Trending This Week: Why MarketingProfs Matters for Sales Pros

Why the B2B Marketing Forum is gaining more relevance for sales pros.

October 6, 2017

  • marketing-profs

This week in Boston, MarketingProfs hosted its annual B2B Marketing Forum, a gathering of leaders and innovators in the industry. You might be asking, as a sales professional, why should I care? The branding of this event makes it sound very... marketing-y.

And it is. But that’s exactly why should care.

What was evident last week at HubSpot INBOUND 2017 was equally obvious this week at the MarketingProfs conference: You can’t really have a discussion about where marketing is at, and where it’s headed, without acknowledging the increasingly integrated role of sales. This is especially true in the B2B space, where the proliferation of account-based marketing is drawing these sides together more than ever.

Here are a few storylines coming out of this year’s B2B Marketing Forum that should be on the radar for salespeople:

AI and Predictive Analytics

In one of the opening keynotes, martech guru Christopher S. Penn gave a chat about the ways in which artificial intelligence is forever changing the marketing landscape. He later led a session on predictive analytics, which Penn has dubbed a marketer’s secret weapon, and this in particular is a frontier that sales pros need to be tracking.

AI and predictive analytics are among the most promising sales technologies coming down the pipeline. By using these tools and their advanced algorithms, we can create customer personas that better signal a likelihood to buy, adding much-needed refinement to prospecting efforts. Given that qualifying leads continues to be one of the biggest struggles in the sales and marketing dynamic, predictive scoring could be a huge breakthrough if and when it takes off.

Engaging After the Sale

Close the deal and move on? Those days might be behind us. On Wednesday, ChurnZero CEO You Mon Tsang gave a talk about best practices for post-sale marketing, in which he emphasized the importance of continuing to engage prospects after they become customers.

This is critical for sales reps, who stand to benefit greatly from maintaining relationships. This yields opportunities to upsell and gain referrals. Tsang suggested that the same sophisticated techniques we use to prospect, like lead scoring and automated segmentation, should still be in play after the sale.

ABM: A Bridge to Marketing

Of course, there was plenty of discussion around account-based marketing. On Thursday four prominent execs and thought leaders -- Joe Chernov of InsightSquared, Meagan French of Lotus Growth, Justin Gray of LeadMD, and Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing -- came together for a session on ABM and the ways it is changing B2B content marketing.

As strategies shift to a more focused approach, framed around the pursuit of specific accounts, sales can influence marketing efforts in powerful ways. Reps tend to hold insights about these organizations that can inform the direction of content. This, in turn, enables sales teams to better engage buyers via content.

Earlier this year, we wrote about how salespeople can play a critical role in account-based marketing execution, calling out three distinct areas.

The program agenda at B2B Marketing Forum 2017 didn’t include much material oriented directly toward sales professionals, necessarily, but as you can see there were plenty of relevant sessions. These include the ones mentioned above and several others (Matt Childs and Dan Briscoe on using video throughout the customer journey, Cindy Valladares on getting executives to invest in social, Chris Chariton on creating a fruitful referral program, etc.).

Use these high-profile spotlights as opportunities to get your organization talking about sales and marketing alignment, and how it proves highly advantageous for both sides.

For more in-depth coverage of this topic and others trending in the world of sales, make sure to subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog