Forrester released planning assumptions for 2022 to help B2B marketing, sales, and product leaders prioritize and make more informed business decisions. In the face of current uncertainty, it is crucial to understand the key emerging trends in different business roles in the coming year and recommend practical steps to accelerate growth.
“For B2B leaders, anticipating shifts in market and customer dynamics can feel particularly daunting right now,” said Monica Behncke, vice president and group research director at Forrester. “Our research has shown that companies with a strong commitment to aligned planning are in the best position to adapt during times of uncertainty. Forrester’s 2022 Planning Assumptions will serve as a guide through this uncertainty and help B2B marketing, sales, and product leaders align their priorities to drive predictable revenue growth.”
Following are the insights from Planning Assumptions 2022 include:
- B2B CMOs and marketing executives must open the doors to cross-functional alignment. Improving the alignment of marketing with other functions is the most important action required to support marketing priorities. B2B marketing executives must ensure that their strategy and action plan align with the business strategy, sales plan, and product and sales function plans.
- Sales managers and sales executives must create knowledge-based sales systems. Today’s B2B buyers are digital-first, and the data available from digital interactions can predict which companies, opportunities, and stocks are most likely to produce the best result. Sales managers must use a knowledge-based sales system to drive business results.
- Product management executives must use customer feedback and data to identify new service opportunities. Understanding customer pain points is more important than ever. Product management executives must analyze customer data and use customer interviews to understand the broader needs and challenges that stand in the way of customers getting results.
- Customer Engagement Executives must manage value milestones to develop promotion and become obsessed with the customer. 84% of respondents believe it is valuable for prospects to learn from current customers making purchasing decisions. Customer engagement executives should plan to leverage valuable milestones such as training implementation and completion to establish regular customer interactions and make promotion more consistent and scalable.
- Demand and account-based marketers must move to real-time buyer activation. With over 94% of B2B buying decisions now made by a group of three or more, marketers have better access to signals of interest and intent than ever before. Demand and account-based marketers must recognize and respond to buying signals in real-time and use those signals to guide, activate, and personalize messages.
- Marketing managers must determine the optimal sales path for their company. Typical B2B customer retention rates are between 76% and 81%. With the widespread adoption of recurring revenue models, marketing must focus on existing customers. Executives must optimize the B2B sales cascade and partner with sales operations and customer success to maximize customer lifetime value.
- Sales must have a broader perspective to improve sales efficiency. Ninety percent of business operations decision-makers say their organization has some form of revenue operations capability, and 40% of those decision-makers have already implemented a centralized revenue operations function. Executives must first agree on the problems to be solved by the Revenue Operations function and then clearly define the scope of the proposed organization.
About Forrester –
Forrester is one of the most influential research and consulting companies in the world. We help executives in the technology, marketing, customer experience, product, and sales functions use customer obsession to accelerate growth. Forrester’s proprietary research, consulting, and events enable executives around the world to boldly navigate change at work and place their clients at the center of their leadership, strategy, and operations. Our unique insights are based on annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers, business leaders, and technology leaders around the world; rigorous and objective research methods, including Forrester Wave ™ ratings; over 45 million real-time feedback votes; and the common wisdom of our clients.
Forrester’s planning assumptions provide personalized insights and recommended steps for key stakeholders throughout the revenue stream.
It encompasses all B2B marketing executives, B2B sales managers, channel marketing, content strategy, and operations.