Ross Graber, VP, Principal Analyst
The mantra “know thy customer” will ring truer than ever to B2B marketing and sales leaders in 2023. Wise B2B leaders will sharpen their customer profiles, improve their targeting, and focus more intently on customer relationships. What else should B2B leaders do to thrive — and what should they avoid? On this week’s episode, VP and Principal Analyst Ross Graber explains and digs into Forrester’s 2023 predictions for B2B marketing and sales leaders.
The heightened focus on post-sale relationships and the health of those relationships is long overdue, says Graber. “Organizations have not been nearly as focused on measuring customer health as they should have,” he says. Only around 10% of CMO dashboards now include a customer health metric; by the end of 2023, that will have tripled, he predicts. Organizations will also need to decide which relationships get the most attention and prioritize those customers who are most likely to continue buying, he adds.
To help streamline the customer experience, B2B marketing and sales teams also will reduce the number of point solutions — or tools addressing a single, specific need — within their tech stacks. The explosion of these tools in recent years and the overlap among some of them “is sometimes undermining the experiences of buyers and customers … [and] starts to mix the messages that are going out to buyers and customers,” says Graber. He explains how leaders will decide which tools to keep and which to drop, and which solution providers may be most affected.
Graber also describes a misstep he sees on the horizon for some B2B organizations. In the pursuit of tighter marketing-sales alignment, more demand marketing teams will start reporting into sales — by the end of 2023, 20% of demand teams will do so, he says.
“Some organizations that, right now, are struggling with sales and marketing alignment may put marketing and sales under the same roof and think alignment is going to magically happen,” he says. Instead, B2B marketing and sales leaders need to “come to strong agreements on who their customers are, how we’re going to support them across different stages of their lifecycle, who does what and when, and how we manage interactions between those functions.”
Be sure to stick around until the end of the episode, when Graber shares Forrester’s prediction for channel marketing and provides actionable steps for B2B marketing and sales leaders to take to succeed in the months ahead.