Would you build a house without a blueprint? If you want a house that meets all your living needs and desires, you would most certainly first define what you want and work with an architect to make the plans a reality.
So, why would anyone think it’s a good idea to implement their shiny, new sales and marketing technology platform without clearly defining needs and creating a plan for success?
Reality is, it happens all the time and it’s one of the top reasons companies struggle with growth. The first decision was great; leadership realized that leveraging one of the great technology platforms was a worthy investment. They went all in, turned the project over to the sales and marketing leaders and then had high expectations. Well, the high expectations were justified but they were missing one crucial step, not taking the time to clearly define the whole organization’s needs from the system before implementation.
Why? Probably a number of reasons, such as:
- The system does “everything” so leadership says, “let’s just get it up and running, work with it, and then figure out what we need it to do.”
- The team “doesn’t have time” to dig into defining needs, so “let’s just….(refer to #1).
- The team charged with the implementation doesn’t fully understand all that is possible with the new technology that was selected.
- The team hasn’t defined how the technology can support the organization’s sales and marketing strategy.
- The sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned with common goals allowing them to create the strategy noted in #4.
We could go on...
Whatever the reason, implementing any new technology system without clearly defining the organization’s needs is a giant leap toward disappointment. And, it is one of the main reasons why implementations fail, causing the poor, little chosen technology to get a giant black eye and the eventual boot.
It is important to note that the organization’s needs refers to various teams, not just sales and marketing. In order to leverage your sales and marketing technology investment, needs must be defined across sales, marketing, service, leadership, project management, and so forth. Each team needs and wants different things in order to be successful. When all teams are supported by the technology strategy, scalable growth is achieved.
If you are planning for a future implementation, or if you have a system in place but realize it needs some attention, here’s a quick list to consider. Defining the various stakeholder teams’ needs and building the system accordingly will move your organization toward success in leveraging one of your most worthy investments.
Defining needs begins with determining who will actively use the technology. Just because it is normally referred to as “sales and marketing” technology, doesn’t mean it’s just for sales and marketing individuals. This is actually “revenue operations” technology, so stakeholders in other areas of the organization should be involved. Needs based on goals should include:
- Operational Excellence (Leadership)
- Sales team
- Marketing team
- Service team
2) What does each team need?
- Sales needs a system and features that allow them deep insights into their prospects, the ability to automate manual tasks, and to close deals faster.
- Marketing needs a system and features that helps them grow traffic for the business, convert visitors into qualified leads, and run campaigns.
- Service teams need a system and features that effectively and efficiently connect with customers as they deliver an exceptional 1:1 experience.
- Leadership team members need a system and features that allows visibility into activity and progress toward established goals.
When all of the different and various needs are addressed in the planning process, before implementation, the system can be built with all needs in mind. This is the ultimate key to adoption across the organization. All stakeholder voices are heard. A comprehensive solution is built and each team and team member is supported, resulting in success.
If you have a technology system in place but it hasn’t been implemented with clearly defined needs for all teams, you’re likely feeling some pain. This type of pain is one of the most common causes of inefficient growth. Fortunately, there is a solution. Working with an experienced implementation partner, like Denamico, will put you back on track to truly leverage the investment you’ve made.
Take the first step today with this quick and easy Find Your Friction tool. This free, five-minute assessment will help you quickly identify the gaps and sharp edges in your sales, marketing, and customer-service technology and process. The results will show you where your business is humming, and what areas may need your focus in the coming months to remove the friction to help your business scale more easily.