2020 blindsided all of us.
Personally, professionally, you name it.
When 2020 forced people home, the need to meet buyers on their terms rapidly sped up digital transformation for B2B companies.
Buyers now want the same conveniences in their business buying that they get when ordering a book on Amazon or a ride on Uber. And this shift has ushered us into a new era of B2B marketing and sales – something Drift calls the Revenue Era.
Here’s how we got here, what this means for the future of marketing and sales, and a roadmap for how leaders can navigate this paradigm shift:
The Three Eras Defining Marketing & Sales
Over the last few decades, marketing and sales have been defined by three eras:
In the Brand Era (pre-2000s) marketers were completely focused on creating “buzz” through PR and print advertising – think billboards, magazine ads, and TV commercials. Unfortunately, this form of advertising and PR was difficult to measure, making it hard for marketers to show their impact on revenue.
Fast-forward a few decades and we land in the Demand Generation Era (2000-2019). During this time, businesses and consumers were moving activities online to “the cloud.” The rise of digital advertising platforms – like Google and Facebook – as well as marketing technology (marketing automation software) and cloud applications (CRM) helped revenue teams track their marketing spend directly to lead output.
Towards the end of this era, innovators like Amazon and Netflix took advantage of digital to reshape the B2C customer experience. Personalization, self-service, instant gratification, and delivery became commonplace. Soon, other companies followed suit – but B2B was slow to keep up.
Then 2020 and the global pandemic hit.
Today, we find ourselves in the Revenue Era (2020-beyond). In this era, marketing and sales must work in lockstep towards the same goal: revenue. With almost everything shifting online, digital transformation has made it possible for marketers to attribute every activity to revenue.
And who are the gatekeepers to your revenue? Your customers.
To accelerate revenue in this digital-first world you need to optimize your customer experience from first touch to purchase to usage and expansion.
Aligning Your Company Around Revenue & Customer Experience
Revenue teams must embrace digital and work together across the entire customer journey to drive value. As Drift’s CMO, I’ve seen first-hand the impact Revenue Acceleration and a unified customer experience can have on a company.
Just look at PTC.
PTC wanted to shift from a “product-centric” go-to-market motion to a “customer-obsessed” motion. To do that, they focused on both internal and external-facing digital transformation. That included leveling up their digital experiences for customers – and actioning revenue teams through predictive analytics and real-time engagement tools.
Like the revenue executives at PTC, B2B marketing and sales leaders must take point on this switch to digital. Here’s how you can start building a revenue engine like PTC (and unify your marketing and sales team in the process):
Your Roadmap to the Revenue Era
To help you navigate this new era of marketing, I want to share a roadmap. The Roadmap to the Revenue Era is a modern marketing and sales leader’s guide to unifying revenue teams and driving more value in a digital-first world.
On this page, you’ll get:
- A breakdown of the three eras that define marketing and sales
- Insight into how B2B companies can win in our digital-first world
- An exclusive book bundle of our most popular resources for revenue leaders, which includes:
- A blueprint on how to increase marketing ROI with real-time engagements using Conversational Marketing
- A guide on increasing pipeline, sales productivity, and revenue using Conversational Sales
- A go-to-market playbook for marketing, sales, and CS leaders that want to action and align their revenue teams and drive long-term growth
- A deep dive into the technologies and best practices needed to scale real-time marketing and sales and a template to create transparency and accountability across revenue teams