B2b Marketing Write For Us: The majority of B2B sales and marketing teams commonly operate in a “serial,” or linear, fashion. Marketing engages potential customers early in the buying process, determining through digital “content nurturing” whether they are ready and suitable for sales rep engagement.
Once those leads have been labelled “marketing qualified,” individual sellers take over, pursuing those leads through in-person or virtual interactions. The “handoff” occurs in the middle, when online customer engagement gives way to in-person customer engagement and marketing hands the ball off to sales.
Those linear “physics” continue to be largely uncontested, even in more sophisticated “account-based marketing tactics.” The sales come after the promotion. Or, to be more precise, scaled digital engagement first, then focused seller interaction.
And the long-term goal of tighter “sales and marketing integration” has been to move deals along that journey as “seamlessly” as possible, to remove “friction,” and to align metrics, data, and occasionally even incentives and reporting structures to make the transition from digital to human selling as efficient as possible.
The Rise Of Digital B2b Buying
But over time, B2B purchasing has radically changed to become a lot more digitally dominant buying behaviour, making a large portion of that business model not just outdated but almost completely useless.
Consider the following findings from Gartner research: Customers reported spending only 17% of their overall purchasing time interacting directly with supplier sales teams in a pre-pandemic survey of 750 B2B customer stakeholders involved in complex “solutions” purchases within their organizations.
Instead, a large portion of their purchase activity consisted of building consensus among numerous internal and partner stakeholders (22% and 11%, respectively), independent learning offline (18%), and independent learning online (27%).
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