It has been months since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live, and it’s predicted to do so for the coming years. We replaced our old routines with the new normal – a shift we felt from our homes down to our livelihood.
One of the biggest effects of social distancing is the drastic change in how to do businesses. With added health precautions, we’re moving away from traditional face-to-face meetings and sales pitches.
Apart from the new work-from-home setup, what else are the lasting implications of the global pandemic in the world of B2B marketing and sales?
No longer targets but partners
Experts predict that due to the numerous factors affecting the behavior of B2B buyers, the relationship between sellers and buyers will now change (which also applies to B2B leaders who do business). And it is not just increasing bouncing rates or declining open rates; they predict an even more significant change – B2B buyers will now begin to expect for their suppliers to treat them as partners instead of targets.
Blurred lines between inside and field sales
With most countries now urging people to stay at home at all times, the tension among field and inside salespersons has become more. Business decision-makers are opting for digital interactions. This preference pushed traditional sellers to dive into the digital world as well, blurring the line that once separated field and inside sales.
Rise of digital events
One aspect of our lives that the global pandemic has affected the most how we socialize. B2B marketers are now compelled to create digital events over in-person get-togethers. As a result, experts anticipate that there will also be an increase in event management and personalization technology investments on the part of marketing departments. Additionally, event ROI will now be calculated based on engagement rather than leads (or the traditional KPI).
Laggard industries will turn to marketing automation
Companies are projected to increase their marketing budgets to achieve maximum optimization in the areas of customer analytics, customer feedback, and marketing performance management. In laggard industries such as manufacturing, wholesale, and the like, B2B marketing heads are more likely to go all the way with their investment and adopt automation technologies. Laggard industries have depended on traditional methods for so long before the whole COVID-19 pandemic started and are now ready to step up their marketing strategies.
Going beyond customer satisfaction
Growing and keeping customers has become an essential step in the process of recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Marketers will have to make the shift from customer retention to advocacy. Content with more customer insights and empathy are expected from B2B marketers if they want to establish trust and credibility to produce not just satisfied buyers, but advocates.