Do what matters – The power of collaborative sales and marketing
- Posted on November 7, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Avanade recently hosted our second annual Global Sales Kick-Off. The theme this year was Momentum, underscoring the idea that not only are we a body in motion, but that we are picking up both speed and mass as we go. We accomplished so much in the last year – record growth, welcomed 10,000 new members to the Avanade family (including 130+ new sellers), received countless industry and employer awards – but it’s not in the nature of Avanade to rest on our laurels. We’re always asking, “What’s next?”
As the winner of Microsoft’s Global SI Partner of the Year Award, along with Accenture, for an unrivaled 17 times, we like to think we are the clear market leader for Microsoft Services. But the market is complex and dynamic with new competitors emerging every day, so we have to arm our sellers with the resources and support needed to compete and win in that environment.
One example of this support? We know that our buyers and their journeys have evolved – and to win over the buyer of the future, we have to grow the sellers of the future. We launched our Seller of the Future program last year to build the skills and career paths needed. The program focused on “hard” skills like the basics of origination, business development, qualification discipline, competitor intelligence, win strategies, close plans, being data driven and digitally savvy, and the critical “soft” skills like trust, empathy, agility and the ability work seamlessly in hybrid environments. These skills are critical for the digital seller of the future and for our ongoing sales success at Avanade.
The pandemic accelerated the market where the buyer journey is more digital than ever. As Gartner and others have highlighted, it is no longer about “selling” to clients, we have to help clients “decide and buy.” Before the pandemic, Gartner reported that by 2025, 80% of business-to-business (B2B) sales would be conducted digitally. Further research from Gartner during the pandemic revealed that buying decisions were made to enable remote working and meet digital customers’ needs. Now, decisions are being made with the backdrop of a shrinking economy – potentially less money to spend on technology, coupled with the need to reduce the cost of goods and services, and compensate for a shrinking labor pool. In this post-pandemic era, sellers have to shift to a more advisory role, helping buyers prioritize immediate needs, as well as navigate the changing decision-making landscape. At the seller’s company, Sales and Marketing need to work more closely together than ever to meet the new buyer expectations – yet another example of arming sellers with the resources they need to succeed, so clients are “listened to” rather than “sold to.”
At Avanade, we understand that to sustain our momentum, Marketing and Sales have to be in lockstep. We just launched a refreshed brand that boldly spells out who we are and what makes us special. The campaign tagline – “Do what matters” – shows how we can help clients cut through the noise to really prioritize what’s important. And by aligning all of Avanade’s positioning behind this messaging, we will show up with more confidence and clarity in the market.
How does this help our sellers? Brand recognition is powerful in sales; it opens doors and creates trust. In the most basic areas of life – grocery shopping, buying shoes, or booking a flight – how often are you drawn to the brand you know? For Avanade, our brand provides reassurance to our clients about the quality of our service, about the client experience and in the value their business will receive. We developed our new positioning through close collaboration with Marketing and Sales. We keep the dialogue going between these two functions, because ultimately, we are speaking to the same audience: clients. Insights from Sales can help Marketing, and vice versa.
As Avanade’s brand strengthens in the market, “Do what matters” gives us a narrative that our team can integrate into the buyer journey and adapts to the changing macro-economic environment. A tight partnership between Sales and Marketing ensures that we are staying ahead of the market, are aligned with our clients, and sustaining our market leader status – all of which leaves us in a better position to help clients do what matters.