B2B Trends in Data, Marketing and Sales for 2020
What’s more exciting than the latest fashion fad or trend? Well, the easy answer is B2B trends of course. Who cares about the latest Givenchy or Dior drop when you have the pleasure of reading about what exciting new trends are happening within the B2B field. And due to the fact that in this blog we give the people what they ask for, we’ve compiled a short but concrete list of what to expect in the year of 2020.
These are trends in all sorts of B2B fields, from sales to marketing, to sales and all the way back to marketing. Take this list with a grain, pinch or even a handful of salt, as even prophets like us have a bad day every once in a while. In this article, we’ve divided the trends in different marketing and sales categories to help you prepare for the coming year.
Research by demandbase shows that 92% of companies admit the value of account-based marketing. We’ve already talked about how effective ABM is for increasing sales in a number of different contexts, however, a study by Terminus revealed that only 9% of the 45% b2b companies implementing some sort of ABM program feel it is advanced. This shows that there is a significant disparity between actual ABM adoption and desire to implement it, something which should be corrected in 2020. In terms of top marketing and sales strategies for 2020, smartinsights found that personalisation (47%), account-based marketing (42%), video marketing (41%) and inbound marketing (39%) were the biggest focus for the coming year. These were closely followed by automation and chatbots, which shows the increasing and well-documented focus of AI.
Security and Privacy
With security breaches making their name on the news more and more, and the paranoia of data privacy spreading further and further (and rightly so), this is a topic on everyone’s mind. A study by the CMO council found that data privacy is the number 1 set of demand for the digital buyer. Most notably this same study found that only 57% of B2B companies feel they are adequately meeting these needs. This means that this is an area many B2B companies are likely to be investing in during 2020.
According to smartinsights, the top category for marketing spend allocation within the B2B industry is in digital marketing (56%), same as last year, showing that this is the fundamental nowadays for marketing investment. This is followed by website development (52%) which relates to the fact that once the leads are on your website they must be converted. The following highest spending categories are tradeshows and events (36%) followed by content marketing (27%). Especially content marketing is expected to be a higher area of investment for the future in terms of b2b trends due to its cost-effectiveness.
In another study by smartinsights, it was found that the top marketing objectives for 2020 were converting leads to customers, increasing sales leads and increasing brand awareness. This strong sales focus shows the increasing alignment between marketing and sales goals. Moreover, it points to a variety of implications in how marketing and sales will establish different process and what types of tools and methodologies they will implement.
There is an extensive number of marketing technology services out there, and companies are using an exceedingly widespread variety of tools. However, according to altitudemarketing there will be a consolidation of this software that will either offer very specialised and unique solutions or provide all-in-one options.
High-Quality B2B Data
Due to GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act, companies and data providers alike must be wary of how they handle data in 2020. In turn, this means that lower quality data providers that do not follow adequate protocol will slowly fizzle out from the market while higher-quality providers remaining and growing.
Sources for B2B Leads
To continue the trend of heavy sales focus, let’s talk quickly about the top sources of sales and marketing leads in the coming year. According to smartinsights, referrals (63%), followed by tradeshows (44%), email marketing (39%) and SEO (36%), lead the pack (pun intended). It may surprise some that inbound marketing falls at 33%, followed by PPC at only 25%. This is consistent with a study by forentrepreneurs that found that 70-95% of a SaaS company’s revenue stream comes from renewals and upsells from their existing customer base.
As customer experience and personalisation becomes increasingly important in the sales cycle both for attracting new clients and upselling new ones, the customer experience is surely due for technological upgrades. The contentmarketinginstitute found that B2B marketers rank live events as the highest performing tactic for converting leads into clients. With new video, sound, projection, AR/VR and interactivity technologies arising consistently, there are sure to be some extensions in the customer and marketing experience.