2014 has arrived with new trends and technologies marketers will be forced to adapt to in the ever-changing B2B market place. There’s an evolution taking place where marketers NEED to become technology savvy, or they may be left in the prehistoric dust. With today’s purchaser completing 57% of the buying cycle before engaging with sales, it has become the responsibility of marketing to adopt the technologies needed to implement the process of creating and fielding engaging one-to-one experiences EVERYWHERE!
This trend of increasingly empowered buyers is elevating the importance of user-driven, engagement marketing experiences, and has put a heavier emphasis on marketing’s role in the development of sales enablement tools. Contrary to common belief, sales enablement is not simply a package of presentations and brochures that is given to the sales team in order to help them close deals. Sales representatives are clamoring to have tools that can deliver intimate, individualized, non-linear experiences to prospects.
Here are some of the trends predicted to become most prominent in this year:
- Increasing user-driven engagement, as buyers want to control their own experiences;
- Non-linear sales enablement tools that engage at every stage of the buying cycle;
- Establishing mobile-first (but not mobile-only) marketing strategies;
- Applications that are multi-platform/multi-device ready to ensure a consistent customer experience;
These B2B Sales Enablement trends are designed to arm every customer-facing person in the company (and channel) with the ability to consistently engage in a mutual exchange of value with the appropriate customer stakeholder at every stage of the customer’s problem-solving journey.
While vendors define the world as “buyers and sellers”, the people in the buying role don’t think of themselves that way. They are simply solving problems, and one of the steps along the way may be buying something (or set of things) from one or more vendors if they have to. Let’s stop calling them “buyers” and recognize that they are problem solvers. If we have any hope of doing business with them, we need to be seen by them as helping them solve important problems. Therefore marketers must provide sales enablement tools that truly engage prospects above and beyond what static videos or marketing collateral are capable of, and allow them to control their experience at their own pace and level of interest to help solve the problems that are relevant to them.