Originally published in salestechstar.com
If recent buying behavior has suggested anything, it’s that personalization is the future of marketing. McKinsey reports that roughly three-quarters (76%) of consumers identify personalization as crucial in making an initial purchase. In comparison, a slightly higher percentage (78%) of consumers say personalization plays a role in whether they’ll recommend a product or service to colleagues. And most B2B marketing leaders acknowledge the increasing importance of digital personalization. According to Forrester, 52% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing and personalization spending soon.
Budgeting for increased personalization is crucial. However, personalization strategies may fall flat without the proper tools and sales-marketing alignment. That’s why sales and marketing professionals looking to accomplish more with fewer resources must prioritize a RevTech stack that empowers an improved customer experience (CX) and greater interdepartmental collaboration.
Of course, prioritizing the correct contacts and accounts at the perfect time is easier said than done. But with RevTech’s increasing prominence and the emergence of Buying Group Marketing (BGM), sales-marketing teams are more empowered to improve CX than ever before.
Putting the customers first with Buying Group Marketing
Person-Based Advertising (PBA) is the B2B marketplace’s predominant answer to modern customers’ demand for personalized ad content. Whereas standard marketing practice from two decades ago would dictate that sales and marketing teams treat all B2B buyers as possible customers, PBA pulls back the curtain to suggest targeting only accounts that are most likely to close a deal. As a result, marketing departments eat up less of their budget to address target accounts — and land more clients in the process. An effective PBA strategy is crucial, as industry research shows that revenue can increase by up to 208% when sales and marketing departments go all-in on targeted ads to the right audience at the right time.
The principles PBA is built on — targeting only certain accounts in an intuitive way that acknowledges buying realities — can be even more accurately applied. As marketers know, buyers in a B2B environment rarely make siloed purchase decisions. Rather, they work with colleagues to decide on a supplier. Therein lies the opportunity for further personalization.
Various customer profiles are present within these buying groups, determined by factors like title, level of experience and decision-making sway. An evolved PBA strategy known as Buying Group Marketing (BGM) considers these various personas individually and markets differently to each account member to achieve improved CX. BGM is critical because it satisfies consumers’ increased desire for personalization, thereby improving their sales funnel. That also contributes to fewer decision-making breakdowns in the long run, which makes for a happy customer — and a more successful sales department.
Prioritizing an intuitive RevTech strategy
Conventional marketing relies on marketing-qualified leads (MQLs); and traditional sales, sales-qualified leads (SQLs). The criteria for classifying an MQL or SQL differs by industry and organization, but generally, it requires a simple expression of interest. Say, for example, a marketer identifies that another company’s IT director downloaded their organization’s recent e-book. Indeed, this demonstrates the IT director is interested in the relevant data. But does that mean they are a prospective customer?
Generally, no, for several reasons. This IT director may work in a vertical that doesn’t require the marketer’s solutions. Or, perhaps, they’re employed by a competing organization. One of the most critical tasks for marketing and sales teams is deciphering possible customers from the noise.
RevTech is a powerful solution to this dilemma. More than a buzzword, RevTech tools refocus marketing and sales efforts on initiatives directly tied to profit generation. Instead of prioritizing outdated metrics, the proper RevTech toolkit identifies organization-specific KPIs and aids organizations in achieving them.
One might consider RevTech the natural evolution of MarTech and SalesTech. RevTech bridges the gap between sales and marketing departments. Instead of allowing sales teams to stockpile tools in silos — and vice-versa for marketing — RevTech presents an opportunity to build an integrated tech stack from which an entire organization can profit. However, sales and marketing professionals cannot fully unlock the benefits of RevTech without a paradigm shift in the workplace. Each department must work closely in pursuit of the same organizational goals.
Introducing the age of “smarketing” — aka, sales and marketing
The benefits associated with BGM, ABM and RevTech adoption are numerous. But sales and marketing teams with low interdepartmental visibility are less likely to prosper from these solutions. According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing report, only 28% of salespeople identify marketing as their top source of leads.
Ironically, MQLs and SQLs often overlap. That’s because siloed sales and marketing teams are more likely to conduct the same research. In some cases, members of one department may even contact leads that have already been introduced to the sales funnel by a colleague. This scenario becomes more common as untraditional customer outreach methods, such as LinkedIn connections and DMs, become prevalent. Overlap of this kind wastes an organization’s crucial marketing and sales budget — worse, it hurts a company’s reputation.
Fortunately, there is a better way. True sales and marketing cohesion, or “smarketing,” addresses operational inefficiencies and streamlines workflows by providing sales and marketing teams access to the same customer data. Empowered with this information, smarketing professionals can craft a more cohesive CX. And by taking full advantage of RevTech, BGM and ABM, aligned smarketing teams can elevate their strategies and provide B2B buyers with an unparalleled personalized experience.
A robust line of communication between smarketing teams is critical. By grabbing dedicated time on their respective department’s calendar, sales and marketing teams immediately increase collaborative oversight. And using this time, smarketing teams can begin building a roadmap toward digital transformation. More likely than not, the first step in this plan will be to identify a success metric that sales and marketing can rally around. Examples of common goals include revenue generation, average account spend and account growth.
Each of these KPIs falls under the same north star: improving the sales funnel, which enhances CX. In fact, improved CX is also a commonality among RevTech, ABM and BGM. Smarketing departments seeking greater sales generation have an exciting opportunity to capitalize on these emerging trends — before they fall behind competitors with an eye toward the digitally personalized future.