Radly's B2B research: What do B2B companies struggle with?
In late 2021, we at Radly conducted research with B2B decision-makers. Our aim was to map out the challenges that companies operating in the field face when it comes to digital transformation. In this blog post we briefly explore three of the key themes. (Stay tuned – more findings will be published in our upcoming blog posts!)
Study details in brief
- 11 interviews in total
- Interviewees: marketing and sales executives of small to large size companies operating in the B2B field
The struggle with silos is real – what else?
The main challenges repeatedly mentioned in the interviews were:
- Organizational silos
- Scattered data and inefficient tool usage
- Lack of a holistic understanding of the customer experience
Struggle #1: Organizational silos
A key theme was that of silos; and specifically, the lack of cooperation between sales and marketing.
And how do silos show in practice? For instance:
- Sales and marketing are being placed in separate organizations, even physically, at times
- There is a lack of communication, common goals, and a shared terminology between departments
- The operations are heavily product-driven, with no interest in bridging the gap between sales and marketing
- The sales department assumes marketing already knows their customer inside and out
Moreover, in many cases there are no established and regular information sharing processes nor communication between sales (that has the latest customer feedback) and marketing (that, ideally, is there to support sales).
Apart from marketing vs. sales, balancing operational silos and overarching business goals can get messy: often, the problem lies in each silo optimizing towards its own goals instead of company-wide objectives.
Struggle #2: Scattered data and inefficient tool usage
When operations and goals are heavily siloed, so is the data. While many of the interviewees had seen significant improvements in data collection and tool implementation in recent times, there is work to be done to establish transparent data sharing and analysis across silos to improve the overall customer experience — let alone a shared 360-degree customer view.
Although systems such as CRM are in place, they are often:
- limited to e.g. sales only
- not very actively or systemically used
- not linked with, e.g., marketing automation tools to an optimal extent
For some, simply a more effective marketing automation strategy is an identified need and a clear goal, but its implementation remains in progress.
Struggle #3: Lack of a holistic understanding of the customer experience
As straightforward as it may sound, truly understanding the customer experience from the customer’s point of view is a key need. In some cases, there have been efforts to map out customer journeys, but purely from the company perspective based on limited or zero customer insights. In other instances, department-specific customer journey mapping is a clear source of frustration as it overlooks the overall experience with touchpoints across the rest of the organization.
The typical challenges are:
- truly understanding the customer(s) and their needs
- mapping a holistic customer journey considering all touchpoints across the organization
- ensuring a coherent customer experience regardless of organizational silos
Other questions raised in the interviews included ‘How do our organizational changes affect the customer experience?’ and ‘How may we best measure our customer experience?’.
How to break down silos — case Radly & YIT
As found in our study, silos not only cause operational headaches but stand in the way of an optimal customer experience. So what should companies do, and what approaches are there to tackling silos?
Have a look at one example of a marketing data strategy as an approach to breaking down silos, presented at Martech Nordic’s seminar featuring Radly’s Heini Nuutinen.
Recognize any of the challenges above?
Don’t hesitate to reach out — we at Radly are experts in breaking down silos between marketing and sales, data-driven solutions, and customer journey mapping in the B2B field.