What does the future of B2B sales & marketing look like?

We recently asked 40 B2B marketing leaders how they see the future of their sales and marketing operations unfolding. Three big themes emerged – content, automation and personalisation.


Valuable Content

People are bored of brands blowing their own trumpets. They’re looking for value now, content that offers fresh insight to address current and expected future challenges. Over time, brands that create this type of content build trust, so that when prospects are ready to buy, it’s the brands they know and trust they’ll turn to first.

The days of hoarding intellectual capital to entice a prospect to engage are over. There’s so much information available for free on the web that it’s become a foot-race amongst forward thinking brands to demonstrate their thought leadership in blogs, white papers and ebooks.

But creating valuable content is a time and resource challenge – like so many things and creating quality content is not easy – it takes time, money and innovation and many organisations are still at the early stages of figuring out how to do it.

To create content that is interesting and not too promotional, you need to hire professional writers – which is costly, so you need to re-engineer the sales process to make sure it is efficient and fit for purpose.



The drive for efficiency is being led by automation, CRM systems that can track sales prospect activities and automate some of the follow-up processes required to nurture leads as they move through the sales cycle. 

Date analytics can help predict how successful campaigns will be, based on historic data and inform selection of content agendas, based on the best performing content.



Some of the sales and marketing leaders we interviewed saw automation and personalisation to be at odds – warning that too much automation can lead to content that doesn’t resonate with prospects.

As ever, it’s a question of balance, making sure automated content is as personalised as possible at the fat end of the sales funnel and refining the process so that the switch to human interaction is triggered at the right moments. 

Network Sunday’s new eBook – ‘How B2B sales and marketing processes have changed’ is free to download from their website.

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