Folloze Provides 2017 Outlook on B2B Marketing & Sales Industry
Sales Becoming More Data-Driven and Marketing-Oriented, Content is Changing, and ABM Going Mainstream
Folloze, an Account Based Marketing (ABM) Sales Platform, today shared its 2017 outlook for the B2B marketing and sales industry. According to recent research by McKinsey and The Corporate Executive Board, the B2B buying process is changing significantly. Buyers are the ones increasingly driving the process: they have access to immense amounts of information, which creates more pressure on sellers to deliver value. The process is also moving from linear to circular and complex, with more people and departments involved.
At the same time, vendors now have access to more detailed data about their audiences, from profile information to behavioral analytics, which allows them to better target their buyers and provide more relevant and valuable information. This is driving new approaches in sales and marketing tactics.
Marketing is also facing increased pressure to directly impact revenue, and is being measured against stricter financial benchmarks each year.
“The B2B marketing and sales industry is in transition,” said Etai Beck, CEO, Folloze. “The linear sales funnel model is dead, marketing is being asked to better support sales and revenue, and sales is looking for new tactics to provide value and engage with a buyer that is more informed yet less engaged than ever before. Sales and marketing have begun pivoting to adapt to all of these new realities, and throughout 2017, the trends that have started to emerge, such as Account Based Marketing, will crystalize.”
Folloze anticipates the following trends to take shape throughout next year:
1. Digital Marketing will be adopted by sales and be applied in more advanced stages of the buying cycle
Sales has realized that B2B buyers are receptive to information if the content being provided is relevant and uses rich media, or in other words, is easily consumable. Thus, the use of digital marketing – including digital assets – will play a much more significant role in driving sales priorities. For example, the creation of a digital campaign to drive a particular sales territory priority.
2. Short, easily consumable and rich content will win
With the increase in smartphone use and mobile content consumption, buyer attention spans are short – about 8 seconds to be exact.* The majority of people skim rather than read content, similar to window shopping rather than actually going into the store. This requires marketers to create or curate short, visual and compelling content that lets buyers browse through it, and as a result create powerful perception of the vendor and intrigues further communication, a trend that will increase in 2017.
3. Marketing and sales collaboration will be redefined
The role of the CMO is changing. Marketing is under significant pressure to contribute to sales and revenue, and has a higher bar to meet than ever before. This is only going to increase in 2017, which will lead to a new dynamic between sales & marketing decisions. With marketing being measured on revenue, sales will increasingly support decisions around:
Sales/Marketing Tools: MarTech is exploding, with thousands of tools to choose from. Marketing and sales will share many of the same tools and platforms, and sales will start to have a bigger voice in making decisions about the toolsets being used.
Content Marketing in context: Buyers usually see new content based on what they’ve engaged with previously – it’s all automated through marketing tools and social algorithms. But with buyers getting content fatigue and traditional content marketing becoming less effective, companies are looking at approaches like Audience Marketing or Account Based Marketing to break through the noise and better tailor their outreach to specific prospects. Sales know their prospects better than anyone, so will become more involved in deciding what kinds of content their prospects should see.
4. Sales will become more sophisticated and data-driven
The dynamic is shifting between sellers and buyers. The amount of information available to buyers is increasing, and as buyers are becoming more educated, they are now the ones driving the sales process. This means vendors have to become much more sophisticated, consultative and relevant in order to engage with their buyers.
Successful vendors will be the ones who understand and constantly educate their customers with highly relevant, valuable information. As sales are on the front line with customers, they are the ones who can best provide this value. They must in a sense become mini marketers. To do this, sales will become more data-driven, using information such as buyers’ specific pain points, the problems they’re trying to solve and more in order to customize their outreach based on the specific audience.
5. ABM will move from early adopters to mainstream
ABM is to the marketing industry as “Big Data” was to the tech industry – it’s the buzzword everyone’s excited about, but most are still struggling with what it really means and how to implement it without bursting the budget or losing their current sales pipeline. In 2016 many companies learned about ABM and the premise of it. Next year companies will more significantly bring ABM to reality. The practices and toolsets will become more clear, and companies will gain a better grasp on the available tools and vendors, how to build a practice, and how to partner with sales in order to adjust to this approach. As part of this, ABM will move from being an innovative program among early adopters to being a core B2B marketing strategy among mainstream enterprises.
For more information and marketing tips, visit our blog at http://blog.folloze.com/.
*Source: Statistic Brain
Folloze is a provider of an innovative Account Based Marketing (ABM) Sales Platform, which enables B2B sales teams to use marketing techniques to engage, develop and win their top target accounts. Built for scale, the platform allows Marketing to empower Sales to deliver account-specific content campaigns, content automation, actionable account analytics and more, all from within their familiar sales tools. These capabilities enable salespeople to act as consultants through the selling process, delivering significantly more value to customers and drastically increasing their sales pipelines.
Folloze is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with a development center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Folloze was founded by a group of marketing, sales and technology veterans and is backed by world-class investors. To learn more, and sign up for a free trial account, visit http://folloze.com.