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Phenomenon B2B Final Survey Results

Phenomenon conducted a research study across 250 marketing and sales executives (C-Suite, Presidents, Vice
Presidents, and Leaders) across enterprise (1,000+) and medium-sized (250-999) businesses to assess obstacles
teams are facing and their primary go-to-market challenges, and analyze the differences in perception across
organizational function and executive level.

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Phenomenon B2B Final Survey Results

  1. 1. 1 B2B Marketing & Sales Survey Results April 2019
  2. 2. 2 Phenomenon surveyed 250 marketing and sales leaders Phenomenon conducted a research study across 250 marketing and sales executives (C-Suite, Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Leaders) across enterprise (1,000+) and medium-sized (250-999) businesses to assess obstacles teams are facing and their primary go-to-market challenges, and analyze the differences in perception across organizational function and executive level.
  3. 3. Contents 06 07 08 15 19 34 36 Survey Results Themes From This Report Challenge 1: Divide in Ranks Challenege 2: Marketing and Sales Alignment Challenge 3: Go-to-Market Challenges Opportunities About Phenomenon
  4. 4. 4 Business Size and Organizational Role Organizational Role: Marketing 62.1% Sales 37.9% Decision Maker refers to those in the C-Suite, President, and Vice President levels Leader refers to those at the director level Senior Marketing Leader Senior Marketing Decision Maker 14.2% 23.7% 28.9% 33.2% Senior Sales Decision Maker Senior Sales Leader Enterprise 1000+ Medium 250-999 43.1% 56.9% 4
  5. 5. 5 Industry 5 10 15 20 Retail Manufacturing Consumer Goods & Packaging Finance & Banking Education Consumer Technology E-Commerce Construction Wholesalers and Distributors Publishing Beverages Electronics Automotive Chemical Other Information Technology Entertainment & Media Professional Services Healthcare Percent
  6. 6. Survey Results
  7. 7. 7 Themes from this report Primary obstacles facing B2B sales and marketing leaders as they look to the year ahead. Divide in Ranks: C-Suite to Mid-Level Executive Divide There is disparity in how leaders across marketing and sales departments identify: the performance of their teams, primary challenges facing their teams, and opportunities for improvement. While higher-level executives view conceptual performance more optimistically, leaders place more confidence in processes. 1. Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Unifying Vision Misalignment can lead to teams approaching opportunities with recycled content and processes that fail to generate meaningful engagements. And, as the buying landscape becomes more complex, and buyers become more sophisticated, it’s imperative to approach the market with a unified, strategic message. 2. Go-To-Market Challenges: Standing Out In a Sea of Noise Today’s buying behaviors are constantly changing, making it harder to craft strong pitch narratives and organize sales and marketing materials around distinct buying audience needs. Moreover, executives lack confidence in their team’s abilities to craft and deliver strategic narratives, highlighting a need for more involved training and support. 3.
