May 24, 2022

Marketing’s new role: Chief buyer advocate

Marketers have *opinions* about salespeople. Do you? It’s OK, you’re among friends here. 

“Sellers aren’t using our content enough.”

“They’re not using our content the right way.”

“They’ve gone rogue with poorly punctuated, off-brand, off-message sales decks.”

Organizations need modern marketers to play a critical role: chief buyer advocate. But you can’t do that if you spend your days policing the brand. 

Sales need your help coming to terms with a big truth: The analog days are over. It’s time to embrace digital, data-driven selling. It’s time to wrap your arms (and mind) around Modern Selling.

Marketing’s new imperative

Sales are far behind marketing in the digital and data race. And … they’re in a rough spot. They can’t count on face-to-face tactics that used to work for them—steakhouse dinners, golf course deals, in-person chats. Many buyers are not willing to risk their health right now. 

Even when COVID settles down, buyers will demand hybrid sales

This is where Modern Selling comes in. It helps then navigate the world of non-linear buying and selling, and engage buyers where they are, with hyper-personalized content or experiences that matter. But they can’t do it alone. That’s where you come in.

Marketers have a better perspective on buyers than just about anyone in the organization. 

You’re customer-obsessed (and you have the tracking tools and customer posters to prove it). Your analytics have beaten the hunch-based tactics right out of you. You’re the one who knows the customer journey’s a bowl of spaghetti, and there’s nothing you can do but meet buyers where they’re at.

That 50,000-foot view and data-based realism is your superpower. And right now, sales needs your help. 

B2B buyers aren’t going to tolerate old-school selling. They’re smart, have ways to get information that doesn’t involve talking to sales, and don’t want to be harassed. 

So instead of sales throwing the same tactics at an impenetrable wall, help them pivot to what works now: collaborative selling with relevant content, insights and training at its heart, which provides value at every turn. This is the essence of Modern Selling. 

The buyer journey has changed: Get on board with Modern Selling

Modern Selling is: 

  • Team-based. A single stakeholder rarely makes B2B purchases anymore. Multiple people weigh in, from leaders to end-users to procurement and financial partners. Sellers need to be able to talk to everyone at every stage of the journey.
  • Digital-first. No surprise to you, but buyers are doing a ton of online research—and they have access to reviews and resources you don’t control. Modern Selling’s digital-first approach helps your sellers become part of this conversation earlier.
  • Powered by the buyer. The B2B journey is partially self-guided. But buyers could use help from sales … IF sellers tone down the selling and use data to dial up the relevance. Modern Selling lets sellers provide innovative and personalized content and experiences that give buyers the knowledge to make smarter decisions faster, no pushiness needed.

It’s that last part—using data—where most sales teams get lost. They’ve been using hunches and personality to move deals forward since the Mesozoic Era, but it’s getting harder. Some teams have discovered sales analytics tools … but they don’t take full advantage of them. 

Sales need easy-to-use sales analytics to help them understand which individual content pieces prospects respond to and which content pieces drive revenue. And that’s where marketing, armed with the right sales enablement insights, can step up and provide support.

Self-guided modern buyers still need human help

Even though buyers do their own research before talking to sales, they get lost in all the product features and benefits speak and need human help. 

Right now, reps are stuck in analog mode; searching databases for relevant content feels like searching for water in the desert. They have no data on what content gets consumed, who’s reading what, or when a burst of activity signals some pretty hot intent. 

Things could be so much better.  

Sales enablement platforms exist to bring analog sales processes into the digital world, and they offer analytics across the entire journey … every last sauce-and-cheese-covered strand. 

Analytics are table stakes for digitally-enabled Modern Selling. But it’ll take a fundamental mind shift for most sales organizations to seek out data—and then learn what to do with it. 

So think of yourself as the older (obviously cooler) sibling who can help your little sibling grow up. 

Help us help you help sales 

Need a primer on how Modern Selling makes it easier for your buyers to buy from you? Download our Woo, Don’t Pursue e-book to find out. And maybe share it with your sales leaders. But only if it speaks to you. We think it will.