Over the last decade, B2B marketing has evolved at a rapid pace. This is due, in a large part, to technological advances that give marketers the opportunity for insight previously only dreamed possible. It is also due to faster and more efficient means of communication via tools such as CRM and marketing automation that streamline reporting, analytics, and lead scoring. All these make content-rich websites, inbound lead gen, and strategic email marketing de rigeur for organizations looking to grow.
With all that, however, there are many who still struggle with the “why” and the “how” behind using digital marketing to generate leads and assist the sales team in pulling prospects further through the sales funnel. Many organizations either don’t have the bandwidth to really create, execute, and evaluate consistent, effective lead generation efforts; they don’t have the discipline to add an outbound calling effort to their strategy, or both.
That point was illuminated in a recent article 5 Things You Need to Convert B2B Prospects Now by Louis Foong: “Despite so much being written and said and discussed about content marketing, why is it that there is still so much of ’blatantly promotional’, ‘overly technical’, ’non-substantive’ and (to add to buyers’ angst) gated content? Most companies do not have the resources, skills and the time to do this the right way.”
There is also, he says, a knowledge disconnect. Many companies do not know what it is that their prospects and customers are really looking for.
“Because they do not know their customers and prospects well enough to anticipate their reactions accurately,” Foong writes, “marketers are scared to put out fresh perspectives and thoughtful leadership pieces.”
From our perspective at NuGrowth, getting to know your customer and prospects is crucial to both the marketing and the sales processes. The primary pitfall for most companies we’ve spoken with lies in the “how” not the “what.” There are many who think that digital marketing is the only way to get a finger on the pulse of the market. For all of its benefits, it still has limitations.
There are others who think the best way to get to know the market is to hire a sales rep and hand him/her a phone book. That doesn’t work either.
As we wrote in Today’s New Selling Environment Does Include the Telephone, “The most successful lead generation and business development organizations are those that intertwine the old with the new, establishing and working a territory plan that blends introductory calling with 21st century tools like CRM and marketing automation to build and nurture relationships with prospects.”
Once your team’s business development/sales professionals start holding repeated conversations in the marketplace, building relationships and methodically documenting everything you they’ve learned in a CRM system, your marketers can begin to use that information to develop and execute compelling content and effective lead generation campaigns.
We liked the marketing strategy suggestions offered in Foong’s article, and thought we’d pass them on:
1. Get Over the Fear of Innovation!
2. Know That It’s Not About YOU at All
Foong stresses that all of the brand positioning documents you create are worthless unless you segment your customers, identify their pain points, and offer them the solutions they are seeking.
3. Address The Gaps in Your Content
By focusing on the “old principle of right time, right place”, Foong explains that instead of overwhelming potential clients, you will effectively close gaps in the conversion cycle.
4. “Peer Pressure” Boosts Credibility
Here, Foong promotes endorsements by peers in the industry as being “far more effective than saying great things about your project to buyers”. Items such as case studies, success stories, and customer testimonials are beneficial due to their high credibility.
5. Presentation is Critical
Foong states that presentation of not just yourself, but your content as well is important. Plan for your presentation ahead of time and gain an understanding of the overall look and feel of your content. “It doesn’t’ matter if it is an email or a LinkedIn InMail, a blog post, or a case study review on your website; it has to appeal to the type of buyer you want to convert.”
If you are interested in leveraging our sales as a service model to grow your business, please give us a call at 800-966-3051.