Two B2B Leadership Challenges for 2022

BY Tim Londergan
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Surviving the last two business years has been a challenge, to say the least. Nevertheless, transforming your company to meet future encounters in this turbulent environment is where you must focus to grow and prosper. The coming year remains unpredictable on many levels. Still, you can be sure the problems that exist today are not going to magically disappear. You will need to meet growth expectations at the same time you deal with the other leadership challenges you face. That said, two common problems you share with nearly all your rivals are the competition for recruiting and retaining talent and wrestling with a hybrid workplace.

The leadership challenges of the "sansdemic"

Currently there is an obvious shortage in the labor force. A majority of U.S. businesses report a severe talent scarcity. The lack of workers is painfully apparent, especially in the service sector. B2B sales organizations avoided many of these disparaging results. For example, they did not have the mass layoffs that other industries experienced during the pandemic. Therefore, the pressure to call back workers or to rehire is not as severe. But B2B sales organizations are still encountering retention problems. In this hot market, talent is hired away or simply moving on for higher salaries. Team members may also be seeking a compatible culture or improved benefits. How can marketing and sales managers retain these increasingly valuable employees or compete in efforts to recruit new hires?

Time to rethink strategies

Knowing that the demographic drought will continue through the foreseeable future, sales managers must reevaluate some of their business strategies. First, employee retention and effective hiring practices must be revisited. Second, the leadership challenges of the hybrid workplace must be addressed. Developing agile and adaptable strategies is vital to success in 2022. With that in mind, Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade Thinkers Unite, offers several thought-​provoking comments as he explores the top 3 challenges for B2B CMOs.

Your brand can leverage hiring and retention

Neisser claims that B2B leaders can overcome the challenges of hiring and recruiting by cultivating their brand much as they would with a product launch. He begins his assertion by stating, “Purpose-​driven companies tend to have higher retention because people feel better about their workplace. Conversely, if there are issues with your brand, if you have reputational issues, it is easier for employees to leave your business.” It is self-​evident that people like to associate with winners. Brand matters when it comes to pride in a workplace and how others perceive it. For instance, when managers build a collaborative culture that empowers associates, they create a contagious vibe that attracts new hires and secures existing associates. Purpose-​driven companies seem to form an adhesive that binds people, product and service to the community that helps maintain a loyal workforce.

The leadership challenges of a hybrid world

It's time to carefully assess the true productivity of time in the office. Neisser conducts what he calls CMO huddles where he gains insight into a variety of business strategies. From his interviews, he reveals several important thoughts. 

  • Some employees now work longer hours and have increased their productivity simply because they have eliminated commute times.
  • Other companies have mandated days in the office only to receive pushback, trouble coordinating workgroups and a myriad of inconsistencies.
  • Where the office, at one time, was the source of culture, it may now be a point of contention. As a leader, you must successfully navigate this hybrid world and maintain a cohesive, productive team of professionals.
  • In addition to stressing that leaders be empathetic, Neisser reminds his readers that one rule still applies: “You’re the leader. Delegate. Only do the things that only YOU can do. What can only you do? Set the vision, lead by example, focus on a few big things.”

To learn more about hiring the right people in a "sansdemic," download SalesFuel’s whitepaper, Hire Smarter, Sell More.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels