Synchronise to optimise – 2018 Hg Sales and Marketing forum Snapshot
Jolanta Pilecka, Hg Marketing Operating Partner
This year’s event theme “Synchronise to Optimise” recognised today’s fast-changing B2B landscape and the need for a seamless alignment between sales and marketing across the whole purchase cycle, to deliver improved top-line growth and greater customer experience.
The research shows that tightly aligned organisations can benefit from a significant revenue uplift, whilst those with a misalignment in these disciplines can face up to 7% revenue decline, on average.
Co-hosted by our portfolio of Hg companies, this year’s forum yielded some valuable lessons:
It all starts with the customer. A significant cause of delayed or failed marketing initiatives – a lack of in depth understanding of the customer’s needs and wants. Investing the time upfront to create compelling & factual buyer personas will save marketers the time wasted on misguided efforts, when building nurturing campaigns and content. The content is the currency for B2B engagement and is no longer a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance.
Data is the fuel to the sales and marketing engine. Its quality directly correlates to the business outcome. Customer and prospect data should be seen as a business asset as it drives higher levels of customer engagement. It also brings focus and efficiency into the marketing team by helping to prioritise leads through predictive lead scoring and weighted attribution.
Martech: a game changer or hype? Modern marketing needs to build strong alliances with IT to support effective Martech adoption, enable real-time visibility on what’s working and demonstrate the marketing contribution to revenue. Equally, sales tech can automate much of the sales process and activities from messaging, outreach to contract signing. With over 5,000 tools available, the choice can be overwhelming. Hg experts’ advice is to build progressively from the core, rather than waste budget unnecessarily, leverage the Hg’s Martech solutions ecosystems and exclusive relationships we have in place.
Measure. Define the quantifiable marketing KPIs and measure the sales funnel’s conversions and velocity rigorously. This is precisely where digital shines by enabling marketers to track, quantify and optimise the effectiveness of everything we do, which in turn gives a more accurate view of the marketing ROI.
Avoid the ‘sea of sameness’. Standing out from the crowd is getting tougher each day and consistently good customer experience is often seen as a sustainable differentiator in today’s competitive landscape. Similarly, a distinctive brand proposition defines the company’s personality, so don’t forget the fundamentals – stay creative.
Attending the two day forum were 96 sales and marketing professionals from 28 companies in Hg’s network. Presentations from many companies in the network were supplemented by interactive panel discussions and focussed 1-to-1 clinics.
Participants took away many tangible actions, alongside their individual maturity scorecards, which will provide the foundation for the short-term improvement plans on their digital journeys.
Alison Martin, Sovos, a global provider of compliance solutions: “The lessons learnt were invaluable. Hearing from others in the portfolio, means we can avoid future failures and celebrate successes.”
Stephen Ewart, DADA, a leading provider of online hosting services: “I am excited to be a part of this Hg family. We have a number of takeaways from the sessions which we shall look to implement going forward.”
David Wills, Gentrack, a leader in essential software for airports and utilities: “The expertise from the thought leaders, and case studies from the portfolio are compelling.”
Eric Olson, Sovos, a global provider of compliance solutions: “You guys have the command, and the experts to back it up now. I’m very impressed”