A lot of marketers get carried away with tools and technology. It’s tempting to want to automate and integrate and create the world’s best MarTech stack. And it’s true that a good stack can do amazing things for not just your marketing team but everyone in the company.
But there are downsides to overusing technology. One is that it can overshadow “real” skills and create blindspots in your company. Another is that tools and software aren’t used the same way by everyone. Marketers are used to using tools and want to automate everything, but a salesperson’s day can only handle so many things.
Brian Kardon, CMO at Fuze, talks about the importance of not overcomplicating with technology, especially when it comes to sales enablement. Remember that the average BDR is often a kid straight out of school. You can give them the world’s most advanced dashboard with every metric under the sun, but chances are they won’t know half of what they’re looking at.
Brian takes time to sit down with BDRs while they work. Not in a creepy or controlling way — he just wants to observe what tools they use and how they prioritize the instructions given. He says it’s important to simplify things as much as possible.
“I just want to watch and see how you sit. And I realized that they’re not prioritizing things properly. They’re being pulled in a billion directions for the salespeople that they report to. We have about a 3:1 ratio, one BDR for three sales reps. The sales reps say to focus on these accounts, and they’re being distracted all the time. So they get to doing something, and then they get pushed over here. Then they get pushed over here. The priorities are always changing. So it needed a true north, like here’s what you do every day. And it’s super simple. So most of my time now is spent on the integration between sales and marketing, and not on the technology at all. In fact, I find most CMOs have put in too much marketing technology that they’re not using.”
A technology audit can help you understand which tools are being used and which ones haven’t been touched in months. Efficiency should be the goal of every CMO, so try to do this a few times a year and determine what’s necessary.
In some cases, if a tool is underutilized, it might not be that it’s unnecessary — it might be that it just wasn’t deployed properly or at the right time. The “choke point” as Brian describes it is usually the sales team. They can only handle so many new things. Be conscious of that fact as you build your stack, and make sure you’re not overcomplicating with technology.