5 Tips to Building a Better B2B Tech Stack

5 Tips to Building a Better B2B Tech Stack

Nobody wants to call your baby ugly. But if your baby has grown to be Frankenstein‘s monster, and your baby is a B2B tech stack—it might be time to consider the truth.

For B2B teams, designing the “seamless” tech stack is a complicated challenge. First of all, “seamless” is not technically possible. Secondly, your technology is complex because your buyers are complex. Each member of your buying group has a completely different set of priorities, and they have different modes of operation and engagement that you need to collect and respond to in-real time, across different channels, with different messages.

Now let’s take a glance at the traditional B2B tech stack. The primary tools in a B2B stack are CRM, MAP, and ABM. But you also have your paid advertising tools, your content management tools, your lead scoring tools, your analytics and intelligence tools, your SDR tools, your onboarding tools…

Ok, this is already starting to feel scary. With data scattered across all these different tools, and different teams operating off of different sets of data, it’s hard to put your best foot forward for prospects and customers.

In this post, we’ll dig into how to rethink your stack from the context of your customer data to see how you can get high-quality pipeline and move customers faster from anonymous to advocate. You’ll also hear from two leading B2B brands about how they reimagined their stacks.

5 Tips to Building a Better B2B Tech Stack

1. Inventory Your Customer Data

Any good tech stack starts with the customer data. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It answers questions about what your prospects are interested in, who they are, and how you can get them engaged and keep them engaged after they become customers. That means knowing the right information to build campaigns around product adoption and consumption, cross-sell, or a win-back campaign. Your tech stack should be oriented around the goal of high-quality, complete data so you can activate high-quality, complete, and personalized customer experiences.

One way you can do this is to think through all the different types of customer data that are being collected across the customer journey, and what you need them for. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Demographic data: Basic information such as age, gender, location, and job title.
  • Behavioral and intent data: Insights into how customers interact with your products and services, including website visits, content consumption, and product usage.
  • Transactional data: Details on past purchases, transaction history, and payment methods.
  • Engagement data: Information on how customers are engaging with your marketing efforts, including email opens, click-through rates, and social media interactions.
  • Firmographic data: Company-specific information such as industry, company size, and revenue.
  • Technographic data: The technology that your prospects are using in their tech stack right now. This could come from Leadpace, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator or more.

And so much more.

By organizing and centralizing this data, you create a solid foundation that informs every aspect of your customer interactions and marketing strategies.

2. Complete a Customer Journey Map

Your work looking through all of the different customer data you have access to within the tools in your tech stack should mean that you’ve already completed part of the next exercise — building a customer journey map.

Creating a customer journey map for a B2B business means building a detailed understanding of the different stages your customers go through when interacting with your company, from initial awareness to retention. This map should detail every touchpoint, data type, and technology used at each stage, allowing you to identify where improvements can be made.

A simplified example of a customer journey map might include:

AwarenessConsiderationDecisionRetention
GoalNurture leadsClose salesMaintain loyaltyExisting customers
Audience SegmentsNew prospectsWarm leadsHot leadsExisting customers
Data NeededDemographic, BehavioralBehavioral, FirmographicTransactional, BehavioralEngagement, Behavioral
Tech NeededCRM, Marketing AutomationCRM, Content ManagementCRM, Sales ToolsCRM, Customer Success Tools
ChannelsSocial Media, BlogsEmail, WebinarsSales Calls, DemosEmail, Support Tickets
MessagesEducational ContentSolution-focused ContentPurchase-focused ContentSupport-focused Content
OpportunitiesLead GenerationLead NurturingConversionUpsell, Cross-sell
TeamsMarketingMarketing, SalesSalesCustomer Success
MetricsImpressions, ClicksEngagement RatesConversion RatesCustomer Satisfaction, Retention Rates

3. Identify Gaps in Your Customer Experience

When you complete these exercises, layer them together. Then think through where you have gaps in your customer experience and overlaps in your solutions that may be slowing down your ability to reach customers across the customer journey.

Identify areas where data is missing or not being utilized effectively. For example, you might find that while you have a robust system for capturing initial prospect data, there are gaps in how this data is used to personalize follow-up communications. Additionally, consider overlaps where multiple tools are being used for the same purpose, which can lead to inefficiencies and increased costs.

To identify these gaps and overlaps, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are there stages in the customer journey where engagement drops off?

  • What might be causing these drops?
  • Are certain segments more prone to disengaging at specific stages?

2. Are certain segments of your audience not receiving tailored communications?

  • Which segments are these, and what data are we missing to better target them?
  • How can we improve personalization for these segments?

3. Is there a lack of integration between your tools, leading to data silos?

  • Which tools are not integrated?
  • What data is trapped in silos, and how does this impact our customer experience?

4. Are there redundant tools that can be consolidated?

  • Which tools have overlapping functionalities?
  • What are the costs (both financial and operational) of maintaining these redundancies?

