Are You a B2B Leader With a Struggling Sales Team? Looking For a More Strategic Approach to Your Sales and Marketing Initiatives?

help-handOne key consideration for a more strategic approach to B2B sales is shifts over the last few years in the buyer’s journey and behavior, given more buyers start their research and education process behind the scenes long before engaging directly with a company or a sales rep, as well as the fact that the buying process can be long and complicated with multiple influencers involved in the decision-making process.

It’s important to educate yourself on the possibilities for deeper insight into your target audiences so that your message and brand reach them and help them through their journey. Here are some good articles and tools to address this problem.

Gartner Says Sales Organizations Must Upgrade Skills and Processes to Meet B2B Technology Buyer Expectations
Gartner recently surveyed 503 organizations to understand how marketing activities affect their IT buying decisions. No surprise that personal interactions are still the most influential activity (56% said highly important). But it also validated a theme of late — buyers do not value interactions with salespeople as much as they did in the past, which means “sales teams must adjust processes and skills to learn to guide buyers through their purchase cycle”.

3 Mistakes B2B Sales Leaders Make That Hurt Performance
This one from Marketing Insider Group also relates to modern processes and alignment to ensure results in the digital age. “Demand Generation is not only a marketing activity. To be effective, both sales and marketing must be active participants in the process and this means changing the way many sales organizations and sales leaders approach their buyers.”

10 Ways to Know Your B2B Buyers Deeply Using the Buyer Persona Canvas
This is a great reference from Tony Zambito, a leading authority in buyer personas and insights. It showcases a Buyer Persona Canvas as a strategic model to focus on ten areas of buyer insights to better understand your buyer’s story.

Forrester Report: The Social Media Habits of B2B Customers
A new report from Forrester confirms every B2B customer is using social media for business, but how they use it depends on their particular situation. This is good insight for B2Bs looking to take a more strategic approach with social media and its role in the marketing mix.  A key takeaway is that “It’s no longer a question of whether you should use social, but how.”

When will Sales catch up with Marketing?
This is a post from Sales Benchmark Index that suggests that Sales leaders need support from marketing to make the transformation to buyer-centricity and that sales teams should incorporate buyer-centered tools to help them make their numbers. A common trait of top-performing sales reps has always been their acute sense for the needs of their customers. Many of the conversations about B2B buyer behavior are an attempt to institutionalize best practices that have long been in place because it’s becoming more critical to meet goals. This is an example of that.

B2B: Your Demand Generation Problems, and What To Do About Them
Very insightful article from Business2Community. It’s about the fact that: “to achieve demand process success, it’s important to put the buyer at the center; address gaps in the middle of your funnel; and constantly optimize your demand process.”

Also check out Helping B2B Leaders Weigh the Benefits of Social Selling.

By : Lydia Vogtner

Lydia Vogtner is an independent B2B marketing and communications consultant specializing in brand, messaging and content strategy.

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