Marketing hit it out of the park!
They finally dialed in the right SEO and content marketing strategy and nailed B2B lead generation.
A firehose of prospects were downloading their new white paper and registering for their upcoming webinar.
In 30-days, they’d tripled their leads acquisition rate. The revenue pipeline was full of opportunities.
And they were psyched.
But there was one big problem.
The leads sucked. They were worthless.
None of them were potential buyers.
And the sales couldn’t close a damn thing.
Marketing thinks they killed it. Sales says marketing is killing them.
Getting alignment right is a collaborative process.
Lead qualification should be a shared responsibility.
That way, marketing is incentivized to attract the right prospects, instead of just any prospects.
If you give away something of value for free, it’s not that tough to get people to submit a web form.
But if you’re a B2B marketing niche products and services to a finite customer base, it’s much more difficult to create and give away something for free that’s only valuable to the people you want as customers.
I call this psychographic segmentation, whereby you qualify your audience based on the integrity of your content.
If you’re selling B2B software to CTOs, a well-reasoned pragmatic argument for why your solution will make their lives easier only goes so far. They want a live demo. And they need to know about security and interoperability as well.
Light weight, fluffy business case oriented marketing materials with broad claims and pretty pictures may draw a ton of interest. But that interest unlikely to convert into real sales prospects.
This is often the case because marketing lacks the technical expertise or buyer intelligence to craft the right materials. Bringing frontline sales together regularly with the content marketing team to get your materials on message is one way to close the gap.
Featuring individuals from your sales team as subject matter experts in your content marketing materials is a great way to help them build relationships early and often on a leveraged basis, so the bulk of their time can be spent further down the funnel.
Getting your sales staff on the radar of your target accounts at the top of the funnel is more important now than ever, and here’s why.
Before we could research products and services on the web, we were reliant on sales people to figure out what to buy. We needed their help.
In B2B, a sales person qualifies based on whether or not the prospect has budget, purchasing authority, a genuine need and a buying timeline.
But today, by the time a customers has budget, they also have a preferred vendor. And it’s usually someone who took the time to build a relationship before the customer was ready to buy.
If you’re selling to a B2B customer base, you can’t wait to engage until the prospect has a budget. You need to be building relationships before they know they need you. And that’s where marketing can enable sales.
Feature your sales people in white papers, webinars and podcasts. Gather their expertise and extend their reach via digital marketing. Build them up as celebrities in your sector, so the right people want to talk to them.
Sales is measured against revenue, but your pipeline also matters, and relationships feed pipelines. You need to helping, teaching and closing (in that order) anyone who can benefit from what you sell.
By aligning sales and marketing, you can focus on bottom funnel metrics that really matter like customer acquisition cost, monthly recurring revenue, lifetime customer value and churn rate.
I’m currently writing book about sales and marketing alignment and am talking to business leaders from different industries about transformative growth strategies.
If you have a case study to share, or you’re interested in driving growth, let’s set up a time to talk.