Demandbase Releases 2022 C-Suite Go-To-Market (GTM) Benchmark Survey

Findings Reveal B2B Leaders that Succeed are Modernizing Their GTM and Exploring Progressive Approaches to Data, Technology, and Growth

Demandbase, the Smarter GTM company for B2B brands, announced the results of its 2022 C-Suite Go-To-Market (GTM) Benchmark Survey in partnership with Demand Gen Report. The survey queried more than 200 high-level B2B leaders across marketing and sales in order to gain a clearer picture of ongoing industry evolution and the GTM approaches that separate the leading versus lagging companies. Demandbase discovered important insights about which strategies are driving growth, the continued challenge of sales and marketing alignment, the evolving definition of GTM to encompass the entire customer journey, the impact of account intelligence and technology, and more.

“This year’s GTM Benchmark Survey told us a lot about sales and marketing leaders’ changing priorities and attitudes,” says Jon Miller, chief marketing officer at Demandbase. “Most importantly, it revealed that the true B2B leaders are modernizing their approach to GTM and becoming more progressive in how they leverage data, align their internal teams, and use technology, leading to greater success.”

Key findings from the report include:

Internal Alignment to Drive Growth

  • Respondents reported a variety of investments they plan to make in order to drive growth, with 61% citing sales and marketing alignment as their top priority.
  • Alignment between the two departments has historically been a major challenge in B2B, and the survey found that measuring different metrics (33%) was the most common cause, next to poor handoffs (28%) and lack of communication (26%).
  • While 41% of SDRs report to sales and 22% report to marketing, 26% actually follow a hybrid model in which sales handles outbound efforts and marketing handles inbound.

“To help organizations bridge the gap between sales and marketing, they need to start by sharing the same metrics,” says Allison Metcalfe, Demandbase’s chief revenue officer. “I like to think of this in terms of a Venn Diagram; one circle is sales KPIs and the other marketing KPIs. If the metrics don’t overlap in the middle, misalignment will continue to challenge organizations. To help build stronger internal alignment, it’s important revenue teams can agree on what is in that Venn diagram overlap and identify how to best work together to drive success there.”

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Key Metrics

Based on the survey results, organizations are starting to pay attention to the unreliability and inaccuracy of first and last-touch attribution, with 54% shifting in favor of multi-touch for tracking marketing influence on pipeline.

  • The most common response for measurement is marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) at 18%, followed by total pipeline at (16%), marketing-sourced pipeline (13%), total bookings/revenue (13%); and marketing-qualified accounts (MQAs) (13%).

Smarter, Modernized Practices

  • When asked how organizations are using account intelligence, including intent data and technographics, in their GTM strategy, the survey uncovered that 59% use it for account prioritization, 55% rely on it for competitive intelligence, 49% use it for personalized messaging and outreach, 39% use it to inform account selection, and 26% turn to account intelligence to time their engagements.
  • Although both leaders and laggards had similar responses around types of data they use (account history, contact data, and marketing campaign activity), the leaders focused more on social insights (34%), technographics (27%), news (27%), and account hierarchies (26%), while laggards relied more on first-party data sources (such as website activity), which only show a part of the puzzle.
  • The research also found that 47% of survey respondents are using “more” or “many more” intent data providers compared to the year before.
  • B2B companies continue to struggle with data decay and other data challenges, citing missing/incomplete information (59%), data quality (56%), siloed data sources (40%), and difficulty turning data into action (32%) as ongoing issues.

Room for Improvement

  • Organizations’ use of intent data is promising, as mentioned above, but there is still ample opportunity to capitalize on this even more. For example, more B2B companies could use intent data to help with timing their engagement, enabling them to be first to the party, and improving deal velocity.
  • The survey revealed that companies are increasing their reliance on data and insights to improve their marketing and sales strategies, which is a positive trend. However, they would be better off using it first to choose the right accounts — the starting point for a successful account-based strategy. A mere 21% focused on firmographics, which are key to identifying the best-fit accounts.
  • The industry as a whole is trending toward supporting a self-service buyer’s journey, and respondents indicated they’re evolving their GTM accordingly. Such efforts, like product tours (in-app walk-throughs/tutorials) (46%), interactive demos (45%), online calculators for ROI, quota, etc. (43%), and demo videos (39%), are important now and will be even more so in the future.

As the industry continues to evolve and new processes, technologies, and strategies enter the fold, B2B leaders will quickly be separated from the laggards. Those companies that expect to drive efficiency and growth will need a firm understanding of modern GTM, and how to support it with internal alignment, data, tech, and progressive practices.

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