There’s a 70% chance of the US entering a recession this year. And to prepare, over 16,000 workers in US-based tech companies have been laid off in mass job cuts. Many companies will continue to put a freeze on hiring and spending to make it through.
What does this mean for GTM leaders trying to cut costs? First, they’re having to take a long hard look at their existing tech stack to see which technologies stay and which go. Oftentimes when spending freezes, GTM leaders, and especially those in RevOps are left having to ‘make their case’ to upper C-suite colleagues on which tools are essential to driving growth and delivering a rock solid customer experience.
Decisions can often be made quickly without involving the appropriate parties into the conversation, which is a big mistake. If you’re a company right now looking to optimize your tech spend, make sure to discuss these 8 questions with your RevOps leader and GTM teams to ensure you’re not cutting something off that could be essential to your business.
RevOps: Why it’s important to include them in the tech evaluation
Before we jump into the questions you should be asking before chopping off half of your tech stack to save budget, let’s discuss why your RevOps leader should be a key contributor in this conversation.
What role does RevOps play within an organization?
RevOps delivers a programmatic framework for companies looking to break through a revenue plateau or intent to continue on a growth curve.
At its core, RevOps aligns sales, marketing, post-sales and customer service in both the front-end and back-end. A key function of their role is owning the GTM technology stack and effectively integrating and managing it in order to drive ultimate growth and efficiency. In fact, their efforts typically help revenue teams grow 19% faster and 15% more profitable.
Any time technologies are being put on ice, RevOps teams are often having to do more with less. If your company is having to cut staff, or pause key hires, your RevOps, Business Systems or Admins will be shifting a lot of data and workflows within SF to accommodate account or strategy shifts. Knowing your CRM – likely Salesforce – is your most valuable system, including the people who own that technology into the conversation will be important.
Evaluating ‘Must-Have’ from ‘Nice-to-Have’ Technologies: 8 Questions You Should be Asking.
Determining which tools in your tech stack fall into the ‘must-have’ bucket vs the ‘nice-to-have’ category can sometimes be challenging. A great place to start is by asking your RevOps leader what technologies they think the GTM team absolutely can’t live without. Living on the front-lines and knowing your tech stack inside and out, their opinion is vital – and, it will provide you with a relatively unbiased opinion.
Additionally, doing your homework is a great next step. To help ensure you get a full understanding of your tech stack, and where it impacts your business, we’ve provided 8 critical questions to ask yourself.
1. Does it drive revenue or mitigate risk to your pipeline?
It’s no secret that technologies are easiest to buy or keep when they can add direct revenue to your pipeline. However, leaders shouldn’t discard technologies that help mitigate disruptions to their business – or key systems you can’t afford to go down. For example, think about the following:
What would you do if your Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) crashed tomorrow?
- Would that be a problem for you?
- Would your customers be affected?
- How would it impact your CRM adjacent technologies?
- Would it delay operations?
- Would it disrupt revenue forecasting?
- How would it impact end users?
- How would it impact tactical and strategic decisions?
- How important would it be for you to pinpoint what went wrong?
- How to get systems back up and running immediately?
Even if a platform doesn’t have as clear of a line to revenue as others might, make sure you’re always evaluating ALL the technologies that can impact business continuity, customer success, and overall smooth day-to-day operations.
2. Does this tool help us eliminate costs?
Saving time and money is key for organizations looking to grow and succeed. This is why solutions that help eliminate costs and empower teams are essential for your tech stack. In this area, you’ll find messaging platforms that improve communication, project management tools that ensure transparency and visibility, and even automation platforms that allow your stakeholders to focus on more high-profile projects. Most of these technologies can eliminate costs by enabling your team to get more work done in less hours.
Just think — if you were able to give 40% of their workday back to them, what other strategic work could they be tackling instead to help drive growth.
3. Will this tool be used frequently?
Did you know that, on average, a company has as many as 137 SaaS apps? While each team has a variety of tools they CAN use, there’s likely a handful that are deemed ‘essential’ and are frequently opened as one of their go-to tabs each week or day.
Talk to your team and figure out which ones those are. Likely your CRM will be at the top of the list, but keep in mind all the supporting technologies that keep that essential system up and running for you.
