It’s the beginning of the year – quotas have been established. Sales teams are working diligently to fill their pipeline. Lots of prospecting, emails and phone calls are in motion. Not many calls/emails are getting returned yet. However, it is getting more difficult to get a response. Most of the time – lots of activity takes place, but very few potential buyers respond.
Each week there is a pipeline review – the pipeline is growing, but given the current conversion rate, the pipeline should be 2 – 3x what it is. There are two new salespeople starting, but not until March. Their efforts won’t likely even make an impact this year. How can you make the year successful?
Change the Focus/Change the Mindset
The B2B buying process is changing. Sales people no longer control the flow of information to the potential buyers – the buyer does. When buyers have a pain point or a goal to achieve, they go online to get educated. Because of this, buyers are 50% or more of their way through the buying process before they are open to speaking with a salesperson and for some products – like software – they typically don’t even want to interact with a salesperson at all.
In this new world, companies that are integrating marketing and sales efforts are winning, as they are leading buyers through the sales process by educating them and building a relationship with them throughout.
Many B2B companies have tried “digital marketing” and didn’t find the efforts successful or it was too complicated. Some didn’t even know if the efforts were successful because they weren’t sure how to measure them. And in many cases, marketing “tried” digital, but did it on their own. They didn’t integrate the effort with sales and have a strategy that had the goal of customer acquisition. Why? It’s hard because it involves a mindset shift of roles, perspectives, behaviors and attitudes. The challenge for many B2B company’s sales and marketing have different perspectives and drivers.
By aligning efforts, not only can the company build a robust customer acquisition program, but marketing can have a “real time” perspective of the customer and the market and sales can have a 24/7 lead generation engine, making both teams more successful.
When marketing and sales teams unite around driving revenue, they dramatically improve marketing ROI, sales productivity, and most importantly, top-line growth. Then the days of filling the pipeline aren’t solely dependent on whether or not the next hire you have in sales is a rainmaker or not. The inbound digital efforts benefit both sales and marketing and create an amplification effect for long-term company success.
Want to understand the B2B buying process? Download our Infographic now.
Nancy Koors is a co-founder of Growing B2B. GrowingB2B helps businesses build a marketing-led lead generation effort to enable sustainable growth. To make sense of the complexity of the customer acquisition process, tools and identify how to better align your marketing and sales efforts, join GrowingB2B at the Customer Acquisition Accelerator Bootcamp. If you’re interested in attending the next Bootcamp, contact Nancy here, for information.