reps day to day. So pulling in reps very early is incredibly important. Can you pull them in, get their feedback, get them involved in the training, because if they aren’t involved in the training that buy in will never be there. So the first step to great change management with a tool is get your domino reps who are the ones that if you can get on your side. If they can understand it that the rest of the team will follow along because now they’re hearing it from a peer not just from a manager, their boss or enabling it. So you need to get the reps involved in it.

Second big tip here is that you have to remember how long it takes to learn something. I think so often we forget all the things that we expect our reps to remember. They have to remember competitors’ messaging product features that text back what’s going on in the market, all the different personas like there’s so much we expect them to remember and we just put a new tool in front of them. That’s too hard on them. You have to remember that it takes time to learn something. So roll out a tool in phases. Now I know that’s hard to hear sometimes because we get this tool we just want to roll it out. We want to get every single thing done right away. Roll it out in phases, which part of the product that you want to use first, master that, then the next part, and then the next part, although it sounds like it takes longer to do it this way. It’s actually what leads to the most success because the tool finally gets fully utilized. Otherwise, you roll it all out at once, which seems faster. And it doesn’t work because nobody’s using it. So sit down with your team, sit down with the product experts ideally that you’re working with and say, how do we roll this out in phases? So we actually get the buy in that we’re looking for.

The next part that is so important is defining success criteria. What does success look like? Why did you buy this tool in the first place? What metric were you trying to impact? Every tool that you are buying impacts a metric in some way. And that’s time savings pipeline generated activity. You bought this tool for a reason and you need to define what success looks like from a metric standpoint, because this is one how you get by him. If you can show reps that our activity is going up or our email response rates are going up. Our meetings our revenue goal that gets buy in, but it also lets you go to the vendor and say, hey, we’re not getting what we need here. We’re using the product and the end result that we are looking for isn’t actually happening. So finding what the success criteria is, helps you really make sure that you’re making progress, and then as you get the wins, then you can celebrate it. A rep just used this tool and booked this. Hey, since using this tool, our show rate has come up by 10%. Like you need to tell the wings of what’s happening but if you’re not measuring the results it doesn’t matter. Right. So it’s really, really important that you really engage the team around one why you’re doing this, why are we doing this? Why are we rolling out this tool? How is this supposed to make my life better as a user? And then if you can measure it, that’s how you build the momentum. They’re saying, okay, I can see it’s working. I understand that it’s working right.

And the last part that we’ll touch on here is just training. You have to train your team. You have to work with them on it, coach them on creating videos, training session coaching sessions. You have to document what good looks like within the tool, because if it’s not obvious what good looks like, it’s not gonna work because then everyone is doing it the wrong or a different way. This is also like you need to get in there and use the tool because if you don’t use it, you won’t understand the process. You won’t understand how long it takes. You won’t understand how many clicks go into every single different move that they have to do here. And so by you getting in there and training with them and learning it with them. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been on a product rollout and the leaders aren’t even on there. The VP isn’t there. The managers aren’t even there. The managers aren’t going through the training. You have to ensure that you have buying and training across the entire process and the entire team. The crucial element of this is your team has to be trained across the board, especially your managers. Your managers are where all will live or die. If your managers are not well trained, neither will the reps. If the managers don’t feel confident in it, neither will the reps. If the managers aren’t bought into the vision of it, neither will the reps. So it’s so important that when you are rolling out a tool that your managers are bought into why you’re using the tool, what good looks like and feel confident in the tool. Because if the managers don’t feel confident in the tool, when the reps go to them with the question, the managers will deflect. The managers will say, Oh, well hit up our CS rep or St. Paul. We don’t need to use that tool that’s not worth our time. And so really enabling and coaching those managers supporting them is so crucial. Give them extra time. And this is another really important point when you’re rolling out a technology tool is the managers need to learn it first. If the managers are learning the tool the same time as the rep, they’re not going to feel confident they’re not going to feel competent. They’re not gonna be able to answer the questions or reps are going to have for them because they’re learning it at the same time. So giving your managers that first pass at the tool, letting them get comfortable with it, letting them test it and try and tweak it is so important because then when you’re rolling it out, you have your managers bought in and you have your domino reps bought in. Now you can roll out a tool. Now you can put it across the team and make sure that everything is going the way that you need to because you have your own internal product expert team.

