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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Understanding the Spaghetti Bowl of Modern B2B Selling was founded on a single principle. Most emerging growth and founder led B2B firms don't have a playbook to effectively execute in the modern, digital first buying marketplace. B2B organizations face increased challenges in generating new revenue. Over the past few years, buyers have become better at buying than sellers have at selling. What changed? The dawn of the "digital first" buyer.

During the Covid shutdown, all consumers became digital first B2C buyers. Consumers learned to buy everything from household staples and weekly groceries to large purchases including DIY projects (deck replacement, or interior remodeling) all from their mobile and desktop devices. These consumers built new muscles for researching, reading reviews, engaging with online communities, and competitively shopping, all without talking to a salesperson.

When these newly empowered consumers were asked by their employers to lead purchasing initiatives, they applied the same skills of B2C digital first buying. The buyer, and their assigned buying teams, learned how to complete more of the buying jobs, all from their mobile and desktop devices. As a result, B2B buyers have learned the art of frictionless buying.

Don't believe it yet?

Korn Ferry’s 2021 Buyer Preference study reported 79% of buyers wait to connect with buyers until after they have fully identified their needs. 75% of buyers are open to engaging earlier, but only if the buyer is facing new, risky, or complex initiatives. The more complex the purchase, the more spaghetti paths are added into the Gartner provided visualization of complex buying journey. (see below)

The compounding issue is found in the shift of the buying team demographic, to a younger, digitally native employee. There has been a dramatic shift in buyers’ behavior, and most B2B sales organizations, because of older playbooks (and mindsets), they have an obsolete business development engine. For emerging growth companies looking to pivot from ELT influenced sales generation to revenue scaling, the need for modern, foundational blocks of revenue enablement is paramount. For these less mature firms, their ELT team often doesn’t know what they don’t know, and either build a team of sellers with mismatched skills and competencies to modern buying motions, or they prematurely hire a CRO/CSO in the hopes that rainmaking suddenly appears.

Today’s modern revenue playbook requires different competency and skill profiles for all market facing functions, clarity on the plays to be executed based on “above the sales funnel” buyer activity intelligence, mastering digital selling, and a more disciplined approach to coaching and development. B2B success is achieved through a research backed, robust people strategy, process design, and technology enablement.

At Lucrum Partners, our focus is enabling new revenue growth within early stage and founder led firms by assessing sales operations maturity and developing the necessary revenue enablement remediation plan that will be ultimately needed to support future CRO effectiveness. To illustrate, Gartner recently released a model reflecting a shift in the elevation of revenue operations within commercial GTM team structure to survive in the "digital first" buying environment.

The signals of potential revenue engine breakdowns include diminishing sales funnels, forecasted opportunities continuing to slip and slide, an increase in "no decision" pipeline deals, stalled deals, high discounting demands to close deals, and missed revenue forecasts.

Don't wait for your "check engine" light to illuminate on your ELT dashboard before contacting us at


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