Like almost all areas of work, digitisation has also presented sales and marketing with new challenges. Customers have a higher information content and therefore have higher expectations of the sales process. The customer experience has become an important criterion and requires intensive cooperation between marketing and sales, supported by artificial intelligence (AI).
In some B2B companies it fails because of a holistic customer experience. This is due to the different working methods of the sales and marketing departments. While the sales department focuses on the individual customer at the end of the sales funnel and thus on sales success, marketing focuses on the product level and specializes on target groups at the beginning of the sales funnel in order to generate long-term leads. This sales funnel serves as an important tool in B2B to select potential customers through several phases until the business is successfully concluded.
More information vs. high pressure
Digitisation creates completely new requirements: Buyers are more demanding and have more information at their fingertips, while sales staff are under great pressure to present the right product in the right place at the right time. Buyers expect personalized content that is tailored to the specific situation.
Success through collaboration
A successful customer experience can only be guaranteed if sales and marketing pull together. This is the only way to optimize the customer journey in B2B and make it customer-oriented in order to ultimately achieve a positive business result.
In the following, we will look at the reasons for a successful close cooperation between marketing and sales in B2B.
Buyers want to experience the feeling of controlling the entire business process themselves. They are not a fan of crude and obvious sales techniques. Instead, they want to be able to access information independently. Marketing can control this by providing the content that enhances the desired experience for the buyer or prospect. In sales, this ultimately translates into higher revenues.
Strong customer loyalty with cross- & up-selling potentials
It is also important for B2B marketing and B2B sales to build a close relationship and to present themselves as sales experts. This considerably increases the potential for cross- and up-selling, because a regular dialogue takes place. Further suitable products or services as well as extensions can be offered to the customer in a targeted manner.
An individually created content shortens the time from first contact to conclusion enormously, as the positively resulting purchase experience leads to an emotional preliminary decision. The right content at the right time is essential for the buying process.
AI helps to carry out important analyses of effective corporate content. In addition, it shows the sales department previous sales situations that led to a successful conclusion. But AI also helps marketing to develop content strategies that are individually tailored to the buyer and decisive for customer acquisition.
Conclusion: With common goals to optimize the customer experience
While the marketing teams focus on generating leads, the sales team is specialized in closing deals. Both work on opposite sides of the sales funnel. However, they are dependent on each other and must develop a common plan. This starts with the identification of ideal customer profiles, on which the relevant content must then be created.
This means that, in order to improve the customer experience in the long term, sales and marketing must be in constant communication with each other. This creates common goals that strengthen the optimization of the customer experience. If both departments recognize the high potential of their joint collaboration, they will be prepared to break down old patterns and invest in new digital AI-based structures.