With all the exciting things going on this holiday season, we have a couple of events on tap for next week that we want you to pencil in. The first, an educational eBroadcast hosted by Frost & Sullivan. The second, an online seminar that we are hosting along side our partner, MarketSource. Both events take place on Wednesdy, December 6th and we hope to you can participate! Read below to get more details.
Account-based marketing, white papers, and events, oh my! With the seemingly unending plethora of initiatives B2B marketers can choose from, finalizing your 2018 strategy will take both research and creativity. If your brain is already in overdrive, fear not, we've done the groundwork for you! We searched high and low and gathered the 10 must have tactics for you to leverage in 2018 to propel your marketing organization towards success.
Join our VP of Sales & Marketing, Seth Jacobsen, and other leading marketers for an educational eBroadcast hosted by Frost & Sullivan - Top 10 B2B Marketing Must Haves for 2018.
What: eBroadcast, Top 10 B2B Marketing Must Haves for 2018
It’s an exciting time to be in business, with new techniques coming along every day. The rapid progress of technology is turning into equally-rapid changes to how we do business, meaning the field is wide open for nearly any company in any field to succeed. Those who can stay ahead of the curve by paying close attention to -and meeting - their customers’ wants and needs will be the ones who thrive. This can be especially important for those that rely on reaching the customer through their sales channel partners.
What strategies should you be adopting into your own sales ecosystem to keep up with the times while providing innovative solutions? Below are some of the trends we’re following closely here at LogicBay, and we'll continue to keep an eye on their impact in the world of B2B sales throughout 2017.
Millennials are no longer just “the kids these days.” They are already the largest generational group in America - by 2020, they'll represent about 50% of the workforce - and with each passing year, more and more are entering positions of responsibility in businesses. After all, the oldest Millennials are now in their mid-30s, which is prime age to enter management roles even in larger organizations.
Millennials - sometimes also known as Generation Y - are particularly important for small-to-medium sized businesses, which often have a large percentage of younger employees. Plus, according to Forbes and other sources, Millennials are one of the most entrepreneurial of all recorded generations. They are already launching more businesses, at a younger age, while employing more people, than the Boomers ever did.
In short, Millennials absolutely should not be overlooked in B2B sales simply due to their relatively young age. Their value as customers within your sales ecosystem will only grow, year by year, potentially for decades to come. There is a catch, however: Millennials are also radically unlike any previous generation in terms of their tastes, preferences, ideals, and buying behavior.
In our last blog, we talked at some length about outdated marketing strategies that are falling by the wayside.. We saw from both surveys of customers and buyers, as well as reports from within marketing departments themselves, that most forms of traditional marketing in the B2B space are simply not as effective as they once were.
This is especially critical in the face of changing demographics. Millennials are already the largest living demographic group in America, and they are increasingly moving into positions of power and responsibility within businesses.
While we can't predict what the future of marketing may hold years from now, we can report on the trends today, based on recent studies such as the HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing report. Beyond simply embracing inbound marketing itself, one trend above all is revealing itself as the new dominant force in the foreseeable future of marketing across nearly all groups:
The inbound marketing movement has led to lots of interesting discussion around sales approaches. That's understandable - after all, as buyers have more tools at their disposal to self serve and avoid sales people, it's reasonable that more than marketing needs to change. Foresightful companies are creating a continuum of prospect experience with an inside sales person as the quarterback.
That's a tall order though. Org chart changes have to be CEO driven - and most of the work I see underway in companies is intra vs. inter departmental. In other words, the marketing department recognizes they have to adapt to digital and undertakes to do so. But the sales department, with a different perspective, leadership, and priorities continues down their narrowing path.
That's creating lots of waste and inefficiency - and companies can ill afford either.
While I see many examples of waste, three pervasive obsessions exist. These include:
In a perfect world, every sales channel would be a great performer... but this isn't a perfect world. In reality, any indirect sales ecosystem is going to have over-performers and under-performers. It's a familar adage: 80% of the performance comes from 20% of the channel.
One of the things that separates the truly great channel managers from all the rest is having the ability to bring the under-performers up to par. After all, most of the time simply eliminating the sales channel isn't a good choice. It's occasionally necessary, but should be considered a true last resort when, generally, working smarter to re-engage your channel partners will be a much less costly option.
This will almost certainly require some time and hands-on intervention, but when done properly, the right tools and strategies can help you breath new life into an underperforming channel program.
If you work with reps or distributors, you've probably got some channel partner teams that look more or less like this. They're good people, honest and loyal. In fact they've probably been representing your products for 20 years or more.
Most firms are basically a couple industry veterans who are coasting toward retirement. They have a rolodex (in many cases, literally...still) full of industry contacts in their territory. Many of their contacts are also coasting toward retirement.
You've probably ridden many miles with them between sales calls over the years, sharing stories of family and hobbies. You've stayed in the same well-worn motels and eaten mediocre chain restaurant meals together. You're buds. You've earned your service stripes as partners over years of hard work.
Recently, they may have brought in some young blood - perhaps a child of a founder - in hopes of keeping things going.
This was an awesome business model in the 80s & 90s. You probably made good money together.
But it's no longer a business model - you, your rep partner and their contacts are from a different era. These are legacy relationships with very low future value.
For modern businesses, one of the hardest things to get a handle on is just how much and how quickly buyer behavior has changed in just the past ten years or so - and it's only going to be changing more rapidly in the future.
Vendor ecosystems which are still relying on the "tried and true" methods of decades past are actually now putting themselves at a severe disadvantage. The online world is drastically reshaping the landscape of sales, and organizations must start addressing those changes, if they haven't already. Since we spend our days with customers who are focused on indirect channel sales, we understand the importance of updated processes and strategies, to meet the needs of modern online-enabled buyers in both B2B and B2C spheres.
The key is closer alignment between your own operations and those of your channel partners. By working more closely with your partners' sales and marketing teams, you can significantly increase the effectiveness of everyone's content marketing efforts across the entire ecosystem.