Pro tip: While evaluating tools that you’re on the fence about, take suggestions from your customers– direct customer references can help your organization deliver a better product to them! Then, take 30 minutes from your day and schedule a brief demo of the tool. There’s likely a variety of new features and functionally that have been added since last you’ve seen it.
This can sometimes help you get a better perspective on the full value of a platform, or give you insight on where functionality might overlap across some of your other tools, allowing you to merge or deactivate certain packages or platforms altogether.
4. If something were to break, is it the first tool I would leverage to fix a problem?
If the past two years have taught us anything it’s that making sure you have a detailed business continuity plan is essential. If something were to disrupt your operations, do you have the right technologies and processes in place to keep your business running smoothly?
Take this question a step further, ask yourself– if your CRM were to crash, or all of your opportunities were accidentally removed, do you have the tools in place to immediately remedy? Check out our founder’s story on why Sonar came to be. It just might make you think about things differently.
5. Does it increase the velocity of tactical and strategic work?
We’ve talked about technologies that support automation to free your team from tactical and mundane tasks. These can be on the ‘must-have’ or ‘nice-to-have’ columns depending on how much you need to automate.
But what about strategic work? Have you considered solutions that help you analyze data, forecast, predict business changes, and even reach new customers? Having tools in place that can ensure you’re always able to report on the health of your business, and how you’re growing is key.
Finding a solution that brings tactical and strategic work together in one place will not only elevate your tech stack, but it will also prevent you from having two solutions that only solve one problem. Additionally, being able to iterate faster increases the odds of being first to market with new tactical and strategic initiatives. And the first to market typically wins.
6. Is this tool multifunctional across different departments?
The benefit with most tools these days is that certain features provide value across multiple departments. Think of your Marketing Automation platform. Tools like Hubspot now provide items like Live Chat, which can easily service your sales team and customer success.
Even tools like Sonar can help. Perhaps your Head of Marketing is wanting to create a new automation that requires new fields to be updated in your CRM or Marketing Automation platform. Sonar helps your RevOps team quickly ensure that one small change won’t negatively impact everything else running in the background.
When looking for must-have technologies, always try prioritizing the ones that enable and support all your GTM teams needs.
7. Does it have a current and future fit within my business?
As a leader within your organization, you must always think ahead and predict how the business will evolve. This can be incredibly hard when there are so many variables affecting your business, but the more you anticipate, the more valuable your tech stack will become over the years.
Before you decide on a must-have technology, ask yourself:
- Is it scalable?
- Will it support a larger customer load?
- Can I add more users as our teams grow?
- Does it support integrations with other platforms?
- Can I customize workflows as I see fit?
- Does their future product roadmap align with our needs?
When you look towards the future value of technologies make sure to ask what their product roadmap looks like. Perhaps there is a big problem you’re looking to solve, and they’re already halfway through developing it! With smaller, more agile tech companies you can often work with their development teams and be a part of their Beta programs, helping guide them through new features before they’re ever released. The benefit? You get to influence what’s important to you and your business.
8. Is it easily integrated into other essential technologies?
Technology integrations are a wonderful way to add transparency into the customer journey and improve your business operations. This can mean integrating your CRM with your marketing automation platform, or giving your sales and customer success teams visibility into what customers are looking at on your website.
When you add a new solution into your tech stack, always ask how these integrations work, whether they can expand down the road, and how one solution will affect the other. It’s important to have this knowledge before making a decision, as you’ll want solutions that can work separately, but also jointly when functioning correctly.
Ensuring You Land on the Must Haves
With turbulent times ahead, it’s understandable why businesses are taking a hard look at their expenses. With technologies making up a large percentage of spend, there’s no surprise why so many people typically start cutting here. The reality of the situation is that while expenses are shrinking, your goals aren’t.
That being said, it’s critically important to take a hard look at what is providing the most value across your organization and ask the right questions as you evaluate what fits into your ‘must have’ or ‘nice to have’ buckets.
One thing you can’t afford, is NOT protecting your most valuable system – your CRM (likely Salesforce). Nothing slows your organization down more than your entire GTM team not being able to effectively do their work. Sonar can help.
With Sonar, RevOps leaders are empowered to see an entire blueprint of their Salesforce instance, allowing them to intelligently make changes that support growth.
Ready for your teams to spend less time being reactive and more time driving value? See Sonar in action today.
Last updated: January 2023