The digital reinvention of enterprise tech go-to-market

tech sales May 07, 2023

As customers increasingly want both expert guidance and easy-to-use experiences, the traditional way of selling products and services to businesses is undergoing major changes. This disruption is happening from the highest levels of the enterprise down to the lowest levels.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rapid increase in digital transformation, which led to significant growth in the enterprise technology sector. Companies of all sizes were eager to adopt subscription-based, as-a-service, and cloud-based products to accelerate their digital journeys. The adoption rates for digital products and solutions accelerated by seven years in 2020.

There are two major shifts happening in the technology needs of enterprise customers. First, customers are now prioritizing expertise and guidance. They no longer just rely on sales teams for product information; they expect comprehensive assistance in navigating their digital transformations. This requires sales teams to have technical knowledge, industry expertise, and integrated solutions to ensure value throughout the entire lifecycle. Customers now value expertise more than having a single point of contact, and their buying decisions involve multiple stakeholders rather than just the IT department.

Second, customers also demand simplicity and self-service experiences. They want a seamless and personalized buying journey similar to what they experience in other e-commerce sectors, such as groceries or clothing. More than 30% of B2B customers already use digital and self-serve channels for each stage of their buying process. The availability of user-friendly, cloud-based solutions has enabled new buying models that cater to these preferences.

Successfully navigating these two shifts simultaneously is a complex challenge, but the benefits are substantial. Companies that have taken the lead in reimagining their go-to-market strategies have achieved significant success.

Based on an analysis of top-performing software-as-a-service companies, four critical changes are driving sustained success in this new era. Companies that fail to embrace these changes and continue to invest in traditional sales approaches are likely to struggle in the coming years.

The four critical changes are:

  1. Reimagining sales coverage: Shifting from selling products to enabling transformations. Sales teams need to become experts in guiding customers through complex digital transformations. They must possess industry knowledge, solution expertise, and leadership skills to coordinate cross-functional teams and leverage partnerships effectively.

  2. Making every marketer a seller and every seller a marketer: Creating personalized experiences throughout the entire customer journey. Marketing departments need to work closely with sales, channel, and customer success teams to support end-to-end customer engagement. Personalization should be a key focus, and predictive AI and automation tools can enhance targeting and lead generation efforts.

  3. Shifting the channel strategy from scale to expertise: Cultivating a diverse partner ecosystem that adds value beyond distribution. Channel partners should specialize in specific areas and provide expertise to help customers adopt new solutions and drive transformation. Tech companies should prioritize customer success and leverage alliances and partnerships to build ecosystems around their platforms.

  4. Embracing a life cycle approach to customer success: Recognizing the critical role of customer success in driving growth. Customer success teams should focus on unlocking the full potential of solutions for customers, identifying new opportunities, and collaborating closely with sales and marketing teams. Companies should prioritize customer experience transformation by redesigning customer journeys to eliminate pain points and create satisfying experiences.

To support these changes, tech companies should invest in insights, tools, talent, and agility. Data and analytics can provide valuable insights for lead generation and segmentation, while automation tools can streamline sales processes. Hiring employees with the right skills and redefining sales training are crucial. Cross-functional teams, shared metrics, and collaborative technology infrastructure are necessary for agility and seamless customer experiences.

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