By Brittany Halldorson (@BHalldorson)
Staying on top of sales and marketing trends is crucial to stay ahead and 2017 is poised for major disruption in the space.
From the latest tech innovation that will allow your team to be more efficient to a shift in strategy that will help you stand out from the crowd, we took a look at trends top sales and marketing professionals believe will define the year ahead.
Trend #1: Companies will shift away from mass distributions to personalized communications – Todd Gartner, SiriusDecisions
“…We will see more personalized e-mails (sent by SDRs and not marketing) to more targeted list of accounts (based on things like technographics, intent and predictive analytics) from more higher-quality and intelligent data sources. Even in the case of large scale ABM programs, you should still see far more personalized and relevant e-mails. With all of the intelligent data this is available and tools that make it easy to send personalized e-mails, there is really no good excuse to send those mass e-mails anymore (or at least as often as they are sent).”
Trend #2: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will come of age in 2017 – Peter O’Neil, Forrester
“In 2016, vendors and consultants hyped account-based marketing (ABM) — such that B2B marketing interest in it skyrocketed. In 2017, marketers will seriously consider new customer-obsessed approaches that team up marketing and sales to grow long-term highly engaged revenue relationships with key clients. ABM is a retro idea with revolutionary impact — especially when B2B marketing pros apply it to deepen relationships with the right customers at scale. And in 2017, we predict that ABM will:
- Make the lead funnel (or waterfall) essentially obsolete.
- Give marketing more ownership over post-sale customer experience (CX).
- Drive advocate marketing as a key process”
Trend #3: Sales and Marketing will work closer together than ever before – Max Altschuler, SalesHacker
“The Account Based Everything hype is just the beginning. The truth is, Sales & Marketing at the top of the funnel have morphed. The whole org is working together on lead gen and demand gen. We’re seeing more and more SDRs report to Marketing every day. The best sales and marketing teams are figuring out the numbers they need to back into for the year end goals, and work together to understand what amount of leads they need to hit for each market segment, and how to acquire them. They work as a team.”
Trend #4: Customer Experience Will be Much More Than a Differentiator – James Gill, CEO at GoSquared
“Sales, marketing, and customer service are continuing to merge. It’s all about making customers successful from their first interaction.
Customers have greater expectations than ever. They expect the businesses they deal with to know who they are, and to deliver an amazing experience every time, without exceptions. Great customer service is no longer a differentiator — it’s table stakes to build a brand and a business that will thrive over the coming years.”
Trend #5: Right-time marketing instead of real-time marketing – Daniel Newman, Analyst at Futurum Research
“Real-time marketing—with eyes out for opportunities to market and score—has been hot the last few years. Think of Oreo’s “Dunking in the Dark” campaign. As we now use data to isolate the best moment to connect with consumers, real-time should switch to right-time.”
Trend #6: B2B Interfaces will become more intuitive and user-friendly – Jason Liu, SAVO CEO
“After years of distinction between B2B and B2C experiences, we’re now marrying B2C usability with the secure, robust needs of a B2B enterprise. We have seen significant market shifts that have confirmed the need to deliver a new experience with the B2B enterprise world.
Much like a social media feed, enterprise software can deliver information to users based on their activities and interests. So instead of being shown an article on current events or ads based on prior searches, personalized enterprise software can deliver recommendations on sales content, training material, subject matter experts, forums and more. Content can be accessed via the web, through a customer relationship management platform (CRM), or via any mobile device.”
No matter what the prediction, experts agree that innovation and technology will continue to define the way sales and marketing professionals speak to consumers. And with SKO around the corner, now is the time to prepare your teams for the change these trends will bring.
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