Can your company relate to one or many of these scenarios? If so, read on!
- We have a tool, but no one uses it.
- We have tools that seem to be working, but no measurement of ROI.
- We have 5 tools, but I think we could consolidate.
- We want to do more, but we haven’t committed to spending the money on a tool to help.
“There’s a tool for that.” In a technology-driven world (even more so now), many companies find themselves battling to better understand their technology stack. When reviewing your existing or “dream” tech stack, we want to focus on the features that will drive the highest ROI. You need to create efficiencies in the way you drive lead generation, convert leads, and analyze success. Although accomplishing each of these will look a little different for every company, the goals are the same. A mature marketing and sales company needs to be able to rely on the following eight basic features when creating a successful sales and marketing technology stack.
8 Basic Features of a Marketing Tech Stack
- Content creation / management: blogs, landing pages, and possibly your website
- Social media management: posting and monitoring
- Email marketing: list segmentation, personalization, “smart” or “dynamic” content makes this tool stronger
- Marketing automation: immediate and segmented emails based on activities and behaviors (refresh on marketing automation with this worksheet).
- Lead management: forms, activity tracking, source tracking
- Customer relationship management (CRM): conversation and opportunity tracking
- Sales automation: automated follow up, lead scoring, tasks and reminders
- Analytics and reporting dashboards: data to help optimize, track ROI, and predict revenue
This is a lot! And it can be easy to stack up several cheap tools to begin to tackle one or two of these features at a time. However, quite often many, if not all, of these features could be found within one or two tools. An integrated or full suite software will offer the highest potential to effectively manage all these activities. A couple great examples of technologies that “seem to do it all” are HubSpot & SharpSpring.
How to Implement Marketing Technology from Scratch
If you’re starting with few to no tools – and this advice really goes to everyone – avoid creating a siloed tech stack. When different team members use many tools, you lack the ability to align activities or force a need for many manual processes to share data. This will only make it harder to scale as your marketing and sales activities increase.
For newer or smaller companies, think about your end game. You can still find great value in the “Starter” versions of comprehensive tools which often include free CRMs with discounted marketing features. Right now, your focus should be to find a system that supports your current needs while setting your company up for success and efficiency 3, 5, and even 10 years from now.
How to Improve Your Current Marketing Technology
For companies who are transitioning or have been through the technology implementation process a few too many times, here is what you need to consider:
- First, probably best said in a recent mini-cast with Launch Team’s President, Michele Nichols, “you might already have what you need.” You heard it – the best solution is not always a new tool.
- Once you review your toolset, there is a good chance you will find one tool that can become your all-in-one solution, and that you are probably paying for more than one tool that is not. Find the overlap – it’s time to consolidate!
- For more complex sales processes, you may find that you need a greater division of different feature sets for marketing and sales. This is absolutely reasonable. However, don’t drop the ball on marketing and sales alignment just because you have two technologies. Consider integrations or even cross-training within teams to help each better understand their process and the impact on sales.
- Check your implementation. We see messy tech stacks most often when implementation was done poorly or not at all. Use this blog, 3 Tips That Will Make or Break Your Marketing Technology Implementation, as a quick check for any new technology or training. Be sure to stick to a specific timeline to ensure full adoption – we suggest no more than 60 days.
There are so many details to consider in your tool selection and once you’ve checked that you have the high-level, needle-moving features covered, that’s the right time to dig in to something like a CRM planner or discuss your strategy with an outside party.
Right now, your next steps to deconstructing your sales and marketing technology stack should be:
- Review all current software in place.
- Use the marketing automation worksheet linked above to identify which features are covered, duplicated, and missing.
- Request a technology consult or schedule a discussion with your internal team of the software you are considering, as well as the software you own. You might be underutilizing key features.
- Request demos, we can suggest HubSpot and SharpSpring, but if you’re unsure you can schedule a full consult.
- Create and commit to a plan, including a budget, for software purchases and implementation costs.
As marketing and sales technology specialists, we can help you with this process. If an audit, clean up, or open conversation is what you need – contact us!
About Launch Team, Inc.
We are a multi-dimensional, highly focused marketing firm that has helped companies in technical and engineering-driven industries succeed. We've been doing this for over 30 years, increasing and improving our offerings along the way. Our team's backgrounds include optics, chemistry, and biology paired with a core business and marketing focus. This allows our team a unique understanding of your business, the decision makers you work with, and the engineers who will evaluate your solution.