Time To Update Your B2B Go-To-Market Strategy

“The internet hasn’t been kind to the sales rep,” says sales and marketing author Brian Gray.

If you are thinking your sales reps will be the gateway of your go-to-market strategy, experts say you have another think coming.

Increasingly, sales reps must provide an experience, not just info.

“Before the internet, when the rep was in control of distributing all the information a prospect could get, they knew early on that they were being considered,” says Gray, leader of Revenue Path Group. “It allowed for multitouch sales methodologies to form. Each call, at each stage, took on different importance and training.”

Before the internet, business-to-business (B2B) prospects needed a sales rep to obtain information. That meant that as soon as a prospect entered the marketplace, they were in touch with viable options.

“Today that's not the case,” says Gray. “Prospects delegate a lot of research to a lower-level employee, who brings options to the table. By the time they make contact, they have decided their own solution, pigeonholed you in with some competitors and want you to compete on price.”

The importance of the internet and social media is not news. But like many other aspects of marketing, Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated this shift. This has a huge impact on go-to-market strategy.

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marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, customer experience, sales strategy, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021, Sales Cycle, Go-to-market

Why sales enablement is much more than just another buzzword

But what about sales enablement? Is it just one more buzzword used by businesses to try and sell another piece of software that doesn’t actually help salespeople? The short answer is a resounding no. Sales enablement is much more than a buzzword – and it’s here to stay.

The only complication is that it can mean different things to different people, and its definition has changed significantly over the years. Before technology reigned supreme, sales enablement could be defined as anything that helps teams sell better. For example, a comfortable pair of shoes that allows sales teams to move faster and for longer than their competitors. Today, things are rather different.

In the modern world, sales enablement is all about using content and resources in the most effective and efficient way possible, with the goal of helping sales teams complete more sales faster by shortening the buyer journey.

Content that connects

Sales enablement helps to solve many of the key problems that B2B sellers suffer from – namely the fact that there is too much content, and at the same time, rarely the right content when it’s actually needed.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors

B2B marketing: Solving the big five challenges

Let’s face it, as a B2B tech company, marketing isn’t easy.

With typically longer sales cycles, multiple key stakeholders involved in every decision, fierce competition within the industry, and many B2B businesses selling complex solutions rather than single products, B2B tech marketing is… well, it’s complicated. But it’s not impossible.

To help you succeed, we’ve broken down 5 of the most common marketing challenges faced by B2B tech businesses today, and how you can solve them.

B2B tech: it’s a fast-paced industry
With the tech industry evolving so fast, marketers need to be agile; pivoting quickly and adapting effectively when faced with changes or growing competition within the market.

To stay on the leading edge of the industry, be sure to keep your ear to the ground at all times. This means keeping an eye on your target market and your competition, and monitoring reputable sources for any announcements, opportunities or potential threats to your brand.

Changes within the market can present a real problem for businesses who aren’t paying attention. But they can be a boon to brands who are prepared to change and adapt.

Sometimes being just a little quicker than the competition may be all you need. For example: being the first to start talking about a rising trend or new cutting edge technology may help your brand define itself as a thought leader in your industry.

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marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021

Why The Top B2B Brands Compete On Story

In this economic downturn, we have seen firsthand the impact of curbed purchasing decisions in the global business-to-business (B2B) marketplace. Where traditional acquisition marketing has struggled, brand storytelling is flourishing and has a direct impact on the marketing pipeline.

Robert McKee wrote that "Leaders use story to author the future." Why is this more important than ever? In these challenging times, your audience wants to be led through this downturn into the future that awaits them.

To better understand the key themes that inspire effective storytelling, let's look backward to look forward. Prior downturns have taught me there are six themes that are most relevant in brand storytelling during times of crisis: humor, nostalgia, optimism, patriotism, price and value, empowerment. But knowing these themes is not enough to create a story brand. To do that, we need to take a few more steps in our praxis.

So, how do you get B2B brand storytelling right? Here are a few guidelines that truly make a difference.

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lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, content marketing, marketing leaders, storytelling, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Remarkable Marketing, Brand Storytelling, COVID-19 Impact

The 3 most destructive mistakes marketers make with intent data

Growing usage of intent data is proof that marketers are excited about its promise: to illuminate who is actively in the market for a solution, and the topics in which they are likely interested. But the downside is that, if not used correctly, intent data will fail to deliver results.

To help you avoid pitfalls and make the most of intent data, here are three common mistakes that you can avoid with upfront planning.

1) Marketers see intent data as a silver bullet

Intent data is not magical. Its potential is exciting, but it won’t fill in all of your marketing gaps. Many marketers see the possibilities that intent data brings, and assume that the technology will do their work for them. But as with any other marketing tech innovation, we know that they don’t work unless we do.

Intent data won’t miraculously fix all issues in your marketing and sales process. But it is valuable. What it can do is improve business outcomes by creating greater efficiency in your funnel.

For example, as you get more sophisticated in working with – and responding to – intent data, you can likely improve your cost per lead by truly delivering the right message, at the right time to the right people.

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content marketing culture, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, content marketing, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Advertising trends 2021, Buying intent

3 B2B Sales Strategies Proven to Win More Customers

What is B2B sales?

