You Need to Blow Up Your Approach to B2B Marketing

Guest: Brent Adamson Principal Executive Advisor, Gartner

Brent Adamson has a bone to pick with marketers: the way many of them define their industry is miles off the mark. In fact, Brent may want to abandon the term ‘marketing’ altogether, because too often the notion of separate marketing and sales departments breeds a lack of coordination. If your marketing and sales teams are not in perfect lockstep, you can count on your business suffering. If you disagree, maybe he can sway you in part 2 of his interview.

In today’s conclusion to the interview, Brent and Drew get at to the heart of how a marketing team needs to operate to be successful, and it involves a lot more than handing leads off to sales like a relay-race baton. Brent will talk the listener through seven tools that can help make speed up the process of connecting a customer with a product. Then, Drew and Brent talk through the buyer enablement journey, and why breaking down walls between sales and marketing will enable the teams make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy. In the end, that’s goal number one.

This episode is chock full of wisdom to help you shed some outdated notions of marketing and sales, click here to listen!

What You’ll Learn

Marketing and sales collaboration is the wave of the future – here’s why

Brent wants every marketer to understand that the role of every B2B business is to make buying easier for the customer. This is achieved through a high level of marketing and sales collaboration. Gone are the days where marketers can simply hand off a prospect to the sales department and hope for the best. If a company knits together the two departments, they will have a competitive advantage over every other business in the industry.

Where do buyers look for information validation?

During the purchase journey, a buyer is always seeking for validation on the information they receive. After speaking with a sales representative, there are 3 main places where they will look for validation:

  1. The company’s website
  2. SEO organic searches
  3. A third-party analyst/thought leader

That’s why it’s so important for companies to be unified in the way they deliver information and lay out why their solution is the best available. If a buyer receives mixed information, they’re less like to choose your solution.

The 7 main tools that enhance buyer enablement

A B2B company with linked marketing and sales departments can work together to create tools that help a customer make easier buying decisions. There are 7 main categories of tools that can be explored.

  1. Calculators
  2. Simulators
  3. Recommenders
  4. Benchmarks
  5. Connectors
  6. Advisors
  7. Diagnostics

These tools ultimately allow the customer to choose the best solution to their problem. Brent explains that there is a “huge commercial benefit” to providing tools that make a customer’s life easier, and companies can see increased loyalty from customers after they use these tools.


  • [1:40] Marketing has a new role – make it easier for the customer to buy
  • [4:24] Buyer enablement takes the form of these 7 tools
  • [10:14] You can’t fit these ideas into legacy structures for companies and brands
  • [14:20] This is the #1 place customers look for information validation
  • [23:34] Why you should be excited about the upcoming Gartner conference

Connect With Brent:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Meet the Guest

Brent Adamson, co-author of The Challenger Sale, is Principal Executive Advisor for the Sales and Marketing Practice at Gartner (formerly CEB). In that role, he serves as their chief storyteller, having worked on numerous sales and marketing studies broadly spanning everything from customer loyalty to sales rep performance to organizational productivity. Brent is a frequent contributor on sales topics on Harvard Business Review’s blog and CEB’s blogs as well as being published in Bloomberg Businessweek and Selling Power. He is a sought-after speaker and facilitator, with more than 20 years of experience as a professional researcher, teacher, and trainer.

Quotes from Brent Adamson

  • The role of commercial organizations is to make it easier to buy.
  • Make buyer enablement a tool for your sales reps and put it into the channels where your customers are most likely to seek it.
  • The biggest opportunity in B2B marketing isn't about your company at all, it's about the customers' companies and making buying easier.

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