The business landscape is undergoing a level of digital transformation that we have not seen since the emergence of the internet. According to McKinsey, businesses have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and their internal operations by three to four years.
These shifts towards digital have been long awaited but dealing with the demands of a growing customer base remains one of the biggest challenges facing B2B. But solving this is the key to achieving sustained growth.
To cater for customer demand, businesses must first understand what their customer looks like. Whether it’s the customer of today or the customer of tomorrow, it’s crucial to have a single source of truth for customer data and the technology to ensure this data is being used effectively.
However, the unfortunate reality is that many businesses are currently using complex IT systems; whether that’s fragmented tech stacks or outdated CRM systems. Understandably, sales, marketing and customer service leaders are struggling to navigate this unwieldy tech landscape, and it’s damaging the CX across physical, social, and digital channels – and compromising on customer loyalty in the process.
Understanding the tech stack
When different systems are cobbled together, your tech can’t work as one – and your customer pays the price with a slower, complicated customer journey.
Adopting the wrong tools — or continuing to use ineffective tools — is a mistake that could cost millions in the long term. For instance, if a sales team doesn’t have the right software or tools, they risk missing out on information crucial to their sales process. Everything from where B2B buyers are in the sales journey and what they’re looking for in a new product or service to what challenges or opportunities they’re facing could all slip through the cracks- and will only lead to missed sales opportunities.
The temptation can often be to hire people to stitch together the current technology being used. But business leaders need to understand that sustainable growth is only possible if they have a tech stack that is simple, joined up and cohesive across departments. This is especially true when it comes to CRM systems. Your CRM is responsible for delivering a seamless, manageable and enjoyable CX – it’s incredibly important that it isn’t clunky, difficult to use or hampers the efforts of marketing, sales and customer service teams.
When faced with the multitude of challenges that the last few years have thrown at us, you might be wondering why solving the CRM challenge is so important? The answer is simple: once unified, an un-fragmented, seamless CRM can give teams a complete customer view and unlock significant sales opportunities. The organisations that recognise this, and tackle the challenge head on, will be the ones that are best positioned to meet future growth and changing consumer habits.
Now simplify the tech stack
Even before the pandemic, research from chiefmartec.com found that the average enterprise uses 120 martech tools – and that’s just in one division! Whilst it’s true that no single piece of software or tool can accomplish everything a business needs, understanding how these tools work alongside one another is critical.
Before revamping or introducing any new tech, audit your existing tech solutions. Don’t forget – when it comes to digital needs, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. Every platform, technology, and every department has their unique goals, offerings, and challenges – so it’s important to understand what these are before embarking on any tech transformation journey.
On the flip side, there are new technologies developed every day, which is why auditing the tech stack on a regular basis allows the businesses to discover new ways to maintain that all important single source of truth for data. Not only that, but this will also uncover various ways that businesses can save employees’ time, save money on apps, as well as consolidate technologies and apps – all beneficial to the end-customer.
Now you grow
Once the tech stack is understood, redefined, and even simplified, organisations can truly enrich their customers’ digital experiences. And this is the first step towards growth.
UK businesses are passionate, innovative, and determined to grow. But ignoring the tangled technologies used across the business will only cost them later down the line. Businesses that understand the best systems and platforms, and how they can work together will be those that can fully master the customer journey and ensure they are set up for sustainable growth.