One of Forrester’s B2B marketing predictions for 2023 is that organizations will shed one-third of the point solutions from their revenue technology stack. While the obvious impetus for this rationalization is cost savings resulting from platform solutions’ expanded capabilities, in fact, the real driver should be improving customer experience. Despite current budget pressures, we expect to see technology spending hold steady and even increase. This investment, though, will be spread across fewer solutions, with the aim of eliminating overlap and enhancing integration in pursuit of providing a customer experience that is personalized, relevant, timely, and in accordance with customer preferences.
Revenue technology, or revtech, describes the solutions used by marketing, sales, customer success, and sometimes product management — in other words, the revenue engine of a business. These technologies form the overarching ecosystem of tools, platforms, and systems that a company has deployed to support the buyer journey, customer lifecycle, and span of audience engagement. There is no shortage of tools targeted at B2B marketers to solve the ever-growing demand for better engagement, and there has been an inexorable rise of revtech adoption over the last decade or more. Although the flood of tech is helping solve some problems, it’s creating others.
In particular, B2B organizations are buying revtech faster than they’re refining the go-to-market processes that the technology has been brought in to enable. Compounding this, many teams or functions across the revenue engine are selecting technology only to solve their own challenges and are not coordinating across the business. Inevitably, these siloed technologies and associated processes result in disconnects in customer engagement and interactions, which does not go unnoticed by audiences. This is the driver behind B2B organizations looking to break down these silos and control their tech sprawl.
Managing The Impact On Data
A crucial impact that overlapping technology can have is on the management of customer data, where a failure to ensure that it is properly joined up has negative implications. Customers and prospects expect a seamless experience, and to deliver this, businesses must be able to track all audience interactions across the customer lifecycle. Otherwise, an interaction in one channel such as web chat might not be reflected in another one, perhaps social media, leading to a disconnect in the customer experience.
Similarly, it’s vital to reflect customer preferences that have been collected everywhere, especially where individuals have gone to the trouble of expressing them directly. Customers are demanding that they be treated this way — it’s table stakes for modern customer experience, not to mention a compliance requirement in areas such as opt-out handling and know-your-customer regulations. Technology is what enables B2B marketers to ask for, store, and act appropriately on customer preferences, and when this isn’t happening, it’s frequently because organizations have omitted making this a priority. Revenue/marketing teams must set up their strategies, campaigns, and systems to support this and can’t afford to stumble over the challenges of managing an overly complicated environment.
Eliminate Duplication To Optimize Revtech
As such, the key to getting to an outcome-focused, optimized revtech stack is to remove duplicate functionality, especially across revenue teams, and focus on integration. In the past, technology categories used to mean clear, differentiated capabilities. Over time, individual tools have begun to offer more functionality, raising them to the level of a platform offering, while established platforms add functionality that was previously only available separately. Indeed, whole new categories of revenue technology are beginning to emerge. As these capabilities blur together, a deeper analysis of revtech stacks is needed to determine the best place for that functionality to sit. Revenue technology leaders must strive to rationalize, simplify, and streamline their stacks, removing the overhead of managing so many point solutions and getting the most from existing core platforms.
It doesn’t take a great deal of clairvoyance to predict that this will make a big difference to customer experience! Find out more about Forrester Decisions for Marketing Operations and how we can help guide your revenue technology strategy.