Until a few years ago, the phrase “technology stack” was used exclusively to refer to the programming languages, tools, libraries, and other technologies used by a team or company to build a software application. However, in today’s context, tech stacks are so much more than just that.
Technology stacks are treasure troves of information about companies that you can uncover to understand their needs and priorities. Whether you’re selling a product or service, doing competitive research, or trying to engage someone from your desired company online, understanding a company’s tech stack is a major advantage.
What are Technology Stacks?
Technology stacks of a company are basically the list of tools, products, and software that the company uses for its different functions, and teams.
Picking the right combination of underlying development tools is extremely important in the early stages of a company. Think of it this way- while building a house, you don’t start with how your backyard jacuzzi would look like. You start building from the ground up; building a foundation that is strong and can withstand harsh conditions. Following the same line of thought, a tech stack of a company is that foundation, and it needs to be all degrees of strong. The foundation of the technology stack of a company comprises the programming languages used, the UI/UX, frameworks and patterns that the company uses to build its product from the ground up.
This is not however the whole of it. Although it is the foundation of the company, the tech stack makes up everything else for the company too. The programs and software that different teams use, software to make lives easier for the company, all are included in the technology stacks. This information can then be used by sales and marketing teams to identify technologies that are common between companies, that can in turn help them in account based prospecting.
What “Technology Stack” Means in 2020
When we think of “technology stacks” a lot of tech jargon comes forward in our minds. Yes, these stacks contain deep rooted elements like programming language used, app/website framework, servers, UI/UX and more. This definition has been long used by software companies and tech teams alike.
What we had forgotten over time was that it also includes the software stack of a company. The same software stack that tells you the tools that business has deployed. What the company uses for say, marketing, messaging clients, CRM, etc.
These are the tools and web applications that SaaS products, software, etc. that the Marketing, Sales, Product, and even other teams use in an organisation.
Not Just Jargon Anymore
The meaning of “technology stacks” has evolved (like everything else) with the introduction of technographics. It’s not just the frameworks, programming languages, etc. that developers use to code. It is now what sales and marketing teams can use to identify buying potential in customers. Technographics can give you pieces of information like when an organization started using a tool, how long is the contract, which in turn tells you when the company is ready for buying. Sales intelligence tools in the market like Slintel can tell you even the contract renewal dates and funding information about a company.
All of this information combined with analysis can bestow you with a lot of information that you can use. Let’s take a deeper look into how tech stacks help you in using technographic data.
The Role of Tech Stacks in Technographics
B2B tech stacks of companies in today’s context include the software, hardware, and cloud applications that they use. With newer technologies being introduced all the time, the average company stack is getting bigger and more complex than ever. It’s not just a list of programming languages anymore; it includes the MarTech, FinTech, and sales technology stack they use, alongside other things. Some examples of the tools in tech stack include:
- Email Marketing Automation tools like Eventbrite, Tix, Cvent
- Social Media Management Shareaholic, Zoho Social, Marketo
- Sales Force Automation tools like Salesforce CRM, Pardot, Infusionsoft
- Billing & Invoicing tools like ROLL, Square Invoices , Tide
- Network Security tools like Cloudflare, CloudEye AWS Security, Sophos
If you look at it team-wise, the tech stack of a sales team would include sales management tools like Salesforce, sales enablement tools like Sumo, and sales intelligence tools like Slintel. Benefits of Understanding the Tech Stacks of Prospects
#1 Identify customers of competing technologies:
Tech stacks help you identify users of technologies that are similar to yours. You can use this information to reach out to those users and try to displace these technologies. You know they already can use a solution like yours – they already are.
#2 Identify customers of complementary technologies
Let’s say you are looking at XYZ’s company tech stack and see they are using Zoho Campaigns for Email Marketing. Now, if your product is compatible with Zoho Campaigns, you have a whole new way for engaging with the prospect. You know that they are using Zoho, that they are not using your product, and they recently got funding. What a great time to reach out to the prospect, and keep them engaged. All because you had the additional knowledge about what they are using.
#3 Discover new buyers in your space
Delving into the tech stack of complementary and competing businesses unravels a whole new catalogue of new prospects that you can reach out too. These are the consumers whom you never would have looked at, if not for technology stacks.
#4 Knowing whom to connect with
All this information is excellent, but before developing a sales strategy around reaching out to people using tech stacks, keep in mind that some departments may have the purchasing power of buying their own tools, and some might have a common center. It’s important to know who holds the decision making power and develop your strategy around that.
Tech stacks are a necessary component of the information you can use for customer and client engagement in the digital age. Your business should evolve with time, and keep looking for different avenues for acquiring new prospects. A lot of valuable information can be inferred from tech stacks and technographic knowledge. As a sales rep, you can find competitors to target, find which companies would fit your product best, and whom to go after next.
Technographic data provides an additional layer of insight into companies. So, whatever sales strategy you have, try including and using technographic data to make your prospecting much smoother and directed.