3 Common Traits Found In Innovative B2B Practitioners

Published: July 11, 2018

Innovation drives growth within the B2B marketplace — businesses live and die by their ability to continuously innovate their offerings and go-to-market strategies to help their customers succeed.

We shined a spotlight on roughly 40 practitioners in our inaugural B2B Innovator Awards last year, which recognized their excellence in developing, executing and measuring innovative campaigns that drove results for their companies. With nominations for this year’s awards now open, we expect that to be a recurring theme — but the ways winners will meet those goals will be newly innovative!

There were many common qualities shared among our inaugural class of B2B Marketing Innovators that helped them strive to break new ground and advance emerging areas in our ever-changing marketplace. However, three common traits and themes stood out the most among the list of B2B marketing all stars:

1) A Passion For Testing & Measuring

Innovation comes from a healthy mix of trial and error. Continuously testing and measuring marketing and sales initiatives is vital to understanding the impact they have on purchase decisions. The need for appropriate measurement is vital as more marketing teams are expected to be revenue generators within their organizations.

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Susan Wall of Oracle + Bronto won a B2B Innovator Award for incorporating testing and measurement into the company’s culture. “The company was founded with several guiding principles,” she said. “One of those is ‘If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.’ That principle guides us every day in the pursuit of constant improvement and learning.” The results of implementing the revenue cycle methodology have paid clear dividends, including increasing the company’s average deal size exponentially (roughly 2,300%).

2) A Willingness To Push The Creative Envelope

It’s important to think outside the box in today’s B2B marketing and sales landscape. Without a bit of creativity, all that’s being created is more noise in the sales funnel that can inundate prospective customers. The strive for creativity helps B2B companies climb above the noise to better educate and engage with buyers on their terms.

Ana Villegas of Dell EMC earned an award for her ability to work with her team to drive innovation through a variety of content and channels with an intense focus on customizing the buyer experience. Villegas and her team have concentrated on initiatives around omnichannel campaigns and presenting the right content at the right time in the right location to the right customer. In one example, Dell EMC partnered with Facebook to figure out how to leverage their audiences and algorithms to predict when a customer is ready for a lead form.

“This is the first time an approach like this has been done with Facebook on the B2B front,” said Villegas. “Results are strong, leads are being generated and the engine is allowing us to learn from customers’ engagement and figure out when is the best time to show them our content while allowing them to pick the next chapter in their story.”

By enabling the customer to “choose their own journey,” Villegas and her team have driven 13x improvement in the number of engagements with 4x lower cost.

3) A Data-Driven Approach To Alignment & Revenue

Alignment has been an ongoing battle in the B2B world since the dawn of automation. However, innovative marketing and sales leaders understand what’s at stake for their businesses if they don’t work together, leading to some pretty innovative programs that synchronize marketing and sales outreach in perfect harmony.

One of the main drivers that led Bill Tompkins from SAP Americas to earn an award was his ability to help the company overcome the challenge of bringing its teams together to create a compelling and personalized digital transformation story. This required close collaboration with sales to ensure alignment of the data and insights that helped each department align on overall company goals. Compared to SAP benchmarks, the new program saw:

  • Over 300% increase in overall click-through-rates;
  • More than 200% increase in overall visitor engagement; and
  • More than $100M of existing pipeline touched/nurtured.

Do you, or one of your colleagues, have these traits engrained into your professional lives? Then be sure to nominate yourself or your peers for the 2nd annual B2B Innovator Awards. Nominations are now open, and the deadline is scheduled for August 10, 2018. We look forward to receiving and reviewing your nominations!

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