B2B sales, also known as business to business sales, refers to companies who primarily sell products and services to businesses, rather than direct to consumers (B2C). B2B sales typically have higher order values, longer sales cycles and are often more complex than B2C sales.

B2B sales has changed dramatically in recent years and the B2B sales strategies that used to work are no longer effective.

B2B sales used to be a lot easier.

If a person needed a product or solution, they’d reach out to a potential vendor and deal with a sales person, who’d pitch them with the best options to choose. And if they were happy with what they heard, they would make a purchase.

It was a relatively straight forward process, in which marketing was responsible for filling up the sales funnel with leads, and then for sales teams, they were responsible for getting those leads into a sales pipeline and moving them down the funnel and into a sale.

“The traditional purchase funnel diagram, one which any marketer could sketch from memory, is officially dead. The singular, orderly sequence of purchase stages has been scrambled, and marketers need to conform. In today’s world, where consumers have access to constant information through computers, smart phones and tablets, each person’s path to purchase is complex and unique.“

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Building Community

Why B2B marketers need to bet big on ‘The Big Long’

Imagine for a moment that you are not a B2B marketer. Instead, think of yourself as an investor, and ask yourself this: how do you identify great investments? Well, here’s a winning approach learned from watching the movie ‘The Big Short’ over and over again.

First, find a contrarian idea. The Big Short is about five investors who predicted the housing market crash that was the catalyst for the financial crisis of 2008/09, in defiance of conventional wisdom.

Second, make sure you are right by examining the evidence. In the movie, the character played by Steve Carell flew down to Florida to confirm the housing market was, in fact, comprised of sub-prime loans.

Third, be prepared to wait a while. The housing market did not collapse overnight. It took several years for the contrarians to cash in on their investment.

The big long

Let’s return to the world of B2B marketing. If Warren Buffett was a B2B marketer, where would he invest his capital? We’ll tell you where: at the very top of the funnel. In fact, that’s precisely what Warren Buffett does, buying stakes in famous brands like Coca-Cola, Geico and Apple. In B2C and in B2B, brand building might just be the single best investment a business can make.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, content marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, marketing tactics, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Hyper personalization, Building Community

Three steps to level up your B2B marketing in 2021

2020 was full of disruption and fast pivoting across the marketing spectrum. But for B2B marketers—whose plans are often anchored around in-person events—this period changed the playbook on how to reach crucial business decision-makers. To learn more about how the business decision-making process has changed—and how marketers are adapting accordingly—Twitter partnered with Bain on a new research study.

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content marketing culture, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, content creation, content marketing, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021, Marketing Trends 2021

Events Horizon: What Virtual Events Will Look Like in 2021

It’s fair to say that COVID-19 has fueled a boom for the virtual events space. Unable to connect with customers and prospects in-person, businesses across the U.S. have instead turned to the power of virtual events to spread brand awareness and form meaningful relationships at a time when health concerns have made it almost impossible to do so.

It’s been a benchmark year for the industry, and the likelihood is that in 2021, companies in the space will see revenues grow even further. In fact brands like Bizzabo and Hopin, both platforms that help organizers plan and run virtual conferences, already raised more than $260 million between them this year, with Hopin increasing its valuation to more than $2 billion.

However, ten months into this pandemic, it’s safe to say that we’ve hit peak virtual events fatigue. Perhaps compounded by the ‘Zoom fatigue’ that has left many yearning for the day when they return to the office, marketers have struggled to virtually engage audiences that already spend the majority of their day in front of their screens.

It has been a pain point for an industry that has offered tremendous benefits, and one that needs to be swiftly addressed as brands continue to place virtual events at the top of their marketing stack. With that said, here are three ways we expect businesses will get the most out of their virtual events in 2021.

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marketing strategy, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, B2B strategy, Building trust, B2B Brands, Building Community, Marketing Events, Virtual Events

B2B selling in 2021 - give me industry expertise over the flawed pursuit of hyper-personalization

Last week, I threw hyper-personalization under the bus (The myth of hyper-personalization - algorithms are still undermining the customer experience). My beef with hyper-personalization raises another question: how should B2B companies approach marketing and sales in 2021?

One of hyper-personalization's biggest drawbacks? Throwing technology at the wrong problem:

Are we really prepared to argue that algorithms are savvy enough to anticipate our needs in a moment-by-moment context?

Is hyper-personalization the right sales and marketing goal?

This personalization obsession has spilled into sales and marketing, with the fantasy that if we present the prospect with the right offer at just the right time (marketing), or send an "intelligent trigger" from our CRM system (sales), we'll magically have ourselves a new customer. Alas, that ambition gets mucked up by the near-irresistable temptation to blast our contacts with spray-and-pray offers hiding under the personalization rationale, but that's a rant already made.

For sales and marketing to earn relevance in today's economy, we need to redefine the problem. I believe this is fundamentally about culture change, not tech.

I have the apparently unfashionable view that marketers need to become educators/content producers with a journalistic bent, while salespeople need to become advisors.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, content marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, marketing tactics, Tactical Marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Hyper personalization, Building Community, Opt-in Community

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