October 5, 2022
Cece Lee

Making the Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments - Part 1 of 4

In a recession, buyers are much more hesitant to purchase. Learn how to overcome some of the most common B2B buying objections.

Changing Landscape of B2B Buying Experiences

New and existing customers have different expectations for B2B purchases. According to McKinsey & Company, nearly 80% of B2B decision makers prefer digital buying interactions1. Yet, the old way of B2B selling - calls, in-person meetings, and handshakes - still continues. Finding ways to adjust and position your business to engage B2B buyers digitally is crucial not only to perform at a higher level but also to stay relevant in your target audience’s buying journeys. 

Still unconvinced? Consider these additional factors:

  • The B2B buying journey can have an average of 11 to as many as 20 buyers and stakeholders involved in the process2
  • A single buyer journey from research to competitive pricing went from 17 buying interactions to 27 during the pandemic!3
  • According to Gartner, sales reps today have just about 5% of a B2B buyer's time before they make a purchase4 

With more of the buying process occurring online, this requires creating buyer-centric experiences tailored to prospect’s expectations. Yet, transitioning your sales to go fully digital can be intimidating, especially for businesses accustomed to in-person sales. 

Those who made the transition found this to be an equally or more effective way of engaging with new and existing customers.5 In fact, buyers were 3 times more likely to purchase from organizations that provided information to buyers that made the process easier.6

Recession Trends Impacts Sales & Marketing Investments 

You’re ready to invest, but the headwinds are pointing to a likely recession with inflation on the rise, the housing market slowing, and layoffs increasing in certain sectors. In fact, the recent numbers indicate we’re “technically” in a recession with the second straight quarter of declines in economic output.7 C-level executives are taking note.

Buyers hesitate on new purchases. Expenditures are scrutinized. Budgets are cut, especially on sales and marketing technology investments. 

While technology investments may be seen as a luxury, this may be the best time to invest. 

McKinsey & Company found that leading companies maintained their position during the 2000-2002 recession and increased their sales, general and administrative costs by 6 percent compared to those that lagged.8 Moreover, according to the Journal of Marketing, research indicates that marketing nets an average of 3 percent savings on future expenses. That’s because “satisfied customers are more responsive to brand marketing and sales efforts, more open to future company offers, and more likely to share a positive word of mouth.”9

Roadblock: Getting Executive Buy In

Enable Us Stat Sales spends 30 hours a month on content
Source: American Marketing Association

In light of the changing B2B buying behavior and upcoming recession, investing in sales and marketing technology may be the competitive advantage your organization needs. You’ve done the research, compared available solutions, and negotiated the price. Only to have your manager or executive nix the purchase. 

That’s why we’re creating this series on “Making A Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments.” We will showcase two sales and buyer enablement technologies to support your efforts for the remainder of this year until next year’s budget cycle: 

  • Sales Content Management Software: With sales spending nearly 30 hours a month on finding or creating content according to the American Marketing Association, sales content management software provides immediate time savings for sales. For marketers, with 90% of marketing content remaining unused, increased content insights will ensure content is relevant, up-to-date, and on-brand.10 
  • Digital Sales Room Platform: According to Gartner, digital sales room technology is a critical part of the virtual selling tech stack.11 This makes sense when 70% of B2B of decision makers are willing to make remote or self-service purchases of $50,000 and more.12 The digital sales room provides the digital buying experiences that buyers desire, while providing in-depth data to accelerate sales.

Our final post will focus on tips and best practices for presenting a business case to your executive team. We look forward to hearing your questions and suggestions.

Download the Full Make the Winning Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments ebook

Make the Winning Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments

Resources in this blog:

  1.  McKinsey & Company, These Eight Charts Show How Covid 19 has Changed B2B Sales Forever, October 2020
  2.  Gartner, 2019 Gartner Buyer Survey, 2019 
  3.  Forrester, Three Seismic Shifts in Buying Behavior from Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study, April 14, 2021
  4. Gartner, B2B Buying Journey, 2019 
  5.  McKinsey & Company, These Eight Charts Show How Covid 19 has Changed B2B Sales Forever, October 2020
  6.  Gartner, B2B Buying Journey, 2019 
  7.  Associated Press, US economy shrinks for a 2nd quarter, raising recession fear, July 28, 2022
  8.  McKinsey & Company, High Tech: Finding opportunity in the downturn, March 1, 2009
  9.  Harvard Business Review, Making the Business CAse for Your Marketing Budget, November 12, 2021
  10.  G2 Blog, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind, January 11, 2021
  11.  Gartner, Three Principles To Design A Tech Stack Sellers Actually Want To Use, June 3, 2022
  12. McKinsey & Company, These eight charts show how COVID-19 has changed B2B sales forever, October 14, 2020