B2B executives across the revenue engine continue to face fast-changing B2B buying behaviours, more empowered buyers, and tougher competition alongside strong economic headwinds. This combination of factors creates a challenging environment to navigate successfully — but don’t miss the opportunity to get yourself and your team ready to ride this wave. Forrester has identified five key dynamics for 2023, and I am highlighting three in particular for European revenue engine leaders to pay attention to:
- Three times as many CMOs will make customer health a top priority. Alongside creating leaner go-to-market plans and tightly targeted efforts to win new business, CMOs will balance and formalise their focus, as well as ownership of resources, to drive concerted initiatives to protect and increase overall customer health. This will entail formalising reporting lines; strengthening customer profiling to infuse a deep customer understanding; aligning targeting efforts with revenue-engine peers; adapting content, messaging, and programs to support post-sale objectives; and reflecting that renewed customer health focus on CMO dashboards. Regional leaders should ensure that capabilities and resources are in place and work to define clear interlocks between global and regional teams.
- Over 40% of B2B organisations will say goodbye to their channel marketing function. This is more à bientôt than a complete au revoir, but the result will be a far more diverse partner ecosystem that goes beyond traditional channel partners. Indirect routes to market have always been important to the success of European organisations, and the evolution of partner ecosystems will require European leaders to revamp how they engage, inspire, win mindshare, and drive loyalty across the full spectrum of transactional and nontransactional partners.
- The number of demand teams reporting into sales will jump to 20%. In a lame attempt to fix broader alignment issues, underperforming revenue teams will experience structural changes, with the number of demand teams moved under sales expected to spike to 20%. As B2B buying continues to become more complex, with B2B buyers becoming more empowered and demanding, successful revenue-engine teams will pivot their orientation to provide joined and optimised experiences across the entire customer lifecycle for the entire buying group and prioritised opportunity types. Delivering impactful and meaningful buyer-group engagement will trump delivering tactics geared to individual leads. Doing so requires more than reconfiguring reporting lines. The move of up to 20% of demand teams into sales will impact and fragment EMEA marketing teams further, as such teams will be placed under subregional or even country structures. EMEA leaders will need to work harder to build the required alignment and internal operations across fragmented marketing teams and with their sales ecosystem.
Clients can read our report for our complete set of 2023 predictions for B2B marketing leaders. Clients and nonclients alike are invited to join our LinkedIn Live session on November 29 for a closer look at our predictions.