An organization's tech stack is at the heart of its efficiency - but often these clusters of tools become overgrown and messy. This can lead to inefficiencies and wasted budget.
While one of the pillars of RevOps is tools, untangling this web of tools can pose quite a challenge. That’s why we’ve outlined this comprehensive guide to building a revenue tech stack.
- Why a RevOps tech stack is so important
- Challenges of building a tech stack
- Key RevOps tools required
- Types of solution
- How to build a winning RevOps tech stack
Why a RevOps tech stack is so important
A revenue operations tech stack streamlines revenue processes by allowing sales, marketing, and customer success teams to manage the revenue process effectively.
Your RevOps tools can foster alignment between these revenue-generating functions by easily sharing customer information and data. By using the same tools your teams can also better understand cross-collaborative processes.
At the end of the day, your revenue function wouldn’t run without the help of technology, and a poor or misaligned tech stack can cause blockers and slow down your sales pipeline.
On the other hand, optimizing your tools can boost your teams’ efficiency, improving your customer’s experience across the customer journey, and ultimately leading to increased revenue growth.
Challenges of building a tech stack
You’ll face many challenges when building a new tech stack, this section will outline a few to be aware of so you can mitigate problems down the line.
There are loads of tools out there and while they might function great in isolation, you may find they don’t integrate with your other tools quite as nicely.
Finding tools that can seamlessly integrate into each other is the true key to an effective revenue operations tech stack. Sometimes you might need to sacrifice a tool's functional quality to gain a more integrated and streamlined tech stack overall.
Some tools are pricier than others but for the most part, tools are expensive. So building a tech stack of multiple tools can eat up your budget quickly. This is why you should consider your priorities in a tech stack before buying. And be prepared to search for a cheaper solution.
Handling lots of integrations and tools in your tech stack can get complicated, especially if it isn’t clear what the purpose of each tool is. Dumping tools on top of each other isn’t a viable solution to any problem and will result in a tangled mess of solutions.
Try to solve each of your tech stack needs as simply as possible and consider each function of your current tools before purchasing something new. Overlapping functionality can create confusion and waste resources.
It’s also worth noting how much maintenance a new tool will require and if you have the resources to manage this. For example, CRMs typically require regular data maintenance, and depending on the size of your organization this might constitute a full-time role.
Another challenge of building a tech stack can occur when your organization is going through a big change or regularly changes project scopes, as these changes may mean your tool requirements change too.
When building your revenue operations toolbelt it’s important to consider your functional requirements for the long-term and how they might change - especially if you’re signing a long contract.
While it might seem easier to make an executive decision about which tools to implement and then roll the new tech out, this isn’t ideal. When big sweeping decisions are made by leadership without incorporating the teams that’ll be affected by the change, you may encounter pushback.
By involving some stakeholders in your research and allowing them to provide feedback on potential options you can avoid resistance and make more informed decisions.
Key RevOps tools required
There are lots of types of tools out there with different use cases and functions. This section outlines the areas of a RevOps tech stack that will build the foundation for any additional tools you need.
Customer relationship management (CRM) system
Arguably the most important revenue operations tool is your customer relationship management system or CRM. This database holds all your prospect and customer information and allows our revenue teams to easily view and share customer insights.
Your sales reps will use this tool to monitor prospects and track their pipeline, your marketing team will use this database to send emails and monitor campaigns, and your customer success team will use the CRM to track customer interactions and prevent churn.
Since your CRM is so important at maintaining and storing accurate data (and should be a single source of truth for data insights), your choice of CRM will likely impact some other tech stack decisions. Some revenue tools will integrate better with certain CRM systems, so you may want to take this into account when building your stack.
Automation is key for saving time and improving your revenue efficiency. Choosing the correct tools for your needs is equally important.
Consider which tasks you’d like to automate and research the best tools to meet those needs. A few tools might need to be used to ensure the best results for your teams.
Marketing automation tools are especially useful for creating automated email campaigns and scheduling social posts.
Customer success and support
Customer success tools help to monitor post-sales engagement to allow your team to track at-risk accounts and prevent churn. Your team can also do the opposite, find your top users and ask them for a review or case study, or pass an upselling opportunity to sales.
For your customer success tool to be effective it should seamlessly sync with your CRM data.
Your sales and sales enablement teams will likely need a few tools to upskill your sellers effectively. One of these tools might include a content management system to share sales battlecards and up-to-date product information.
For more information on sales enablement tools check out this guide.
Reporting and analytics
Without accurate data insights, you can’t make strategic, data-driven decisions. Reporting and analytics tools can streamline your data processes and allow up-to-date and valuable insights to appear on relevant dashboards for each revenue team.
