The "Hit Refresh" Moment for B2B Tech Sales is Here

B2B Selling   5min read
By Brian Allsopp, CEO & Founder at FusionGrove.

When you consider the state of play in B2B technology business in 2017, "Good Enough IT" is a key challenge. Customers are sweating their assets longer, revenue targets are getting bigger, costs are being squeezed, there are now 14 persons on average in the B2B tech buying committee (Gartner) and according to Gallup, 71% of our B2B customers are ready and willing to switch to competitors at a moment’s notice! Phew, the IT industry has never seen such rapid and wholesale change in my 30 years!

During the “Gold Rush” days it was simple – build products with lots of features, enable partners, stock distributors and SMB, or “Sell More Boxes”. We then presented 2 widgets and we were now “Solution Selling”; put a few good industry stats on the presentation and we were now "Vertical Selling". Inbound demand was generally very strong…ah the good old days! It's a much tougher gig now.

Interestingly, one thing that hasn’t changed is the go-to-market model and the method in which vendor sales and marketing work with channel partners to reach customers. Particularly outside our top 20-50 high-touch accounts, the GTM model and programs have remained largely the same. Majority of IT vendors are still struggling with the challenge of covering thousands of customer accounts and hundreds of partners in their mid-market territories. It is generally 40-50% of our targets and let's be brutally honest we are terrible at it! A greater irony is the fact that B2B technology sales is one of the least “digitized” processes, considering we sell digitization to customers!

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The B2B technology GTM model was developed in good times. However, it is now fragmented and complex with too many moving parts. Not to mention the buyer's journey and consumption models have also changed significantly over time. The result? Many tech vendors are doing a pretty poor job of orchestrating sales and marketing against an opportunity and capitalizing on it at scale – be it cross-sell, upsell, refresh, expansion, adoption, competitive takeout…you name it. By the time the ducks are lined up in a row, you have lost the window of opportunity. Sometimes we didn’t know the window was even open!

Time to "Hit Refresh": How FusionGrove Solves Revenue Challenges
Seeing this major gap in the market couple of years ago led us to build our own software platform and pivot our own business offerings, culminating in the launch of FusionGrove today. That was our very own "Hit Refresh" moment.

We believe the old-school ways of selling technology really need a "Hit Refresh" as well because they just don’t work anymore in this increasingly crowded, cut-throat landscape. We saw the need for an integrated orchestration platform that can identify, target, operationalize, engage and convert leads for faster time-to-revenue at scale, without the complexity. More importantly, beyond the technology, the critical success factor is to put a robust orchestration framework behind it for stronger sales and marketing alignment.

Here is how we are changing the game with FusionGrove to address the biggest revenue challenges:

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Identify. What if you could formulate your ideal customer profile based on their technology stack? One of FusionGrove's key capabilities is visibility to millions of end customers across more than 700 vendors they use. Now you can perform B2C-type segmentation at ease.

Target. Now imagine you can precisely target high value accounts for various sales motions, such as cross-sell, refresh, expansion etc, using augmented data intelligence and hyper-segmentation. Intersect and compare your existing customer data with external data for actionable account insights, so you can prioritize best-fit account segments.

Build. Design and build orchestrated plays comprising structured flow of account interactions and be ready to scale hundreds of opportunities to your sales teams and channel partners.

Content. Your marketing teams can now deliver customized, account-relevant content and messaging aligned to all the Land-Adopt-Expand-Refresh (LAER) stages in the customer journey. Optimize and tailor both customer-facing and sales enablement content for specific plays.

Engage. Progress through a guided selling motions that help sales teams and channel partners engage customers in account-focused interactions. We strongly advocate enabling sales teams with insights, account intelligence, resources and leading practices to help them be successful.

Measure. Track lead progression to closing at every step of the campaign/play with detailed metrics reports and dashboards. Drive end-to-end accountability with custom views for vendor management, sales management in the partner organization right through to the sales rep level.

Orchestrate. Orchestrate processes, people, practices, content, technology and execution of sales motions to create an integrated, scalable model for revenue success. Our vision is to deliver a framework that fosters the collaboration amongst Sales, Marketing, Customer Success and the partner eco-system.

Meanwhile, the B2B marketing community has experienced early momentum embracing the concept of Account-based Marketing. This validates our belief that we can no longer boil the ocean and must align marketing activity to a targeted set of accounts to address several threads of opportunities simultaneously. ABM has provided some outstanding results and 71% of marketers intend to scale their ABM activity (ITSMA 2017). Now B2B sales has to join the party!

It’s time to take a hard look at your GTM approach particularly in the mid-market space. Let’s face it – by doing the same old things over and over, you might turn into the dinosaur in the room. What’s more dire is that you could be missing 40% of your total addressable opportunity! Disrupt or be disrupted is the battle cry for your customers in the pursuit of digital transformation – we need to do the same with revenue generation in the customer base. blog img 3

Do the revenue challenges outlined above sound familiar? Are you feeling stuck in a rut repeating practices that don’t seem to be working? Let’s talk about how we can help you "Hit Refresh".

Brian Allsopp

CEO & Founder at FusionGrove

My “in the trenches” experience spans 30 years, more than 145 different programs delivered working with Vendors, Partners, Distributors and end customers across the globe.