How is the disruption in marketing & sales affecting YOU?

Recently I was interviewed by Vendemore about their event ON TARGET (held 13/3 in Stockholm)

In the video I touch upon the fundamental shifts taking place in marketing and sales. I decided to elaborate a bit on what I say in the video about the significant shifts ahead.

Marketing departments will change dramatically

We all know the overwhelming complexity of today's marketing - social, content marketing, the quicksand landscape of SEO with change after change altering rules and tactics, the mobile imperative, data-driven marketing and soon even BIG data-driven marketing.

Many marketing departments are having a rough time - the CMO often does no have the full mandate necessary to invest in a mere hygiene level of tools and know-how needed. The CEO and the rest of the management team are often unaware of the marketing technology and buying behaviour revolution that is taking place.  And to drop even more weight on the CMO's shoulders - you should already be doing content that engages the buyer in the first 60-70% of their buying cycle. Your colleagues in the room next door - the sales people - are being shut out of this part of the journey. So, now the responsibility for revenue rests on your shoulders...

If we summarize:

  • too little funding and too little understanding from rest of management
  • need to rapidly master a number of new technologies
  • need to source a growing number of new previously unknown experts (content marketeers, video, audio, web, growth hacking, mobile design, content distribution, marketing automation, big data...)
  • the responsibility to win the hearts and minds of buyer with content in the first 60%-70% of the buying journey...


Sales organisations will change dramatically as well

Raising sales results has traditionally been about three main levers - raise activity levels, raise quality of work through increased skills and use sales controlling to eliminate waste and add more of productive work. Often 20 % of the sales force produce 80 % of the results. And even if there are a few CSO-wizards out there - I know a few - the majority struggle to get the performance needed out of their 80 % medium-to-low performers.

Personally I see a watershed coming, where the sales organizations in smart organizations morph into something much more lean and mean. How?

  • By cooperating closely with marketing and using content in the sales process. Giving value into BUYER's journey instead of interrupting to ask if the prospect is ready to proceed down OUR pipeline.
  • Social selling. By engaging early in social media, identifying leads, using referrals, positioning themselves as individual brands of consultative curators of know-how.
  • Using analytics tactically from marketing automation (not just sales ready leads - but individual user behavior) and other data sources to allocate their expensive manual sales-time towards situation where they can contribute.
  • Pipeline marketing. Cooperating closely with marketing to run content specific campaigns towards single companies at the right phase of the buying process.

If we summarize:

  • Less sales people in the sales department. Many sales people will be out of jobs - content will answer many of the buyer's questions
  • A transition to trusted implementers. A few will change and specialize in being a trusted partner guaranteeing a smooth implementation of the solution
  • The top-performers will adapt as usual - they will partner with marketing to provide even more value in the their sales dialogues.


It's cooperation time for the CMO and the CSO

It might not be easy - but there is really no alternative. Sales and marketing should embark on a journey to see how the playingfield is changing and how they are going to work together in the future. The CEO should be invited too. As the saying goes - when change happens on the outside adjust wisely and desively from the inside.

One way to start this of is to pay a joint visit to the On Target conference.