  8. 8. Challenge 1: Divide in Ranks C-suite to mid-level executive divide
  9. 9. 9 Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide Across marketing and sales departments, decision makers are more optimistic than their leader counterparts when responding to prompts in four key areas: By nature, C-Suite level executives have to be optimistic, and this shows in their responses across the following examples (slides 10-13). “Bigger picture” positioning concepts are often driven by higher-level executives, leaving them more in-favor when asked questions around the performance of those concepts, and the adoption of them. • Achieving business goals • Presence & clarity of corporate narrative • Presence & clarity of customer value proposition • Workforce adoption of corporate narrative
  10. 10. 10 Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide Decision Maker No confidence 0% Neutral Confidence 0% Slight Confidence 5.1% Moderate Confidence 42.9% High Confidence 52% Leader No confidence 0% Neutral Confidence 3% Slight Confidence 8.3% Moderate Confidence 51.1% High Confidence 37.6% Looking forward, how much confidence do you have in your team’s ability to meet your business goals in 2019? O
  11. 11. Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide Commentary Decision makers agree more strongly than their leader counterparts that their companies have a clear customer value proposition. They have more confidence in the majority of their workforce having the ability to articulate the customer value proposition, with 91% agreeing verses 79.5% of leaders. However, decision makers later identify “customer value proposition development” as the foremost area their team would benefit from help in 2019. Decision Makers Leaders 25 0 75 50 100 Level of agreement (%) Presence of CVP Ability to articulate CVP 11
  12. 12. 12 Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide What percentage of your workforce do you believe has adopted your brand’s corporate narrative? 0 0% - 25% 25% - 50% 50% - 75% 75% - 100% No corporate narrative 34 17 51 Decision Maker 0 0% - 25% 25% - 50% 50% - 75% 75% - 100% No corporate narrative 34 17 68 51 Leader
  13. 13. 13 Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide Commentary Decision makers have more confidence in cross- individual ability to explain their brand’s corporate narrative. As a result, more decision makers believe their customers can articulate their brand’s corporate narrative (85% of decision makers vs 78% of leaders believe this). Both of these findings point to a stronger confidence from high-level executives in their team’s training and articulation abilities. However, decision makers later contradict this confidence when identifying that a top challenge their teams face is “lack of consistency when explaining their enterprise value proposition and solution offerings.” Regardless of the individual, my brand’s corporate narrative gets explained consistently. 100 75 0 25 50 Decision Maker 78% Leader 73%
  14. 14. 14 Divide in Ranks: C-suite to mid-level executive divide Sales or marketing materials are created based on ad hoc requests instead of being organized around distinct buying audience needs. Levels of optimism shift when asked questions about their team’s ability to complete their daily tasks successfully. Leaders have more confidence in their team’s process and ability to execute against business objectives. 0 010 1020 2030 3040 40 LEVEL OF AGREEMENT My team doesn’t have the skill or training necessary to successfully create a compelling pitch narrative that marries our solutions with buying audience. Decision Maker Decision Maker Leader Leader
  15. 15. Challenge 2: Marketing and Sales Alignment Across decision makers & leaders
  16. 16. 16 Marketing and Sales Alignment Commentary Marketers are more confident in the clarity of their company’s value proposition. However, there is little discrepancy in how strongly the two departments feel in their workforce’s ability to articulate the value proposition. This highlights a leading challenge in today’s B2B sales landscape —that those in the highest sales roles within an organization don’t feel strongly that their company has a value proposition. It presents a unique opportunity, that if marketing and sales worked more closely together, it could solve the disconnect that exists. My company has a clear customer value proposition. Marketing Executives Sales Executives 90.3% 83.9%
  17. 17. 17 Marketing and Sales Alignment When identifying top challenges facing their sales teams, both marketing and sales executives identify the same three, just in different orders: 3. Lack of consistency when explaining their enterprise value proposition and solution offerings. 3. Lack of consistency when explaining their enter- prise value proposition and solution offerings. 2. Combating competitor’s undermining counter-narratives with foolproof messaging. 2. Precisely knowing their audiences and what is important to them. 2. Precisely knowing their audiences and what is important to them. 1. Combating competitor’s undermining counter-narratives with foolproof messaging. Marketing Sales
