Many B2B sales & marketing directors are sitting on gold
3 signs the sales or marketing director is probably sitting on gold:
- The unexploited CRM database potential: You have tons of contacts in your CRM system, but don’t know what they are up to. No tracking on how contacts are engaging with you digitally and no ability to act instantly when high interest is demonstrated.
- The unexploited lead potential: You have a high win-rate on on the leads that come in via your website contact forms, but miss out on the leads not ready to contact you directly yet. No early stage content for buyer self-education and no ability to capture leads in the early stages of their buying process.
- The unexploited content potential: You produce tons of great content, but are not “putting it to work” in a structured way, to drive consistent lead generation & sales. Great content ends up as lighthouses on isolated online islands, not leading the customers forward in their buying journey and not used by sellers as part of their sales process.
If you’re not yet using your customer database together with a marketing automation platform for tracking & automation, that’s gold.
If you’re not yet capturing all the leads in the early stages of their buying process before they contact your directly, that’s gold
If you are not yet connecting content into lead flows (Create, Capture, Convert) and using digital content as part of your sales process, that’s gold
Here’s how you extract it.
#1: Get more out of your customer database with tracking & tailored automation
67% of B2B marketing leaders now use a Marketing Automation Platform as their tech stack center piece, and with +30% annual growth, it’ll likely soon go towards 100.
Companies that use Marketing Automation to nurture prospects, report +451% increase in qualified leads and 20% increase in sales opportunities.
The low hanging fruit for large companies to find prospects, is in their existing customer database. People who are already buying or have bought in the past.
Expose your customers to relevant content (via e-mail, your website, SoMe channels etc.), use tracking to gauge how they are engaging with you digitally and apply automated workflows to engage back with prospects immediately when they are demonstrating interest and about what they are interested in.
If you don’t already have a Marketing Automation platform in place that can do this, that’s a big opportunity to dramatically boost your lead generation.
#2: Get more leads by also capturing & nurturing people not yet ready to reach out to you directly.
70%, that’s how far B2B buyers are on average before they reach out to you directly. But that doesn’t mean they are not buying and it doesn’t mean that they are not engaging with you digitally. You might just be unaware of it.
Many B2B companies still rely primarily on contact forms (or even just contact e-mails on) on the site, catching only those far enough in the buying process, ready to reach our directly.
At recent meeting with a marketing director he reported that 40% of people who filled out a contact us form on their website converted into sales within 3 months.
That’s of course great, but it is also an indication that they are missing out on capturing leads on all those people not yet ready to contact the company directly. Those that need nurturing.
Make sure you have content that gives the potential buyer value in the early stages of the buying process, allowing you to capture the lead in exchange for a valuable piece of content.
If you are not already capturing leads with content, as a compliment to your contact forms, that’s a big opportunity to boost lead generation. Your average lead-to-sales conversion rate might go down, but it will be more than compensated for by the number of new leads generated
#3: Get more leads & win more deals by structuring content into lead generation flows & use content as part of the sales process
Content marketing generates over 3x as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. Companies that use content as part of their lead generation & sales process strategy clearly outperform those that rely primarily on old advertisement & outbound methods.
Content is like putting out a bunch of fishing hooks that allows potential buyers to find you and engage with you. When they search on google, you have your hooks there. When they surf on Linkedin or your visit your website, you have your hooks there.
But a hook is no good if there isn’t a fishing rod at the other end to get give an indication of activity and slowly pull the fish in.
Many B2B companies produce great content as lighthouses on isolated island, where it doesn’t lead the potential buyer forward in their decision making process. Great content without a clear call-to-action.
On a similar note, 80% of the content produced lives only as marketing content, never used by the sales organisation. Great content, but never put to work by sales to win more deals.
If you are not already structuring your content production around content pillars, with “hooks” to engage with potential buyers at different stages of the buying process and connecting your content in buyer journeys with clear call-to-actions, that’s a big opportunity to boost lead generation & sales.
By Martin Nyvang Mariussen,
Co-founding partner, kvadrant