B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – Links to pragmatic, actionable posts on go to market insights and strategies for B2B sales and marketing professionals from a CMO: Building Budgets, SKO, ABM, MarTech, AI, ML, Predictive Analytics, Account Intelligence and more.
B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – How Technology is Impacting B2B Marketing
How Digital Transformation is Reshaping B2B Marketing
Digital marketing today is more than just a channel – it is actually a “digital transformation” which is reshaping the B2B marketing landscape. Because the B2B world is both inter and intra-connected, it requires an omni-channel strategy based on a cradle-to-grave paradigm. The successful B2B marketers will leverage this digital transformation for competitive advantage.
Digital transformation is much bigger than marketing as it encompasses the entire organization. However, how this transformation plays out varies by organization — in some cases digital requires a significant modification and in other cases an entirely new business model.
5 Key Technologies for B2B Marketers
Here are the 5 key technologies for B2B marketers to focus their sales and marketing efforts upon for the year.
The five – the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Robotics, Wearables and 3D Printing – provide a plethora of sales messaging opportunities for B2B marketers.
B2B marketers should develop strategic messaging of how their organization’s technology will help CEO’s and COO’s transform their business and set their companies up for success.
A Marketer’s Guide to B2B Marketing Automation Platforms
B2B marketing automation is here to stay. Adoption of B2B marketing automation is now passing the early majority phase of the technology adoption curve and entering the late majority phase set of buyers.
As B2B marketing automation offerings have matured, it’s important to ask the right questions when evaluating vendors and their solutions:
- What desired business outcomes are driving the purchase of a B2B marketing automation platform?
- Who are the leading vendors in the current B2B marketing automation space and who are the up and comers?
- What B2B marketing automation platform capabilities are most closely correlated to delivering the business outcomes we desire?
- What are the alternatives to a marketing automation platform?
- What is the objective, quantitative criteria that will be used to evaluate which B2B marketing automation platform is best for my business?
B2B Marketers Need to Become Salespeople at Sales Kickoff
The annual Sales Kickoff (SKO) meeting is a perfect opportunity for marketing to interact with the entire sales organization in real-time.
The marketing functions invited to sales kickoff should include demand creation, demand management, field marketing, content marketing, sales enablement, product, solution and industry marketing. All of these functions have one thing in common – their customer is the sales team. Ideally, all of the marketing attendees should devise a divide and conquer plan before arriving at SKO to maximize the opportunity.
What’s so hard about building an integrated sales and marketing plan?
B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – AI, ML & Predictive
A Primer for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
According to many thought leaders, analysts and early adopters, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are rapidly making their way into every industry, geography, system and process. This means that B2B sales and marketers need a primer for artificial intelligence and machine learning to quickly catch up on how they can benefit. This primer on AI and ML will explain how.
In general, artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction (continuous and tireless learning).
How Predictive Marketing Analytics Changes B2B Sales & Marketing
Predictive Marketing Analytics (PMA) enable B2B sales and marketers to harness unique customer and prospect insights for competitive advantage. Marketers utilizing PMA will be more successful at finding, reaching, attracting, engaging and converting prospects and in-market buyers.
Below are the things best-in-class B2B marketers are doing to deliver unprecedented program efficiencies and generate significant returns on the marketing investments their organizations both need and demand.
A Sales Guide to Predictive Analytics
Building and maintain a sales pipeline filled is mandatory to consistently achieving quota. However, sales teams are all too familiar with the quantity and quality lead debate with marketing. Research has shown that as many as 94% of all MQLs will not convert to a customer. But wait, there is hope as predictive analytics offers some hope for sales teams.
A B2B Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are very topical and seem to be used interchangeably. First, a few definitions:
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Artificial Intelligence means computers performing tasks that normally require a human being. The goal of AI is to enable computers to do things normally done by people — in particular, things associated with human intelligence.
Predictive Analytics Applications for B2B Sales and Marketing
The promise of predictive analytics applications for B2B sales and marketing is to generate revenue by expanding existing markets and penetrating new markets.
These predictive analytics applications are Software as a Service (SaaS)-based applications used in the sales funnel for both prospects and existing customers.
Traditional CRM lead management, Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Sales Intelligence (SI) offer some functionality to help Bb2B marketers and salespeople make better decisions. Today however, artificial intelligence (AI), data science and machine learning are now raising the bar.
B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – B2B Demand Gen & ABM
Pragmatic B2B Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing (ABM) is the alignment of B2B sales and marketing people, processes, systems and technology to identify, engage and close bigger deals more efficiently. ABM is a focused go-to-market strategy that aligns B2B sales and marketing efforts to select the accounts best suited to realize value from the value proposition. ABM focuses all go-to-market resources on a sales and marketing agreed upon set of target accounts assumed to have a high probability of converting to customers.
B2B Marketing and Sales Outreach Efforts That Get Noticed
It’s no secret that Information Technology Decision Makers (ITDMs) are key to technology purchases. This is because they either lead or sign off on most enterprise technology decisions – and certainly those in the six digits or more or that impact the IT infrastructure. As a result, B2B sales and marketers spend endless cycles (time, energy and dollars) trying to find and convert ITDMs to customers. Thousands of tech companies are continually bombarded with sales and marketing messages that sound similar or are straight out confusing–finding the right solution sought by an ITDM is inefficient.
The Buyers B2B Marketers Need to Target
For enterprise technology deals with price tags of six digits of more, 20 people may be involved in the customer buying process and that makes it difficult for B2B marketers to identify the buyers that they need to target. With so many individuals to target and many perspectives and needs to fill, how can B2B marketers create a managed, repeatable process for customer acquisition that is both efficient and effective?