  18. 18. 18 Marketing and Sales Alignment Not surprisingly, the desire for marketing and sales to function as one department was identified as a key challenge one marketing executive would solve in 2019 if given the opportunity. There is clear value in these departments working more closely together, and one respondent’s remarks on the unpredictable market highlights the need for unity in the face of rising challenges. As the buying journey becomes more complex, those companies that approach their audiences more strategically and collaboratively will differentiate themselves against disjointed competition. I would bridge the gap between sales and marketing, making them function more as one department than as two. - Senior Marketing Decision Maker, Medium Business, Retail The challenge of rising costs and competition, combined with an increasingly complex sales and marketing economy. - Jack Dawson, Vice President of Sales, Intellect Inc., “ “ “ “
  19. 19. Challenge 3: Go-To-Market Challenges Across sales and marketing decision makers & leaders
  20. 20. 20 Aligning narratives to buying audience needs Crafting strong pitch narratives Legacy as both a driver and hindrance 1 2 3 In response to prompts around primary go-to-market challenges, three themes dominated responses: Go-to-market challenges
  21. 21. Aligning narratives to buying audience needs 1
  22. 22. 22 Narratives that align to buying audience needs Commentary There is agreement across marketing and sales executives that stronger narratives, aligned with specific buying audience needs, would result in an increase in pitch win rates. However, when asked how they are differentiating in pitches, the majority of sales executives responded that they are still differentiating based on price. 61 305 183 427 122 366 244 488 549 Technical Differentiation Feature Differentiation Price Differentiation Philanthropic Differentiation Customer Service Differentiation Values-Based Differentiation Brand Differentiation Category Leadership Differentiation Storytelling Differentiation 0
  23. 23. 23 Narratives that align to buying audience needs Commentary Despite leaning on a sales strategy that differentiates on price, sales respondents acknowledge that approaching customers with a unique sales strategy would result in a positive increase in sales. While they acknowledge it would help sales, they aren’t doing it, because they’re unable to. The majority of sales executives identify knowing their audiences and what is important to them as their primary challenge. And, that’s no surprise 74.2% of executives across marketing and sales roles agree that the buying process has grown in complexity, with more decision makers, making it difficult to craft messaging aligned to buying audience needs. 0 Legacy messaging that distracts and misguides purchase decisions 3015 50 Lack of consistency when explaining their enterprise value proposition and solution offerings Precisely knowing their audiences and what is important to them Combating competitor’s undermining counter-narratives with foolproof messages Absence of the right context and information to inform strong pitch narratives Innability to craft strong pitch narratives, despite having the right context and information None of the above
  24. 24. 24 Narratives that align to buying audience needs We sometimes convince ourselves internally that we have our customers figured out, but we have more work to do to determine real need states, pain points, and solutions to help them succeed. - Senior Marketing Decision Maker, Medium Business, Retail “ “
  25. 25. 25 Narratives that align to buying audience needs Often, materials are created in a rush reactively instead of diligently and proactively, with 61% of enterprise marketing and sales executives citing that sales and marketing materials are created based on ad hoc requests instead of being organized around distinct buying audience needs.
  26. 26. Crafting strong pitch narratives 2
  27. 27. Crafting strong pitch narratives Commentary There needs to be organizational transformation to support strategic selling. When asked if their teams have the autonomy and flexibility necessary to create new solutions that directly address audience needs, only 68.2% of sales executives agreed, in contrast to 84.8% of marketing executives. And, there needs to be more training and support of the sales team, as executives all poll below 50% confidence in their ability to craft narratives aligned to audience needs. 10 30 20 40 Enterprise Executives (marketing & sales) Marketing Executives Sales Executives 0 My teams don’t have the skill or training necessary to successfully create a compelling pitch narrative that marries solutions with buying audience needs. LEVEL OF AGREEMENT 27
  28. 28. 28 Crafting strong pitch narratives We need a clear go-to-marketing strategy and clear corporate messaging. - Senior Marketing Leader, Enterprise, Healthcare Commentary There is hesitancy across respondents, regardless of role, in their team’s ability to craft strong narratives. And, the top areas executives identified as needing support in are in line with supporting their team’s customer-facing communications. Marketing executives rank customer value proposition development followed by go-to-market strategy, and sales executives identifying marketing communications followed by customer value proposition development. One executive said, “ “
  29. 29. Crafting strong pitch narratives of sales executives feel that sales teams are stretched too thin, and don’t have the information or time necessary to speak to the bigger picture their products enable for the buying audience’s business. 54.6%
  30. 30. Crafting strong pitch narratives 25% of sales executives believe their teams lack the ability to craft strong pitch narratives, despite having the right context and information.
