Business Growth Technology Best Practices

Highlights

  • Business growth technologies bring process automation, information reporting and scale to revenue generation and company growth.
  • Company growth technologies organized into mature RevTech stacks replace ad hoc and piecemeal systems with a holistic software portfolio that maximizes revenue growth, minimizes technology complexity and future-proofs technology investments.
  • Business growth technology best practices share lessons that save time, reduce risk and improve results. They show what actions deliver results and which don.t. That helps prioritize what to do and can be equally helpful in determining what not to do.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Business growth technologies fuel revenue acceleration.

According to an IBM research report, titled Digital Acceleration, accelerated growth technology adoption is fundamentally redefining competitive landscapes. The technology research found that "more tech-savvy organizations outperformed their less tech-savvy peers on revenue growth by an average of 6 percentage points."

But growth technologies are broad. So, to bring improved focus, measurability and precision they are increasingly organized into RevTech stacks.

As shown in the below graph, research results from the Annual RevTech Benchmark Study found that for every 6 RevTech tools operated, all else equal, company growth increased by 1 point, and each point is equal to about 30 percent growth.

RevTech Tools and Business Growth Rate

See the research that shows the correlation between Revenue Technologies (RevTech) and company growth.

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There is no one way to apply company growth technologies to maximize the top line. But there are revenue technology best practices that share valuable lessons of what works, what doesn't and how to improve your results. Here are four of those lessons.

1

Lead with A Business Sponsor

Designing, implementing and managing the most effective growth technologies is not just about software. It's about the alignment of technology with business strategies and revenue outcomes. That's why a business sponsor is needed.

Marketing, sales and C-suite executives have accountability for sales growth. They craft strategies and tactics to meet their business goals. They need systems to bring process automation, information reporting and scale to their efforts. Delegating IT selection and design to the IT organization creates a gap between strategy and execution that is likely to deteriorate results.

Sure, IT is needed for their technical skills, project expertise and governance. However, growing a company is no small effort so it takes a village. The lead sponsor should be a business executive. There should also be a cross functional group of stakeholders that includes both business and IT leaders.

Growth technology research performed for the Business Growth Report applied survey data to categorize technology operating characteristics and then delineated by performance archetypes. Some of the results are shown below.

Revenue Technology Characteristics

The research found the highest growth companies most often led with business executives that took charge of their technology decisioning. This contrasted with the majority of Medians and Laggards who ceded software evaluation, procurement and design to the Information Technology (IT) group.

2

Organize Business Applications into a RevTech Stack

Revenue Technologies (RevTech) are software applications and cloud services designed to accelerate top line growth. A RevTech stack is a managed portfolio of business applications that includes apps to grow the sales funnel, convert leads to revenue, drive innovation, apply analytics and benefit from advanced technologies such as AI.

Without a RevTech stack, most companies acquire departmental and piecemeal apps to solve an urgent but isolated problem. That may help with the problem of the day. But it often contributes to software sprawl, data siloes, system integration and limited results. It also fails to build upon a more strategic application portfolio that aligns with the company's priorities.

RevTech Stack

Data and experience show that many companies have growth technologies, but they are being used for administrative, transactional or compliance purposes. CRM software is a typical example.

Most companies have CRM software. But use it to create transactions (i.e., activities, opportunities, cases). While the technology is capable of data transformation, revenue engineering, predictive revenue analytics, guided selling, AI-calculated next best action recommendations and so much more, those growth functions remain idle.

When designing your RevTech stack, start by determining how to get more value from the systems you already have.

3

Simplify Systems with Platforms

While business growth technologies and RevTech are accelerating at a skyrocketing pace, it's still a nascent and fragmented software market. That application fragmentation can result in data siloes, system integration challenges and much higher technology maintenance costs. Software platforms are one way to mitigate these challenges and increase IT simplicity.

Platforms Solutions

The goal of software platform solutions is to get the most capabilities from a single application. That results in fewer apps that do more and facilitates end to end business process automation, decreases system integration and consolidates data siloes for easier and more effective information reporting.

Platform solutions generally have ecosystems of integrated third-party apps that facilitate extensibility and help future proof your technology investment.

The three most common growth technology platform solutions are the Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and the Customer Data Platform (CDP).

While a single platform solution can replace dozens of standalone apps, they can't do it all. Best of breed apps, sometimes called point solutions, are needed to fill the gaps.

Best of Breed Solutions

The goal here is to selectively curate best of breed solutions that deliver unique capabilities needed to achieve important outcomes.

Best of breed solutions generally solve a single, particularly difficult and often very important business problem. For example, sales intelligence apps surface customer data to engage target audiences. Or conversational marketing apps increase online conversion rates.

Many times, these point solutions are part of the platform ecosystem. That usually means they will offer a consistent user interface (UI), leverage common tools and come with vendor managed integration. That makes them quick to deploy and relatively easy to maintain.

The tradeoff with point solutions is risk and impact. Because they are generally delivered by small innovative startups, they come with a higher risk. And because they solve big problems, they deliver a big impact.

When considering the risk and impact, many evaluators come down to a decision of added value with the point solution versus good enough functionality with a more generic capability built into the software platform.

Platform vs Point Solutions
4

Operate with RevOps

Centralized resourcing is needed to coordinate enterprise-wide growth technologies.

The research found about two-thirds of the highest growth companies use Revenue Operations (RevOps) to manage revenue production and the underlying growth systems.

RevOps is a centralized business development team that orchestrates revenue strategy, go-to-market motions and end-to-end execution.

It designs and often manages the software apps that support end-to-end customer journeys. It unifies revenue processes and automaton across departments to achieve the company's revenue goal more effectively.

RevOps orchestrates a shared technology foundation that eliminates piecemeal systems, departmental data siloes, fragmented customer experiences, clumsy departmental handoffs and disjointed analytics.

Marketer’s market. Sales reps sell. Customer service keeps them coming back for more. When these departmental teams are coordinated with a RevOps tech stack their collective contribution is greater than the sum of their parts.

When these teams are aligned to shared goals, the company delivers superior customer experiences and accelerated revenue results.