How did B2B companies become sales companies? And why?

Nemanja Zivkovic
2 min readMay 10, 2023

B2B companies are sales companies. I told it multiple times and there’s no doubt about it. But how did we get there?

A lot of companies don’t have art in the hearts of their leaders aka don’t care enough about their products, and about their customers.

Steve Jobs said that we can see the example in IBM or Microsoft. They do their thing greatly, innovate, become a monopoly, or get close to it in a certain industry or niche, and that’s the moment when quality becomes less important.

Today it can happen even faster because of the internet. Even before they start winning because smaller companies see the structure in those bigger companies and try to replicate it. 🤦

When it happens, companies start to value great salesmen because of a single reason — they can increase their incomes, compared to engineers and designers.

So it ends with salesmen leading the company.

John Akers from IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesman, but he had no clue about the product.

The same thing happened to Xerox.

When salesmen lead the company, production people are no longer so important, and many of them simply switch off.

That happened to Apple when Sculley came (Steve’s fault), and it happened to Microsoft when Ballmer took over.

At the same time, those companies turn marketing into digital sales.

Marketing becomes a feature that prepares material for sales or gets you MQLs (there are Revenue teams now that can simply buy that information 🤷).

All because they have never seen good or even great marketing in action, and don’t see the connection between great product, great marketing, and great distribution.

Not to mention the silos between departments. CEO leads with a hands-off principle, deals only with strategy, and has no clue what the company actually does when it comes to marketing and product. What does the product look like?

Marketing is the only thing, besides product, that can get you millions in revenue, but you need to look at it as a product.

When you have a great product, marketing is there to show your unfair advantage and facilitate the buyer’s journey aka the sales. It is called the Go-To-Market strategy.

Everything is already written.
Mistakes have been made.
Processes have been optimized.
Success has been achieved.

But somehow we still make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

#marketing #sales #b2b #funkymarketing



Nemanja Zivkovic

I combine research and strategy with creatives to help B2B companies develop demand for the way buyers buy now |