The Trends drive the Needs. The Needs drive the Technology. Too often it’s the other way around.
This is why LeadGenius teamed up with Prezi and Ambition to write The 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing. A trends guide is not actionable if you neglect to consider the technology available in the market. A technology guide is incomplete without an understanding of what is driving adoption.
Each chapter in the Trends and Tech Guide explains a force in the market, identifies the needs relevant to that trend, and provides 10–15 product solutions that can be used to meet those needs.
Here are the big trends in marketing sales and demand generation for 2017:
Managing Millennials – Managing today’s 20-somethings is a whole new ball game. Marketing, sales, and demand gen leaders have to adopt tools and management techniques that match the strengths and weakness of krecent college graduates.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is coming of age – There was a lot of hype about ABM last year. It can be quite a pain to switch from a lead/contact-based strategy to one that’s account based, but that’s where the industry is headed. Demand generation is not just about selling to decision makers. It’s about selling to accounts.
The “New CMO” – CMOs are being given more power and responsibility. Chief marketers are being required to now also focus on product marketing, revenue strategy, and marketing ops. In the past, these functions largely lived in other departments. If demand gen rolls up under marketing, and the head of the marketing org’s responsibilities shift, that inevitably impacts the goals of the rest of the organization.
Customer Experience (CX) – “Customer experience” is just a fancy way to say “full-funnel marketing.” The big difference between “CX “and a “full funnel marketing” is that the former doesn’t have the word “marketing” in it. When the CEO puts a focus on full funnel marketing, the marketing team gets to work. When the CEO puts a focus on CX, all the departments gets to work. Harkening back to marketing 101, you’ll remember that everything is marketing: price, product, placement, and promotion. Because B2B companies want to keep customers around for longer and continue selling to them (especially in recurring revenue based businesses), CX is becoming more and more important.
Personalized Everything – From a content standpoint, B2B marketing is always trying to keep pace with what’s going on in B2C. Personalization has been the name of the game in B2C for several years now. B2B will continue to follow this lead. (By the way, personalization as much about targeting as it is about messaging.)
The Consolidated Technology Stack – Marketing and sales is sick of having dozens of overlapping and competing technologies to wrangle in one stack. Living at the intersection of these two departments, demand generation feels this pain most of all. B2B companies are starting to trim the fat. Inefficiencies and redundancies in the technology stack cost time and money.
Trust is currency – As new tools pop up every day, the demand gen technology market is getting more elastic. This means, that if a customer doesn’t like their vendors, it’s getting easier to switch. Trust is key. Demand gen teams are becoming increasingly focused on retention, upselling, and advocacy, as opposed to just acquisition.
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