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How Do We Create the Sales and Marketing Organization of the Future?

May 27th, 2020 Andrew Warren-Payne

Organizations worldwide have had to rapidly adjust their marketing and sales practices to a digital-only world in just a few short months. Many of these changes are likely to stick even once stay-at-home restrictions ease. Indeed, a survey of B2B decision-makers by McKinsey found that 79% believe the changes they have made to their sales models will likely be sustained for more than a year. Some 65% also state their new go-to-market models are as effective or more effective than those before COVID-19.

With that in mind, here are a few thoughts to bear in mind as you adapt to a digital-first future:

Roles and responsibilities will need to adjust

two colleagues working on computer

Before the crisis, many organizations — from B2B enterprises to educational establishments — made face-to-face events and interactions a core part of their operations.

Today, these in-person meetings must shift online. As a result, it’s more important than ever that all professionals develop their skills at providing experiences everywhere to their target audiences.

For those in sales and marketing leadership, the day-to-day work and the ongoing targets for those in the team will also need to change. If you haven’t done so already, decide upon these changes and communicate them across your organization.

Campaigns and go-to-market plans need to shift

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Even if the majority of your sales and marketing efforts are online, the change in the working environment has caused significant changes in how people engage with brands.

NetLine’s David Fortino described that they had seen a significant increase in content consumption.

This is good news for B2B marketers, but it may also mean that while the new prospects generated by online activity are increasing, there needs to be a review of whether your customers’ online buying behavior has changed. Otherwise, there may be a new debate about the quality of leads that marketing is generating.

Any face-to-face events also need to be revisited. These reviews shouldn’t take place just from a logistical point of view, but also in how best to create a relevant experience for the screen rather than the stage.

Reassess your KPIs

Man Thinking on laptop

The new normal of today’s business needs to be reflected in KPIs. For marketers, this may mean looking at metrics further along the sales process than normally would be the case. For sales leaders, this also requires an understanding of how buying cycles are changing and what your team needs to do to adapt.

Finally, it’s important to remember that human connections count even more today. As we spend more time physically away from colleagues and customers, we need to ensure that all our outreach both provides the contact that all people crave while being respectful and understanding of the challenges many of us are facing.