How to Solve the Top Challenges of Sales and Marketing Leaders in 2022
The past several years have been challenging for virtually every organization, and it’s no secret that a significant shift has occurred. Many organizations are quickly discovering a change in how buyers interact with brands, how technology influences business success, and how a global crisis impacts marketing and demand.
For sales and marketing leaders, these shifts, especially with consumer behavior, pose several challenges for the new year. Buyers increasingly want to feel valued—71% expect organizations to give them a personalized experience tailored to their needs. Teams also need to adapt to meet the demands of digital transformation and a post-pandemic world. The start of a new year is the ideal time for sales and marketing leaders to think outside the box and stay ahead of the evolving landscape.
In this blog post, we’re discussing the top challenges sales and marketing leaders are facing in 2022 and how to solve them.
Top challenges for sales leaders
Sales is always changing, and it has changed even more so in recent years. This leaves sales leaders with several challenges that can affect the performance of their team.
Changing buyer expectations
Buyers today are more informed than ever before and nearly all of them are researching products before purchasing, without help from sales. Reps are faced with well-informed prospects who expect to be understood. This means they are also more concerned about why they should purchase from a company rather than learning what the product is.
Solution: Buyers are overwhelmed by too many options, but they also expect sales reps to understand their unique pain points and offer solutions that personally fit their needs. Sales leaders need to understand evolving buyer expectations in order to create personalized sales experiences that add value.
Transition to virtual selling
Since the start of the pandemic, virtual selling has become a new normal, and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. This dramatic (and quick) transition left many sales teams struggling to adapt to the altered buyer/seller dynamic. It can be a challenge to gain a prospect’s attention, showcase value, and build relationships virtually, especially in a competitive market with distracted buyers.
Solution: Let technology guide your sales team to increase engagement during virtual calls. Prospects are more likely to remain focused with videos rather than text presentations. Encourage reps to lead with personalization and empathy to show value, build trust, and be a resource rather than simply a salesperson.
Rise in market competition
An ever-evolving globalized economy means that buyers now have access to companies around the world. Standing out from the crowd can be a challenge amidst growing market competition with low-cost alternatives. It’s not only difficult to get prospects to take notice, but it’s also challenging to prove that your product provides unique and specific value (especially if it comes at a higher cost).
Solution: Sales leaders must realize that an exceptional product will not necessarily close the deal. Reps should personalize, understand, and demonstrate the value the product can bring to each prospect’s unique pain points. Be the guide that leads buyers to see the value that matters to them, rather than telling them what to purchase.
Getting qualified leads into the pipeline
It doesn’t take long for sales reps to realize that getting high-quality leads into the sales pipeline can be challenging. While marketing efforts can help drive these leads, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a lead intending to purchase a product or service. Lead generation in a digital and post-pandemic world requires sales reps to adapt and be more strategic in their efforts.
Solution: Sales teams should leverage modern CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot that make it easier to streamline and automate inbound sales strategies. Having the right data organized and accessible in these tools improves the sales process by giving sales reps the information they need to contact the right people and generate sales.
A lack of consumer trust
Any sales rep understands how difficult it is to build lasting trust with a prospect. In a virtual environment, this becomes even more of a challenge. Buyers are now not only more equipped with information about a company or product but are savvier than ever when it comes to spotting sales scams. With a shift in expectations, skepticism is on the rise. Buyers are concerned that sales reps don’t have their best interests in mind.
Solution: To win over prospects, sales leaders must train their reps in value-base selling. Reps that demonstrate transparency, are knowledgeable about their product, and showcase direct and personal benefits to prospects have a greater chance of gaining a buyer’s trust and winning the deal.
Collect better data to drive more sales
Recent studies have shown that sales reps spend more time emailing, manually entering data, and scheduling calls than actually prospecting. Many of these activities can be automated, freeing up time for sales reps to actually connect with leads and make sales. FormAssembly’s all-in-one platform is an ideal tool for sales teams to improve the quality of meetings, accelerate account setup, and more. Using custom web forms that integrate seamlessly with Salesforce and other CRM software, sales reps can automate the tedious processes in the sales cycle, such as pre-call questionnaires for prospects, trial setups, and scheduling requests.
Top challenges for marketing leaders
The marketing field is always evolving, and marketing teams must adapt and develop creative new ways to reach customers amidst their ever-changing expectations.
