What must brands do differently in 2021 when it comes to modernizing B2B selling? We know some things for sure. To execute more effective go-to-market approaches in today’s B2B environment, sellers must embrace what Forrester calls the answer “Prospective Buyer Engagement.”
Prospective Buyer Engagement refers to continually optimized, multichannel mix of digital and human touches builds interest with relevant buying groups for your offerings. Relevance goes both ways. If you provide relevant information to a buyer that’s relevant to what you need to accomplish, win-win.
B2B Sellers Will Be Forced into Modernizing
The global pandemic has fundamentally upended marketing and selling. This is as true for business-to-business (B2B) brands as it is for their business-to-consumer (B2C) counterparts. The pandemic has accelerated the digital destinies of both business buyers and sellers, transforming the future of selling in the process.
In modern B2B marketing, the goal is to support purchase journeys even as they become more self-reliant, self-directed and digital-first. B2B companies must respond with go-to-market strategies that prioritize customer needs and contexts. Tactics must engage buyers in the channels and times of their choosing, while demonstrating understanding of buyer behavior context.
This vision of prospective buyer engagement that we’ll cover at the True Influence Summit proposes that buyers be supported optimally throughout their journeys. Forrester’s research found that while B2B sellers realize the future of selling has arrived, many struggle to meet the moment with comprehensive, optimized prospective buyer engagement strategies. The Summit will be the place to put structure to the vision.
Core Practices of Prospective Buyer Engagement
These practices have emerged as core competencies of this approach to prospect engagement:
- Renewed focus on improving customer loyalty and satisfaction
- Steady focus on driving marketing efficiency and higher profitability for key product lines
- Marketing grows business more profitably through retention efforts, with relationships developed at lower cost.
Capabilities You’ll Need for Prospect Engagement
What capabilities do revenue teams need to put together a strategy for stronger prospective buyer engagement? At the Summit, we’ll dive into two categories: (1) talented, tight teams and (2) hefty, scalable tech and data.
1. Tight Marketing and Sales Teams
Here’s what best practices for marketing and sales teams look like in a nutshell.
- Marketing delivers qualified opportunities based on ideal customer profiles (ICP)
- Marketing teams coordinate tactics to build interest and understanding
- Sales teams use customer data and interactions to interpret buyer signals across channels
“Dual, Not Dualing Focus Areas”
Prospective Buyer Engagement disrupts traditional models that have Marketing using digital and offline channels to build awareness, develop leads and hand them off to Sales to further qualify and negotiate.
Forward-facing B2B marketing and sales teams are “agreeing to objectives that reflect dual, not dueling — focus areas,” according to Forrester. (When you’re at the Summit, you’ll get to hear special guest Forrester’s Laura Ramos talk more about this with True Influence CMO, Kay Kienast.)
2. Technology + Data
To survive long term, B2B sellers must uncover opportunities to support conversions and drive buyers to the next-best action. The process must be seamless and intentional across each step. Unfortunately, most marketing and sales strategies lack a holistic, coordinated engagement model based on data.
According to Forrester’s findings, just 12% of marketing leaders and 14% of sales leaders pursue mature prospective buyer engagement strategies at their firms. This challenge will be covered in more depth at the Summit with Laura Ramos.
What Else to Expect at the True Influence Summit?
See this blog for a list of questions you can expect to be covered at the Summit: “Eight Strategic Questions for B2B Sellers and Marketers.” Also check out the Summit agenda for the B2B thought leadership to point you to answers to these questions and more.