LIVE Roundtable: Navigating Sales Technology – What Do You Really Need To Invest In?

We hosted our fifth roundtable as part of our NEW annual content series, around setting up an outbound sales function. Get ideas, inspiration and advice from our panel of experts, who share and discuss their own experiences and open the floor to questions from the live audience.

We’ll be going live every month until March 2022, chatting about all topics relating to outbound sales and the stages of building a team.


We answered questions around (but not limited to):

1. The options available
2. What we’ve seen work well and not work well
3. Weighing up the cost
4. What is worth investing in
5. The human element of sales
6. Getting your sales tech stack balance right


Owen Richards – Founder & CEO at Air Marketing


Neil Clarke – Commercial Director at Air Marketing

Andrew Wood  – Chief Commercial Officer & Co-Founder at Willo

Ben Smith – Manager, Business Development at Reachdesk

Who is it for?

Founders, Sales Leaders, and Revenue Leaders.

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Chris Dawson – Director at 6th Door Ltd

Introducing our 25th episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards. Our 25th guest is Chris Dawson – Director at 6th Door Ltd.

Owen and Chris discuss how to structure the perfect cold call Including:

– Who Chris and 6th Door Ltd Are

– The perfect mindset and mentality for making cold calls

– Hints and tips for getting past gatekeeper

– How you should start a sales call with a decision maker

– The debate around asking ‘How are you?’ on a sales call

– The next step on the sales call after your introduction

– How to handle objections effectively

– How to close a sales call

– What details to include in a cold call and when to bring them up

– Chris’ musts and thigs to avoid on a cold call


Are you ready for social listening? From a brand and personal perspective.

Having regular content going out on your social media sites isn’t enough anymore – you need to be tracking, analysing and responding to conversations relevant to your company and industry. Enter social listening. By listening to your audience and target market, you can start to make changes and personalisations that really convert.

Social listening isn’t to be confused with social monitoring however. Social monitoring is used to look back over the last period, gathering information, focusing on detail and measuring success, serving as the baseline and bare minimum for any social marketing efforts, whereas social listening takes that information and digs a little deeper, allowing you to look forward and at the bigger picture. Social listening is a process that seeks to surface insights from listening data (much of the same data captured in social monitoring activities) that inform broader marketing decisions – think audience/market analysis, competitive intelligence, uncovering trends, etc.

Did you know that…

  • Customers who feel engaged by companies on social media will spend up to 40% more with them than other customers? (Sprout Social)
  • 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media, but average brand response rates across all industries are lower than 25%? (Sprout Social)
  • When surveying 264 marketers across the globe, nearly 40% of participants desired more knowledge about their audiences? (Socialbakers)

For B2C companies, social listening allows you to understand your direct customers. Whereas for B2B companies, it allows you to understand your client’s customers. This gives you an opportunity to lead with a broader view of what the general consumer is doing. You can then provide thought leadership pieces and posts from a perspective that a prospect or client may not have considered. This sends the message that you are investing in their customers too, and that you’re paying attention, giving you the edge over your competitors.

Using your company’s socials also isn’t enough anymore. People buy from people so it’s crucial that you engage with your target audience from a personal perspective as a face of your business, showing thought leadership and creativity.

It can be overwhelming if this isn’t something you’ve thought about before, so here are a few top tips to get you started:

  • Make sure your personal and company profiles are optimised
  • Post regularly and consistently before you start
  • Monitor your channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, and related keywords
  • Analyse your findings and think about how you can use it to shape your future posts – you may find that this information starts to re-shape your brand and tone of voice

Integrating MarTech (Marketing Technology)

Integrating a useful MarTech tool to help you listen to online consumer conversations not only makes the job easier, but takes up less of your resources so you can concentrate on strategy development.

3 MarTech tools to make social listening easier:

1. HubSpot’s social media marketing tool helps you prioritise your social interactions and connect with all the right people. You can build marketing campaigns, share content like blog posts and landing pages, automatically share content to various social channels, and discover the best times to post.

You can also create custom keyword monitoring streams, and trigger email alerts so your sales team knows when your prospects mention you – perfect for combining your marketing and sales efforts.

The tool also allows you to monitor your performance across all social channels and keep track of the number of visits and leads you receive.

