This article was originally published in the online edition of Forbes, in the Community Voice section.[/caption]

Let’s face it — technology underpins everything we do in business today. Each year, Scott Brinker, editor of, releases a Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic to illustrate solutions available to marketers. In 2011, there were 150 technologies in the market. In 2016, that number was nearly 4,000 — about 87% growth over 2015. But I challenge the notion that it ends with marketing technology (MarTech). I believe you should consider the entire business when thinking about your technology stack. Suffice it to say the amount of software we rely on in our businesses is staggering. The good news is with the increased ease of integrating platforms, Accounting, human resources and ERP software could be connected to your marketing software. At the very least, marketers and business leaders should be aware of the technology systems outside of MarTech and consider what data and processes could aid their business growth strategy.

The Application Process

Financial Insights: Sales and marketing teams spend lots of time looking for new business. Organizations focus on examining behaviors at the top and middle of the sales funnel to measure awareness, lead generation, lead scoring and conversion. Most sales and marketing teams look less frequently, if at all, on the financial side of customer insights.

  • What products/services are most profitable?
  • What percentage of customers pay in 30, 45, or over 90 days?
  • Which clients are best-suited for sales growth or expanded services?
  • What system integrations could provide more efficiency in viewing these key performance metrics (KPIs)?

Systemizing Talent Management: Talent acquisition and retention are more and more competitive and costly. The average cost per hire is over $4,000, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Human Capital Benchmarking Report. A new employee can take up to two full years to reach the same level of productivity as an existing staff member, according to the Institute for Corporate Productivity. According to Gallup (via the Tampa Bay Times), active disengagement costs the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion per year. This is some serious cash! Business leaders need to consider the underlying cost that can impact their growth and the bottom beyond sales.

  • Are your brand story and job posting positioning you as an employer of choice?
  • Are your open positions easy to access on your website?
  • Do you have a technology platform for job posting, applicant scoring, review status and new hire onboarding?
  • Are you using a human resource information system (HRIS) to unify management activities like employee reviews, requests for time off and goal tracking?

Where Should You Start When Trying To Identify Gaps In Your Business
Technology Stack?

  1. Tech Audit: Make a list of what systems you are using today. List everything from social media sites to accounting software. Don’t forget the things you are doing on paper, homegrown systems, Google Docs and Excel.
  2. Establish KPIs: Assess the key performance metrics that, if regularly reviewed, automated or improved, would have the most impact on your business.
  3. Identify Gaps: Review the list of systems against your key performance metrics and pinpoint the big holes.
  4. Create a Priority Plan: Create a list of technology and process priorities to fill those holes. Do this by replacing legacy software, integrating two or more software platforms, or purchasing new or custom software.

Kathy Steele


Meet The Author

I am passionate about people, obsessed with helping businesses grow, and love to support the underdog cause in my community. As a business leader, I'm an educated risk-taker who persevered through challenging economic conditions and a business divorce to be a two-time honoree on Inc. Magazines Annual List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

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