According to research conducted by Thomas Baumgartner,  Maria Valdivieso de Uster, and Homayoun Hatami of McKinsey & Company, in their book Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders (2nd Edition), 40% of sales activities could be automated with today’s technology, and in certain roles, that number could be as high as 85%. Sales apps provide a wide range of tools that help all aspects of your sales operations — from prospecting, to lead nurturing, to ecommerce. to generating quotes and documents, to closing deals, to reporting on results. And sales apps are an investment for your company, saving time, money, or both.

With Customer Trailblazers understanding and embracing these key trends in sales technology, we sat down with seven of them to learn best practices for purchasing apps through their experiences and stories.

Matt Kraft brings contract management and e-signature to Associa with Apttus 

“With Apttus, we're the first management company to have e-signatures. Customers can sign contracts on their phones. We now have accurate data in one place. We’re able to see the holes and gaps, and plug those holes. Being able to manage renewal cycles has significant ROI on the back end of the project.” - Matt Kraft, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Associa

Corinne Cordon converts manual paper process to a no-code automated process at Capella Mortgage with Nintex

“Why should mortgage brokers have to use code to create a document? With Nintex Drawloop, we converted our manual paper-based documents to a no-code, automated process. We can upload any document with any field names, click a button, and the output is a polished, customer-facing document. Creating a 75-page loan document took two hours. Now it takes 20 minutes.” - Corrine Cordon, President, Capella Mortgage

Chris Laurence increases orders from leads at Cydcor with Geopointe

Geopointe has helped us with a key metric: lead penetration. This is the number of orders divided by the number of leads. For example, our client might have a target for us to get three to five orders from 100 leads. We are now regularly exceeding these expectations.” - Chris Laurence, COO, Cydcor

George Gallegos increases speed at Jitterbit with DocuSign

DocuSign provides a morale boost when a sales rep knows he doesn’t have to chase me for approval and signature. The speed at which we can move makes it that much easier for our clients to do business with us, and that’s probably the greatest gain we’re getting.” - George Gallegos, Jitterbit

Karla Viglasky creates real-time view of customers at Axalta with CloudCraze

“For customer service, CloudCraze is going to free up our team’s time to work on the big problems, instead of trying to work on all issues and take orders at the same time. For sales, as we pull this data into Salesforce, they’ll get a more real-time view of their customers' actions and behaviors.” - Karla Viglasky, North America CIO, Axalta

Travis Henry increases customer and prospect meetings at Bluewolf by 40% with LeanData

“After roughly three-and- a-half months of having the platform live, we saw a 40% increase in the number of customer and prospect meetings...We surveyed everyone who used LeanData at our company and received an average of 4.7 out of 5 for workflow satisfaction with the tool. That’s probably my favorite number.” - Travis Henry, Marketing Development Manager, Bluewolf

Gina Baldazzi enhances invoicing process at Qualtrics with Conga Composer

“We’re looking at creating an invoice where if it's below a certain dollar amount, reps can send the quote to the customer, and the customer can go to our online payment system and pay it. There's a lot of great potential with Conga Composer.” - Gina Baldazzi, Salesforce Administrator and Developer, Qualtrics

Sales apps can help your company in a number of ways, but it’s important to remember that they are an investment that requires the right resources to properly evaluate, implement, and measure. If done correctly, this technology can save your team time, your company money, or both. 

These Customer Trailblazers know how to choose the right apps depending on the challenge, the best approaches to launching apps internally, and how to measure success. Now it’s your turn to trailblaze at your organization, with AppExchange apps helping your team sell more, faster, and more efficiently.