The events of 2020 have been disastrous to a number of industries — from travel and tourism to events and leisure, to name just a few. Just a quick look at your LinkedIn feed, and you’ll see an influx of companies impacted by COVID-19 — whether they have gone bust or had to make significant redundancies. When it comes to planning your business, marketing and sales strategies for 2021, it can be easy to want to put this year behind us and forget about everything that we’ve learned. But, that’s not the answer. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that preparation is key — so let’s ensure we’re equipped for 2021.
How 2020 changed B2B sales and marketing as we know it
The introduction of the ‘new normal’ meant that from March 2020, organizations all over began working from home, with entire sales teams and marketing departments making the shift to remote working. This sparked an instant change in the way we buy, sell and promote — with a significant focus on the digital world. Think with Google predicted that, in 2020, we would see a digital transformation. While nobody — not even Google — could predict what would be the cause of it, ultimately, the search engine giant was right. We saw a rapid and total reliance on technology as the online world helped teams thrive — face-to-face pitches became Zoom calls; networking events became webinars, and business websites became the most vital asset for every B2B organization.
Forbes discovered that we’re consuming more online content than ever before — but with a 300% increase in people searching for ‘how to get your brain to focus’ since February 2020, according to New Statesman, we’re paying a lot less attention to it. Video marketing has risen at incredible rates this year — with 66% of businesses using video to communicate with stakeholders during the pandemic. And, the demand for mobile optimization, better on-site and in-app experiences, and B2B eCommerce have never been so clear. But the most impactful sales and marketing lessons were, perhaps, the most simple ones — in times of economic uncertainty, B2B buyers will always prioritize trust, empathy and agility.
What can we expect from 2021?
An increasingly digital world was always on the horizon for B2B marketing and sales teams — and the businesses that weren’t prepared for this in a pre-Covid world faced the consequences. But, will these huge changes to the way we buy, sell and promote stick around in 2021? Well, according to a report by McKinsey, only 20-30% of B2B buyers want to interact with sales people in person going forward. That means almost three quarters of your potential clients would rather make purchases from you online. Paired with the rise in popularity of B2B eCommerce — according to ThunderTech, Amazon Business is on track to become the biggest US industrial distributor by 2021 — it’s clear that digital transformation isn’t slowing down anytime soon. So, when it comes to planning and implementing — B2B organizations need to focus digitally; think like B2C marketers when it comes to demand generation, and prioritize buyers’ preferences when it comes to lead generation and sales.
Analytics, insight and automation: how to stand the test of time
No matter what you have planned for 2021, technology should remain at the core of your strategy. By the end of this year, the global marketing automation market is predicted to reach $17.8 billion — jumping from just $11.4 billion in 2017, according to Statista. With automation working seamlessly in the background of your business — speeding up and simplifying processes, scaling personalization capabilities, optimizing experiences and providing you with invaluable data and insight into your customers and potential buyers — B2B organizations are guaranteed to future-proof their success. There’s a high-quality sales and marketing software solution for everyone — whether you’re looking to boost on-site conversions by enabling digital transactions; improve website engagement with AI and live chat technology, simplify, streamline or integrate your sales process, or amplify the results of your existing digital strategy. And most importantly, even if your business managed to thrive in these unprecedented times, there are always lessons to be learned.
Lead Forensics is a B2B lead generation software that eliminates the need for on-site inquiries and instantly generates business leads. It works by utilizing an intelligent reverse website visitor tracking and a global leading database of business IP addresses to track your website visitors, reveal their identity and notify you in real-time. Users are provided with the business name, contact details of key decision-makers and detailed website analytics outlining the time spent on your site. This way, they have everything they need to reach out to the right person, with the right information, at the right time. Book your Lead Forensics demonstration today!