A successful martech launch requires a robust CRM platform and a leader to champion its adoption
Successful martech leaders are data-driven technologists who embrace change-and-seek solutions that place the customer at the center of their business. They possess a clear go-to-market strategy and understand how new technologies support it. They can also successfully articulate their vision and facilitate end-user adoption.
After deciding on which technologies to adopt that will drive a marketing strategy, the next challenge for a martech leader is implementation. This requires internal process changes, which are often met with resistance and can result in painful experiences. If you’re charged with leading martech initiatives within your organization, you must understand how to overcome both obstacles.
Your implementation strategy should extend beyond the launch. How will it be introduced, so that people are motivated and supported after the initial launch or relaunch? The key is to serve as the human face of the system—someone who is accessible, rather than a cold systems administrator who does not understand how to drive end-user adoption.
A solid CRM system sits at the center of the martech universe. It stores priceless prospect and customer data that delivers valuable customer insights, which is the lifeblood of all marketing activity. As a martech leader, it is your job to ensure your organization embraces this vital system where data is not only stored, but cleaned and updated on a regular basis. But take heed: Discussion about CRM often invokes a big yawn, or worse, resistance from end users, especially sales.
Often, the biggest hurdle to introducing a martech solution, such as CRM, is convincing sales, marketing and even customer support to use the technology. The ability to put yourself in their shoes is crucial. Understand their reluctance to change and explain how the technology will benefit them personally, in addition to the organization as a whole. You must be able to articulate the benefits, such as demand generation, prospect and customer insights, revenue generation and excellent service that creates happy, loyal customers.
Champion the Cause
As a martech leader, the onus is on you to demonstrate to the sales team how a particular software such as CRM will enable them to be more successful in meeting quotas. When introducing a new technology, find an internal champion who has influence in a group, someone who will go above and beyond to make sure the team has an open mind when incorporating the system into their routine. This “super user” needs to communicate the benefits of the CRM system in a clear, demonstrable manner so that others are involved, energized and motivated by their success.
Communication is key. Some of the most effective channels of communication may include email updates, lunch-and-learns and online discussion boards. Common challenges such as a lack of change management or executive leadership, insufficient data models and unclear strategies will result in inadequate user buy-in and rejection of your system. As a martech leader, you must be an ally and catalyst for overcoming these pitfalls.
A true martech leader goes the extra mile to be the key point of contact throughout the process, ensuring that each user is supported. This is essential to gaining maximum user buy-in. If a salesperson encounters any roadblocks when working their way around a new system, they will give up and go back to their old ways of conducting business. Interactive manuals and face-to-face “CRM clinics” are other vehicles to encourage adoption and reinforce training.
Integrate Martech and CRM
A lack of CRM integration with other marketing systems can be a death knell. This is where the martech leader can become a star. Ensure these three solutions are tightly integrated to maximize your tech investment:
- Marketing automation.
- Inside- and mobile-sales automation.
- Customer support and the call center.
Your goal is to weave these together so data is stored centrally as representing a single version of the customer. Once this mission is accomplished, you and your organization will have reached nirvana (from a customer insights perspective).
Now that you’ve connected all systems, a final but critical success factor is providing 100% compliance and adhering to current privacy laws. Abiding by regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation makes it easy for your customers to opt in and establish a preference center that’s accessible via all channels. This enables the delivery of personalized information and services according to your customers’ unique preferences.
The ability to add a human touch when implementing new technologies is crucial to success. True martech leaders understand the impact these technologies will have on end users and help them manage the changes. Successful leaders embrace a big-picture perspective and enable their organizations to achieve a measurable return on their tech investments to maximize productivity and profits.