An Objective and Financially Valid Approach To Consolidating, Simplifying And Optimizing The Commercial Technology Portfolio

Over the last forty years, the weight of sales and marketing investment has shifted from media and field sales to owned digital channels and the systems, data, and processes that support them. Today, we have reached a tipping point where growing a business is so capital intensive and interdisciplinary it has broken the back of traditional models for managing the customer cycle and the teams, operations, systems and commercial assets that support it. Business leaders are finally starting to wake up to the fact that growing a business has become a capital intensive, technology enabled, data-driven team sport. They are starting to reimagine their approach to managing the growing cost and complexity of the commercial technology stack and the rapid convergence of sales enablement, engagement and readiness solutions that comprise its backbone.

The growing cost, complexity and importance of the commercial technology portfolio has forced growth leaders to start to rationalize, consolidate, reconfigure, and simplify their commercial technology portfolio. In fact almost every (94%) sales organization plans to consolidate their tech stack in the next 12 months in an effort to reduce “technology mayhem”, simplify selling, and multiply the financial returns on these growing technology portfolio – according to a survey of 7,700 B2B sales organizations by Salesforce.  These efforts present managers with an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the vast potential of these technologies to generate more scalable and consistent growth. They are reimagining their selling technology portfolios from the top down and actively “knitting together” the various pieces of their technology portfolios in ways that automate, simplify, and speed up selling by addressing the major hot spots in the selling process.

Why now? The reason is the modern commercial model has reached a tipping point. The core systems are in place to finally turn technology into a force multiplier. Today, most B2B organizations have the fundamental CRM, sales enablement, training and engagement platforms in place to materially simplify, augment, and streamline the day-to-day seller experience. Investment in selling technology on a per capita basis routinely exceed $10,000 annually per front line seller as the commercial technology and the “owned” channel infrastructure that supports sales and marketing channels now represent 25% and 35% of operating spend respectively. These investments in systems, training, and technologies are far more scalable and productive than the paid media, travel, real estate and other selling overhead they have displaced.

This puts growth leaders in a position to finally break the back of the historic issues of achieving consistent performance improvement as well as a material return on technology investment. A wave of Revenue Operations leaders with management support, expanded remit, and a critical mass of systems and tools at their disposal have emerged as the fastest growing job in America. This next generation of operations leaders are now in a position to finally make a dent in sales productivity numbers that feel like they have been stuck in the mud over the past few decades.

It’s about time. The return on selling assets – people, data, technology, and content – still falls below managers’ expectations, and even further below their potential to create firm value by any financially valid measure. And the most recent benchmarks from Salesforce show that time spent with customers (28% of rep time) and quota attainment (42% of all reps) have a lot of room for improvement. The current environment at most B2B sales organization is much more conducive than ever to move those numbers up.

The view is worth the climb. Consolidating, simplifying and optimizing the commercial technology portfolio can significantly grow firm value and improve financial performance. But it won’t be easy. There is no established system or blueprint to help managers configure, connect and organize the many different technologies in modern commercial tech stack equation working together. Business leaders also lack an operating system for managing these increasingly expensive and important growth assets, systems, and processes. The executives tasked with leading this consolidation face risks and uncertainties as they struggle to adapt their management systems and the financial models that define growth plans and allocate operating budgets and capital investment. The operations leaders tasked with executing this consolidation, struggle to coordinate and rationalize the dozens of operating teams (marketing operations, sales operations, sales enablement, training and development, customer analytics) that buy, administer and support the commercial technology portfolio.

Until these fundamental issues are addressed, the potential of technology and AI to unlock consistent, profitable, and scalable growth will not be fully realized. 

The solution to this problem is clear.  A new blueprint for architecting, managing, and monetizing commercial technology is urgently needed. One that configures the commercial technology portfolio to generate more growth from the expensive solutions, platforms, digital infrastructure and data assets that are the foundation of modern selling.

In our latest research report, Tuning the Revenue Growth Engine, our faculty has documented a financially valid approach to help growth leaders and their operations teams to rationalize, simplify, and optimize their commercial technology portfolios to grow more for less. The report is based on an academically vetted financial model to help you define, prioritize, fund, measure, and manage your tech stack consolidation efforts. This represents the only objective, financially justifiable, and comprehensive blueprint available to help executives reimagine and knit together their commercial technology portfolio to make selling more consistent, scalable, and most importantly profitable – the Revenue Operating System.

In this 60 page analysis, we outline four practical steps they can take to double the performance of their commercial assets and create  more scalable and sustainable growth. Taking these steps can improve the speed, engagement, and productivity of your sellers by over 50% while cutting costs by linking the twenty (or often) more pieces of their legacy growth technology stack into highly productive “ecosystems”;

Based on interviews with over 50 Revenue Operations leaders, the report shares best practices from successful implementations to help manage the risks and uncertainties that come with aligning, reconfiguring and connecting your core commercial systems, operations, data sets and processes.

Our blueprint for consolidating, simplifying and optimizing the commercial tech stack is comprehensive and versatile and can be applied to any business. Our model factors in the nine ways technology can improve the performance, allocation, and value of revenue teams. It is based on an evaluation of over 5,000 point solutions to identify the which is a highly vetted list of the top 100 “building block” solutions – the “Revenue Operations 100“- that you can assemble and connect to simplify, streamline and add value to the day to day seller workflow.

To help your organization get started, we outline six ‘smart actions” – proven recipes the best organizations are using to consolidate and connect existing solutions to save money by reducing waste, redundancy, and unnecessary software while better supporting the day to day selling cycle.


You can learn more about our financially valid blueprint for consolidating, simplifying, and optimizing  the commercial technology portfolio at our CXO NEXT Revenue Operations management forum on September 21st in New York City. At this invitation-only management workshop members of our Revenue Operations community will participate in open discussions about the evolution of sales operations, training, and enablement functions and the integration with analytics and operations teams in marketing, finance and customer success. Operations leaders and managers are welcome to in a peer-led and research-informed discussion of the hottest issues facing RevOps leaders. Topics will include: How to best overcome the challenges of managing change, balancing results with capability building, fostering teamwork along the revenue cycle, prioritizing smart actions, and consolidating the commercial technology portfolio. You and learn more about this forum at the link below.

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