The shift to human-focused marketing
Customers are quickly becoming aware of topic-based marketing campaigns that don’t speak to their unique needs or personas. Customers also now expect brands to be trustworthy and empathetic, which calls for a softer marketing approach. In addition, reaching the right audience with the right content on the right channels is now critical to an effective marketing strategy.
Solution: Marketing teams should begin adopting more human-centric strategies for content and marketing campaigns. This involves a deep understanding of customer personas, including their interests, needs, challenges, and desires. Once target audiences are established, content can become more intentional and can meet prospects where they already are. In order to do this, marketing teams must reframe their thinking and focus on the pain points their prospects are experiencing rather than relying on generic, impersonal outreach. By using video messages, social media, and connecting in-person at events when possible, marketers can more effectively build trust and rapport with their target audiences.
Creating great content across mediums
Today’s digital era has opened the doors for significantly more marketing opportunities that stretch across social media, influencers, and more. But not all platforms and resources are created equal, and to add to the challenges, customers now expect organizations to produce great original content that speaks directly to them. Marketing teams will need to spend more time creating cohesive campaigns across multiple mediums in order to provide a standout customer experience.
Solution: Aligning marketing teams on new strategies and campaigns is the first step to producing branded content, from thought leadership blogs to social posts and videos, for various channels and purposes. This ensures that your team creates a unified message and branding for each campaign. While different channels require different types of content and imagery, this alignment on the purpose and value offer of the messaging will produce an effective marketing campaign. For greater insight on the content your audience resonates with most, consider administering a survey to better understand what will catch the eyes of your prospects.
Quantifying and measuring ROI
ROI is a key marketing metric that is necessary to track that still poses a big challenge for many marketing leaders. While ROI affects everything from marketing strategies to budget planning, over 30% of marketing leaders confess to the difficulty of quantifying and measuring these metrics. Additionally, with such a significant shift in buyer behavior and growing importance of KPIs as a result of the pandemic, marketing leaders need to start leveraging tools that help prove ROI and profitability of campaigns.
Solution: Well-defined goals, defined marketing budgets, and formulas all need to work together to produce an accurate ROI measurement for marketing leaders. The next step is to determine which content metrics are easily measurable. Having hard numbers available for some metrics will make it easier to focus on softer metrics like engagement and brand awareness. Platforms like Tableau or Google Analytics can also help quantify and measure ROI.
Analyzing and visualizing data
Modern marketing teams have the ability to collect more data than ever before. But the question of what happens to this data or how it’s analyzed can leave many marketers at a loss—especially without the right tools. Quality lead data has the potential to significantly influence marketing campaigns, so how can marketing teams gain greater access, control, and visibility over it?
Solution: Data visualization is one of the best ways marketing leaders can simplify how they’re analyzing and leveraging data. These insights provide a clear picture of the behavior of customers and how they’re interacting with your marketing efforts. For example, tools like FormAssembly’s all-in-one data collection platform enable marketing teams to collect and visualize data all in one place.
Automating repetitive tasks
As trends move toward generating more creative and personalized content, marketing teams now have even less time to spend on manual, repetitive tasks that hinder productivity. And yet, a top challenge of marketing leaders today is how to keep their teams efficient amidst manual work. Thankfully, new technologies, including artificial intelligence, provide marketing teams with the opportunity to focus more on content generation by automating these manual tasks.
Solution: Marketing leaders should embrace new automation software to free up the workdays of their teams. Opportunities for automation exist everywhere, from data collection and processing to marketing request forms, surveys, and status updates. FormAssembly’s new solution, Workflow, makes it possible to automate many of these marketing processes so your team can effectively contribute to your organization’s success.
Streamline marketing processes with FormAssembly
FormAssembly’s secure, all-in-one data collection platform gives marketing teams the power to streamline processes, capture new leads, learn from customers, and more. Our platform improves communication between teams and provides a user-friendly way to interact with leads—and all this data can seamlessly integrate with Salesforce. FormAssembly also helps automate marketing efforts while still providing the results your team needs to strategize content and campaigns.
Improve sales and marketing efforts with better data collection
Curious to learn how FormAssembly simplifies data collection processes for your organization? Find out by watching our webinar, 4 Ways to Streamline Marketing Processes With Online Forms!