5. Are we capturing the right data at each touchpoint?

6. How effectively are we using the data we collect?

  • Are there areas where data is collected but not effectively utilized?
  • How can we improve the activation of this data to enhance customer interactions?

7. Do we have a single source of truth for customer data?

  • If not, what steps can we take to create a unified view of the customer?
  • How will this unified view improve our marketing and sales efforts?

8. How well do our tools support collaboration across teams?

  • Are marketing, sales, and customer success teams able to access and use the same data?
  • What barriers exist to cross-functional collaboration and how can they be addressed?

9. Are we able to track and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns accurately?

  • What metrics are we using to evaluate success at each stage of the customer journey?
  • Are there gaps in our tracking that prevent us from getting a full picture?

By identifying these gaps and overlaps, you can streamline your tech stack and enhance the customer experience. This process not only improves efficiency but also ensures that your technology supports your strategic goals and customer engagement efforts.

4. Find Your Center of Data Gravity

Still feeling scary? The good news is that massive strides in data management can support B2B brands in wrangling their data and complex integrations.

Your data warehouse paired with a Customer Data Platform (CDP) can create a complete and connected journey with your data — without you having to worry about how you’re stitching all of this data together for better performance, from the first interaction through product adoption and loyalty.

A data warehouse serves as the central repository for all your customer data, allowing you to store vast amounts of information from various sources in a structured way. When paired with a CDP, you can ensure that this data is not just stored, but also unified and made actionable across your marketing and sales efforts.

A Composable CDP helps by:

  • Integrating tools: Connecting to platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Experience Platform and more give marketers easy activation.
  • Providing flexible data models: Marketers can hypersegment and target audiences across any hierarchy, whether at the account or contact level, all with a comprehensive understanding of prospects and customers, enabling relevant targeting strategies.
  • Segmenting audiences: A user-friendly interface gives marketers direct, controlled access to customer data, giving marketers the ability to build granular, multi-dimensional audience segments for personalized engagements—without dependence on IT.
  • Delivering omnichannel experiences: Multi-step journey orchestration, robust integrations with various B2B channels, and powerful AI decisioning for optimal offer, lookalikes, and more, ActionIQ enables cohesive, tailored interactions across touchpoints.
  • Activating data: Enabling you to use this data for personalized marketing campaigns and real-time customer interactions.

With a data warehouse, you can streamline this process so your data is freely accessible and actionable. This integrated approach ensures you have a single source of truth for all customer data, improving data accuracy and consistency across your tech stack.

5. Get a Composable CDP

Now that you’ve mapped your customer data and customer journey, you need a solution to help bring it all together. That’s a Composable CDP.

Composable CDPs change how businesses engage with their customers. With a future-proof architecture and modular functionalities, businesses are empowered to keep pipeline progression going while meeting the demands of today’s customers.

They provide the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs and integrate with existing systems, ensuring you can scale and evolve your tech stack as needed.

But don’t take it from us. Below, read two stories about how leading B2B brands get more efficiency with a Composable CDP.

How HP and Autodesk Reinvented Their B2B Tech Stack With a Composable CDP

Still looking for a little stackspiration? We’ve got you covered. Below, see how leading B2B brands built a better data foundation for their business to activate more precise customer experiences across each unique prospect journey.

How Hp Lowered Spend and Increased Conversion With a New Kind of Stack

The deprecation of third-party cookies led technology brand HP to rethink its approach to targeting and acquiring new customers. HP needed to operationalize the first-party data set in its data lake and translate it into an acquisition engine with offers for shoppers that are designed to convert.

We recently sat down with HP and Databricks to discuss how they designed a new kind of stack built on a better foundation, activated by a Composable CDP. See more in the full conversation.

How Autodesk Optimized Their B2b Data Model for Better Efficiency and Performance

Nearly every marketer is working toward the same goal – do more with less. But B2B brands have even more pressure to increase the efficiency of their programs despite strapped budgets and complex buying groups. A limited view of each buyer and performance plateaus of classically reliable B2B tactics make delivering on pipeline goals and earning buyer trust more challenging than ever.

We recently spoke with leading software brand Autodesk to see how they pulled the right levers across data, marketing and technology to optimize their hierarchical B2B model, deploy impactful lifecycle marketing use cases from acquisition to winback and drive impressive revenue metrics. You can check out the conversation below.

Go from Frankenstack to Fine-Tuned B2B Instrument

Does a “seamless” tech stack exist for B2B companies? With ActionIQ, B2B brands can get data for the real world — with the option to pull data from ActionIQ and from their data warehouse — to get the most complete and precise audience creation they can.

By following these steps, you can avoid creating a Frankenstack and build a B2B tech stack that truly supports your customer experience and business goals. Reach out to our team to see how we help B2B brands drive pipeline, faster with a new kind of CDP.

Julia Michaelis
Julia Michaelis
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Julia is a product and brand storyteller, focusing on all of the different strategies that enable amazing customer outcomes. She lives in Brooklyn with her terrier Lee.
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