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Forrester Predicts: Top 10% of CMOs Will Increase Focus on Customer Value

5 min read
Updated Aug. 3, 2021
Published Dec. 18, 2019

This is part two of a three-part series on what Forrester Predictions 2020 means for sellers in the upcoming year. 

Part 1: Forrester Predicts: Seller Engagement to Increase by 10% in 2020

Part 3: Forrester Predicts: Privacy Regulations Necessitate Targeted, Authentic Connection With Customers

In 1953, Baskin Robbins launched its famous “31 flavors” campaign. One ice cream flavor for each day of the month.

What seemed excessive back then pales in comparison with today’s climate of endless choice. And Baskin Robbins now offers over 1,000 ice cream flavors globally.

Think about how many options confront you when purchasing anything. From Doritos to dish soap to data security software, you’re inundated with, even assaulted by options.

It’s no wonder that modern brands are drowning in a sea of digital sameness, struggling to differentiate from competitors.

Adding to that tension, the CMO role is under increasing scrutiny. Recently, some of the world’s biggest brands–McDonald’s, Uber, and Hyatt Hotels, to name a few–have eliminated the position altogether.

Perhaps that’s why Forrester predicts that, in 2020, “The top 10% of CMOs will broaden their role in the name of customer value.”

CMOs agree: ownership of customer value is increasing

With markets at saturation, it’s no surprise that so many brands are treading water. Given this trend, CMOs must upskill and find new ways to provide value.

The Demand Gen Report recently talked about this tricky CMO balancing act:

“B2B CMOs are shifting focus to expanded revenue responsibilities, which means they are increasingly being asked to own their numbers with heightened involvement in the customer experience and communication across the organization with strong teams. This requires today’s CMO to transform into a leader that focuses on brand storytelling, strong talent retention and team building, revenue- and customer-focused, as well as maximizing the efficiency of their tech stack.” – Amanda Hollenbeck, Demand Gen Report

Many marketing leaders are nodding their heads right now. Furiously. Three who were interviewed for the Demand Gen Report piece had this to say:

“The role has broadened, considerably. It used to be the title given to the top marketer. Now it’s a blend of marketing, customer success, sales — with a bit of CEO-whisperer thrown in for good measure. It’s still about helping generate revenue, but now it’s also about how that revenue is generated.”

  • Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at Pendo

“Today’s CMOs need to be masters of understanding customer insights and putting them to use. Modern CMOs need to be great storytellers, creating emotional connections to the brand across multiple personas, industries, buying stages and channels — all simultaneously.” 

  • Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense

“Now, as marketing has taken on more of a broader role — everything from customer experience or customer success rolled into marketing and sometimes sales development can be rolled into marketing — marketing is now supporting sales in new ways.”

  • Derek Slayton, CMO of Terminus

How CMOs can deliver customer value

CMOs now owning the customer journey are seeking new ways to keep customers engaged and deliver a stellar experience. 

Additionally, TOPO says that at least 25% of SDR teams now report to marketing.

Sales engagement solutions help SDRs prospect better and deliver that stellar buyer experience. These platforms:

  • Automatically route leads, assign them to a rep, and add them into recommended communication workflows.
  • Work within your organization’s preferred email tool, CRM, or browser.
  • Tracks seller activity and prospect engagement and automatically sync to your systems, reducing admin time and improving focus.

But even if you aren’t managing SDRs yet, as a marketing leader, you want to know that sales will execute your joint account-based strategies well. This is, after all, the foundation for delivering customer value.

Sales engagement software helps organizations run an account-based everything strategy. Specifically, marketing teams can use these platforms to streamline sales followup in ABM prospecting campaigns, while closely collaborating with sales on prospect communication.

Provide customers with unified messaging (and preserve your brand!)

Regardless of who they’re talking to, buyers want to feel like they’re dealing with the same company. 

So, to drive excellent customer experience, marketing, sales, and customer success teams must deliver consistency with each interaction. Everyone must be relevant, helpful, and aligned on the message.

Sales engagement helps provide this consistency by unifying messaging across departments.

For instance, reps can employ communication cadences and templates. You can work with them to pre-define the messaging for those assets and do it all at scale.

In this way, sales engagement software also helps preserve your brand.

Receive deep insights on customer behavior through analytics

An account-based everything strategy requires a deep understanding of personas. So, even after you’ve handed off leads to sales, it’s helpful to keep a pulse on which tactics are resonating. 

Sales engagement platforms support this effort in a number of ways:

  • Sales call recording and transcription helps you understand what conversation points resonate with buyers. 
  • Platform analytics offer insight on which email templates are working, all the way from sales to customer success.
  • These platforms also identify the best channel, email times, and call times based on your distinct personas.

Applying this knowledge to your own marketing strategy helps you better serve future buyers.

Retain more customers

Remember how important consistency is to customer experience? 

Much like sales, customer success managers can use cadences and multi-touch approaches to scale and structure communication, streamlining efforts. This helps them more effectively nurture long-term relationships. 

And that’s what makes sales engagement invaluable in creating a better customer experience.

According to The Total Economic Impact™ Of Salesloft, a February 2019 study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Salesloft, companies have seen a 13% improvement in customer renewal rates with sales engagement.

Ready for a real-life success story? See how Uberflip aligned sales and marketing, launched an award-winning ABM campaign and generated more than 3000% ROI on pipeline value and a 450% return on closed revenue.

Curious to learn what Sales Engagement software has to offer? Check out our eBook, the Sales Engagement Buyer’s Guide.