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Episode Info: Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice. Marketing and sales plans conceived in early 2020 are either no longer relevant or no longer work, so B2B sales teams have had to change how they sell (and sometimes even WHAT they sell) to adapt to the new environment of the COVID world. In this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine, I talk with Jillian Ryan about some of the pivots B2B companies are making to respond to the changing marketing and sales landscape. Jillian is a principal analyst on the eMarketer vertical for Insider Intelligence. Her expertise and analysis focus on B2B marketing, advertising and sales, as well as trends in marketing transformation and the modern workplace. As a former B2B marketing director, Jillian has over 15 years experience driving strategy for B2B software companies and digital publishers. She is also a frequent presenter at industry events such as The B2B Marketing Exchange, Advertising Week and Social Media Week and her commentary has been featured in Bloomberg, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and Ad Week. Listen to this episode as we discuss how B2B sales teams are pivoting to succeed in the COVID world. Two Pivots for B2B Sales Teams At the beginning of the COVID crisis, many B2B sales teams were left in the dark while executives shifted priorities and marketing teams figured out new messaging. Sellers wondered what would happen with their quotas, if their jobs were secure and what would the future look like. Sales leaders had to pivot and inform their teams that budgets shifted from live events to other channels such as video conferencing and video sales prospecting. Pivot #1: From Live Events to Virtual Events For B2B companies, in-person events in a pre-COVID world were a pivotal touchpoint to drive demand, secure active deals and build stronger connections with prospects. These events took on many forms: some companies hosted their own events to launch new products and features and provide their audience with educational and thought leadership content. Other B2B companies relied on trade shows to showcase their products, while others participated in large scale industry events to meet with partners and potential customers. Today, virtual digital events are the norm. This is what Jillian discovered in her research. Pivot #2: From In-Person Meetings to Virtual Meetings Without face-to-face events, business travel and meetings, sellers have lost critical touchpoints with their prospects during this pandemic. Further, navigating conversations with potential buyers during an economic crisis is not easy. B2B sellers who are consultative, creative and empathic can find success. The obvious pivot is to virtual meetings with 77% of salespeople in North America saying they are doing more while sheltering in place, according to April 2020 research from LinkedIn®. Phone calls (57%) and emails (51%) also saw increased usage with sellers looking to engage with buyers. How Sales Video Came to the Forefro...
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