Have you ever read the internet-famous advice for learning to dress a toddler? It goes like this: Buy a live octopus. Buy a string bag. Place the octopus in the string bag, and make sure no part of the octopus pokes out. You’re now ready to try wrestling an unwilling 1-year-old into a onesie.
Managing a RevTech stack can feel a lot like dressing a toddler, or keeping an octopus in a string bag: unwieldy, frustrating, and like you don’t have nearly enough arms to hold it all together.
And with thousands of new sales and marketing solutions entering the landscape every year, the challenge isn’t getting any easier. Okta recently found that the average tech company now manages a staggering 155 apps — up 17% from last year.
It’s no wonder 40% of C-level respondents and 50% of all respondents feel their tech stack is too bloated, complex, or expensive.
So what are top RevTech leaders doing to successfully manage their tech stacks? That’s just what Difference Maker host Jeannine Crispino, VP of Customer Success at 6sense, wanted to find out. She put the question to two of the brightest minds in RevTech: Missi Carmen, director of global marketing and digital strategy at SYKES, and Lauren Wagner, director of marketing technology at Okta, Inc. Here’s what they had to say.
Trust the experts on the ground
“My philosophy is that every modern marketer is really part marketing technologists. So we view it as a partnership with the folks on the front lines, doing the marketing, who are in these different roles. They're the ones who are attending the different conferences and events. They're talking to people at other companies who do what they do, and they're hearing about what tools they're using. We take those recommendations seriously and look into them, because there's no way for us to be involved in all of those conversations and to know the thousands of options for any one particular thing.” —Lauren Wagner, Okta
Solve for now, with an eye toward the future
“Take a look at the entire life cycle of a tech stack. [When I started] there was a rough bones in place. But what wasn't apparent to me in that tech stack, as I was evaluating it, was whether or not we could effectively manage it. Could it effectively evolve? Which then made me take a step back and understand that we needed to have something built so that moving forward, we knew
how to understand the tech stack and what we needed to fulfill to make it successful for the team.” —Missi Carmen, SYKES
Think of your tech stack like a fireworks display
“It's not like one person pushes a button and everything goes off without a hitch and you have this beautiful fireworks display with sounds and colors and everything's all orchestrated perfectly. You have a bunch of different people who are experts in different parts of making that whole thing come together. I see us as those experts who take the pieces, put them together based on our marketing strategy, and hit go. And then you have a beautiful experience for either your internal stakeholders or your external audiences.” —Lauren Wagner, Okta
Take pride in what you’ve created
“I am so proud of the tech stack that I've been able to build and maintain. It's truly a living, breathing technology piece that allows us to maneuver and respond whenever the organizations and the teams need us to. By being proud of it, I've been able to introduce visibility, integration, and automation so much more than what was here previously.” —Missi Carmen, SYKES
“There's been a massive boom over the past 10 years in the MarTech space. People were favoring best-in-class point solutions for every little thing you need to do. I think we're getting to the point where we're seeing that managing 120 different tools in your tech stack gets a little unmanageable. So I wonder if we're going to see the pendulum swing a little bit back to a consolidation platform approach. For us, one of the things that we were looking at with 6sense was consolidation. We had a couple of different tools that we were using to fulfill different parts of what success does. That was definitely one of the drivers for us, because consolidation creates efficiency within our tech stack — the ability to actually manage it on a day-to-day basis.” —Lauren Wagner, Okta
Creating and maintaining a tech stack that does everything you need it to do — and that ensures all its components work together — is essential for the entire revenue team. It’s the key to gathering the rich account insights you need in order to understand your accounts, their buying teams, your competitors, what tech your customers are using, what they worry about, how they’re engaging, and so much more.
Learn more about how Lauren and Missi manage their tech stacks (without feeling like they’re wrangling an octopus) by listening to the full episodes of the Difference Maker podcasts.
Lauren Wagner, Okta
Missi Carmen, SYKES