Spending Money on Unused B2B Martech? You’re Not Alone

I’m sure I’m about to describe a familiar situation for many B2B Martech Customer Success Managers.

A new client invests their money into your technology, but they never even use it – and if they do, they don’t use all the key features.

As the leader of the Hushly Success Team, I face a consistent challenge: The burden of trying to help customers take full advantage of everything our AI engine and martech platform have to offer.

I’ve been in the business of selling or marketing to other marketers for the past 20-plus years. As I look back, I find it funny that I’ve always been in Customer Success roles in practice but under Sales and Marketing as official titles.

After all, don’t the best results from sales and marketing come through ensuring customer success?

It’s really a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it?

Thrilled customers who see ROI will continue increasing their investment and doing business with your company.

Despite this, I’ve noticed a familiar issue over the years: Businesses invest in B2B martech but it’s a chore getting them to actually use it.

Why Do You Buy B2B Martech If You Don’t What to Try It? I’ve Found 4 Top Reasons

Surprisingly, I think the biggest challenge in my current role lies in convincing people who already bought the technology to use it.

I thought moving from Sales to Customer Success would make it much easier to get meetings and email responses because I’m now available 100% to help – not to sell. Why wouldn’t someone want to meet when I’m just trying to help rather than selling something?

I realize a few folks out there might be put off by my personal style: high-energy, high-speed, and somewhat casual and personal. However, I believe the primary problem is this: Everyone is just plain busy and can’t always prioritize their time on activities that lead to the greatest overall company revenue growth.

Additionally, I find people tend to gravitate toward activities where they’re most comfortable – things they enjoy. I don’t think learning to use a new piece of technology fits into the “comfortable and enjoyable” category, regardless of the long-term benefit to productivity and growth.

However, other factors play into the problem of unused martech as well:

1. Organizational Dysfunction Leads to B2B Martech Dead Ends

In some situations, tons of internal teams overlap with no clear definition of roles and responsibilities or ownership of targets and goals.

This organizational dysfunction makes it virtually impossible for an efficient and productive B2B martech roll out, training, and optimization effort.

In many situations, a single team –such as Demand Generation – controls the budget and purchases new martech but they’re dependent on others to implement it like the Web team or Sales organization.

While it may take slightly longer to get a deal done, I believe it’s important to understand all teams with workloads impacted by new martech along with anyone’s support you need.

From there, consult them early in the buying process to ensure an efficient and pleasant onboarding experience.

We all know teams are often at odds: UX design, demand generation, sales, product, etc. However, everyone tries and wants to get to the same results: a killer (and profitable) customer experience.

However, a lack of shared goals with well-defined KPIs combined with teams relying on opinions to make decisions instead of data can lead to a lot of dead ends for B2B martech implementation.

2. Lack of Growth Mindset Across Departments

I’ve often noticed the person tasked with implementing a new technology is simply looking at it as one more task to check off their list instead of trying to understand its broader business impact.

It’s important to measure a technology’s impact on the bottom line in terms of:

  • Revenue coming in
  • Opportunities created
  • Impact to influence
  • Deal sizes
  • And other important growth factors

Frequently, the disconnect between marketing/sales and the ability to measure KPIs will prevent the right people from caring about the technology’s performance. A clearly defined role could make an enormous difference.

Without an Executive Sponsor that truly understands the B2B martech’s potential, it’s difficult to get the other team members – who are critical for the success of the tech – to care and invest the time required to succeed.

3. Too Many B2B Martech Tools, Too Little Time

Here’s one of the biggest issues I see: Businesses spend a few years developing gigantic technology stacks consisting of tools that aren’t integrated.

People spend far too much time updating multiple systems – pulling, aggregating, and analyzing numerous reports to get to the most meaningful and actionable data.

They then try to learn and apply all the features and functionality available to them. These businesses are running bloated and inefficient martech stacks and they should strategically trim them for efficiency.

4. They Lack Awareness of the B2B Martech Tool’s Capability

I often see only one or two people inside an organization who are even aware of a technology’s capabilities and opportunities.

Honestly, it frustrates me. I will be working with someone on the Demand Generation team who tells me “We can’t do anything with Hushly because we have a web redesign planned.”

While I’ll reiterate our key points on the functionality the other team should find interesting, coordinating our schedules and getting capabilities meeting overviews on the calendar with multiple stakeholders is sometimes difficult – if not impossible – due to a lack of interest from the other team members of the key point of contact themselves.

