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Lessons Learned from Go-to-Market Pioneers

Are you prepared to compete in the GenAI-powered, omnichannel future?

For senior leaders steering their teams through today's turbulent economy, a harrowing question looms: Are we doing everything required to master B2B sales excellence before Generative AI (GenAI) disrupts our strategies?

New research from McKinsey reveals sobering realities about the modern sales capabilities separating global organizations. GenAI breakthroughs have created profound changes to how B2B companies must engage buyers through hyper-personalized and intelligent customer experiences.

Make no mistake, this disruption demands thoughtful planning and bold actions to transform people, processes, and technologies.

McKinsey's latest global B2B Go-to-Market (GTM) survey provides valuable insights into the inevitable change. They reveal five key tactics outperforming companies are leveraging together for significant market share gains:

  1. Deploying Advanced Sales Technology Tools
  2. Delivering Hyper-Personalized Marketing
  3. Increasing Hybrid Sales Capabilities
  4. Optimizing Third-Party Marketplace Strategies
  5. Investing in Owned Online B2B Marketplaces

These five tactics are being embraced by Tech and Telecom GTM leaders more aggressively than in most other B2B sectors. For example, 75 percent of tech/telecom market share pioneers have adopted advanced sales tools compared to only 43 percent of laggards. Hyper-personalized marketing is utilized by 62 percent of pioneers versus just 31 percent of laggards.

The Emergence of Omnichannel Excellence

What separates the market leaders, however, is their recognition that mastering just one or two of these modern sales and marketing GTM approaches is no longer enough. Rather, sustainable competitive advantage requires pursuing omnichannel excellence across all five fronts simultaneously.

McKinsey survey data clearly demonstrates the powerful "multiplier effect" achieved when companies optimize their capabilities across this entire spectrum of advanced B2B GTM motions. Companies proficient at all five tactics are twice as likely to be growing market share by over 10 percent annually compared to those focused on just one area.

Other key findings point to omnichannel as the new imperative:

  • Two-thirds of B2B buyers are now prepared to spend over $500K in a single eCommerce transaction.
  • 70 percent of tech/telecom companies increased eCommerce budgets in the past year.
  • 73 percent believe their sales model is more effective at reaching customers compared to a year ago.
  • Market share winners are 3x more likely to have built their own online marketplace.

Overcoming Barriers to Omnichannel Success

While many Tech and Telecom companies are already adopting these modern selling practices, significant barriers remain. Customer confusion from channel conflicts, lack of IT development resources, inadequate pricing strategies, and talent gaps were cited as major obstacles to accelerating digital selling motions.

The Future Impact of Generative AI Tools

As formidable as these challenges may seem, a new generation of GenAI tools promises to be a powerful catalyst for achieving true omnichannel excellence at scale. While the full potential of Large Language Model (LLM) technologies is still being realized, they are already demonstrating remarkable capabilities across several key fronts:

Hyper-Personalized Engagement at Scale

By training LLMs on vast datasets of customer interactions, preferences, and behavioral patterns, GenAI can dynamically create highly personalized content and experiences for each unique buyer at any point in their journey. Digital ad copy, website experiences, sales emails, chat dialogues, and more can all be instantly tailored and optimized.

Intelligent Hybrid Selling Capabilities

GenAI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots can seamlessly transition between self-service and human-assisted selling motions. Conversations and context can be dynamically handed off between virtual and human agents. Sales reps are upskilled with real-time battle cards, next-best-action recommendations, and other augmented insights.

Advanced Marketplace Technologies

For vendors or service providers building their own digital marketplaces, GenAI can enhance merchandising with powerful recommendation engines, automated product tagging and descriptions, and modern search or navigation capabilities. GenAI can optimize marketplace economics through dynamic pricing, supply vs demand forecasting, and more.

Rapid Innovation and Experimentation

Perhaps the biggest opportunity for GenAI is streamlining innovation cycles. These tools can rapidly ideate new products, go-to-market strategies, and business models. New channels, campaigns, and sales plays can be launched and iterated at high speeds by leveraging the GenAI ability to generate text, images, code, and other digital content assets on-demand.

Overall, GenAI has the potential to accelerate companies' progress in mastering all five of the modern sales tactics that McKinsey identified as critical differentiators for market leaders.

The Time to Prepare is Now

While GenAI is still in its infancy, companies that move swiftly to explore its possibilities and build foundational artificial intelligence capabilities will be well-positioned to pull ahead of competitors. Those who delay will likely struggle to catch up with their industry pioneers.

Senior business leaders would be wise to make GenAI exploration, education, and initial use cases a top priority in the coming months. A strategic roadmap for infusing GenAI into sales, marketing, and customer success teams will be essential for remaining competitive as these technologies rapidly advance.

Now is the time to commence change management initiatives to:

  • Build organizational GenAI literacy through training programs.
  • Conduct audits to identify high-impact GenAI use cases.
  • Initiate proofs-of-concept with leading GenAI providers.
  • Attract and cultivate AI/ML talent and centralized COEs.
  • Define ethics, governance, and risk management frameworks.
  • Prioritize data readiness to fuel GenAI and LLM development.

While the GenAI adoption movement is still in its earliest stages, it's already clear that these tools will fundamentally reshape B2B buying and selling paradigms. Forward-thinking leaders must move expeditiously to understand GenAI's disruptive potential and build the skills and capabilities required to maintain competitive advantages in the Global Networked Economy.

For those ready to embark on this journey, seeking expert guidance and lessons learned insights will be critical first steps. GenAI is poised to transform B2B sales and marketing. Leaders postponing their transformation initiatives risk being disrupted by the innovators. Don't wait, act now.

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