How to benefit from the roadmap?
This roadmap shows the basic implementation phases of digital solutions in business to business (B2B) sales and marketing. It consists of the most common categories of software solutions in sales and marketing activities and the average spread of solutions in companies.
The visualized roadmap helps you and your company to outline how sales and marketing processes and customer interaction have been digitalized, how could they still be digitalized, what is the current state and what is the probable future concerning to technological solutions in the sales and marketing markets.
How to read the roadmap?
The timeline of the roadmap indicates the market position and maturity of the most common software and technological solutions. The color indicates to which category a solution belongs to.
- The blue box indicates that solution has established its position in the companies. The most companies have purchased and implemented those solutions to their sales and marketing processes and its usage is “business as usual”.
- The green box indicates that solution has lately been implemented or companies are currently evaluating and considering to implement it. The consulting market is often dominating these emerging solution categories, as the executives need advices in coping with technological transforming.
- The yellow box indicates that solution is technologically invented but it is not implemented yet. Only few pilots or development projects occur.
- The red boxes indicate future solutions which are mentioned e.g. in the Gartner’s hype cycle or in the innovative digital research consortiums such as DIGILE. We are expecting that professionals, service providers and companies will adopt those emerging technologies to sales and marketing processes as well.
Picture 1. The roadmap for digital B2B sales and marketing.
How are cloud services boosting roll-outs?
The roadmap points it out that companies have quickly adopted the global Internet-solutions such as Google Analytics, Twitter, Linkedin and the most common marketing automation software like Marketo and HubSpot. Those solutions have thousands of implementations only few years after the founding of the companies. In Finland, where this research has taken place, the SaaS-companies like Zef Solution, Giosg and Koodiviidakko are also rapidly growing in this field. The adaptation of traditional CRM, HR or ERP systems took much longer than those aforementioned cloud-based software services. The cloud-based delivery and service-oriented pricing model have significantly lowered the barriers to pilot and implement new technological solutions.
The DIVA-research project on digital sales practices
This roadmap is based on the preliminary research findings from the DIVA-research project led by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. We interviewed partner companies, and based on those findings we created the current state of digitalization in sales and marketing functions. The companies represent early adopters and pragmatists, who are motivated to find out new digital services and solutions for improving their sales and marketing processes. According to the well-known technology adaptation model (G.A. Moore 1991), the new technology software market is just emerging when active buyers are early adopters and pragmatists who want to take personal risks for learning new possibilities. Unlike the conservative customers, they are developers who co-creatively invent new ways to adopt new cloud-based software solutions to their current business processes for gaining new professional knowledge and for improving their business practices.
The new technologies, mainly the cloud-based digital services and mobile applications, are significantly transforming the buying behavior of customers. These changes have major impacts on the sales and marketing processes and the work practices of sales representatives. Therefore, B2B sales and marketing is currently changing and the roles of sales and marketing are more and more overlapping. We are living in the digital market revolution where new tools and solutions are launched weekly, and the current solutions and systems are becoming smarter while customers are expecting more expertise from the B2B sales and marketing.
Test degree of digitalization!
If you like to test your company’s degree of digitalization in the B2B sales, see the indicator here.
Dr. Ari Alamäki