What’s in for Winning GTM Strategies in 2023
As B2B tech buyer behavior evolves, go-to-market (GTM) teams must adjust their strategies to meet expectations. In this playbook, we’ve identified overarching themes discovered from the combined data of multiple TrustRadius surveys of both technology buyers and marketers to bring you an overview of what’s in and what’s out for B2B marketing in 2023 and beyond.
You may recall in our 2022 survey report, B2B Buying Disconnect: The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer, we discovered people want an all-access pass to critical product information like pricing and demos. Basically, technology buyers prefer to do research on their own before engaging a sales rep and making a purchase.
Understanding how these shifts in preference impact your process and team is essential to capturing attention and securing revenue now and in the future.
Cut through the noise and connect with prospects on their terms
We know that teams (including yours) are juggling multiple priorities, campaigns, and technologies to engage new prospects while retaining and growing your customer base. That also means serving up relevant content on every channel at every stage.
The top marketing channels leveraged by today’s technology vendors include:
- Paid social media
- Paid search
- In-person events
- Personalized email
Buyers now expect to readily find user feedback, specs, pricing, and product demos—all without engaging with a salesperson. Since we know that virtually 100% of buyers want a self-service experience, be sure to include important product information in your content—especially on third-party forums and your website. This preference for self-service is true across all generations, so we can safely say it’s a reality rather than a trend.
When asked which three things vendors can do to make buyers more likely to purchase their technology, buyers said:
- Publishing pricing on the website (71%)
- Making demos or free trials available (70%)
- Showing customer reviews on the website (35%)
Shift your marketing and sales teams toward buyer enablement
First, you’ll want to enable self-service by providing up-front and easy-to-find product information, including pricing, specs, demos, and free trials everywhere your buyers conduct research. Hint: it’s not your website.
Next, you’ll want to shape your brand narrative and tap into new audiences by leveraging third-party forums – like review platforms. Active buyers want to validate your marketing claims with user reviews, so be sure to make the most of your profiles, like your TrustRadius product page, to educate technology buyers about your product early in their buying journey.
59% of technology buyers said user reviews were among the most impactful resources they consulted before a technology purchase.*
*B2B Buying Disconnect: The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer, TrustRadius, 2022
Share your customer narratives across all your marketing channels, whenever and wherever you get the chance. That way, by the time buyers eventually visit your website, the influence of educational materials, customer stories, transparent pricing, and the ability to test-drive the product without engaging with a sales rep. This will shorten the sales cycle and make the sales role more consultative in nature rather than them being gatekeepers to product information buyers want up front.
Focus on brand differentiation
Technology marketers will continue to shift investment and attention to third-party forums and social platforms to ensure their messaging is part of early- and late-stage research among buyers. Putting your differentiated brand narrative consistently in front of as many eyes as possible is critical.
The shift makes sense given millennial and Gen Z buyers do their own research before visiting vendor websites or contacting vendor sales reps. Review platforms like TrustRadius, message boards, and analyst reports are having a greater impact on the buyer’s journey than ever before.
Across all sites and with every marketing asset, tell buyers a straightforward story about how your product can support their use case(s) and support that with social proof. How your customers talk about your brand is the only true differentiator. It’s the only thing your competitors can’t replicate. Use your customer voice to message your product’s value proposition everywhere consistently.
41% of Gen Z and 29% of Millennials named “check review sites” as their first step in the buying journey.*
*B2B Buying Disconnect: The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer, TrustRadius, 2022
It’s important to keep tabs on what’s being said on third-party forums to make sure it aligns with your brand narrative. Not only do you need to watch for inconsistencies, but you can also learn a lot from user feedback about your product.
Invest in buyer intelligence
The more buyers research, the more intent data becomes available for your team to tap into. B2B buyer intent data is a set of behavioral data points that indicate someone may be interested in buying your product. Websites collect intent signals from users—including keyword searches, the pages they visit, the links they click, and the resources they download—then gather and analyze that data to increase account intelligence.
Intent data is not just a tool for ABM and demand gen marketers. It can be used across the entire customer journey, helping to capture buyer activity and understand customer behavior, including:
- Are buyers researching you or your competitors?
- Are your customers churn risks?
- Are they researching more of your products?
When asked about the most effective uses of intent data, marketers in our 2022 survey told us they were using intent data for:
- Sales/business development prospecting (62.50%)
- Targeting high-intent accounts in advertising (50%)
- Identifying new in-market accounts (34.82%)
72% of technology marketers reported using intent data.*
*TrustRadius 2022 Marketers Survey
If you’re not using intent data, you can bet your competitors are and they are learning to leverage that tool more effectively every day. Winning GTM strategies will incorporate intent data at every stage of the buying and customer journey. You will know where buyers are in their journey and know when to reach out at the right time with the right context. The time and technology investment into this critical data will increase your ROI and improve your bottom line.
What’s in for winning GTM strategies in 2023:
- Enable the self-service buying experience by providing up-front and easy-to-find product information, including pricing, specs, demos, and free trials
- Differentiate through third-party forums or channels and the customer voice
- Use intent data at every stage of the buying and customer journey to know when and how to engage your target audience
- Constantly adapt to buyer preferences to improve your go-to-market strategy and outcomes
Overall, 65% of today’s workforce are millennials and Gen Z and nearly 100% of technology buyers want to self-serve most, if not all, of their buying journey. These stats are correlated because this audience was raised in the digital age—they are skeptical of marketing and sales.
Instead of dealing with a sales rep, they want to learn from their peers and only engage with a vendor when they are ready to make a purchase. To optimize their efforts and ensure buyers short-list their products, marketers must invest in third-party validation and the customer voice to differentiate, use intent data to know more about their buyers, and ultimately help buyers make confident purchase decisions. All of these efforts work together to help shorten the sales cycle and reduce waste, ultimately leading to business growth.
TrustRadius has made it easy for GTM teams hoping to start 2023 off with a bang. Download the full report to learn how you can tailor your GTM strategies to today’s buying preferences and close more deals faster.