B2B Selling Is Never Going Back to How it Was — But Not Because of Covid
By Jason Zintak, CEO, 6sense
As we near year three of the pandemic, a lot of experts are speculating about when (or whether) business will return to “normal.” Will we go back to in-person selling? Are trade shows a thing of the past? When will employees return to the office? (That last one has gotten so much ink that it has earned its own acronym — RTO — and we all recognize it.)
We’ve become so focused on the idea of a return to “normal” that we overlook a very important fact: The “normal” way of doing business was already on its way out the door, long before Covid hit.
The writing has been on the wall for years: “Normal” ways of doing business were widening the distance between companies and their customers, not narrowing it. Sellers and marketers were wasting energy, resources and capital on practices that were driving people away. In an increasingly noisy world, everyone was simply shouting louder to be heard — with more ads, more emails, more phone calls … and, subsequently, more frustrated prospects and customers.
At the same time, friction within B2B revenue teams was at an all-time high, with misaligned success measures and broken processes leading to finger-pointing, mistrust and missed revenue goals.
But as these frustrations were reaching a fever pitch, technology — specifically big data, AI and machine learning — was evolving to remedy it. We were entering a new world of what was possible in terms of meaningful engagement and revenue team alignment.
Forward-thinking revenue teams were taking notice. It was becoming increasingly clear that new technology could help the entire revenue team understand their customers and prospects in ways that had never been possible. For the first time, we could understand who our buyers were, what they were interested in and when (and whether) they were ready to buy. Armed with those insights and the AI needed to turn them into action, we could effectively communicate with them in ways that felt genuinely helpful — and at scale.
The New Ethos of RevTech
With the help of this burgeoning technology — known as RevTech (short for revenue technology) — leading revenue teams were already revolutionizing their go-to-market strategy to improve customer experience and yield more predictable revenue. At the heart of this new way of thinking and working was a new ethos: Treat people’s attention and workspaces like you’d want yours to be treated, and you’ll be rewarded for it.
By optimizing, enhancing and aligning capabilities across the entire revenue team — marketing, sales, revenue operations and customer success — RevTech makes it possible for organizations to run more efficiently and effectively. It relies on data and AI-powered decision-making, rather than best guesses and labor-intensive processes.
Because RevTech enables revenue teams to reach B2B buyers who are actually interested in what they’re selling — right at the moment when they’re ready to engage — RevTech humanizes selling in a way that wasn’t previously possible. And it also helps teams focus their time and energy in the places they’re most likely to be successful.
Covid Didn’t Start the Fire
When Covid hit and the economy as we knew it was turned upside down, this data-driven, human-first approach to doing business became even more relevant — and urgent. People were suddenly working from home, juggling life and work in brand new and overwhelming ways. Suddenly, anything perceived to be a waste of time, whether it was an irrelevant email or a cold call, was more of an intrusion than ever. And sellers were juggling home and work obligations as well — making it extra important to optimize their efforts so they weren’t wasting precious time pursuing the wrong prospects.
The fire of change was already burning before Covid came along and doused it with accelerant. What resulted was an impossible-to-ignore blaze — igniting the movement that we call the RevTech Revolution.
The Revolution is Here
The RevTech Revolution is an industry-wide re-envisioning of what’s possible for B2B revenue teams:
- A better B2B buyer experience. One that prioritizes what the buyer needs and wants. An approach that provides the information they want, right when they need it, in service of helping them with their buying journey.
- A better B2B go-to-market experience. One that unifies marketing, customer success, revenue operations and sales with shared insights and technology. An approach that tears down silos in the pursuit of informing decisions with data and eliminating guesswork to better serve customers, buyers and the bottom line.
This rethinking of the way B2B revenue teams serve their customers is a long time in the making, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect moment. The companies that were already embracing the changes pre-Covid were better prepared to adapt when the world turned upside-down. And the teams that join the RevTech Revolution now will be ready to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, whatever they may be.
The Future Is Now
The world of B2B selling has changed. Because of the pandemic, yes. But also because of shifts that were underway long before Covid reared its head. Getting behind the new ways of doing things is no longer a choice — it’s an imperative.
In order to compete, it’s absolutely essential to provide the kind of customer experience buyers want and deserve. B2B revenue teams can no longer get by on the old way of doing things. As an industry, it’s time to breathe humanity back into marketing and sales. It’s time to use technology differently, more intelligently, putting our buyers — and ourselves — in a place of prominence and respect.
As CEO of 6sense, Jason Zintak is responsible for advancing the company’s vision to transform the B2B buying and selling experience through AI, big data and machine learning. With the industry’s leading next-generation B2B marketing and sales platform, Jason and 6sense are leading the RevTech Revolution to usher in a new era for the industry.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
- EXCLUSIVE-Virgin Orbit near deal to raise $200 mln from Matthew Brown-term sheet
- Russia says it has begun pulling out troops from Crimea after drills
- Ukraine war: US and Russian military chiefs in rare talks after drone downed
- The Challenges for Minorities and Underrepresented Groups During Times of Economic Uncertainty