One million B2B salespeople will be made redundant due to technological innovations, according to a new report by Forrester. Using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics which calculates there are 4.5 million B2B salespeople working in the US, Forrester estimates that one million sales professionals – mostly in order taker roles – will lose their jobs to self-service ecommerce by 2020.
The report demonstrates that while B2B buyer preferences have fundamentally shifted – three quarters of B2B buyers wanting to self-educate rather than talk to sales representatives and a majority prefer the convenience of buying online rather than through a salesperson – B2B selling models remain single-channel and focused on offline.
The emerging trends of 2015 are taking shape as the year draws to a close. As far as SEO strategy goes, a major focus for marketers will be using SEO to increase lead generation.
More than 60 percent of surveyed practitioners indicated increased lead generation as one of the most important marketing objectives for the upcoming year, according to Conductor’s Inside Enterprise SEO survey. Increasing traffic to websites was a close second at 57 percent.
As a career-long B2B marketer, I notice and appreciate the way consumer brands speak to (or attempt to) speak to me. It’s easy as B2B marketers to get caught up in our own world, our own language, our internal nuances and what we “feel” will resonate with audiences. And often, the pressure to sell more or drive leads takes precedence over doing our research and really nailing the message.
Which is why, with every company I join, the first place I start is the story. Who are we talking to? Are we speaking their language? What do they really care about? And what challenges are we going to help them overcome? The bottom line: you’re never going to pass the class if you don’t first do your homework. So as we embark on another year, here a few reminders of B2B marketing strategies you can’t afford to leave on the table.
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