The first thing best-in-class B2B marketers do is break down the customer buying process into stages. B2B marketers then focus on the primary persona at each stage of the customer buying process in order to create content that attracts and engages qualified prospects. By doing this, meaningful and relevant conversations regarding the desired business outcome can occur.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) Technologies
Account Based Marketing (ABM) requires all B2B marketers to make adjustments to their marketing technology (MarTech) stack, in order to remain competitive or move to best-in-class.
Even though ABM vendor claims can be similar, overlapping or diametrically opposed, B2B marketers must still investigate, research and select ABM technologies that can help them achieve their ABM goals more efficiently and effectively.
Account Based Marketing Can Synchronize Sales & Marketing
Regardless of whether it’s called named account, key account, target account or account based marketing (ABM), a real opportunity exists to bring sales teams and demand generation teams together.
B2B marketing and sales teams are often misaligned from the get go as traditional demand generation focuses on attracting and nurturing individuals while sales teams focus on accounts.
Historically it has been difficult for marketers to allocate marketing spend in the same way that sales reps allocate their time and resources to specific accounts. While ABM provides the best opportunity for sales and marketing to truly align, overcoming this difference in perspectives is not easy.
Account Based Marketing (ABM)- A Self-Assessment
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a popular term; however its definition varies depending upon which blog post you read.
In one respect, Account Based Marketing is not new. The marketing teams that actually spent time in sales offices and were dedicated to working with a sales rep or manager “figured out” how to think like a salesperson. As a result, marketing was adapted (account based marketing) to help sales reps get at bats at companies that the sales reps wanted to penetrate. However, today’s marketing technology puts a new twist on conventional Account Based Marketing and that alone requires a skill-set refresh for B2B marketers.
At the heart of account-based marketing, account intelligence is the fuel for targeted sales and marketing. Account intelligence supports account-based marketing campaigns by uncovering deep account insights.
Account intelligence must be accurate, extensive and up-to-date. And, it must exist in an easy-to-read and sharable format. The valuable core company information required to create an effective account intelligence brief includes researched content such as IT architectures, business and technology initiatives, organizational charts, corporate strategies, budgets, and key decision maker contact information
B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – Budgets, ROI & The Buying Process
Tips for Creating Marketing Budgets That Get Approved
Each year marketing budgets are prepared and presented. And each year most marketing teams are frustrated because they usually take a budget hit or do not receive the budget amounts (people and or dollars) requested. To avoid some or all of these outcomes, follow these tips for preparing, presenting a marketing budget that will gain support and the required resources needed to successfully execute your marketing plan.
Demonstrated ROI Will Drive Predictive Marketing Analytics Adoption
Predictive marketing analytics is gaining traction — and will continue to do so — as B2B marketers believe in the perceived benefits: increased program efficiency and returns on marketing investments.
As marketing matures, these predictive capabilities give B2B marketers insights into a company’s purchase propensity – including the individual members that comprise the purchase process.
What B2B Marketers Need to Know About The IT Purchase Process
Digital transformation is putting more emphasis on the role of technology in driving businesses forward and that complicates the lives of B2B marketers as it impacts marketing automation platforms. In the next three to five the number of organizations embracing wide-scale digital transformation plans is expected to increase dramatically as the technology becomes mainstream.
B2B Go to Market Strategy & Execution – B2B Sales
Recipe For a Sales Kickoff (SKO) Disaster
Usually once a year the entire sales team gets together face-to-face for the annual Sales Kickoff (SKO) meeting.
Meeting attendees include sales, sales operations, sales enablement, marketing, finance, legal, products, support, service, success, IT and HR as well as a handful of management team members.
And herein lies the first problem: each attendee comes with a different perspective and idea of what they want to tell sales people.
Maximize the ROI of Your Sales Kick Off (SKO)
Sales Kick Off (SKO) is probably the one internal event with the highest probability of positively impacting the company’s financials. SKO can solidify the organization’s go-to-market efforts and motivate the sales team to meet or exceed quota in the coming year. 12 Best Practices.
When Deals Stall in the B2B Sales Pipeline
It’s very common and understandable for B2B sales reps, sales management and the management team to become frustrated if the end of the quarter approaches and the forecast crashes and revenue targets are not met. Usually the start of the quarter goes well as B2B sales reps forecast (i.e. the number of opportunities multiplied by one divided by the close ratio) are well above quota. However in the final weeks of the quarter forecasts tend to drop as B2B sales reps frequently report “radio silence” as their forecasted opportunities suddenly cuts off communication and then the questions run rampant during the weekly forecast call.
B2B Marketing – Synchronizing Sales & Marketing
Before B2B Marketers can begin to execute an effective integrated lead generation plan, the marketing team must consult with sales on a variety of issues pertinent to the market, business problem, buying process, etc. The best way to do this is to ask and document answers to a number of key questions. Once this task is completed, a marketing plan that is truly aligned with the needs and goals of sales can be created and executed against.
Why are 90% of B2B sales and marketing teams out of sync? To find out, I suggest we revisit the classic Abbott and Costello Who’s on First skit to get sales and marketing in the right mindset.
At its core, building a B2B sales pipeline is as fundamental as target, message, offer and follow-up. However each step in the demand generation process is complex and highly dependent upon understanding the buying process and the served-market. Also, while most B2B marketers believe they know the answers to the questions above, when the responses are played back to the sales team there are lots of eye rolls, sighs and outbursts.
Where Do SDRs Fit Within a B2B Organization
Where does the Sales Development Representative (SDR) role fit best within a B2B organization?
And, where is the dividing line between sales and marketing?
These are the two key questions to ask when defining the sales development role. Why? Because the answer can vary greatly based on how the organization handles demand management – and whether the SDRs should reside in the sales or marketing group.