Radly's B2B research: What do B2B companies struggle with?
In late 2021, we at Radly conducted qualitative research with B2B decision-makers to map out some of the challenges companies operating in the field face when it comes to digital transformation and the underlying themes of organizational capabilities, sales, marketing, and strategy. In this blog post, we touch upon three of the key challenges. More findings will be published in our upcoming blog posts.
- 11 interviews in total
- Interviewees: Marketing and sales executives of small to large size companies operating in the B2B field
The top 3 challenges
Although several interesting findings came through, there were three key frequently mentioned challenges:
- Organizational silos
- Scattered data and inefficient tool usage
- Lack of a holistic understanding of the customer experience
A key theme that emerged in the data was the presence of silos, specifically the lack of cooperation between sales and marketing.
Some of the underlying issues included, e.g.:
- sales and marketing being placed in separate organizations, even physically, at times
- the absence of communication, common goals, and a shared terminology between the two
- the operations being heavily product-driven with no interest in bridging the gap between sales and marketing
- the sales department assuming marketing already knows their customer inside and out
What seems to be missing are established and regular information sharing processes and communication between sales (that has the latest knowledge of customer pain points and opinions) and marketing (that ideally is there to support sales).
Apart from marketing vs. sales, balancing operational silos and overarching business goals can get messy. The problem is each silo is optimizing towards its own goals instead of company-wide objectives.
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:
- 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.
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 was recognized as a key need. In some cases, customer journeys have been mapped, but purely from the company’s perspective with limited customer insights. In other instances, department-specific customer journey mapping is a source of frustration as it ￼overlooks the overall experience with touchpoints across the rest of the organization.
The key challenges here lie in:
- 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
Additionally, questions such as ‘How do our organizational changes affect the customer experience?’ and ‘How can our customer experience be measured?’ (e.g., by defining the relevant metrics) were raised in the interviews.
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?
Then, 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.