Events throughout 2020 and 2021 (I can't bring myself to use the actual word again; starts with 'p' and ends with 'ic') have resulted in a huge acceleration of the digital buyer journey, with businesses having to rapidly adapt in order to stay competitive.
It seems pretty clear now that both B2B buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality, meaning that potential customers are even less inclined to talk to a sales person. The desire to self-serve and self-educate throughout the virtual buyer journey is enormous; and if we, as vendors, don't meet our customer's needs, they will simply go elsewhere.
Typical disconnect between Sales and Marketing
- Traditionally, there's a disconnect between the sales and marketing teams; both in terms of prospect/ customer interactions and also in terms of the technology used to support to manage their activity. We've all heard of the cliché about marketing and sales 'working in silos' - but I know it's true, having experienced it first hand in previous roles.
- I'm sure many of you are also familiar with trying to track deals back to leads which were passed to sales from marketing? And perhaps also having completely separate platforms such as a marketing automation tool and a sales CRM, between which there is no way to track the digital touch points along the buyer journey?
Joining the dots between Sales and Marketing
At Tribal we're big fans of the HubSpot platform - we use the Sales, Marketing and Service Pro platforms and it really has revolutionised our approach to becoming digitally inbound and enabled us to adapt our marketing and sales efforts using data driven insights.
It's been a learning curve but we're proud to say that we can access all of our sales AND marketing data in one unified platform. So those of us involved in marketing can run and track campaigns whilst those of us involved in sales/ biz dev have full access to both pipeline visibility AND prospect activity on our website - how cool is that? This means that as a collaborative team, we can track all our prospect and customer interactions to help us understand their digital buyer journey, the content they're interested in and which business challenges they might be trying to address. (oh and so much more, this is literally the tip of the iceberg 😀)
Through having access to all these digital touchpoints along the buyer journey, from first discovery to follow-up post-sale; this means:
1) Sales teams can reach out in a more informed way
2) Increased efficiency by only following up 'good fit' leads due to understanding their interests, organisation size, etc
3) Workflows are automated - creating processes which automate qualifying leads depending on their interaction with the website (content viewed, downloads etc)
But most importantly, this enables us to be a more customer-centric organisation; by gaining deep insights into our customers' preferences, we can make sure we offer a more personalised experience and avoid wasting their time with irrelevant messages or content.
However, we should acknowledge that sales and marketing alignment is not just about having a unified sales and marketing platform - it's about a change of mindset and embracing a more collaborative way for sales and marketing teams to work together to drive results.
The digital transformation of B2B has given rise to new technology solutions that help address challenges with the virtual buyer’s journey. While all marketers leverage martech to operate efficiently, many organizations are missing out on the potential of harnessing both martech and salestech. Instead of treating martech and salestech as opposites, organizations are relying on the solutions simultaneously to overhaul their internal processes and speed up the buyer's journey. With both marketers and salespeople adopting new forms of tech, it seems all organizations are moving toward a more unified buying process. “Digital transformation is not about technology; it’s about reimagining business processes and then applying technology to those reimagined processes,” said Art Harding, COO of People.ai, a revenue operations (RevOps) and intelligence platform, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “The right way for us to think about martech and salestech is that it is all on a convergence path where the go-to-market buyer and customer journey is being reimagined for more seamless operat...