These dashboards should be intuitive to use to allow your marketing, sales, and customer success teams to understand their metrics, and allow leadership to track sales performance.
Revenue forecasting is another important part of data-driven decision-making and determines revenue strategy but manual forecasting is time-consuming and can lead to inaccuracies. Which is why most organizations have a forecasting tool in their tech stack.
A sales forecasting tool allows you to easily predict what deals in the sales pipeline will close and generate revenue. This tool uses your CRM data to create these forecasts so your chosen forecasting tool must integrate well with your CRM.
Types of solution
If that wasn’t complicated enough… On top of thinking about the types of tools you’ll need in your tech stack, you’ll also need to consider what type of solution your company needs.
There are a few decisions to make so let’s assess your options.
Full-suite vs best-of-category
The first decision is whether you need a full-suite or a best-of-category solution for your business. Not sure what those mean? Let’s define these terms:
Full-suite solutions are multifunctional tools or multiple tools made by the same company, built to integrate seamlessly.
Pros: One tool serves as multiple tools in your tech stack. Tools are built to work together so no integration problems, and only one bill.
Cons: Tools aren’t specialized and aren’t necessarily best in class for any specific function. May be difficult to change tools or adjust payment terms if you want to change tools in the future.
Best-of-category solutions on the other hand, are niche tools with one specific use case. But these tools tend to be the best tool for that use case as that’s their sole focus.
Pros: The tool is the best one for the job, and gives you flexibility to customize your tech stack with all the specialized tools you need.
Cons: Integrating these tools together can be complicated - especially as the number of tools in your stack increases.
There’s a good chance your tech stack will include both types of solution but it’s definitely important to understand and weigh up before purchasing a new tool.
Build vs buy
Another consideration is whether you want to build or buy your solution. Not everyone will have the option to build a unique tool to suit your needs - but if you work in an enterprise organization or a niche industry it may be worth considering.
Mike Lee, Senior Director of Global Revenue Operations, at Reality Labs, Meta suggests a nuanced approach to this question. In some situations, a custom solution may be beneficial, in others a generic best-in-class solution will do.
At Meta, Mike decided on a custom solution for their planning system and continued to use their existing CRM system. Learn more from Mike here.
How to build a winning RevOps tech stack
With all those factors considered, it’s time to start planning and implementing your new revenue tech stack. This section breaks down the steps to get all your tools in a row.
Roadmap and requirement mapping
Mapping out your current tech needs and any future requirements will be useful for creating a strategic approach to your tools. This roadmap will allow you to visualize how your tools integrate, what purpose they serve, and highlight gaps in our current capabilities.
You should also map out the requirements each element of your tech stack should meet, including functions, pricing, integrations, and any other important factors for your use cases. From this, you can easily scope out which tools suit your needs.
Building and implementing new software into your organization affects many stakeholders, by building alliances with these key people you can get your job done faster.
Here are some ways you can build alliances:
- Gain buy-in from executive leadership to get the budget approved ahead of time.
- Build friendships with a few members of your revenue teams who will be affected by the change to advocate for the tool.
- Brief your enablement team before the change so that they can prepare training materials.
- Communicate with your IT procurement department so your tool purchases will be speedy and pain-free.
To ensure your implementation process runs smoothly, it’s crucial to plan out the timeframe for the project. This should include who the key stakeholders are at each part of the project to keep your teams accountable. You should also consider the time for training on the new technology.
Integration into your tech stack is a key consideration that should be thoroughly researched when purchasing a new tool. If there isn’t yet a way to connect your new software to your existing tools, you may end up causing more headaches than you’re solving.
Test before purchase
Remember earlier when we said to reach out to revenue team members? Now is their time to shine! Ask your sales, marketing, and customer success allies to test out the new tools for their use case.
Getting a few opinions about the effectiveness of a tool from those who will actually use the software is a great way to scope the right tool for your organization. A tool may tick all of the boxes on paper, but if it’s clunky to use your sales reps may be left unsatisfied with the change.
Once you’ve made the big decision it’s time to get your final sign-offs and jump into the purchase cycle for your chosen tool! Congrats - you’re almost at the finish line.
Building your dream revenue operations tech stack is all well and good, but if no one knows how to utilize the new software, your hard work will go to waste. While it’s tempting to celebrate once your new tools are implemented - don’t miss this crucial last step.
Enablement ensures that your sales, marketing, and customer success teams receive appropriate training and support to ensure they can make the most of the new tools, and reap the benefits of efficiency promised.
Building your RevOps tech stack can be challenging but with enough planning and consideration, you can align your revenue function and increase productivity in your organization.
Got some specific tools questions? Our community of revenue operations experts would be happy to help. Join the conversation today! 👇