Lori Wizdo, VP, Principal Analyst and Mary Shea, Principal Analyst
For B2B marketers and sellers, the pandemic accelerated changes long in the making. The forced digital migration may, ironically, bring marketers and sellers closer to buyers. In this podcast episode, Vice President Lori Wizdo and Principal Analyst Mary Shea reflect on the seismic shift and explain what the coming year may hold.
For B2B marketers, the loss of new leads early in the pandemic gave way to a heightened focus on buyer engagement and acceleration of existing leads. Making that shift required a greater focus on the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle. “That pivot, that mindset difference … will be a lasting philosophical change that drives tactical and technological changes,” Wizdo says.
For sellers, the shift to remote work has helped catalyze more personalized and meaningful interactions. Increased use of video, for instance, has led to richer buyer engagement in some cases. “I think the transformation that we see ahead of ourselves will make connections between buyers and sellers much deeper than they’ve ever been before,” Shea says.
In 2021, technology will help enhance marketers’ and sellers’ human touch. AI-enabled chatbots will better understand buyers’ context and provide more useful guidance, for instance, while automation will free up sales reps from administrative, non-selling tasks.
The developments could have another benefit: closer marketing-sales alignment. “If both sales and marketing are calibrating to the customer, then we’re going to be aligned, naturally, in a way that delivers maximum value,” Wizdo says.
Tune in to the episode to learn more about Forrester’s 2021 predictions for B2B marketing and sales.