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Why Fragmentation is the Enemy of Productivity

By David Kerr, CEO, Octiv

David Kerr, CEO, Octiv

Making connections between sales and marketing teams can be challenging, but when teams are committed, an entire organization can benefit. The rising popularity of sales-marketing alignment sheds light on the importance of sales and marketing teams developing deeper, healthier relationships throughout the entire sales process. When both teams embrace the same approach and share the same goals, the teams can streamline workflows and simplify the sales process.

The success of unified workflows within sales and marketing teams can be applied to their approaches to technology as well. While companies of all sizes are discovering that a unified approach to technology can lead to broader success, they also recognize the root of their biggest challenges: the market is saturated with sales and marketing technology. As of 2016, there were 3,874 companies competing in the sales and marketing technology landscape. For sales and marketing teams looking to simplify their tech stacks, the choices can be overwhelming and lead to fragmentation.

And the rise of fragmentation threatens a company's bottom line— that's why Alex Turner, director of sales development at Wrike, believes that fragmentation is the enemy of productivity. Once a necessity of effective technology, point solutions now offer less value than platforms that address both the early and late stages of the buyer's journey. According to Turner, "tool overload" is pushing buyers toward platforms that solve more than one solution, and that integrates seamlessly with other elements of their tech stacks.

Point solutions are rapidly losing their value because they can’t effectively address issues that arise at multiple stages of the buyer’s journey and beyond. For instance, a tech stack overcrowded with a range of disconnected point solutions doesn't just make it more difficult for sales and marketing teams to share goals, metrics and tactics. Instead, it makes it harder for companies to gather valuable data from various sources, streamline the various workflows of the sales process, and use it to improve the customer experience.

This is a situation that can be costly in many ways. The fragmentation and saturation of the tech market leads to over-investment in too many solutions, wasting time and money for both the teams that use the technology and the administrators and IT staff who maintain them. And without technology that encourages standardized processes in an organization, the overall goal of sales-marketing alignment can drift further from sight.

Point solutions that bloat tech stacks and budgets can also inhibit cross-departmental alignment, wasting both valuable time and money. So, how do companies ditch the fragmented point solution mentality and embrace consolidation?

By prioritizing the customer. Sales and marketing teams must invest in processes, techniques and technologies that make it easier to learn customer buying habits and needs. And when sales and marketing teams have the tools they need to address customer needs at every stage of the sales cycle, they can partner with customers in their success in a more inclusive way, instead of simply addressing discrete elements of the buyer's journey. By adopting an all-encompassing platform that standardizes an organization’s processes, sales and marketing teams can overcome confusion, miscommunication and fragmentation on both ends of the buying process.

Sales and marketing teams have access to a wealth of data that provides key insights on customers and prospects. With this information, teams can better identify the platforms that will help them provide people a seamless, personalized buyer’s journey experience—an experience that single point solutions simply can’t provide. If fragmentation is the enemy of productivity, integration is its ally.