If you run a business, you rely on CRMs to manage your data to optimize sales and retention. But how can you be sure you’re optimizing the ROI of your tech stack? For a lot of businesses, that remains a major challenge.
In the summer of 2022, HubSpot surveyed 1,702 CRM decision makers about their most pressing concerns. Close to a quarter of them identified “disconnected data or systems.” Despite all the advances and innovations of the past few years, businesses still struggle with the problem of getting full value from their data with their tech stacks.
There’s no single solution to that problem. But there are three things you should be doing to maximize your tech stack’s ROI as much as possible:
1. Be clear on your goals for the tech.
Consider what you want to get out of it and whether its functionality will enable you to achieve your goal. Try to be as specific as possible.
For example, instead of just saying that you want the tech to improve customer satisfaction, clarify if it is meant to keep customers happier. It may be just a matter of expediting processing of their orders, allowing them to customize their views and notification, or offering them personalized recommendations that are more helpful than annoying.
Instead of just putting “cost savings” down as a goal, identify what you mean. Are you aiming for a 15% savings in labor cost or delivery costs? Or are you aiming for reducing the cost of waste by applying technology designed to minimize it?
Once that’s established, you can communicate that to your team and ask for their input and suggestions. It’s not just a matter of two or more heads being better than one but of selecting something people will actually use the way you intended.
Ask them what they want and expect. If they want automation capabilities to relieve them from the tediousness of repetitive tasks, look for tech that can deliver. You’ll be rewarded with a more motivated and more productive team, which will definitely boost your ROI.
2. Learn everything the tech can do for you.
If you are not familiar with all the relevant features, capabilities, and integrations of your technology stack, you can’t be sure you’re using them to get the most value out of it. What to do about products that are not so easy to master quickly like the suite of products from Salesforce?
If the people on your team don’t have deep familiarity with your tech stack, it pays to bring in a vetted expert who has demonstrated experience finding the best solution to use in the tech. That person can also recommend which tools work best together, so that you can build an efficiently integrated system that can scale up as your business expands.
That person would also know the difference between an approach that’s just a quick fix that will work for now but not down the road and on that minimizes technical debt. In the long run, that will reduce the amount of time and effort required to update and maintain the various components involved.
3. Review regularly and refresh as needed.
To determine if you are getting the best possible value out of your technology stack, you have to set up a plan to measure and track its performance. That entails both quick checks and adjustments made on a regular basis, as well as more detailed audits to be done when subscriptions are up for renewal.
Pay attention to how the tech has performed in real terms, which may be quite different from what you had anticipated when you bought into it. If the learning curve was too steep, the UI too counter-intuitive, or the payoff that your employees were able to see too small, your tech stack will not deliver great value as a result of being underutilized.
You should also always be on the lookout for new developments that could improve your tech stack. By staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments — or referring to an expert who does — you can capitalize on new opportunities to improve your tech’s performance through new tools or new capabilities introduced into your existing platform that align with your business goals.
Armed with that information, you are empowered to make data-driven decisions about what to keep, what to tweak, what to toss, what to learn, and what to adopt to optimize your technology stack for maximum ROI.
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