At this year's The Sales Conference in Stockholm I had the opportunity to listen to Daniel Pink, author, ex speech writer to Al Gore and TED Talk star. In one sentence, he puts the changes we are now seeing into words: "Selling has changed more in the past 10 years than in the previous 100, or even 1000". I believe he is right. This change will continue. And it will not slow down.
In B2B, we often talk about sales and marketing alignment, how the processes are changing, what type of content to use in different channels and, not to forget, all the tools we share. So, what the sales-and-marketing alignment boils down to, is sharing and curating information so that the right audience can reach and be reached by the right content. Content that benefits the receiver.
When I started my career in sales the reach mainly depended upon me, when I could take a call or a meeting. To my support I had some nicely designed brochures, events, a calling agency and printed newsletters that were put into envelops and sent to customers. Open rates? I had no idea.
Today, we still want to get that call or meeting, we need to be accessible all the time, and we can measure almost anything. A challenge in B2B marketing and sales is to be on our customers mind, to be the company your prospects will want to explore in more details.
So, over the last 10 years, what has not changed?
As a B2B sales or marketing reps, you still want to reach out to your identified prospects, you probably have a list of your 10-20 most wanted accounts, and you don't know all the influencers within those accounts. You want your target accounts to see you and trust you. Your sales and marketing organisations need to work towards the same goals. Still the messages your top customers won't always be the samerelevant to, and you have the same constraints in terms of budget, marketing and sales resources as ever.
So, you need Marketing and Sales working closely together, sharing the same targets, and agreeing on how to reach out to customers, to generate success. This means a joint strategy and plan with targets that you can measure and follow-up. Account based marketing fits nicely here. It's an excellent way of securing that Sales and Marketing work in sync. And the good news is, you will have a much higher probability to succeed in delivering results that matter.
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