TLDR: Revamping your tech stack is rarely an easy task. A tech stack overhaul can take 18 months, so set realistic expectations with leadership. Assess the current state of the tech stack, gather information from different departments, and build a case for change. Present the tech stack as an interlinking diagram and position the project as a technological and cultural change. Finally, a tech stack overhaul requires an ongoing time investment.

It’s easier than you think for a tech stack to get tangled. Maybe each department chooses tech in silos, acquiring tech without regard to the overall strategy. Or your company has grown through acquisitions, bringing tools together that don’t sync well.

Either way, the results are bad: Lagging campaigns, reporting errors, or an inability to show marketing’s contribution to revenue.

In this Tough Talks Made Easy, we’ll cover how to set realistic expectations for revamping your tech stack. Creating and pitching a successful plan means taking a consultative approach around your company, so we’ll advise you on how to approach the discussions you’ll need to have along the way.


Set fair expectations

The VP and CMO don’t see all the work MOPs does to keep things working. They just know you get things done.

When they tap you to overhaul the tech stack, they’re doing it with an optimistic view of the time and effort involved.

A core piece of tech alone — your CRM, CMS, or marketing automation platform — can take 3-6 months to overhaul correctly. It can take up to 18 months if your workplace is particularly complex or slow-moving to get all the pieces together.

What leadership needs to know: turning your stack around is a gradual process.

It’s a project of finding the roadblocks that stop your team from working well and unearthing opportunities to improve your tech use.

Putting your assessment into action can help marketing gain revenue, reportability, and productivity — you just need time and space to do a thorough job. 


Build your case

Your first step is determining just how messed up your tech stack is.

Start getting friendly with people in different departments, chiefly marketing, sales, and IT.

Ask them to walk you through their processes with questions like:

  • How do lead flows work between marketing and sales?
  • How do you get campaigns off the ground?
  • What features do you use (and not use) in the tools you have?

These questions will help you determine how your stack interlinks and which tools are essential versus substandard. 

This is how you frame a case for change to leadership. The heart of your tech needs to be healthy and additional tools should sync well with your core tech: CRM, CMS, and marketing automation platform. 

If not, each tool should be best-in-class at what it does, fulfill a relevant need for your business, and have strong momentum in the market.

Tech you can eliminate: Tools that duplicate functions, lack useful integrations, or are no longer relevant to your business only add costs and put pressure on your infrastructure.


Influence the outcome

Overhauling your tech stack will impact more teams beyond marketing. Leadership needs to believe in your assessment to push it through. Illustrate how all the pieces gel and clash to your bosses to get their support.

Present your tech stack as an interlinking diagram that maps out how:

  • your tools sync
  • how each set of features contributes towards revenue and productivity, and
  • redundant, siloed, and poorly-utilized software bloats your stack.

Some of those suboptimal tools will be popular with the teams that use them. Naturally, removing or replacing these solutions can create tension. So, position this project to leadership as equally about refreshing the culture of your workplace along with the tech. Read our advice column on choosing the right martech stack for more info.

What to tell your boss: Now we know the flaws in how our teams use tech to build landing pages or host webinars, we can rethink how to do those things for the better. Partner with MOPs to change the culture here, and we can implement procedural and technological changes that help to create better outcomes for the business.

MOPs should own new tech: Propose that MOPs be fully involved with evaluating and signing off on new pieces of tech. As you screen apps for quality, market momentum, and complementary fit for the business, your input saves the company from repeating past mistakes.

Once you have untangled the knots, the next challenge is keeping your tech stack healthy.


Turn your tech around

Untying the knots in your tech stack isn’t an easy task.

Make it clear to leadership what is involved — ongoing time investment, holistic evaluation, behavioral change with tech — and you’ll stand the best chance of partnering together to succeed.

For any guidance you need throughout the process, Revenue Pulse is here to help.

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