(by Adam Joyce) –
With increasing economic uncertainty and the seemingly permanent changes to professional interactions driven by the pandemic, B2B sales will continue to evolve in 2023. The new B2B sales landscape will be characterized by 3 key objectives:
A Focus on the Buyer Experience
With buyer access to an unlimited inventory of information online, how will suppliers standout in an overcrowded digital landscape? By creating unique, memorable buyer experiences.
In 2023 and beyond, more B2B organizations will start to adopt new technologies and strategies to make buying more engaging, effortless, and simply more fun. Consider Virtual Reality purchasing, Metaverse sales meetings, and AI chatbots as the leading communication channels for businesses and their customers.
Organizations that deliver creative, immersive buyer experiences will win.
An Increase in Digital Touchpoints
Buyers in tomorrow’s B2B marketplace will continue down a digitally driven purchasing path, and suppliers must be prepared to meet the customer where they are in the online world. This means B2B sales organizations must increase the number of digital channels they have a presence in. These channels could include everything from videos, blog posts and newsletters to forums, e-books, and emerging social channels.
Content will continue to be king!
A Concentration on Customer Success
With potential economic turbulence ahead, B2B sales organizations will cut costs by placing additional emphasis on current customer retention and growth in these accounts rather than new customer acquisition in achieving revenue targets.
Just as Jeff Bezos and Amazon coined the phrase “a relentless focus on customer service,” B2B sales teams must adopt this same mentality with a digital-first strategy. Both low-touch and high-touch success models will be delivered via emerging technologies. Similar to buyer experiences, expect data-driven personalized touchpoints, Virtual Reality collaborations, and AI communications to play key roles in 2023 customer service business units.
While there is a lot of unknown ahead, one thing is for certain: B2B sales will change in 2023. Businesses will explore new technologies and expand into new online channels to ensure they are engaging the customers through their preferred digital marketplaces.
Adam is on the NAASE Advisory Board, and can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamcjoyce/
** Unrelated NAASE Note: Please check out the following ranking from Feedspot, on the Top Sales Engineering websites/ blogs-
We use data visualization in our everyday lives all the time without realizing it. The menu board at McDonald’s featuring food photos… That’s visual data. Temperature gauge… That’s also a visual representation of complex data.
Today on the North American Association of Sales Engineers blog, we’ll dive into the basics of data visualization.
Data Visualization And Business
If you’ve never used data visualization in your business before, you should. There are many reasons why it makes sense. These include:
How Is Data Visualization Useful In Marketing?
From a marketing perspective, data visualization is valuable because it helps grab attention. This is crucial as the attention spans of adults continue to get shorter and shorter, and you only have about eight seconds before your customers are ready to look at something else. When you can compress information from videos, articles, and studies, you can showcase the most important data, which may then prompt your potential customer to dive deeper into a specific vein of data. Supermetrics notes that you can also use data visualization to help identify trends and to reinforce an opinion.
Common Data Visualization Tools
Fortunately, there are many data visualization tools that even beginners can use. These include:
Data visualization does not have to be complicated. However, it can be used to showcase complex ideas to everyone in and out of your organization. By utilizing common data visualization tools, from banners to kanban boards, you can create more effective marketing plans, tighter project management, and a more efficient work environment. If you’ve yet to adopt data visualization in your organization, it’s never too late to start, and you’ll be glad you did.
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(by Ken Lambert) – A few days ago I noticed a post on LinkedIn by a professional there, insinuating that spelling is not a big deal, and that proper spelling shouldn’t really matter any more in the business setting. The point of the post was that correct spelling was a bit archaic, so 1950’s prep school, etc. Spelling does not directly relate to what you need to know in order to function at your job, so- who cares?
Initially I was going to just let that post pass me by, but it stuck with me. Hence, this brief blog article.
In my opinion, and after having spent roughly 25 years in the business world, proper spelling in work documents or messages certainly DOES matter, and it is important. I am maybe a bit biased regarding this, as I have been a professional writer and volunteer editor for various magazines and publications. That said, hear me out.
Spelling correctly is much easier now than it was 20 years ago. Microsoft not only has “spell-check” but it also has grammar and syntax auto-tools which help you use the correct word in a sentence. Think “there” versus “their”. Both are a correctly spelled word, but they can often be used in the wrong place. Given the fact that creating a document with no spelling errors is much easier than in the past, we should essentially never even see a misspelled word in a business/work document.
I feel that the “texting” attitude has crept into proper business communication, in many cases. No problem in a text with your friends to have misspelled words, shorthand, slang, etc. But you need to switch gears when representing yourself and your company in the professional world.
I’ve reviewed thousands of communications and documents from clients, partners, vendors, coworkers, and potential new employees. I have also read through many websites…. too many. If I notice a misspelled word (especially more than 1), I instantly assume that they are careless and/or unprofessional. In either case it is a turn-off and generally it hinders a professional or working relationship.
What do hiring managers think when they see someone’s resume with two spelling errors on it? I’d like to hear some opinions- but I’d think that does not bode well for the applicant.
