Analysis: Driving above market growth in B2B

In May of this year, McKinsey & Company launched a report titled ‘Digital Sales & Analytics: Driving above-market growth in B2B’.

Whilst it explores digital growth in B2B more generally, there are lots of insights and statistics relevant to our clients in the B2B technology sector.

This post explores and analyses a few key highlights and takeaways relevant for B2B technology companies also seeking to achieve above market growth in their space using digital.

The importance of the human touch

Possibly a strange place to start for a digital agency, but one that is critical: digital is not everything. The research has shown that successful sales and marketing teams strike the ‘human-digital balance’ well.

Digital and technology needs to be used to power and optimise the customer journey, but in B2B buyers expect great digital experiences and great human experiences.

B2B buyer frustration
When buyers find it helpful to speak to someone. Source: McKinsey & Company.

How digital can solve major pain points

McKinsey’s research found that there were a number of key areas that frustrated B2B buyers the most, and just from a quick glance it’s fairly obvious that digital can solve some of these pain points.

B2B buyer frustration
Source:  McKinsey & Company

With the correct investment in digital, including effective use of websites and content, it should be clear that these frustrations can be dealt with. Use of live chat and bot automation can lower response times, whilst clarity of content and information architecture on websites can provide detailed technical product information and comparisons, as well as more information around pricing. If all of these things come together, then you may even reduce the need for face-to-face or phone interactions. Digital can make an impactful mark on the customer experience.

Top down preparation is important

Investing in digital needs commitment from the very top of the business.

Marketing and sales alignment is key to success, and leadership need to be involved in bridging the gap between parts of the business that might be traditionally siloed. 

Some businesses might look to implement a Service Level Agreement between sales and marketing teams, to ensure roles, responsibilities and expectations are crystal clear.

Other might look to implement a ‘sales-operations’ team that spans marketing, sales and IT, and can provide that top level view and overall strategic direction to ensure all parts of the business are pulling in the same direction.

Data and analytics can shift performance

The data and analytics that often underpins digital marketing teams is very rarely shared with sales teams.

But the insights available can have a huge impact on sales performance. 

Data and analytics can help to drive prioritisation and personalisation for busy sales teams, providing insights that help improve effectiveness. But it can also help to develop sales teams. By identifying gaps in performance across teams, training and coaching can be rolled across the business.

For more insights and data, you can download the full report from the McKinsey & Company website.

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