As B2B technology enterprises look to hasten innovation, respond to disruption, and outpace the competition, salespeople depend on marketing teams to provide the content support that fuels their sales cycles.
At the same time, technology marketing professionals are struggling to keep up with persistent hiring challenges, limited resources, and heightened expectations that collectively make it more difficult to develop go-to-market (GTM) strategies and sales-enablement assets.
In many ways, these challenges are not new. Even before the pandemic, 80 percent of marketing teams reported that they were overloaded and understaffed, a shockingly high number that reflects the obstacles that marketing leaders face as they strive to support their sales teams.
And things have gotten worse. The pandemic inextricably altered the business landscape, exacerbating existing challenges while introducing new problems that require a response. A recent survey of senior marketing decision-makers explored this predicament by identifying the latest problems facing GTM initiatives while identifying potential solutions that support sales outcomes.
Following are two survey takeaways that B2B tech marketing team members—from CMOs to managers to product marketers—can’t afford to ignore moving forward:
#1 Sales Outcomes Are Being Hampered by Staffing Challenges
Whether B2B companies are leveraging traditional marketing mediums or launching new initiatives, the intended outcome is the same: they want to drive sales. This is why, as the industry survey reveals, 61 percent of product marketing teams view sales enablement as their top priority.
After all, while other marketing initiatives like strategy development and lead generation are critical, deals drive revenue.
To facilitate this outcome, salespeople rely on the creation of marketing assets, including playbooks, training cheat sheets, solution briefs, case studies, and eBooks to help potential buyers through the sales funnel. In other words, there is a continual importance on content development and strategy to create the right content for the right audience at the right time to support the buying process.
Staffing challenges are making the content strategy and creation process more difficult, however. Sixty-seven percent of the survey’s respondents, in fact, say they need to add marketing resources or reduce the number of projects in order to successfully support sales-enablement goals.
Product marketing teams are already stretched thin, and the consequences can be devastating. According to survey respondents, talent shortages are causing:
- Low team morale or team burn-out (63%)
- Ineffective campaigns or launches (56%)
- Attrition of highly skilled team members (40%)
- Inability to achieve revenue goals (36%)
Unfortunately, simply hiring more people isn’t an immediate solution. Nearly 50 percent of marketing executives say that hiring new positions can drag on for four to six months or more.
While the urgent need to drive profitable sales outcomes is motivating B2B tech enterprises to invest more budget into marketing, the bottom line is that the strategic investment focus needs to be first and foremost on the hiring and retention of product marketing talent to fuel successful campaigns that generate B2B sales success.
#2 Strategic Partnerships Can Help Fill the Resource Gap
To support marketing and sales objectives, product marketing executives are turning to external expertise and resources to support their content strategy and creation efforts. As mentioned previously, with surveyed decision makers reporting staff shortages and too many projects as the greatest challenges facing their teams, these partnerships fill a critical void.
To this end, nearly 90 percent of the survey respondents plan to use external expertise to help execute product marketing initiatives in 2022.
When outsourcing such talent, marketing teams are looking to achieve two outcomes: First, according to the survey, outside resources will help them to achieve a faster time to market and secondly, help them to meet or exceed their objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs).
When armed with the right resources, 63 percent of surveyed marketing executives say they would create more dynamic, robust content for their sales and marketing teams, while 60 percent would invest resources to develop strong, targeted messaging and positioning resources—both components critical to supporting the sales cycle.
A Final Thought
As we approach the middle of 2022, teams are already calculating and reassessing their efforts to ensure year-end sales goals are met. By focusing on sales enablement and compelling customer content, enterprises can accelerate their sales cycles as they adapt to shifting operational realities, buyer preferences, and market conditions. But in order to do so, product marketing must be recognized as a critical core function to drive business growth and sales performance and be provided with the necessary tools, talent, and support to achieve success.