Hockey stick sales growth powers startups and scaleups in B2B SaaS and Fintech.
But what happens when the music stops playing and your team is left scrambling for an empty chair? What happens when the rainmakers stop being able to make it rain?
Let’s look at a few important ways for how you can reverse a sales decline in your B2B SaaS or Fintech company:
Acknowledge that the way that people research and make purchase decisions has changed quite dramatically.
In the years leading up to the pandemic, B2B SaaS and Fintech buyers were already more influenced by content, search engines, social media, review websites, videos, podcasts, and webinars -- vs. much more traditional interruption-based, outbound sales and marketing efforts.
This has shifted power away from sellers and into the hands of buyers --- many of whom are no longer even open to having a sales conversion until 60% of the buyer's journey is over.
Many software and financial technology companies have resisted these can't-ignore trends to their own detriment and have faced a resulting decline in sales.
Stop allowing the sales director to control the marketing budget and marketing strategy.
During the 2010s, many old-school companies felt that marketing couldn't be trusted to generate revenue unless the sales team sat on marketing's shoulders.
In this scenario, CMO's were kicked out of executive teams (demoted), and sales called all the shots.
That was a terrible idea because sales teams inherently focus on relatively short-term goals (meeting this month's quota). In contrast, marketing teams need to make some intermediate- and long-term bets to build the company's brand, to provide a positive impression on the marketplace that the sales team sells into.
Many living in the past believe that it's marketing's job to literally serve the sales team (like an order-taker in a restaurant).
However approached correctly, marketing should be serving the needs of the business as a whole, and its prospects and customers, rather than being the gofer for the sales team.
Correct the overinvestment in the final 30% of the buyer's journey and resulting severe underinvestment in the first 70% of the buyer's journey.
Because B2B SaaS and Fintech buyers want to self-serve until at least the later parts of their research and decision-making process, companies investing in their sales team as they did ten years ago are at a severe competitive disadvantage.
In this scenario, sales teams spend crazy amounts of time and energy interrupting prospects and begging for 15-minute meetings to reverse declining sales activity.
In reality, these companies would be way better served by reallocating legacy resources out of the final 30% of the buyer's journey and more aggressively being present in the first 70% of the buyer's journey (content, original research thought leadership, webinars, videos, and podcasts for example)
Imagine a Major League Baseball team spending nearly all of their team payroll on bullpen pitchers (who typically only work in late innings) and bench players (who typically also enter a game in late innings).
And a result, these teams have very little payroll (think the little league and high school players) for the nine position players and starting pitchers that play the first six to seven innings of each game.
With this approach, these severely unbalanced teams will have lost nearly all games by the time of the seven-inning stretch.
It’s the same exact issue when too much budget is in the sales team (the last 30% of the buyer's journey) and not enough budget is in the marketing/sales development team (first 70% of the buyer's journey).
How is your company reversing declining sales? Let me know in the comments.
Topics:- B2B Sales Strategy