The business consumer has become more self-focused than ever before, challenging marketing and sales teams to give up the reins of their buyers’ journeys and adapting their go-to-market strategies to fully embrace buyer expectations. This concept was discussed in detail during B2B Marketing & Sales 2018, an event hosted by Forrester Research in Austin on October 25-26. During the opening keynote, Forrester’s VP and Research Director Caroline Robertson detailed how B2B buyers today have grown even more indifferent to sellers — expecting to be the center of any form of engagement and to have outcomes that align to their own business goals.
B2B marketing teams continue to strive towards increasing their overall efficiency to produce programs that drive pipeline. Research from Salesforce shows that high-performing marketing teams are 12.8x more likely than underperforming teams to heavily coordinate efforts between touch points.
Data and analytics are the currency to today’s B2B businesses, meaning that leveraging that insight to make accurate decisions has become a major priority to sales and marketing leaders.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being baked or integrated into every aspect of B2B technology. Early adopters are seeing success leveraging AI to enhance and scale personalization efforts, offer content recommendations via owned channels and streamline the sales cycle.
When it comes to 1:1 human interactions, perception is reality. Intention means little; the way in which you deliver a message — be it solemn condolences or boisterous congratulations — is what the other person experiences. But in the competitive world of B2B marketing, the reverse is true; what you have to say matters more to buyers than how you say it.
Technology advances and shifting buyer preferences are elevating the inside sales role within B2B organizations, enabling reps to engage in contextual, relevant and timely conversations with prospects throughout the customer journey. A recent report from Forrester Research shows that an increase in demand driven by the marketing team has many B2B companies looking for tech alternatives that automate the aspects of the inside sales role that take up the most time and resources.