So this is something really really important and I throw out a last tip is review your stack every year. The sales and marketing tech stack is evolving so quickly. New tools are coming out every single year. Take the time to maybe answer that cold email to maybe answer that cold call to see what else is out there that can help my team because every single year I would review my tech stack and I’ve been a loyal vendor for some of these our loyal customer for some of these vendors for a long time every single year. I’d review my stack and say is this the best tool to help my team get the results that I’m trying to get? Because new things are coming out every single day that are faster, easier, simpler, because there’s also probably tools in your stack that you don’t use the entire feature set. So you could probably downgrade to a cheaper version and then go get another tool that maybe complements or another tool that you didn’t have in your stack. Maybe you’re using a call coaching tool but you’re not actually using it. Well then you could go to a lower cost version and then go get a data tool as well. Because again, all of these tools should be helping you achieve some sort of business outcome which makes it easier to justify the cost. But you always have to be looking at what is new out there. What could help my team? There’s this old comic that you’ve probably seen that talks about salespeople. It’s an old medieval salesperson walking up to a king trying to sell him like a machine gun. But the king right with this sword was I don’t have time for salespeople. I have to fight a war as well. No if you just took the time to see what that salesperson was trying to sell you. You have probably have gotten the tool that would help you win the war. So don’t get just too comfortable with what your feedback is now. Always be reviewing and looking and seeing what could help my team improve. But I have to bring this up one more time. A fool with a tool is still a fool. No tool will magically improve your team. You need to have the behaviors in place you need to have the mindset in place. If it was, it’s easy to just put in a tool out there. We wouldn’t need salespeople. The tools there amplify the sales person. Never forget that a person is using this tool and if you’re thinking of a tool replace a person. Well, it’s common but we’re not there. Yet. The tool is meant to amplify the people on your team; it is there to make their lives better and their results better. So to recap on it all in terms of the must-have types of tools. You have to have a call coach, you need to know what is happening on the calls with your customers with your leads and what is happening there. So I’ll call it a coaching tool. The second is making sure you have good data for your salespeople. Verify the phone numbers, warm up your domain, make sure that you are sending to verified email addresses. So the messaging that you’re working so hard on actually gets through the next one, a sales engagement to map out the process. When should you be touching leads How often are you touching so you can split test your emails in there you can see what time of day is the best to call that sales engagement tool of who to follow up with and wins your reps don’t have to remember is a must have. The next is data, a clean simple data tool where your dashboards are in place that you know key metrics for your team, your reps know their key metrics so you can make data based decisions, knowing what’s working and what’s not because flying blind, you’re never going to hit the levels that she could and the last also just overlook a simple calendaring tool. Make it easy for your reps to book meetings make it easy to handle the round robins make it easy for people to show up to the meetings that you are trying so hard to set in the run. And that’s not just for new meetings. It’s for follow up pipeline meetings and everything else. And then when you’re rolling out the org the tool to the org features domino reps. get some reps involved in this tool process so they feel bought in get your managers up to speed first make sure they are feeling competent and confident in the tool that you are putting there. For them to find the success criteria. What does good look like? Is it working? Because if it’s working that’s how you can get by and you can prove it you can tell the stories and you have to train on it over and over and over again. Roll it out in phases. Train people’s their feeling good about it. Did you get the results that you’re looking for? So I hope this is helpful. Technology has absolutely helped me leverage up my team’s hit numbers we haven’t hit before and really take things to the next level. But you have to have the right tools and the right training with them to make it work. So thank you for your time and attention today. Best of luck to all my sellers and marketers out there. If I can answer any questions for you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly. You can find me on LinkedIn, Kevin Dorsey KD you can also send me an email KD at winning by design calm. Thanks again everybody. Have a great