What is a B2B technology stack?
A B2B technology stack or “tech stack” is a term for the sum total of software and applications used by a B2B company. The term has grown in relevance due to the recent explosion in the number of tech and SaaS (software as a service) companies, especially in the B2B sector.
As a result of this tech expansion, most B2B organisations now have budget earmarked specifically for technology. Behind every successful sales or marketing team is a suite of tools and platforms designed to optimise or accelerate their tasks. A good, well-managed B2B technology stack is the foundation on which your entire business can be built.
The benefits of a B2B technology stack
An effective B2B technology stack can bring several benefits to your B2B sales team. Here are five of the most essential:
1 - Generating leads and closing deals
Lead generation is the most crucial activity any salesperson can engage in. New business is the lifeblood of any organisation and winning customers relies on a smooth-running lead generation process.
Nowadays, technology can assist with this process, enabling the sales rep to source thousands of verified prospects, their names and contact details, at the simple click of a button. Just as technology can help at the start of the sales cycle, so it can provide value at the end. Technology can aid the sales rep when it comes to closing deals, speeding up the process so that they can quickly move on and engage with new leads.
2 - Increasing productivity
One major benefit of a good B2B tech stack is that it frees up time for a sales team. By automating time-consuming or laborious tasks, the best sales technology gives time back to the user.
One good example of this is lead generation, as discussed above. It’s estimated that up to 22% of a sales rep’s time is spent generating leads, be that prospecting (cold calling, sales emails and appointment setting) or researching (searching for target accounts and building contact lists). Technology now exists that can run these lead generation activities with minimal input. Consequently, sales reps are rewarded with more time - time that can be put to good use in engaging with prospects and closing deals.
3 - Faster problem solving
Having a good B2B tech stack can make problem-solving easier and faster. Certain types of sales tech can provide accurate, real-time metrics on a granular level. As a result, a tech stack allows salespeople to quickly identify problems in their sales process and make adjustments.
An efficient B2B technology stack will provide you with status reports at every stage of the sales process. The data will show you where the difficulties are, giving you the impetus to change your process or try out new courses of action.
4 - Improved forecasting and analytics
Before the B2B technology revolution, sales forecasting and analysis was conducted by teams of business analysts. Despite their best efforts, the results were often incorrect or incomplete. Information was often clunky (every sales team leader of a certain age knows the horror of a thousand-row Excel spreadsheet). No fault of theirs, of course - they did their best with the technology available to them - but like all business tasks performed by humans, it was subject to the whims of human error.
Nowadays, sales technology can provide meticulous and precise forecasting and analysis. AI technology, for example, can analyse vast quantities of data, at a much faster rate than any human can. This leads to improved reporting and forecasting.
The upshot of this is that the instant availability of accurate data empowers sales managers to make better decisions. If your B2B tech stack is predicting that revenue will be down next quarter, then you’ll know exactly where to focus manpower and resources going forward.
The best B2B sales tech stacks should also create a feedback loop. As more data is fed into the system, it leads to better reporting and better results...which in turn leads to more data being fed into the system, which leads to better reporting and better results...ad infinitum!
5 - Greater flexibility
B2B technology stacks shouldn’t be static; they should evolve as your company grows or your goals change. Big sales teams will need a different tech stack compared to small sales teams. Your technology must be able to evolve, based on your company’s needs.
The most efficient tech stacks will provide flexibility for your B2B sales team. Look for tools that can easily integrate with your CRM. Seamless integrations equal a seamless working experience for your team.
There are several advantages that an efficient B2B technology stack can deliver to a marketing team. Here are five of the top tech benefits for B2B marketing:
1 - SEO and keyword research
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing traffic to your website from organic search engine results. It’s a key pillar of any B2B marketing strategy, as it serves to promote your brand and delivers those all-important inbound leads to your website.
There are a plethora of tools available which can help B2B marketers to optimise their websites for SEO. One important area where tech assists is keyword research - the activity of finding the search terms that people type into search engines. Technology exists which allows B2B marketers to source the most relevant keywords for their business, and see how their competitors are ranking for those keywords.
2 - Planning and communication
The days of B2B marketers launching campaigns without preparation and working in silos are long gone. Many platforms now exist which empower marketers to plan out their work in detail before the hard graft begins. The upshot of such technology is greater productivity and more successful, targeted and focused marketing activity.
As well as planning, technology has also revolutionised the ways that marketing teams communicate with each other. From file storage services to collaboration software and project management platforms, there are many new tools that make the day-to-day business of marketing easier and more efficient.
3 - Content creation
Content marketing is a growing facet of the B2B marketing mix. As the discipline has expanded, so too has the variety of software available to B2B content marketers. Some of the earliest examples of content tech were blogging platforms and content management systems, but as of today, a great many more applications have hit the market.
Today’s B2B content marketer can utilise tools in areas as diverse as website creation, video production, infographic design, webinar and podcast recording and blogging and writing assistants. Expect even more innovations in this field as the popularity of content marketing increases.
4 - Connecting and engaging
Creating content is one thing; sharing it and promoting it is quite another! Luckily, this is an area of B2B marketing which is blessed by an abundance of useful tech. Social media management platforms are hugely popular and allow B2B marketers to activate their content and share it with a global audience of prospects and customers.
Online advertising is another sector that has been transformed by technology. If you’re looking to manage your digital advertising campaigns across platforms, then there are several choices available to you. All have slightly different USPs but all promise to make online advertising faster and easier to control.
5 - Tracking and measuring
Just as in B2B sales, the analytics revolution has occurred across B2B marketing. Almost every marketing activity can be tracked and measured, practically in real-time.
With analytics tools, the modern B2B marketer can scrutinise metrics for all the major marketing channels, from company websites and social media to online ads and email marketing campaigns.
The primary benefit of this technology in B2B marketing is that it empowers marketers to evaluate their work and learn from it, helping them to make better data-driven decisions.