In a recent survey, 69% of corporate board members said their company accelerated digital business initiatives because of COVID. The world of B2B buying and selling is no different. The challenges brought forth by COVID hastened the digital transformation that was already well underway.
As we navigate toward the “next normal” we find ourselves in an environment wrought with challenges and uncertainty but one where there is no cap on innovation.
Today the selling environment is dramatically different from what it was just two years ago. With Millennials now making up half the global workforce the demographics of both buyers and sellers has shifted. Although buyers are digitally savvy and self-directed when they initiate an evaluation, they bring many more stakeholders into the purchase decision, and they require many more personalized touch points before they do the deal.
These and other factors are forcing sales organizations to change how they go to market. Sellers must shift from experience and intuition-based selling to insights-driven approaches; first- and second-line sales managers must rely on data to inform their coaching actions, and revenue operations practitioners must lean into quantitative rather than ad hoc and qualitative forecasting methods.
All of this begs the question — how is our category, as a whole, shifting to accommodate these changes?
Learn more about how to use engagement and intelligence to become a Revenue Innovator
I spent the past few months conducting qualitative and quantitative research with industry leaders. My goals were to get to the heart of how these leaders were thinking about current market dynamics and how they plan to set their organizations up for success.
A new cohort of leaders has emerged to embrace the changes coming their way.
Revenue Innovators are those leaders, managers, and reps who put buyers at the center of their strategies, who leverage the most innovative sales technologies, and who rely on data to inform their business decisions.
All revenue leaders strive to deliver predictable, efficient growth — but even those with strong quantitative skills struggle to do so without access to accurate and complete data.
Unfortunately, many sales organizations take a siloed approach to pipeline generation, opportunity management, and forecasting. They use a mashup of disparate systems and processes to manage the revenue cycle, which causes sellers, managers and leaders to manually piece together a picture of everything happening in their pipelines.
With this approach, as soon as the data is collected, it’s out of date. Guesswork results in forecast inaccuracies and an inability to take corrective actions to improve outcomes. Human error and inconsistencies across individuals and teams further confound the problem.
So what’s the alternative? Revenue Innovators know their whole revenue team needs a single unified platform to manage workflows, gain insights, and navigate the increasingly complex buying process.
In an August 2021 commissioned study conducted by Forrester on behalf of Outreach, almost one-third of B2B sales leaders said their forecasts were derived by selecting key deals and adding in qualitative analysis to arrive at their final number. Unfortunately, this static and unscientific approach to forecasting makes it impossible to dynamically and accurately manage your business.
Reps and managers need analytics in easy-to-consume dashboards that help them assimilate data, identify patterns, and take action. Revenue operations practitioners need the ability to drive, measure, and report on results at every level of the organization. Finally, revenue leaders need 360-degree visibility to optimize decision-making and deliver accurate forecasts.
The reality is that in 2021 and beyond, B2B organizations that lack a centralized engagement and intelligence platform will be at a competitive disadvantage.