When Everyone’s On-Board, Amazing Things Happen

I know there are far more reasons than those I’ve listed here, but I believe this is a really good starting point of issues to address as you evaluate and implement new technologies for your marketing and sales stacks.

All Hushly’s most successful customers have a few key ingredients in common:

1. Clearly defined quarterly goals. Whether it’s lead quantity, lead quality, content engagement, content influence on lead conversions, or something else, just having those goals defined and committed to by everyone responsible for doing their part is key.

2. Regular business reviews with cross-functional teams and an Executive Sponsor.

3. Commitment to using the tool each week to update content, study, and optimize based on data.

I’m sure other Success Managers in B2B martech companies out there will agree that as long as the customer’s commitment and enthusiasm match that of their martech reps, there is a genuine chance of using the technology with incredible success.

Learn about Hushly’s full range of possibilities by browsing our use cases.

For Solid B2B Relationships, You Need to Focus on What Matters Most

It happens all the time.

I’m on a call with a customer. We’re spending all of our time talking about something that I feel is unimportant. By the end of the call, we never get to the substantive work required to impact results that lead to ROI.

I’ve always struggled with building the patience to take the time to explain to people what seems obvious to me.

However, I’ve also learned over time how important it is to do just that for building strong long-term B2B relationships.

Everyone is Unique. Don’t Fight It – Roll with It to Build B2B Relationships

Everyone has different priorities and communication styles. If you don’t acknowledge and respect that, along with different personal styles, you will never establish a foundation for long-lasting partnerships built on trust and mutual respect.

In today’s landscape with constant changes and increasing competition as well as smart and agile companies vying for their piece of the pie, acting quickly and focusing on what’s most important is critical for building B2B relationships in your company and outside.

Focus on What’s Best for the Company’s Health

All employees must focus their time and energy on the actions that will yield the best results for the business as quickly as possible.

It’s crucial for each employee to realize the unique challenges of their CEOs and Executive Leadership. It’s up to you to get your company to grow and profit in the shortest amount of time possible.

It doesn’t matter if you are in in a startup company or a big enterprise that’s been around since the beginning of time.

During every meeting, in each project, while completing each task, sending each email – you should always evaluate the situation based on the value that it can bring to the overall health of the company.

The most valuable employees will remind their colleagues of the importance of doing the same as they build B2B relationships.

Contract negotiations, for example, is one of the most critical areas for all key stakeholders to come together as early as possible. They need to understand each other’s perspectives and concerns immediately so they can agree on resolutions efficiently and put plans into action.

Sometimes, a week’s delay in reaching an agreement on a deal can cost a company hundreds to millions of dollars. With these B2B relationships, literally millions of dollars are at stake.

Everyone involved in those negotiations must understand the business impact for a delay.

Stop Thinking of Your Work as a Means to an End

It’s no longer about “how many hours” did you work today. Instead, it’s more about “what have you accomplished that will result in a good business outcome and positive growth?”

Ironically, the work you must do to justify the time you spent growing the business is exactly the work keeping you from growing it even more. Nevertheless, this work is still critical to your long-term success as you forge B2B relationships

Never assume that people “know what you’re doing.” After all, they are busy “doing their own thing” in their own world, too.

Sorting out attribution challenges between sales and marketing technology solutions like MAP (marketing automation platform) and CRM (customer relationship management) tools as well as the time you spend creating reports and presentations are necessary to securing sponsorship from people you are dependent on for success.

While you may reach a solution faster alone, you will get farther and grow higher as a team.

That’s what it’s all about.

Executive understanding and sponsorship are vital to securing the resources you and your business require to succeed. It’s always a challenge to strike a balance between doing the work and telling the right people about the work you’re doing.

5 Examples to Build Solid B2B Relationships and Grow Your Team

I’ve always felt like the best ways to learn and grow B2B relationships from articles like this is to read and absorb specific examples.

Here are a few practical examples based on my experiences during the last six months leading the Hushly Customer Success team.

1. Put the Argument on Hold and Meet Halfway

Don’t argue over terms of an agreement negotiated before your time. Focus on what you can do NOW to “meet in the middle” by the time it comes time to re-evaluate that partnership.

2. Table the Meeting Until You Have the Resources and People You Need

Don’t spend an hour talking about things you can’t fix because you don’t have the right people in the room.

