It's imperative to begin with a common definition of a lead. Marketing and Sales need to agree on this and sometimes it's a bit of a challenge. Marketing then needs to take charge of the moving the leads through the funnel – from when the seeker initially raises his hand expressing interest until he's a sales-ready prospect.
By radically implementing integrated lead generation & nurturing technologies, Marketing can have a huge and measurable effect on sales. If your website is a thought leadership hub, the impact can be exponential. New marketing automation technology enables your company to track the seekers' online behavior and creates profiles that are updated in real time.
This gives Marketing and Sales visibility into: • What they're clicking on. • How long they're on your site. • When they return. • The topics are of greatest interest. • What they're forwarding to others.
But that's just the start. Savvy marketers then leverage this technology to further engage the seeker with relevant digital content (e.g., success stories, articles, archived Webinars, podcasts, white papers). Or they may invite them to upcoming events such as Webinars, teleseminars or trade shows. This closed loop system nurtures prospective customers till they're ready to be handed over to the sales organization or an inside sales team.
Here's where the radical impact starts coming in. First of all, you have more decision makers in the pipeline. Over the months of interacting, you developed a trusted advisor relationship with them. Because they've read all your materials, they're predisposed to your way of thinking and already see your company as a viable solution to their needs.
Your Average Joe and Nate the Newbie have a much better chance of winning the business because of all the nurturing that's taken place. Your sellers can also receive real-time alerts when prospects are exhibiting online behaviors (i.e., downloads, page views) having a high correlation with purchase readiness, enabling them to initiate contact at a most opportune time. Finally, prior to meeting with these decision makers, the Average Joe and Nate the Newbie can review their profiles, read all previous communications with your firm and know what's of maximum interest. With that "inside scoop", their sales effectiveness radically increases and as does their productivity.
Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies, helps sellers crack into corporate accounts, shorten sales cycles and win big contracts. She's a frequent speaker/trainer at annual sales meetings, professional conferences and industry events. For more information, visit www.SellingtoBigCompanies.com , call 651-429-1922 or email
. You can also view Jill’s eBook on how Marketing Radically Impacts Sales.
Despite access to powerful marketing technology, B2B marketers continue to hamstring themselves when it comes to connecting with their customers — particularly in comparison to their B2C counterparts.
While B2C companies and products maintain vibrant digital communities — fueled by content and conversations — B2B products are often conspicuously absent from these channels or focus heavily on pushing corporate messages that their buyers don’t care about.
Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey provides insights into how B2B buyers make their decisions. Buyers are waiting longer to engage with sales, but they are more satisfied with the process than in years past. For an in-depth look at this research, download the report now!
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