At the end of each year, my team and I publish a report on the major B2B sales and marketing trends. The idea is not to show how smart we are but rather to provide ideas you can start using immediately to grow your business. Feel free to download the full report.
Trend 1 – Importance of Digital Reputation. B2B prospects spend lots of time searching online before engaging with a potential vendor and if the experience isn’t right, they will leave quickly. On the internal website side, you should have a website that is clean, professional and easily navigable. Externally, you need to find every site that a potential purchaser could use to learn about you or your business category, and make sure your presence there leaves a good impression.
Trend 2 – Lead-to-Revenue Drives Marketing and Sales Alignment. While there are several flavors of L2R, our best practice model consists of five strategic steps that are designed to create a framework for B2B business growth.
- Define your business strategy
- Develop the processes that will facilitate your strategic goals
- Implement the technology infrastructure to optimize your processes
- Execute on the processes defined in Step 2
- Monitor, refine and improve results
Trend 3 – Rise of Marketing Technology. According to a 2015 survey by Forrester Research and AdRoll, while 80 percent of B2B marketers consider marketing technology comprehension and use it as a core requirement of their job, just 17 percent of respondents self-identify as leading in marketing technology maturity.
Trend 4 – Customer Experience Goes Mainstream. Prospects will do everything they can to find out about you before reaching out and engaging with your sales team. Good B2B marketing and sales is not just about how you communicate to the prospect, but also how easy you make it for prospects to find you and conduct business.
Trend 5 – Video Everywhere. Major players are placing huge focus in this area. While YouTube remains the dominant player in the video ad market, Facebook has launched a number of video features to challenge YouTube. Twitter is also seeking to take advantage of the growing video market with the launch of its video autoplay feature. And Google, not to be outdone, is promoting its video ads inside search engine results pages (SERP).
Trend 6 – Growth of Predictive Analytics. Predictive intelligence/analytics has been a hot topic because of increased user adoption. This type of technology can benefit B2B companies in a number of ways:
- Predict the likelihood of specific prospects/customers to behave in specific ways
- Provide recommendations to target specific market segments
- Combine external and internal data to fill informational gaps
- Identify issues, discover new opportunities and measure KPIs
Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2016.
Note: this post was originally posted at www.GreatB2BMarketing.com.