From the Influencers

How to Optimize Marketing & Sales in a Changing Digital Landscape

September 08, 2017

In 2000, digital marketing was a novelty dominated by tacky banner ads. “Sales” often meant cold calls and lukewarm follow-ups from well-worn desk phones and maybe a clunky, long-gone email suite).

Today, the center of gravity for marketing and sales is decidedly digital. According to Forbes, digital marketing spend will approach $120 billion by 2021, at which point it’ll account for nearly half of all U.S. ad spend. It’ll be led by online video, which is predicted to grow at an astonishing 114 percent rate, and supported by ever more urgent investments in technology, data analytics, and customer-facing infrastructure.

The time for half-measures has passed. We’ve crossed the threshold into a digital-first marketing and sales landscape. Tomorrow’s winners will be those that make bold, necessary investments today — and excel at these four things.

Adopt a Digital-First Approach to Marketing and Sales

The future of digital marketing lies in the cloud. Gartner expects the worldwide cloud services market to grow by 18 percent in 2017, to $246.8 billion. Cloud application services (SaaS) will account for about $46 billion of that total.

Cloud marketing and sales services are driving the SaaS space’s growth, and the smart money is betting that this trend has legs. That’s why Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Management recently made a substantial investment in Atlanta-based N3, a rapidly growing outsourced sales and marketing execution firm — and why we’re likely to see more high-profile investment in innovative companies that empower enterprises to reach digital natives.

Look to Low-Cost Cloud Marketing and Sales Partners With a White-Glove Touch

N3 bills itself as a “front-end sales engine” — a flexible partner for everything from basic lead generation to end-to-end sales strategy and fulfillment. N3 distinguishes itself with highly personalized client service that larger, less adaptable competitors can’t match.

N3 isn’t alone. It’s on the leading edge of a new wave of cloud marketing and sales innovation. Unlike previous innovator cohorts, N3’s ilk are geographically and culturally dispersed. The center of high-tech gravity is inexorably moving away from Silicon Valley and New York, to second- and third-tier service centers with ample reserves of talent and lower business costs: Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, Portland, Pittsburgh. From these vibrant bases, companies like N3 offer white-glove, one-on-one support at a discount to legacy players.

Take Your Sales Platform Global

By any objective metric, N3 isn’t a big firm. But its capabilities are impressive: It boasts more than 1,000 resources globally and access to more than 80 national markets. Its reach is a big draw for the dozens of enterprise clients, including household names like GE and Cisco, that work with N3.

Whether your company works with N3 or another cloud marketing and sales partner, its approach must be global. Startups and small enterprises that primarily serve a domestic clientele might not see the utility in thinking — and investing — in a global outreach apparatus. But, in an increasingly interconnected world, it’s foolish to write off 97 percent of humanity simply because the prospect of global marketing seems too daunting.

Bring a “Help First” Mentality to Sales

Your marketing and sales teams no longer have a monopoly on the discourse around your brand. Customers have more information about your company than you can possibly manage — they’re going to use independent sources of data to form opinions about you, whether you like it or not.

Once you accept that this will happen, lean in. Bring a “help first” mentality to your sales team, emphasizing support and nurturing functions over upselling and cross-selling. Let your soft touch do the hard work of closing the deal. 

About Costea Lestoc:  I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology and news in general. I am a technical writer, author and blogger since 2005. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets. For tech tips, my email address is neneacostea at gmail.

Edited by Erik Linask

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