I do believe that some of this is generational. It is likely that Millennials and Gen Z’s are more accepting of various spellings. Baby boomers and Gen X’ers are likely to have a similar attitude to mine.
So take a minute, and check your writing and spelling. Actually “edit” your proposals and specifications. It may seem like a waste of time, but for many readers (and managers) it is not a waste or meaningless nuisance.
Rant is now over. But somewhere perhaps my middle school English teacher would be proud!
It’s clear to most people, and certainly evident on LinkedIn, that “content is king”. For marketing, sales, and business development, it is typically the #1 means of creating leads and influencing sales, purchase orders, and contracts. But as many would agree- it is not easy to come by.
Recently engineering.com produced and released a great industry report, titled “2021 Marketing to Engineers Survey”. The 2 charts below illustrate how important content creation and promotion is- but also shows that for many it is a constant struggle.
Most marketing experts and industry watchdogs believe that the trends over the past few years (regardless of COVID or its aftermath) will continue on into the near future. How do we market complex or technical products? Content marketing is shown as the #1 marketing tactic. Webinars are #2- but it could be shown that creating and broadcasting webinars is essentially also a type of content marketing.
As any avid or regular participant on LinkedIn can tell- content is everywhere! There is so much to be consumed, by B2B professionals and buyers. However, as a company (or an Association like NAASE) it can be hard to always create and have content that is worthy of proper thought leadership. Writing an advertisement or promotion is pretty easy. Writing something that people actually want to read and learn from is another.
Creating/ writing content or even sifting through others’ content (be it blog articles, whitepapers, presentations, etc) is a considerable effort. Ask any marketing director, or CRO. Personally, I have done a fair amount of freelance industry/technical writing and companies, magazines, and websites seem to ALWAYS be looking for more content. The truth is that as content marketing becomes even more important- this shortcoming of the quantity of adequate pieces will be even more troublesome. Who is going to write all of this?
Generally speaking, as a country (USA) I feel that we have become worse writers over time; over the past 20-25 years. Perhaps some college professors can back me up on that? Effective business or technical writing seems to be lacking overall. As a simple anecdote, I recall several years ago when I was mentoring someone who had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He had a major in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. One would think that they would be a pretty darn good writer; better than most that had recently graduated.
In reality- they were not very good and many pieces that they wrote I had to shift and edit considerably.
The point is- as a business concern, content creation can be a challenge, and I believe that issue will become even more evident over the coming years. Buyers and prospects like to consume good content, so the product/service sellers will need to find a way to provide this to them. In the immediate future for B2B, I don’t see a likely Plan B or Plan C.
(by Andra Gu?ui and Marcela S?rm??an) Naming a new technological product is not an easy task. Everyday new tech products are launched, and it has become more and more difficult to create proper names which can make a difference in this crowded market.
Which are the biggest challenges in naming tech products?
In this article we will present you some advice to be followed in the naming process in order to help you overcome these challenges:
When you must name a tech product, two big departments will be involved in this decision: engineering and marketing/sales. The engineers feel that their point of view must be important because they know how the product was built and which are its main functionalities and features. The marketing department feels that they know the best way to position the new product on the market. In many cases, the naming brief is done just with the representatives of a single side. If the company has a small marketing department, for sure, the lead will be taken by the engineering department. If the company is huge and the investors and shareholders trust the marketing department, then the engineers will be ignored. Our advice is to start the naming project with two briefs. One for the engineering department and one for the marketing department. Both sides are important and may bring an important input to the entire project.
Unfortunately, you may discover that between the two departments there are zero common points, because engineers and marketers have very different visions and priorities.
Engineers usually want:
Marketers usually want:
As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Both sides will bring an interesting input in the naming process. The engineers will present the best functionalities and features of the product and the marketers know everything about benefits, market positioning and sales.
After deciding the right naming directions together with the two departments, you must start to search for terms, ideas and new words in order to name your products. Here are some ideas which may inspire you:
If you want to make a difference on the market, do not start with a similar name overused in your industry. Everybody uses terms like “innovation”, “edge”, “cloud”, “tech”, “online”, “internet” etc. Try to be more original, more creative and avoid the stereotypes. If you are too similar, you will be forgotten.
Naming a technological product is not easy, since you have to communicate tech features in a way that is easy for consumers to understand. Having your target audience in mind when launching new tech products is crucial. They have to understand at least one thing about the product by just hearing its name.
A good name takes time to be created. Take your time to conduct this process in a professional manner and start with the briefing part, where you establish all the criteria that the new name has to meet.
Remember one important rule: you have spent years developing a tech product that may change your industry. Do not name it in two days.
Namzya is a specialized naming agency which has named brands, products and services for more than 20 corporations. Among its clients are companies like: TATA Motors, MAN Truck & Bus, Nespresso, Lavazza, Adama, Amplifon, Franke, Arcelik (Beko brand), Verisure, Atlantic Grupa, ART Fertility Clinics.
It was founded by Andra Gu?ui and Marcela S?rm??an, who were also featured in Forbes 30 under 30 (Romania).
For more information, please visit: https://www.namzya.com/