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Most B2B sales and marketing teams typically function in a “serial,” or linear manner. Marketing engages prospective buyers early in their purchase journey, qualifying their readiness and fit for sales rep engagement through digital “content nurturing.” Once those leads have been designated “marketing qualified,” individual sellers take over, pursuing those leads through in-person or virtual interactions. In the middle is the “handoff,” where marketing passes the baton to sales, and online customer engagement gives way to in-person customer engagement.
Even in more advanced “account-based marketing approaches” those linear “physics” remain largely unchallenged. First the marketing, then the sales. Or, more accurately, first scaled digital engagement, followed by targeted seller interaction. And the decades-long pursuit of tighter “sales and marketing integration” has centered on progressing deals along that journey as “seamlessly” as possible, eliminating “friction” and aligning metrics, data, and sometimes even incentives and reporting structures to ensure the handoff from digital to human selling is as efficient as possible.
The rise of digital B2B buying
For years, however, B2B buying has dramatically evolved to a far more digitally dominant buying behavior, rendering much of that commercial model not only out of date, but nearly obsolete.
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