There’s a seemingly endless number of marketing and sales tech platforms promising to simultaneously grow our pipelines and make our lives easier.
You’ve seen ads for these products. The colorful animations promising effortless team communication. The slightly too attractive salesperson shaking hands with all their new leads. A voiceover filled with marketing jargon as a rocket ship takes off. You know the type.
As more of us in the sales and marketing world continue adding these tools to our tech stacks, it’s worth stopping to ask: are they actually making our lives any easier?
In this post, we’ll look at why these tools can sometimes have the opposite of their intended effect and how marketing and sales leaders can avoid this pitfall when adding new technology.
Tech Makes Life Easier, Until it Doesn’t
Back to the original question of whether these technologies are making our lives easier. The research gives us some clues.
According to a 2020 survey by Gartner, 68% of marketers struggle with MarTech utilization. Meanwhile, Salesforce research shows that the average marketer uses 21 different marketing and advertising platforms, and only 31% of these marketers feel “very confident” in the accuracy of their data.
In other words, businesses are using more technologies to run their sales and marketing, and it’s only creating new challenges.
Naturally, as the quantity and complexity of your tools increase, it becomes a bigger job to manage them. This means businesses are spending more energy navigating these “time-saving” tools and less energy on the important jobs they needed to focus on in the first place.
But, there’s another factor at play that’s worth considering.
Ease of Adoption
A critical but often underestimated aspect of these technologies is ease of adoption. The more of a struggle it is to adopt new technology, the more pain businesses will likely experience as a result.
No matter the change, updating a well-worn process can be difficult for a business. (Even switching to a new office coffee maker will probably cause some grumbling). But if your new MarTech software is overly complicated, this will lead to expensive downtime as your employees struggle to learn a new tool.
When choosing a new MarTech addition, here’s what you should be considering:
Getting Your Team On Board
If you’ve been tasked with getting a team onboarded with new tech, you know it’s not always so easy – especially when it means changing the way things have always been done.
The unavoidable truth is that getting teams onboarded with a new platform is really hard work. It will require a cultural shift along with new setups, additional training and technical optimization. Salespeople and marketers who have been doing things “a certain way” for years WILL resist change. Worst case scenario, some may never accept it.
To increase your chances for a successful implementation, make sure that ease of adoption is near the top of your decision-making criteria.
Time is Money
Again, every hour that your team is spending learning your new tool is an hour lost of selling your product or attending to important marketing tasks. If your team is spending more time trying to use your new software than actually using it, there’s a problem.
Business downtime can refer to anything that stops a company from being able to work, from power outages to labor issues. While the cost of downtime for small businesses depends on several factors like company size and industry, Carbonite reported that the average cost of downtime can be anywhere from $137 to $427 per minute.
That’s a lot of money to lose while your employees grow frustrated with a “time-saving” software.
Paying for What You Don’t Use
When evaluating platforms, it’s easy to get distracted by exciting features and great pricing. As you’re doing your research, most comparison and review sites lead with these factors.
Now, sure – it’s important to make sure your software has the functions you need at a price you can afford. But don’t forget to consider the features you don’t need, and if they’re going to lead to you paying extra.
It’s more than likely that your new MarTech platform will have plenty of bells and whistles that sound cool but aren’t necessary. These extra features can be nice, but if they’re not a part of your current (or future) marketing and sales strategy, you’ll be stuck paying for software you don’t use.
Knowing the ins and outs of your new platform’s pricing structure and related offerings will help you consider which plan is actually right for you (and your budget).
And of course, the ease (or lack thereof) of your platform’s implementation can also lead to wasted money. If the platform isn’t intuitive and you have to move mountains to teach your employees how to use it, those extra features aren’t helping. And ultimately, you’re not getting your money’s worth because the tool isn’t being used to its potential.
What Features Do You Actually Need?
To avoid this scenario, we recommend thinking about it through the lens of what you actually need,
For example, we previously wrote about how to pick the perfect CRM for your company. Many small businesses may naturally gravitate toward Salesforce for their CRM because it’s the biggest name in the market and widely considered the Cadillac of CRMs.
In reality, most small businesses we’ve talked to don’t end up using most of the Salesforce features available to them. Not only do they not have the time or capacity to make the switch, they often don’t have a revenue operations department to focus on leveraging it.
As a result, they’re paying the premium for tech they’re not using, and the learning curve has made it tedious to get the team comfortable with the new process. In many instances, these businesses end up migrating to an easier platform that still meets their needs like HubSpot. (By the way, as HubSpot experts, we can promise it’s much easier than it sounds).
Taking the Next Step
So, have you realized your current marketing and sales tech is wasting time and money? Or maybe you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about picking the right software for your company? It’s okay – you’re not alone. Remember, it’s better to take your time and get it right than rush a decision and have to do it over down the road.
And if you could use a little help weighing your options and getting up and running, let us know – we’re here to help.
Charlie is the Chief Strategy Officer at Simple Machines Marketing. When he's not doing the marketing, he likes playing guitar, hanging with his family in Chicago and lots of other stuff too but this seems like a good amount for a blog bio.