headerIMG

November 24, 2021

Is Your Sales and Marketing Tech Stack Weighing You Down?

By Matt Pilon, Content Specialist

Sales and marketing software has become table stakes for B2B companies, big and small, over the past two decades. Today, 85% of B2B marketers use a customer relationship management system (CRM), such as Salesforce, and 57% use a marketing automation platform, like HubSpot.1

people-gc48742e58_1280

Companies use these tools to hone and target their messaging to desired buyers, and track and nurture leads from the top of the sales funnel downward. Organizations spend heavily on such technology, believing their investment will pay for itself through improved lead conversions and revenue growth. The forecast for worldwide annual CRM implementations stands at $4.6 billion.2 

However, there are many hurdles, both technical and human in nature, when implementing technology platforms. Harmful mistakes early on can include not properly defining and scoring leads, inadequate cleaning of messy data, and not aligning the system’s design with the processes of its human marketing and sales users. 

Data problems can snowball over time, making fixes more complex and costly. Employees, if not properly trained or incentivized, may misinterpret data they see in the software or decide the system is too time-consuming or confusing to use at all. 

Given the potential pitfalls, it’s no surprise that many companies fall short of initial aspirations for their sales and marketing software investments. According to one recent study, 52% of sales leaders say their CRM costs them potential revenue opportunities.3 Meanwhile, 53% reported that their sales teams were frustrated by increased administrative burdens using the technology. Only half said they could access a consolidated view of cross-platform customer data within their sales and marketing technology stack.

A company with those problems risks clumsy or ineffective nurturing, wasting time and resources chasing unqualified leads, and failing to spot and capitalize on business opportunities. An optimized technology stack better aligns often-siloed sales and marketing teams, which correlates with better sales and marketing KPIs and higher revenue.4

Aligning those teams produces more effective nurturing efforts, which is top of mind for many B2B marketers. In Ironpaper’s recent B2B marketing survey, 22% of marketers said leads fell out of their pipeline because they could not keep them adequately engaged.5

Symptoms of a Problem

Companies weighed down by out-of-whack tech stacks are likely aware they have a problem, though they may not grasp the entire picture, nor what to do about it.

Here are some common symptoms that may indicate a company needs a tech stack tune-up.

  • Attribution: A company is forced to guess which marketing and sales strategies  produce the best return on investment (ROI). This can stem from messy customer data and disconnected applications and platforms.
  • Vendors on speed dial: Companies that frequently contact their software vendors and pay them to troubleshoot problems, add new features, or make other changes could have deeper design flaws or misalignments.
  • Slowbuying: Overly long sales cycles for relatively simple or inexpensive products could indicate that misaligned technology is contributing to an inefficient lead nurturing process.
  • Communication breakdown: The sales team struggles to gather key lead intel from the CRM quickly and can’t answer questions like “What campaign, event, or content offer put us in contact with this particular lead?” 
  • Underwhelming results: An investment in sales and marketing technology doesn’t seem to be producing acceptable results in key KPIs.

While the scale and complexity of sales and marketing tech-stack challenges can range widely from company to company, the results are similar: Technology is inhibiting sales progress rather than enabling it. From small businesses to large enterprises, it’s likely that trained eyes can identify valuable improvements waiting to be made. 

If your company is experiencing challenges detailed in this piece, Ironpaper can help. Reach out to our team to discuss how.

Sources

1 Zoominfo

2 Adweek Branded, 2019 survey of B2B marketers

3 Sugar CRM, Nov. 2020 survey of B2B and B2C marketers

4 Wheelhouse Advisors

5 Ironpaper B2B marketing survey

6 Demand Gen, 2021 Marketing Measurement and Attribution Survey Report

Image by junaida279 via Pixabay