3 New Buying Trends and What They Mean For Your Marketing & Sales Strategy

Your company has a brilliant marketing team and ambitious sales reps. But for some reason performance is stagnant or below target. Frustration and distrust gradually build up as each team quietly blames the other without tackling the real source of the problem.

Sound familiar?

Turns out, no amount of effort will keep you from losing out on valuable growth opportunities if your Marketing and Sales teams are out of sync.

 

How misalignment holds you back

B2B buying behavior is changing –  fast.

And unless your Marketing and Sales strategy adapts to these changes, your company will end up missing out. In fact, synchronizing your Sales and Marketing teams can boost revenue by up to 10% a year through optimized lead generation and increased overall sales revenue.

Why? Because alignment allows Marketing to use high quality targeted content to familiarize businesses with your product and filter out uninterested prospects. Then, engaged prospects are passed onto Sales and converted into customers.

To understand what’s going on behind the scenes, Skaled carried out a survey of 87 B2B executives (shown below). Read on to find eye-opening insights into decision making behavior and how it impacts the relationship between Sales and Marketing teams.

 

How do business leaders make decisions?

Let’s get started with 3 key takeaways of the survey into how executives decide whether to adopt new solutions and what it means for your business:

 

1) Most decision makers already know the problem they need to fix

And 3 out of 4 business leaders actively look for solutions to an identified problem.

This represents an opportunity for your marketing team to zero-in on these potential customers and establish whether your product speaks to their needs.

In the perfect world, companies who engaged with the Marketing team’s communication strategy would then pass into the Sales pipeline. As you can see, this saves time and increases the chances of a successful sale by focusing efforts on companies who already showed interest in your product.

However, without proper alignment between the sales and marketing teams, sales reps waste time nurturing leads who weren’t looking to fix the problem in the first place.

The key here is to get Sales and Marketing on the same page by using the right technology – but more on that later.

 

2) Executives ask for second opinions

Turns out, only about half of decision makers take independent purchasing decisions.

When it comes to setting up informational meetings with vendors – 72% of executives are influenced by at least one other member of their organization (as shown below) and half are influenced by a manager.

Yes, it’s still a good idea to target the top decision makers… but Sales and Marketing teams should keep in mind that decision makers will delegate. This means nurturing managers and directors is equally as important.

Here’s how: When your business approaches prospective clients, make sure to involve both the executive decision maker and members of their team. Your marketing team can do this by providing valuable content beforehand to familiarize everyone with your solution. Then, once the sales team goes into meetings, everyone will already be on the same page – and this make a huge difference.

 

3) Other departments get involved

Almost 9 times out of 10 at least one other department gets involved before the final decision about a sale is made.

Knowing this, your Sales team can avoid bottlenecks by keeping decision makers from different departments up to speed. Once your Sales and Marketing teams are synchronized, it’ll be a natural part of the process to target multiple departments throughout the buying process.

 

What does all this mean for your business?

Let’s talk numbers. Companies whose sales and marketing teams drive sales together have 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates. In other words, it’s worth taking a careful look at how you can align marketing and sales in your business.

If you’re wondering what alignment involves, it all comes down to this: real Sales and Marketing magic happens when your CRM, sales engagement and marketing automation platforms are properly integrated and used by both your Sales and Marketing departments.

Yes, this can get overwhelming – especially when you’re still trying to figure out the right tools for your business – but once your Sales and Marketing teams are ‘synced up’ you’ll notice the difference right away.

 

For a complete guide on tech and process-based solutions to help you optimize lead generation and boost sales revenue, follow our blog each week and be on the lookout for our new ebook in the New Year.

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