January 6, 2017
Are your marketing and sales teams caught in that endless loop of finger pointing? B2B sellers who complain about lead quality/quantity and marketers who criticize sellers for poor follow up? After years of acknowledging their issues with each other, many B2B marketing and sales teams continue to be at odds. Just “google” marketing and sales relationships and see what you find. I did and I surfaced 98 million results! Titles such as: “The Rocky Road Between Sales and Marketing” and “How to Survive a Soured Sales and Marketing Relationship” show the dissonance and drama still very much in play.
Five years into the age of the customer and the modern B2B buyer has high expectations. They’re more knowledgeable, independent and self-directed than ever. They no longer rely on your sales people for product, pricing and other information. And they don’t want to be told what they already know. As I explore in our recently published report, B2B Buyers Mandate A New Charter For Marketing And Sales, the empowered B2B buyer is neither concerned with how your organization is structured and who’s responsible for the content on your website, nor are they interested in talking to a sales rep simply because they downloaded a white paper. Your buyers want contextual interactions with both human and digital assets across a holistic but non-linear journey. And, by in large, they want their experiences with sales people to be high value or frictionless. Think of a 2 or 5-star hotel experience – each has its merits – but 3 and 4-star hotels often disappoint.
So the question remains…how prepared is your go-to-market organization to meet the needs of today’s B2B buyers? And what are you going to do if they are not? Start by allowing the lines between marketing and sales to blur to better serve your customers. Identify a couple of buyer-centric initiatives like social selling or account-based marketing and align marketing and sales compensation in more meaningful ways. Be open to new profiles and constructs. Place the buyer at the center of your universe and seed more cohesion between teams.
We’ve talked about this long enough. Start partnering up your internal teams to respond to this mandate and don’t get left behind!