Half of UK companies avoiding tech spend over cost concerns

Almost half of companies are putting off investing in tech for sales teams because of cost concerns.

A new report fom CITE Research has found that 48 per cent businesses are reluctant to spend money on new tech over fears of how it will affect the bottom line. In spite of that, 63 per cent of UK firms spend at least £1,200 on technology annually per sales representative to equip them with the right tools to do their jobs effectively – including smart phones, laptops, CRM systems and web meeting platforms. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of respondents said they spend at least £2,400 per sales employee.

The research also highlighted a lack of confidence and expertise in installing new technology, with 34 per cent admitting to being worried about the complexity of introducing new tech systems – and 20 per cent concerned about a lack of skills in using the tools.

The survey further revealed concerns around the pressure of keeping pace with digital transformation, with 63 per cent of firms worried about the cost and effort needed to keep systems up to date and more than two-thirds (69 per cent) concerned about the need for training staff. Other hurdles to tech deployment include cultural challenges, with 34 per cent of organisations citing ‘resisting change’ as the main reason for avoiding investing in new technology. 

“In today’s digital age, technology is a crucial asset to improve the effectiveness and productivity of sales teams,” said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM. “However, these survey results indicate the challenges organizations are facing when it comes to evolving the way their sales teams work. It’s clear there is still work to be done when it comes to overcoming obstacles and reframing how we think about technology in the workplace.”

Rebecca Wetteman, analyst at Nucleus Research, added: “The results of the CITE research survey match Nucleus’s own findings. The research indicates a modernisation of sales culture where using tools to gather, analyse and share data is much more important than wining and dining potential clients.

“What I find interesting about the report from CITE and SugarCRM is that organisations are no doubt willing to spend money, but many are in the experimental phase. Other than CRM, organisations are dabbling in a variety of other tools in a trial and error phase to determine what is absolutely critical for sales people to be more effective.”

The survey of 400 sales executives in the United States and United Kingdom was conducted to define what the technology stack for a modern sales team looks like.

The study revealed that CRM remains the most frequently deployed tool for sales teams, with 70 per cent of organisations saying they use the technology. In addition, laptops, smartphones, tablets, lead development applications, collaboration and productivity tools, digital transactions software, online meeting schedules, web meeting platforms, internal messaging tools and data enrichment services were all deemed ‘valuable’ or ‘extremely valuable’.

Making sure that systems are up to date is vital in the modern age, especially with the recently highlighted threats of Wannacry and Petya fresh in the memory. Reports emerged late in 2016 that 90 per cent of the NHS was still running Windows XP, and while the government has claimed that ‘less than five per cent’ of systems in the NHS were using the outdated operating system, it still reinforces the necessity to spend an adequate amount of money and time on tech to prevent further headaches down the line. 

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