Our job starts with identifying and understanding the key business problems our clients face. Every company is different, but common problems include the following.
According to marketing software leader Hubspot, “61 percent of global Internet users research products online.” And according to Google, “Business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete.” So what does that mean about generating awareness for your business? People are ignoring the plethora of invasive marketing and sales messages in their daily lives and are instead seeking information on their own. The responsibility therefore falls on your shoulders to assure that they find your products and services when they seek them online. Learn more about attracting your audience through website traffic generation.
Many, if not most, B2B buyers lack sufficient knowledge on what they’re buying. But you’re an expert on what you sell. The resulting scenario is the perfect opportunity for prospect education. Years of experience among the salesmen, project managers and execs within your company provide more than ample opportunity not only to convince your prospects to buy, but to help them through that purchasing process. You can produce sales and build a trusting, loyal customer base by providing education on your products, services and the benefits they deliver. Be the ultimate resource. Learn more about prospect education through B2B content marketing.
Lack of qualified leads
So many B2B companies limit their lead generation programs to trade shows, event attendance like golf outings and networking events, cold calls and more trade shows. Time for a wake up call. Salesman can only be in one place at a time. Personal relationships matter — absolutely. This is especially true in the B2B world. But consider this: not every personal relationship has to BEGIN in person. Your company website has the powerful ability to start conversations with prospects while you’re talking to others in-person or over the phone. Just as you’d grab a business card following a fresh trade show encounter with a quality prospect, your website must be equipped to collect names, email addresses and phone numbers from its visitors before they go away and disappear forever. Learn more about qualified B2B lead generation.
Time wasted on wrong leads
The information you’ll find on a typical business card is enough to make a sales call possible. But what if you also knew what product or service pages on your website a lead has visited and how many times that person has returned to those particular pages? What if you knew how engaged he’s been with your marketing emails? Even better, what if that person has already indicated the business problems he faces on a regular basis that your company specializes in solving? Today, the smartest B2B marketers arm themselves with lead intelligence collected through their websites. And they use this information to segment their leads not only by industry or demographics, but also by stage in the buying process and likelihood to close as a customer. The result? Better-prepped salesmen and more successful sales calls. Learn more about lead intelligence mining and audience segmentation.
Sales team short on time
As lead volume grows (and believe us, it will as you implement your inbound marketing strategy), your available time for each individual prospect shrinks. In addition to prioritizing leads based on gathered intelligence, marketing automation software can carry some of the load for your sales team. While your salesmen heat up the warm leads, automated email campaigns warm up the cool ones. Learn more about email lead nurturing and B2B marketing automation.
Sales cycle too long
Prospects don’t crave recurring sales pitches from the same salesmen. But they do crave fresh resources that help them overcome challenges and do their jobs better. So instead of repeatedly trying to sell your audience what they’re not yet ready to buy, stay top-of-mind by helping address their business challenges. According to Demand Gen Report, “Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.” Email is your venue for nurturing leads with consistent, automated touch points based upon who they are and what needs they have. Rather than pushing sales messages, promote your resourceful content to drive leads back to your website. While your sales team is selling, these automated campaigns operate in the background. Learn more about automated lead nurturing.
Cost per lead too high
Many B2B companies will sink $15,000 into a trade show one month and $5000 into a print ad the next without blinking. Traditional marketing channels certainly have their place in the mix – they target a niche audience after all. But our experience has shown that the cost per each lead acquired through traditional channels can be two to three times as high as those acquired through an online, inbound marketing initiative. Learn more about inbound marketing.
Can’t measure results
Ad impressions and Twitter Followers don’t count as results in our book. But business growth does. Measure awareness through improved search engine rankings for important keywords and growth in website traffic. Measure lead generation through new contacts generated by your website, where they originated and what content engaged them. Measure customer acquisition through responses to lead-nurturing campaigns that helped convert leads into paying customers. Learn more about measuring marketing success.