It’s a big question – what exactly is your role, as the buyer, for the successful deployment of MarTech? And I can tell you, your role is pretty large. 30-60% of CRM projects fail, and they are probably the largest type of MarTech project.
Let’s start with the background.
The Cloud Changes Everything
Wait, did we just change topics? No, we didn’t, we need to touch on the background around deployments of new solutions. Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, any deployment of a solution with an organization would require heavy IT involvement and likely senior executive signoff. What this meant is that the top levels of an organization had to buy into the vision, as did IT. And while many people complain about IT, the reality is they do know how to do projects. So you had someone accountable, and someone to manage the project. So while success may not happen, at least you have someone to guide the project.
But with cloud solutions, and every MarTech tool I have seen recently involves the cloud, it’s a bit different.
- Lower entry price point – You can get started for a very low amount, likely within the purview of a VP approval limit (varies by the organization), this means you get started without all the senior executive and IT involvement. This is awesome, in part, as those things usually slow you down.
- More flexibility – Any solution that empowers power users to deploy a solution is going to offer a lot more flexibility. This means you can meet requirements and adjust mid-stream, but of course, on the downside, that means you change requirements adjust midstream.
- Less structure – That IT involvement provides a structure that maybe your average MarTech project doesn’t have. IT involvement will keep eyes on the project, and make sure that it progresses.
Successful Deployment of MarTech
What exactly is your role in the successful deployment of MarTech? Well, this starts before you purchase your solution.
Customer Success Manager
In the buying process, make sure you ask the provider – what exactly is your strategy around customer success? Will I have a Customer Success Manager (CSM), and what will they be responsible for? In many ways, this attitude is more important than meeting functional requirements. A provider that is going to sell you something and then disappear is not the provider you want! Make sure the vendor views your successful deployment of MarTech as critical to their success.
Once you select your provider, start leveraging the customer success manager from the start. Use them to their fullest ability, talk to them weekly if not more often. Ask them to do tasks for you, and find out quickly where the line is between paid and free services. Demand best practices, templates and other things from them – if they don’t have them, well they should create them! You can probably get more out of your Customer Success Manager than you think you can.
View Yourself as the Customer Success Manager
The reality is your career might be tied to this MarTech project, so put some investment in the deployment of it. This means viewing your career as tied to the project and accept the consequences. Primarily, you need to not get easily distracted. No one will complete this project for you, so if the CMO or VP of Sales asks you to do something off task, maybe tell them no – you need to focus on this project.
Start Small and Build Off Success
Too often, executives will want to accomplish a lot from the start – a boil the ocean approach. Anyone with any sort of MarTech background knows this won’t work. So start small, scope your project by functionality, region, or product lines. Deploy it, get some success and then build upon it.
Use Project Management Basics
You are a marketing nerd, you are creative, not a left brained hyper-organized person. Recognize this and employ project management basics, this doesn’t mean just having a schedule but also tracking task identification, and regular cadences. Project management basics are probably too big for this blog entry, but check out this, this and this if project basics are of interest.
Built Business Justification From the Start
I wrote about this last year for Sales Enablement Tools, but basically, you are going to be required to justify your deployment early and often. Start from the beginning, identify what metrics to track and figure out how to justify your project.
Don’t Forget Training
It’s easy to overestimate the capability of your end users. Whether they are marketing staff or sales people, using a new solution probably will be a lot harder for them than you think. So train them, early and often. Don’t forget about sales rep and marketing turnover, have a program in place to make sure you train them as part of your successful deployment of MarTech.