Disconnection between business decision-makers and those tasked with delivering customer success

Disconnection between business decision-makers and those tasked with delivering customer success

New research from HubSpot’s Behind the scenes: A Marketing, Sale and Customer Success pulse check survey indicates a disconnection between business decision-makers and those tasked with delivering customer success in a revitalised post-pandemic UK market. 

More than half of the managers surveyed from marketing (53%), sales (55%) and customer experience (57%) professions report being sidelined during strategic discussions, yet are still expected to execute plans.

Conversely, in the study encompassing 900 cross-industry managers, almost three-quarters of these professionals have a solid understanding of their organisations’ goals across marketing (78%), sales (76%) and customer experience (68%) and over 70% of these professionals strongly believe their teams are pivotal to reaching the desired goals.

Artificial Intelligence: a double-edged sword

In the current business landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools have been widely adopted; over three-quarters of managers across marketing (80%), sales (79%) and customer experience (82%) have used AI in their roles in the past year. The majority of managers (88% in marketing, 87% in sales, 92% in customer experience) endorse its effectiveness, and its usage is projected to increase. Sales professionals anticipate the largest growth, with an almost 10% surge.

However, despite the enthusiasm for AI, there are significant reservations. While 59% of marketing managers feel the push from leadership for AI-enabled efficiency, half (50%) of them worry about AI potentially making parts of their roles obsolete. Similarly in sales, where, despite 85% planning to incorporate AI tools in the coming year, nearly half (49%) feel under-equipped. In customer experience, while 92% appreciate AI’s efficiency, concerns around accuracy (56%) and potential redundancy (53%) persist. 

Skills and training

More than half of managers in marketing (54%), sales (53%) and customer experience (61%) are seriously considering changing roles in pursuit of superior technology tools and training. In fact, the allure of enhanced learning and career growth opportunities, coupled with a healthier work/life balance, is tempting over 60% of managers – 60% in marketing and sales and 64% in customer experience – to explore alternative options. 

Budget crunch and performance focus shift

Budgetary limitations are a pressing issue across departments. Around half of all marketing (49%), sales (52%) and customer experience (52%) managers reported stagnant budgets, while a substantial number have endured budget cuts (25%, 27%, and 32% respectively). The financial crunch has instigated strategic recalibrations: sales managers are exploring cost-effective strategies like social selling (39%), customer experience managers are cutting down on staffing and training costs (41%) and marketing managers are amplifying focus on customer acquisition and creativity (40%).

Flavia Colombo, Country Manager, UK and Ireland at HubSpot said: “There’s a dichotomy at the very heart of our operations – our managers, who we entrust to implement important strategies in this age of Artificial Intelligence where the customer journey is more important than ever, feel alarmingly sidelined in critical decision-making. 

“The antidote to this discontent is surprisingly simple – inclusivity. Let’s pull these professionals into the boardroom, equip them with the skills and tools they need and listen to what they have to say.”

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