B2B sales – alignment to the rescue!

Due to the complexity of the products, the size of the investment and the risks involved, salespeople used to have the upper hand in the B2B transaction. However, the rules of the game have changed considerably and will continue to do so. There are now so many ways for B2B customers to educate themselves that often, they know more about the product and the competition than the salesperson does! In B2B sales, the battle is lost unless marketing and sales sign a new pact, a win-win alignment where both functions support each other, in order to regain control of the company’s revenues!

B2B sales, an unsatisfying process

What you need to realize is that customers don’t see your sales and marketing functions. They see your company and its actions. And sometimes, it’s not a pretty sight!

A recent study by McKinsey indicated that B2B interactions take place in an average of 6 different channels and that 2/3 of users report being dissatisfied! Not surprising, when you consider that sales and marketing want to close the sale, but don’t share their intentions or their information!

Provide a consistent customer experience

To increase satisfaction, the customer experience (Cx) needs to be improved. To do this, the business must be customer-centric. Marketing and Sales are always the first to arrive. To offer a consistent experience, from one time to the next, from one client to another, and from one channel to another, there’s no choice, really; sales and marketing must be aligned.

The obstacles

Sales and Marketing alignment is difficult. Their realities are so very different. Evaluating them is too. Communication and collaboration become a significant challenge.

In addition, when each of these functions includes several sub-departments, embarking on an alignment process can quickly turn into a Tower of Babel. That’s why the EDC case is so interesting. Not only do the two functions have many employees, these people also represent several types of expertise, different nationalities, different generations and a particularly high level of education. In short, everything to make the situation even more complex.

Substantial gains

But a successful sales-marketing alignment comes with substantial gains. According to SiriusDecisions, well-aligned teams increase profit by 15% and growth by 19%. Marketo, a digital marketing giant, also reports that well-aligned teams have success rates that are 50% higher than those who aren’t!

Your opportunity to learn more

Exo B2B is honored to have been selected to support EDC in this delicate transformation and it’s with great pride that we invite you to attend our joint presentation on Sales-Marketing alignment at the Sommet B2B Les Affaires.

During this presentation you’ll get to hear Marc-André Roy, Vice President Marketing and Digital Strategy, tell us how the process started and how it developed. He’ll also offer us a glimpse of the work yet to be done. This is a unique opportunity to look into a real-life case to see the mechanics of this kind of transformation. You must be ready to face several pitfalls before achieving a significant transformation.

Sales vs Marketing: Grrrrr

We all know the complaints that marketing has about sales and that sales have about marketing. To get the two to work together, clear leadership is needed. The steps to follow must be clear; after all, it would be so easy to fall into the “hype” surrounding technologies and data. More than ever, we have to resist falling too quickly for the technological solution.

Agree to reinvent the process

We must understand and share existing cultures, redefine collaborations, and insist on transparent communication because these are the foundations of such a project’s success. It’s only once these elements are in place that we can reinvent the processes and then, finally, think about the required technologies …

There are so many things that both functions need to work on before moving forward!

  • What is an MQL? What is an SQL?
  • The buyer’s journey. How can we “engage” the customer?
  • What are the “moments of truth”? Who does what?
  • How can we improve the Marketing-to-Sales handover, but also, Sales-to-Marketing !!!!
  • What “lead scoring” can everyone agree on?
  • What will “nurturing” consist of, and who will do it?
  • How will the effectiveness of the two functions be simultaneously measured?
  • What service level agreements should they develop for each other?

And that’s just the beginning….

EDC has taken the right steps in the right direction with best practices, by having ExoB2B in its corner.

Improve B2B sales

Among our discussion points with M. Roy will be how the establishment of an “Attract & Convert” team as well as a “Close & Grow” team can be leveraged to effectively tackle a siloed internal structure. We’ll also talk about the fact that the business relationship is never over.

Much remains to be done. Data management, collection, processing and use of data still pose significant challenges to the Crown corporation. It’s an ongoing transformation!

Attend the interview

Attending this interview at the Sommet B2B Les Affaires will allow you to get a better start on your own alignment, or compare your own alignment efforts with those of an organization that is moving in the right direction.

Hope to see you there!

 

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