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Forrester B2B Summit: Driving Growth through Alignment, Customer Obsession, and Generative AI

May 16, 2024
2 min read

The Forrester B2B Summit brought together marketing, sales, and product leaders to discuss the latest trends and strategies in the B2B landscape. With a focus on aligning Sales and Marketing, nurturing customer obsession, and harnessing the power of Generative AI (GenAI), the event unveiled valuable insights that can drive business growth. Read on to learn how these areas are shaping the future of B2B.

Accelerating ABM, Buying Groups, and MQLs

One big takeaway from the summit was the power of aligning Sales and Marketing efforts. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is of course a key strategy requiring closer collaboration between these two departments. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, ABM focuses on engaging and nurturing specific buying groups within target accounts. This approach demands a shift in responsibilities, with Marketing taking charge of engagement rather than relying solely on sales development representatives (SDRs). By gaming the ABM process and prioritizing outreach for salespeople, B2B organizations can ensure higher success rates. At Xactly, we utilize a gamification technique we’ve termed “Powerbait” (where SDRs and Account Executives achieve more incentive based on fishing in the ponds we’ve determined to be the most fruitful through algorithmic account scoring) to ensure Sales and Marketing are marching together.

Customer Obsession: Avoiding Risk and Building Trust

Customer obsession is becoming the obsession of the B2B space. Instilling competence, consistency, and dependability are vital factors in avoiding risks and building strong customer relationships. It became evident that customer obsession should not be limited to marketing messaging alone, rather it should encompass the entire sales process. By focusing on brand attributes that foster trust, B2B organizations can leverage stability and innovation as key selling points. Building a strong case backed by evidence and investing in thought leadership that showcases innovation will further enhance the customer's perception of a company's value proposition.

The B2B Balancing Act: GenAI vs. The Human Touch

GenAI was a huge theme at the conference and was woven throughout almost every breakout session. And while the potential of GenAI to revolutionize B2B processes was discussed, it became clear that maintaining human relationships remains crucial. People buy from people after all, and put their trust in human connections — whether it be coworkers, vendors, partners, or peers. This was evident with the human interactions that took place during the summit’s Women's Breakfast. So while AI can increase efficiency and enhance decision-making, fostering and nurturing authentic relationships will continue to be a vital aspect of B2B success.

The Forrester B2B Summit shed light on the critical areas that can greatly impact B2B growth. Ensuring alignment between Sales and Marketing, becoming (if you’re not already) customer-obsessed, and balancing AI's efficiency with authentic human relationships – all of these takeaways provide a roadmap for success in the ever-evolving B2B landscape. 

Jen McAdams, Chief Marketing Officer at Xactly
Jennifer McAdams
Chief Marketing Officer

Jennifer McAdams is an accomplished leader with the ability to work across organizations to design and deliver measurable marketing campaigns. Jennifer has a strong record of driving integrated programs to support sales growth and business objectives. She also has a proven ability to oversee all elements of marketing strategy and execution.