Wrap the meeting early and figure out how to get the people you need in the next meeting.

Identify the people on both sides who will be responsible for bringing those people together as quickly as possible.

3. Get Specific and Realistic with Goals

Rather than spending time hammering on about “what people are doing,” get a clear and specific agenda you’ve defined in advance. Decide what you’ll accomplish by the end of that meeting.

4. Don’t Waste Time Debating. Put the Numbers Together

Don’t spend time debating a particular point based on what people think. Instead, agree on a test plan and the metrics which will prove the point either way then put it into action.

5. Sleep on It and Come Back with Fresh Thoughts

Instead of spending time getting increasingly more upset because you don’t believe your “point of view” is being heard or understood, agree to end the conversation and write out points of view. The following day, come back together for a calm, clear, friendly conversation.

We’re Only Human, After All

At the end of the day, we are human beings.

It’s good to be passionate about our points of view. We are all different – not wrong – simply different. The best possible outcomes will only happen when we can simply agree on common priorities and discover the best way to get there together as quickly as possible.

How to Maximize the ROI on B2B Marketing Technology

B2B marketing technology

I thought that moving from Sales to Customer Success was going to be easy.

No more unanswered emails, people bailing out of meetings five minutes before they start while I’m in the lobby signing in at the reception desk, or problems with follow through on the few things they have to take care of in order to achieve the goals they provided me.

I was headed for the easy street, right?


Very wrong.

5 Ways to Increase the ROI on Your B2B Marketing Technology

As it turns out, even though B2B marketing technology is literally designed to support success, it often seems to actually get in the way.

I never blame the customers, though.

The truth is that there are a number of different reasons it can be extremely difficult for companies to fully realize the benefits of the products and services in which they invest.

Many of them have inherited the responsibility of managing a project, piece of technology, or service without having any input in the decision to purchase it.

In many cases, this person is looking to learn and manage dozens of solutions as well as multiple internal stakeholders who have no idea or insight into the business value of this technology. It’s just one more thing on their plate.

Fortunately, I’ve also discovered that it doesn’t need to be this way.

In fact, I’ve come up with a list of five factors you can focus on to ensure that your organization is able to maximize its return on investment in all new technology. Prioritize them, and I think you’ll find they also help to minimize stress and may even lead to a promotion.

1. Align on Expectations

Put together a schedule, clear goals, and KPI’s and clearly define roles and responsibilities on both the customer side, as well as the customer success team on the B2B marketing technology or service vendor’s side.

2. Take Advantage of Your Customer Success Managers

As their titles make clear, Customer Success Managers are there to help you succeed and want to do everything they can to make your life easier.

So, schedule regular meetings with them. Schedule them frequently in the beginning until you become comfortable in using the product and running its reports. Among other things, this will demonstrate its value to other people in your organization.

Never be shy about letting Customer Success Managers know what you need from them, including:

Again, their success depends on your success with their B2B marketing technology. Give them every opportunity to help.

3. Show Off What Your New B2B Marketing Technology Can Do

Organize a big show-and-tell or some type of roadshow for as many people in your organization who are interested in learning about the capabilities and opportunities related to a particular technology.

Even though content and campaign teams may not use the technology, the more they understand the capabilities before planning the content, the more successful everyone will be at getting it to the right audiences and increasing engagement and conversions.

4. Follow the Leaders

Chances are that other companies have already invested in these same platforms and found success using them.

Look at use cases of how the longest term and most successful customers are using this B2B marketing technology. They’ve likely done a lot of learning that you can benefit from without having to go through the same exact process. Ask for examples and connect with the community when possible so that you don’t spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel.

5. Secure an Executive Sponsor

Find at least one Executive sponsor who can make adoption and implementation of the technology much easier.

This could mean removing roadblocks, helping you when you have too many competing priorities, and being there to recognize a job well done once the investment has paid off. That last benefit is extremely important because it will help secure further buy-in from the rest of the staff.

Invest in the Right B2B Marketing Technology for the Best ROIs

Finally, one of the easiest ways to see better ROIs from your B2B marketing technology is simply making better choices about which versions you invest in for your business.

At Hushly, we’re extremely proud of the version we’ve created, specifically because it offers such a concrete ROI. In fact, we’re so confident in the power of our platform that we actually guarantee it will increase your lead-generation and ABM conversions by at least 51%.

Want to see how?

We’d love to show you. Just contact us today for a no-obligation demonstration.