As an eventful 2022 draws to a close, inflation woes, economic headwinds, and supply chain disruptions cloud the visibility of what lies ahead. With an impending slowdown and a possible recession looming large, organisations are finding themselves at a crossroads. Should they shrug off these uncertainties as a temporary phenomenon and continue with business as usual? Or should they plan to adapt and transform, for the short and long term, to nullify any adverse impact on revenues? Delayed or inadequately thought-through decisions run the risk of sending conflicting messages to internal and external stakeholders of the business, lest there is another pivot and course-correction midway through the year. For B2B organisations, the stakes are even higher, as products and services have significantly long and highly complex buying cycles.

So how do you brace for this economic upheaval? We are seeing B2B executives across the revenue engine already at the drawing board, rethinking their go-to-market strategies, changing their approaches, and restructuring. Forrester has identified five key predictions for 2023, and I am highlighting three, in particular, for India leaders’ attention:

  • B2B organisations will pivot to customer-led growth; 3X more CMOs will focus on customer health.
    The mantra “know your customer” will ring truer than ever to B2B marketing and sales leaders in 2023 as they start focusing on existing customers as the foundation of growth. To protect revenues and increase customer loyalty, three times as many CMOs will pivot to a more customer-focused approach, rather than just focusing on net-new. Adopting a customer-first mindset to support value creation across all stages of the customer lifecycle will force organisations to rethink and strengthen internal alignment and process efficiencies. Demonstrating this focus, more than 33% of CMO dashboards in 2023 will feature customer health scores and trends, which will be a threefold jump from the data that we have from Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2022.
  • Organisations will rationalise revtech spending; CMOs will discard 33% of point solutions.
    Rapid influx of revtech tools help organisations connect with buyers and customers in a more personalised, automated, and timely manner. Their recent growth, however, has outpaced the evolving go-to-market processes at these organisations. To make the matter worse, firms use them in silos and/or underutilise them. This widens the gap between the experience that customers expect and what organisations provide, quite contrary to what revtech is supposed to deliver. In 2023, B2B marketing and sales will audit their technology stacks and reduce the number of point solutions by 33%.
  • Organisations will restructure demand teams; every one in five demand teams will report into sales.
    By the end of 2023, we predict that one out of every five demand teams will be aligned to sales as a response to declining revenue from leads-based contributions. This misguided change will be made by many B2B organisations in an attempt to improve alignment within their organisations to fix underperformance, but it will fall flat and not be effective. This realignment will impact and fragment regional marketing teams further, and India B2B marketing leaders will need to work harder to achieve better outcomes. Demand teams that myopically prioritise delivery of more tactics instead of generating meaningful value for buyers and customers will continue to achieve mediocre results, irrespective of the alignment.

Start Planning Today For What’s Coming Tomorrow

To learn more about our predictions for the coming year, you can access our B2B Predictions report and also join me at our India Predictions event, happening in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru in January 2023. To see Forrester’s full set of predictions for next year, visit our 2023 Predictions hub.

Use the following research, curated by these predictions’ authors, to guide you on your path to success in 2023.