Aligning B2B marketing and sales efforts


Nacia Walsh: Hi, Nacia here to tee up some valuable business to business marketing insights from Think with Google. Aligning B2B marketing and sales teams can be a challenge, but it’s also highly rewarding.

In this video, we’re joined by Doug Novack, managing director of business and industrial markets at Google. He’ll walk us through how businesses can rethink the sales funnel and get the most from their marketing with some good old cross-functional collaboration. Take it away, Doug.


Doug Novack: Thanks Nacia. Hey, everyone, I’m Doug, and I’m here to talk about why recent changes in buyer behavior have made alignment between B2B marketers and sales teams more important than ever.

In a recent study we conducted in partnership with Bain and Company, we surveyed marketers, sellers, and buyers of technology in the U.S. and discovered that the traditional handoff of qualified leads from marketing to sales is no longer the best way to influence and engage buyers.


Doug: This is because B2B and B2C customers have similar buying preferences. But in order for B2B brands to meet these new buyer behaviors, we need to first address a few challenges. Let’s dig in.

Challenge 1: Buyers are purchase ready, not sales ready. 94% of all buyers are somewhat or fully informed about the product or products they purchase before reaching out to sales reps.


On top of that, 8 out of 10 buyers prefer to be the ones to initiate the conversation with sales during the discovery, evaluation, and decision-making stages of the customer journey, rather than having sales reps reach out to them. It’s also smart to leverage communication channels like web chat or social media, so you make it as easy and seamless as possible for buyers to reach out when they’re ready on their own terms.


Our research shows that marketing is playing a larger role and influencing purchasing decisions, while the more untapped opportunity for sales is to focus more on retention and upsell. Think about providing a variety of content, like articles, infographics, and videos. Video in particular is a powerful tool to engage buyers, as 76% of buyers use social media to read or watch product reviews.

No matter your medium, your goal is to make content credible, accessible, and digestible to enable this purchase-ready behavior.


Doug: Challenge 2: The customer journey isn’t linear. The number of unique pathways to making a decision really add up. Buyers value both digital marketing and sales reps at different phases of their customer journey. This means marketers and sellers need to reevaluate their channel mix and their most effective role at different points of the journey, incorporating a wider range of channels that buyers actually use, which includes word-of-mouth, industry influencers, web search, channel partners, and more.


The bottom line: Give buyers what they want at each stage of the journey. And don’t be afraid to experiment with new and emerging sources. If I haven’t made my point clear yet, let me say it again. It’s crucial that marketing and sales work together. Getting prospects to select your product and customers to invest more with you is a team effort that needs, in fact, demands better cross-functional collaboration.

I know you’re up for the challenge. Thanks for leaning in with me. Back to you, Nacia.


Nacia: Thanks, Doug. Let’s quickly revisit what B2B marketers and sellers can do to help shoppers become buyers.

Marketers can empower buyers to self-educate so they’re ready to purchase by the time they contact a sales rep. And marketers should rethink their channel mix in order to meet customers where they are in their journeys.


That’s how to think about alignment between B2B marketing and sales. Hit that subscribe button so you catch all the latest insights. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time.

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