Make sure not to broadcast at buyers today
You know there is a change in the B2B sales process. And you're experiencing the ramifications in your organisation.
The reality is Sales no longer controls the flow of information in the buying process. The customer does. Before a buyer speaks with a supplier today, at least 60% of a typical buying decision is made.
Customers are researching solutions online. First setting their requirements and ranking their options. Then benchmarking pricing before picking up the phone (or accepting your sales call).
The challenge for the Marketing department is to understand the buyer's need for information. To do this at each stage of the Buyer's Journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Then deliver the right information to the right person, at the right time.
By doing this well, Marketing provides Sales with qualified leads. Then Sales can engage prospects with greater insight to close the deal.
We need to map content to the buying cycle
Dependent on the buying cycle in your industry, your content needs to help them at each stage.
When a prospect first becomes a lead, they are likely in the awareness phase. They are searching for top of the funnel content to address their challenges.
Once they have identified their problem they will want to explore potential solutions. In the consideration stage, they begin to weigh up the different options.
Unlike the awareness phase, buyers now want more associated information. Middle of the funnel content more aligned with what you do. They are trying to understand whether you can help them solve their problem. Here you need content like case studies, product comparisons, or sell sheets.
Once a buyer reaches the decision stage, they are ready to have a conversation with Sales or try the product. Bottom of the funnel offers of consultations, product demos or free trials at this stage are best. Clear indications that the buyer is ready to talk with Sales and make a decision.
To make the short list today, you need to tell your story online. This consideration of the buyer's journey delivers more qualified leads to Sales.
Leverage marketing automation for results
Inbound marketing uses a suite of automated processes to deliver relevant content to leads when they are ready and receptive. These methods include:
Email: The channel used for providing personalised, targeted information to interested buyers at every stage of the buying process
Workflows: Providing the infrastructure for setting up automated lead nurturing; enabling the tactical delivery of the right content to the right leads at the right time
Lead scoring: Creating the framework to score significant interactions; helping to qualify leads one way or another
Progressive profiling: Leads provide new information with each form they complete; harvesting high levels of data over time without the need for long, onerous forms
Smart content: Your website can deliver contextual content. Content based on the behaviour and life cycle stage of each returning visitor who has previously converted on your site
Align sales and marketing for success
Marketing and Sales have to work together better than they ever have today. Alignment and an inbound marketing programme can deliver superior results.
Marketing's role is to provide more, better-qualified leads. Sales tell Marketing which leads are higher quality and why.
Closing the loop in this way, both departments understand what's working and what isn't. And this improves sales outcomes, which is a goal for most organisations.
The process is more powerful if you integrate with your CRM. The intelligence from your marketing activity can then be more easily accessed by Sales. When Sales has this information it empowers them. It creates opportunities for better-informed conversations. And it adds real context which can inform timing and approach.
HubSpot integrates with Salesforce and Sugar CRM amongst others. And now they have created a CRM at the heart of the product. Now the opportunities for Sales and Marketing alignment are better than ever.
If you'd like to discuss how Equinet could help you close leads as part of an inbound marketing programme, contact us for a free, no-strings consultation.