The New York Stock Exchange dates to May 17, 1792, with the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement—where twenty-four stockbrokers and merchants met at the now famous Wall Street under a Buttonwood tree.
There have been numerous market crashes, defined as a rapid drop in stock prices, over the prior 228 years—the exact number which historians frequently debate. Catastrophic events, economic crises, and/or the collapse of a long-term speculative bubble are contributing factors to market crashes.
Prior to 2020, the United States experienced six crashes where the market lost 10%+ of its value:
- The panic of 1901
- The panic of 1907
- The stock market crash of 1929
- The stock market crash of 1987
- The Dot.com burst of 1999-2000
- The “Great Recession” market crash of 2008
And yet, each year like clockwork, publications like The Wall Street Journal or The Economist would predict that “Enter Year Here” would be the next crash. These experts would cite the rapid rise, margin debt, prevalence of mergers, and acquisitions as early warning signs. And as history suggests, they would more often be wrong than right.
As the ancient proverb goes, “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” meaning that even persons considered to be unreliable can still be right above something occasionally—even if by accident. Enter COVID-19, which caused the largest one-week decline since the 2008 financial crisis. It has affected every industry around the world, including having a transformative impact on the software industry.
Stability, optimization, and customer success have replaced growth as the primary focus for many businesses. Securing the right tech stack and efficiently migrating to digital technologies will ensure performance optimization—allowing organizations to survive and thrive during and post the pandemic.
Are you ahead of the curve?
What Is a Technology Stack?
A technology stack is a list of all the technology services used to build and run a singular application. It is a summary of the programming languages, frameworks, and tools a developer would need to interface with the application. Developers call the bundle of services a “stack” because each additional service builds upon those beneath it, allowing further customization.
Technology stacks consist of the back end (server-side) and front end (client-side). Back end technologies include the web frameworks, servers, and operating systems, while the front-end technologies are the visual interface—including websites and apps.
Planning for the future is critical for developers. If developers do not take into consideration how the application will scale, additional services—which add further complexity and are difficult to manage—become a necessity. However, too much investment early on can result in organizations running out of money before the application makes headway in the market. A common strategy is to create minimum viable products to prove concepts before additional investment.
Download the Tech Stack Evaluation Tool to determine your alignment to market across the four pillars: Talent, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success.
The Rapid Migration to Digital Technologies
Recent data highlights consumer and business digital adoption has moved forward five plus years in a matter of months.
- Businesses have transitioned to video conferencing and remote selling.
- Banks have transitioned to a virtual model for sales and customer support.
- Restaurants and grocery stores have shifted to online-based models.
- Schools have shifted to an e-learning and digital classroom approach
Why has this change occurred? Customer behaviors and buying preferences have changed dramatically—and overnight. Organizations have switched over to remote-working models, causing consumers to accelerate the adoption of digital channels. Even first-time users have indicated they will continue to use the channel after things stabilize—a sign of things to come.
Recent surveys suggest customers are comfortable with using digital channels to connect with suppliers. These same customers have expressed concerns with signing large contracts virtually, driven in part by the inability to assemble all decision-makers. This puts added pressure on organizations to ensure that their digital platforms are on par with the competition and provide a positive customer experience—or risk being left behind. Digital laggards will undoubtedly struggle during the recovery, while leaders will position themselves for long-term revenue growth.
Click here to understand what CMOs are asking during recessions to position their organization to make their number.
The New North Star: Customer Success
Prior to the pandemic, every organization’s focus centered around one thing: profitable revenue growth. And the formula for revenue growth is simple: maintain and grow existing customers and acquire new logo customers.
So, what changes now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic?
Whereas growth was every company’s focus prior to COVID-19, the focus has shifted to sustainability, stability, and efficiency. With the cost of acquiring a new customer 5 – 7x more expensive than the cost of retaining an existing one, customer success has moved to the forefront.
This is supported by the continued growth of customer relationship management tools (e.g., Salesforce) and customer experience monitoring tools (e.g., New Relic). This also points to a continued consolidation, where organizations are building one singular platform for sales, success, and customer support needs—as opposed to point solutions.
Refer to SBIs Podcast with Matt Sharrers and Bernie Kassar, Chief Customer Officer at Xactly, to understand the critical role of Customer Success during COVID-19.
The market took nearly five years to recover from the Great Recession completely, but it did recover. So too will organizations recover from the COVID pandemic.
Refer to Sara Winkle’s article on how Intel survived and thrived during the 2008 recession. Is your organization the next success story?
Those organizations positioned for success are those that can:
- Capitalize on investments in high focus areas
- Deploy sales and market resources effectively
- Adopt digital tools/tech stack to support the remote-based working environment
- Leverage customer success tools to minimize churn
- Integrate go-to-market strategies across sales, marketing, customer success, and product
Reach out to SBI to ensure your organization is positioned across these five areas and download the Tech Stack Evaluation Tool to maximize your return on investment and align your organization to increase your chance of recovery and make the number. SBI is a sales and marketing consulting firm committed to accelerating your revenue faster than the market, with former sales and marketing leaders that have navigated downturns in the economy.