Return to Fundamentals in 2023
Welcome to 2023, where uncertainty seems to be the common theme. There’s a lot to navigate in this new year, but I think there’s one thing that we know for sure that’s going to be different, and that is a return to fundamentals from a prolonged period of a “growth-at-all-cost mindset.”
There’s a lot written about the return to fundamentals from an investing standpoint – Which stocks or which sectors in the public markets should you be buying? Which ones are going to do poorly? And that cascades down all the way through private equity and venture capital. There’s just an overall shift in appetite in terms of what companies want to invest in. But from a growth and sales and marketing perspective, what does a return to fundamentals mean? Well, it means a few things that I’d like to address today.
The return to fundamentals, in short, is about efficient growth, client retention and client growth from a sales and marketing perspective.
One of the things that should be primary for B2B companies here is ABM (account-based marketing). This is about owning your spending and focusing your efforts solely on the audience who is likely to be a good customer for you. This opens up some additional tactical options that audience-based marketing does not.
Number two, especially within marketing, is to make sure that the appropriate scale in regard to ad spend, in particular, is applied. And third, all the right things to aid the buyer and their buying process. Think about it this way (versus honing your sales process) – you’re here to advise the client and the marketplace through their buying process and you need to create assets and activities that support that endeavor.
So in short, efficient growth is doing the right things on the right scale with the buying process.
The number one thing you can work on here is service quality and making sure that everything is where you want it to be. Any time you want to roll out a new product to keep your clients, make sure that it’s focused on their needs versus what you feel like doing as a business. Most importantly, be flexible with your service offerings and budgets for existing clients. That flexibility is probably going to be at a premium in 2023.
My advice would be to be proactive and initiate the conversation that you’re willing to find a place that makes sense, or is a win-win with your clients who you think might be struggling.
This is always true at any time, but make sure you take the time to understand what your clients are facing. Think about how you can help, whether that’s in terms of rebuying, upselling, cross-selling or creating something all new altogether. Just make sure that it’s focused on your existing clients’ real needs and move from there.