2. Sprout Social offers a social media management software to offer solutions that will ultimately improve your social media interactions with customers and prospects. With the help of the Sprout Platform, you can access in-depth data analytics to inform strategic decisions, streamline and scale your engagement efforts, publish content and campaigns, and, most importantly, uncover trends and insights through social listening to drive strategic changes.

The platform uses real-time brand monitoring to track direct messages and brand-specific keywords. It also offers advanced social listening to help you notice emerging trends and influencers.

3.’s new listening addition to its platform is great for integrating social listening into your strategy. From AI smart alerts to social inbox integrations, you get access to insights from across 100 million online sources helping you become better at listening!

So, we’ve explained WHY you need to consider social listening as a key marketing tactic, now you just need to start! At Air Marketing, we can integrate social listening into your marketing strategy and execute our suggested activity on both your company and personal social media channels, helping you to connect to your audience on a deeper level for leads that convert. If you’d like to talk more about developing your social listening strategy, get in touch today on 0808 503 8978.

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Jenny Brennan – Senior Director of Inside Sales at Agorapulse

Introducing our 24th episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards. Our 24th guest is Jenny Brennan – Senior Director of Inside Sales at Agorapulse. 

Owen and Jenny discuss building an inside sales team from the first hire, to a team of circa 10 and beyond Including: 

– Who Jenny and Agorapulse are 

– How Jenny ended up at Agorapulse and the initial brief Jenny had for building an inside sales team 

– How Jenny grew the volume of inbound sales alongside the growth of her team. 

– How Jenny made her first hire for her new team, and the criteria she was searching for 

– The compromises and Jenny had to make during her team building journey and the surprises along the way 

– The challenges Jenny faced making her second hire 

– How Jenny found her unique leadership voice and learned to let go of control 

– How Agorapulses culture shifted as the team grew 

– Why Jenny wanted to include outbound in Agorapulse’s sales strategy

– The biggest differences between inbound and outbound 

– Jenny’s top 3 absolute musts when building an inside sales team

Building Your Sales Tech Stack: How To Get The Right Balance

Sales Technology has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry in the past decade. With so many tools out there, it’s hard to work out the essentials from the nice-to-haves. The phrase ‘building your sales tech stack’ implies you should be using layer upon layer of technology to enable your sales processes. We can tell you right now; it’s utterly dependent on your goals and your setup. Even the most tech-savvy sales leaders find it impossible to stay at the leading edge of sales technology; it’s a vast marketplace, and the options can be overwhelming. Who has time to review and analyse thousands of tools?

In our view, sales technology is there to empower salespeople, enhance their skills and make their lives easier. If you can automate a sales process and reduce administrative burden, therefore freeing up time for the vital relationship building that’s key to successful prospecting, then go for it! If you’ve heard from your network that you must buy this new market insight tool, even if your gut feel is you have a pretty good handle on your market research already, it’ll be three months before anyone in your team has time to own it, trust your instincts and park it for the time being.

How do we make the most of the sales technology available? How does a business decide what they need to adopt and when? Here’s our steer on the options available.

Understanding the options

CRM: Your CRM is the foundation of your tech stack, whether you choose a market leader like Salesforce or MS Dynamics or something more bespoke and focused on your specific industry. It’s ideal if you use a platform that supports collaboration with third-party apps, so your technology works together and delivers better overall visibility. Even the smaller providers offer integration across apps, supporting a better sales ecosystem.

Ideal for: everyone!

Sales and marketing automation: With systems like Marketo and HubSpot, you can drive a more valuable inbound experience and target campaigns at the right audiences, nurturing customer and prospect relationships in the right way, maximising your interactions and ensuring a better experience for everyone who interacts with your brand.

Ideal for: businesses that need to optimise their inbound efforts and drive better customer experience.

Sales engagement platforms: Products like Outreach, SalesLoft and Mailshake fall under this umbrella. Their value lies in automating sales processes and consolidating conversation intelligence from your CRM and Marketing Automation systems – streamlining processes, bridging gaps and ultimately saving your salespeople time.

Mailshake and SalesLoft support time-saving integrated dialers. Outreach allows users to manage all prospecting activities from one interface. And VanillaSoft offers queue-based lead routing saving, so your salespeople call the warmest lead next.

