MARKET VIEW 18

Patricia Antunez

GLOBAL HEAD OF COMMERCIAL AND MARKETING

Sales and marketing teams need to be enabling a seamless end-to-end digital experience to cater to not only generational shifts but also shifts in client preferences.

What should B2B sales and marketing teams be focusing on?

Sales and marketing teams need to be enabling a seamless end-to-end digital experience to cater to not only generational shifts but also shifts in client preferences. The inclination towards digital skyrocketed with the pandemic, yet what I find surprising is that you still find poor digital journeys within the financial services world–even with some of the biggest industry players.

And to take it one step back, sales teams need to be involved in the entire design process of products and services–to help highlight what the stakeholders need and want. Otherwise, you end up creating products or services that don’t quite suit your intended buyers. Companies should include sales from the early stages of R&D to convey the client perspective to ensure you’re going in the right direction. The same goes with creating a marketing strategy–for sales to adopt and successfully execute marketing tactics, there needs to be collaboration from the start.

Companies should be opting for a customer-centric strategy, taking a page out of B2C marketing.

What does “individual selling” look like in a B2B world?

I see a lot of complacency and stagnation in B2B sales and marketing strategies. As customers, we have much higher demands and are adept at how we approach sales. Yet, so many organisations haven’t changed the way they sell. There is so much you can extrapolate from the B2C world to the B2B world. In my experience across different industries, B2B organisations tend to have a very company-centric approach; very focused on the “we”. You see messaging around “what we do, what we have accomplished, who we are”. Companies should be opting for a customer-centric strategy, taking a page out of B2C marketing. Focus on what your customers want and need and create messaging around that. Make sure you’re giving your customers the information they need, and where possible, cater to how they prefer being sold to.

I believe that the key lies in an omnichannel selling approach where companies target the individual, not just the role. I get sold to all the time. When I buy something on behalf of my company, it’s still me, Patricia, behind that transaction. My individual preferences matter. The companies who realise this and factor it into their marketing and sales strategies will stand out.

If you create the right content, every person who interacts with that post is helping you build brand awareness.

PATRICIA ANTUNEZ

Global Head of Commercial and Marketing

WTW

How can B2B companies leverage social media and digital experiences?

One of the most powerful ways to market is through word-of-mouth. Think about LinkedIn as digital word-of-mouth. It opens up a whole new world of opportunities, giving B2B organizations the leverage of being part of thought leadership–which is a form of social capital. If you create the right content, every person who interacts with that post is helping you build brand awareness.

Also, bearing in mind how different the way we process information digitally is from the way we process information face-to-face, I don’t believe in-person experiences will or should ever disappear. In some instances, customers will want to participate in events such as workshops or face-to-face demos. At the end of the day, there will be people who prefer digital and others that choose a different channel. That’s why a hybrid model is essential. Once again, trying to cater to the individual preferences of your buyers is key.

WTW is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that provides data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. With local expertise in over 140 countries and markets, WTW helps clients sharpen their strategy, build resilience, and maximize performance.

Up next: Market View 19 Mark Wright, Egress Software Technologies

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