  31. 31. Crafting strong pitch narratives Commentary With the majority of executives lacking confidence in their team’s ability to craft meaningful narratives, it makes sense that only 10% of enterprise executives identify storytelling differentiation as a way their teams stand out in pitch scenarios. Instead, teams are left getting into knife-to-knife combat fights over features and price. Having strong, strategic narratives boosts the confidence of the sales team, which in turn makes buyers more confident in what they are selling. In addition, with strategic narratives sellers can outplay the com- petition with compelling stories that show directly how their solutions solve the buyer’s needs. I would like to make sure each agent is extremely confident while pitching their products. - Senior Sales Decision Maker, Medium Business, Professional Services 31 “ “
  32. 32. Legacy as both a driver and hindrance 3
  33. 33. Legacy as both a driver and hindrance Overcoming increased competition in the industry. Selling our legacy over what is shiny and new is vital. - Senior Sales Leader, Enterprise, Healthcare The biggest challenge we are facing is finding new audiences that we can benefit from. - Senior Sales Leader, Enterprise, Healthcare Finding the pitch that reaches Gen X. We are loaded with older customers and need to refresh our customer base. - Senior Sales Decision Maker, Medium, Finance & Banking I would remove all legacy messaging from our intranet and from our training. But it is very difficult to nail down. - Senior Sales Decision Maker, Enterprise Business, Information Technology Commentary Legacy is a multifaceted topic among executives. The juxtaposition between leaning on a company’s legacy within an industry and still finding flexibility within that legacy to remain relevant to new market opportunities, emerged as a primary theme throughout respondent answers. In addition, removing routine, legacy messaging is a primary challenge facing executives today, with enterprise executives identifying “legacy messaging that distracts and misguides purchase decisions” as a top challenge they are facing. 33 “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “
  34. 34. Opportunities
  35. 35. 35 Three Opportunities Opportunities for ensuring your sales and marketing leaders are aligned to deliver an optimal customer experience. Make the customer the hero of the story The increased sophistication of buyers has driven a demand for control over their experiences. To break through, brands need to be customer-centric, reframing narratives, giving the customer the power and showing direct correlation between what the customer needs and what your brand offers. Craft narratives that connect with both the head and the heart True differentiation comes by showcasing creative ways to understand and address the unmet needs of customers. Not only does this leave them feeling understood, it is memorable. In fact, when stories are used to convey information, retention jumps to 65%-70%, compared to 5%-10% retention when conveying the same information through statistics. Develop a continuous understanding of audience needs Both of the aforementioned opportunities rely completely on having a deep understanding of your audience. This means moving as quickly as your audience evolves, which requires cross-departmental collaboration agility. Without remaining abreast of their most pressing concerns, your brand can’t possibly craft a compelling reason for them to listen. 1 2 3
  36. 36. 36 We reside at the crossroads of many things. From our perch on the 28th floor, we look down on the Tar Pits and see what becomes of dinosaurs. We live across from Hollywood, where film and culture meet. We rub elbows with concept cars and contemporary art. We wake up every day believing that the last competitive advantage is being first. First to identify an unmet need, first to leverage a new technology or platform, and always first to question the status quo. We know that advertising alone has lost the power to move people and businesses. So we hire creative thinkers who have as many questions as they have answers. People with a passion for solving, collaborating and smiling. And we give those Phenos a 360-degree view. From the Pacific to whatever they can imagine. A platform to surprise themselves and the world. Where design, innovation, creativity and strategy are all one thing. Because we aren’t content building marketing plans, we build marketplaces. With big brands in need of reinvention and challenger brands in need of invention. So please, let us introduce ourselves. We are Phenomenon. And we’re headquartered on the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. We are not Madison Avenue, we are not Silicon Valley, we are Miracle Mile. About Phenomenon
  37. 37. 37 Contributors Ryan Stoner, Group Strategy Director Stephanie Burnison, Strategist Lauren Hutchinson, Designer Kari Weis, Designer For more information, please visit phenomenon.com or contact newbiz@phenomenon.com Follow us @phenomenonmarketing@phenomenon

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