Sales and marketing thought leaders convened at the Sydney and Melbourne Huthwaite Future Forum recently to share insights on the greatest challenge facing business today: changing buyer behavior.
The panel of cross-industry experts and leaders in their field shared their insights into what was impacting their industries, organizations and buyers, along with the strategies they were using to adapt to this new reality and what this meant for sales and marketing.
Across all industries, evolving buyer behavior has not only changed the face of sales and marketing, it has demanded complete organizational transformation to put customer centricity at its core.
Key learnings the Forum highlighted include:
• Sales and marketing are no longer separate business units: The traditional sales role is disappearing. Sales needs to work with marketing to engage with the right buyers at the right stage of their buying cycle.
• Sales ownership: Everyone in an organization is now responsible for driving revenue. Executive management’s ability to be involved in sales engagement and relationship management will, in turn, shape the organization’s DNA.
• Relationship management: Touch points within an organization need to systematically increase, so as to minimize risk and build relationships up and down the organizational chart.
• The buyer is becoming anonymous: With procurement—working primarily to financial KPIs—now heavily involved in most businesses transactions, the resources invested in tenders needs to be scaled accordingly, from relationship management through to delivering the pitch.
• Internal sales management: Organizations require a more comprehensive approach to CRM to track real-time information and enable buyer transparency throughout an organization. Sales should only need to make a minimal investment in this process, so that it has the time to work more closely with buyers.
• Skill sets in the sales area need to be more business-focused: Salespeople must have the ability to focus on the buyer’s business and strategic intent to enable early matching of needs with capabilities and to remove price barriers.
• Customer centricity is key: Focus on the buyer by coordinating efforts across the entire organization. This will ultimately make it easier for the buyer to do business with you.
Over the coming weeks, posts from each Forum panelist will build on the insights above and allow you the opportunity to discuss key challenges facing your organization and industry. Join the discussion!
• Mark McGrath, National Sales Operations & Systems Director, News Australia
• Genevieve Reid, Director of Sales & Marketing, Computershare
• Andrew Groth, VP & General Manager, Financial Services, APAC, Infosys
• Matt Englund, Managing Director, Securitor and Licensee Select Advice, BT Financial Group
• Ian Jones, Head of Sales, Salmat
• Will Griffith, Country Manager, Eloqua
• Steele Baillie, Managing Director, BTA Recruitment
• Greg Martin, Founder and CEO, Intilecta Apps