Business-to-business (B2B) technology enterprises face a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, rapidly shifting market conditions require these enterprises to demonstrate sales competencies and economic output.
On the other hand, technology marketing professionals are in short supply, causing existing teams to be overworked and making it more difficult for teams to grow and expand. A recent survey of senior marketing decision-makers explored this predicament by identifying the latest problems facing Go-to-Market (GTM) initiatives while identifying potential solutions that support sales outcomes.
Here are three insights that can guide product marketing leaders as they navigate this rapidly shifting economic environment.
Insight 1: Focus on People First
Burnout and mental-health challenges are common in the workplace, contributing to higher turnover, diminished productivity, and, most importantly, reduced quality of life.
The consequences are especially noteworthy for product marketing teams already grappling with heightened demand and diminished capacity. Survey respondents indicate that talent shortages are causing:
- Low team morale or team burnout (63%)
- Ineffective campaigns or launches (56%)
- Attrition of highly skilled team members (40%)
- Inability to achieve revenue goals (36%)
That’s why achieving business outcomes start with supporting people first. This means product marketing leaders should take time to connect with employees, solicit feedback, and create response plans that help people thrive.
Insight 2: Prioritize Sales Enablement
While marketing teams face diverse challenges, their desired outcome remains the same: to drive sales. As the industry survey notes, 61 percent of product marketing teams say sales enablement is their top priority.
Sales enablement enables sales professionals to hit sales quotas consistently through first-class selling skills and well-developed knowledge of their company’s product, the market, trends, customer needs and competitive landscape.
However, persistent staffing challenges are making content strategy and creation more difficult, undermining sales initiatives in the process. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 67 percent of product marketing leaders say they need to add personnel or reduce projects to succeed.
To streamline efforts, product marketing teams need to enable sales on topics such as product differentiators while arming them with the right tools. Whether sales playbooks, persona decks, competitive battlecards, ROI calculators, or case studies, product marketing plays a large role in helping sales teams beat competition and win opportunities. In this way, product marketing teams support B2B sales cycles that create results today and opportunity for tomorrow.
Insight 3: Consider Strategic Partnerships
Strategic partnerships can help fill the growing resource gap, allowing marketing teams to be more agile and responsive in a complicated operational environment. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents indicated they plan to use external expertise to help execute product marketing initiatives in 2022.
When leveraging strategic partnerships to deliver critical outcomes, marketing teams are looking for two results:
- Forty-nine percent of marketing leaders want to achieve a faster time to market, bolstering bottom-line results with products and services that meet market demand
- Thirty-one percent hope to meet or exceed their objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs)
If product marketing leaders could leverage strategic partnerships, 63 percent would use their team’s increased capacity to create more dynamic, robust content for their sales and marketing teams, while 60 percent would invest resources to develop strong, targeted messaging and positioning — both critical marketing components that support the sales cycle.
The first half of the year has presented a number of challenges that are pressing product marketing teams to adjust and adapt. The subsequent six months will undoubtedly also present new obstacles for B2B product marketers.
As leaders make decisions about urgent priorities and next steps, this latest research provides a helpful roadmap for navigating 2022 and beyond. When product marketing leaders focus on people first, prioritize sales, and consider strategic partnerships, they are positioned to thrive in the months and years ahead.
To explore the full findings of the Aventi Group survey — and to see how external expertise helped sales and product marketing overcome their differences: