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Against a backdrop of growing economic uncertainty due to inflation and a potential slowdown, companies are increasingly turning to cost-cutting measures and investments. However, a more sustainable solution may lie in streamlining processes and increasing operational efficiency.
Most companies are looking to cut spending, with the software and digital technology sectors being heavily targeted. But this is not the only option. Rather than reducing your investments in this area, you could take a closer look at your current digital activities, to first identify and then fix inefficiencies. With this approach, you can reduce costs without actually hampering your ability to meet your customers’ needs or grow your operations.
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Perform your technology stack audit
Your technology stack audit should categorize each technology based on its use:
- customer success
- Operations and Analytics
This type of distribution will facilitate a more organized approach to testing and evaluation. This necessary audit helps determine the overall ROI of each tool and how it contributes to business operations, transparent internal and customer communication, and goals.
Additionally, the data you collect and analyze should highlight the most important metrics, such as sales velocity and conversion rates.
Your tech stack includes the software, web applications, and tools needed to build functioning websites for your customers and for you.
To achieve great results, your digital interfaces and applications must be fast, well-organized and simple. One or two poorly chosen technologies can hamper performance by introducing inefficiencies that can cost time and money, and making it harder to make sales or collect and process critical data.
A greater diversification of the tasks required by their users has made today’s technology stacks increasingly byzantine in their structures, leading to an increase in both the types of digital devices needed to access online portals and the volume of data that sites now have to process. Businesses with an online presence are expected to do more in the digital environment than before.
This increases the likelihood of inefficiencies developing due to incompatibilities with software that does not easily integrate with other technologies in your stack. For optimal efficiency and integration, your first step is to evaluate each technology.
Your technology stack audit should categorize each technology according to whether it is used for marketing, business development, analytics, customer support, or sales. This type of breakdown will facilitate a more organized approach to testing and evaluation, as your evaluators go through each category one by one.
Find the inefficiencies sabotaging your business
There may be several inefficiencies hidden deep within your tech stack. In your relentless efforts to uncover obstacles that could negatively impact profitability, here are some critical aspects of your business operations that you should assess.
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You can choose a set of tools that work in a perfectly coordinated way, but that does not benefit you if the right data is not collected, analyzed and reported.
The data you collect and analyze should highlight the most important metrics, such as sales velocity and conversion rates. If you’re not getting actionable data that helps you streamline your operations or strengthen your customer relationships, you may need to eliminate some tools from your stack or replace them with newer technologies.
If you haven’t already, you need to add software to your technology stack that can automatically calculate prices for the custom products and services you provide. Trying to manage CPQ (setup-price-quote) responsibilities the old-fashioned way, via human calculation, will take too long and increase the risk of miscalculation.
customer loyalty service
You need to differentiate your strategic customers (your most loyal and active supporters) from those who are less engaged. While the customer service you provide should be diverse and personalized to meet the needs of both groups, you should not waste time and money on services aimed at low-value customers – a negative return on investment is very likely.
You need to analyze your current marketing efforts carefully and with a skeptical, if not critical, eye. You need to know if you’re getting an acceptable return on investment, which means reaching your target audience with a message that resonates. If your ROI is lacking, your current marketing strategies need to be dispatched.
Your customer relationship management (CRM) platform is the hub of your operations, and as such, you can’t afford to choose or stick with a product that doesn’t fully support the implementation of your business plan.
You shouldn’t assume that all CRM platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho are automatically right for everyone. And while one, all three, or more may very well be, you should carefully assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current CRM choice and be prepared to move on to another option with capabilities more closely aligned to your unique and vital needs.
Your technology ecosystem should always be scalable, no matter how fast you grow. Your software must be able to accommodate increased customer engagement and sales volume without creating blockages or bottlenecks that require technology additions, subtractions, or substitutions.
Related: Want Tech Workers to Stay Longer? Think 30 years – not 3.
Greater efficiency will give you the advantage
The kind of exhaustive technical evaluation offered here is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a meticulous and comprehensive process that will take time, effort and extraordinary attention to detail, whether you hand over the responsibility to an internal audit team or bring in outside experts to do the work for you.
What you are really doing when you undertake such a process signals a revolution in your thinking. A comprehensive review of your technology choices can help you refine, revamp, or redevelop your go-to-market (GTM) strategies without reducing your investment in your business, which you now know is the best way to survive tough times. The changes you make next will give you a leg up on the competition, giving you a real opportunity to scale while others think only of scaling back.