Ideal for: businesses with multiple campaigns who want to boost collaboration, improve productivity and hit rate.

Communication tools: If your sales strategy is outbound calling, there are many tools to support your agents, save time and some platforms, like Dialpad, provide feedback and learning as they go. Tools such as Aircall automate post-call processes and build better insights for teams directly from your CRM – reducing time spent on admin.

Ideal for: teams that make a high volume of calls, need to improve conversion rates, improve contact rates or want real-time feedback to support training.

Email management and integration: Suppose your sales teams preferred method of contact is email. In that case, there are thousands of tools available, from those that deliver and integrate insights from your CRM to your sales teams’ inboxes to those that measure email success rates and response times and even those that import email addresses from LinkedIn activity (like Contactout and Lusha). The aim is to bring intelligence and measurement to the familiar workflow of email.

Ideal for: sales teams that rely on email for outreach and need to optimise email engagement and data accuracy.

Lead generation and prospecting: There is a new wave of tools that help you identify and reach your ideal buyers. Powered by AI and machine learning, platforms such as Cognism and Growbots promise to automate the tedious and time-consuming parts of prospecting, leaving your teams to focus on closing warm leads that are more likely to buy.

Ideal for: sales teams stretched thin between premium accounts, managing existing relationships and pipeline building activities.

Sales insight and market intelligence: In a competitive marketplace bombarding decision-makers with broad sales messages won’t achieve cut-through. These tools arm salespeople with actionable insights that support intelligent sales conversations and provide accurate prospect info for your sales teams. Some tools can prioritise prospects who are ready to buy; others like UpLead act like enriched, searchable databases.

Ideal for: organisations looking to break new markets or struggling to get traction in their target market.

Never underestimate the human element of sales

Relationship building and making genuine connections is the key to successful outbound sales. No technology can replace the skills and experience of a talented and resilient sales expert. Still, it can bring you closer to your customers and help create an authentic experience that supports the excellent service you already deliver at every point in the sales cycle. Your sales tech stack has to reflect that and add value to your current setup. You can buy a billion tools, but with no process development or proper integration, there’s a fair chance you’ll create more work and unwanted distractions for your team. Equally, without an overarching sales strategy or direction, the tools won’t be worth the investment. They’ll undoubtedly connect you to more prospects, but it’s up to you to nail the qualification criteria and create value from those new audiences.

Weighing up the cost

Consider a new sales hire’s salary costs and the additional cost when you load them with sales technology that runs into thousands a month. Are they delivering higher productivity in line with the extra costs? This is all down to personal experience; some sales leaders believe the investment is worthwhile, provided you train the new hires on the technology, and the profitability will come. Others think it’s an overcomplication, and you need to give salespeople greater autonomy in this area, letting them adopt the tools they prefer, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

In conclusion, sales technology can be incredible and often well worth the investment, but they’re not a cure-all for sales challenges. Any new tools you adopt must become a seamless part of your workflow, save time or deliver inherent value for your team. Trust your instincts. You know if a tool is likely to be welcomed and deemed valuable based on your culture.

If you need advice navigating the sales technology landscape, we can help; get in touch today.

ON AIR: With Owen Featuring Ollie Sharpe – VP of Sales- EMEA at SalesLoft

Introducing our 23rd episode of ON AIR: With Owen – our latest interview video series with honest conversation about scaling revenue, hosted by our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards. Our 23rd guest is Ollie Sharpe – VP of Revenue – EMEA at SalesLoft.

Owen and Michael discuss Culture in a sales team and why it’s important to drive a successful sales team Including:

– Who Ollie and SalesLoft are

– What culture means to a sales team

– How culture can change each day

– The difference between culture and climate

– Why it’s important to have a conscious focus on culture within a sales team

– Whether your company’s culture is defined by leaders or employees

– What to do when someone joins your business that doesn’t fit the culture

– The trigger points to look for when finding out if someone doesn’t fit your company’s culture

– What’s important for SalesLoft’s culture

– How often you should be thinking about adjusting your culture

– The tell-tale signs for a leader to step in and address cultural problems

– How to positively impact your companies’ culture

– Defining the tangible inputs that contribute to your company’s culture