Creating a B2B Marketing Strategy
First, do you have a detailed, up-to-date marketing strategy you refer back to when making decisions?
If not, let's pause there - because you need one.
Marketing isn't a 'shot in the dark' exercise but a technical process that blends content, promotions, messaging, web copy, email correspondence and other aspects of your sales in a cohesive, systematic pattern.
Without a strategy, it is impossible to bring sales and marketing teams to the same table and share common goals that support business growth.
Collaboration is king, and you need buy-in from all team members for your sales representatives to deliver more qualified leads generated by your marketing efforts.
The outcome is cyclical because more customers mean more revenue, more marketing investment and so on. Your marketing strategy is the catalyst that makes this all possible.
It's worth clarifying that strategy and tactics are not the same things. A strategy is a detailed plan where you establish what you'd like to achieve and draw up a road map of how to get there.
Your B2B marketing tactics are the tools you deploy to achieve the actions set out in your plan.
Tracking and Monitoring Lead Generation
The next area to consider is how you record your leads. Once you have a firm understanding of where your highest number of leads (or the best quality leads) originate, you can finesse your marketing budget accordingly.
Data analysis is fundamental to growth marketing; without it, you have little way to analyse the information you gain each time you embark on a new marketing exercise.
All the information you collate will reflect results that indicate success rates and identify where you need to make adjustments.
It can be a little trial and error, but pinning down your lead generation metrics is important.
As a couple of quick tips:
- Accept that failures happen - trialling a new lead gen tool or launching a new marketing resource won't always be a roaring success. That isn't a disaster but helps you narrow down the parameters you need to hit to reach your desired outcomes.
- Pursue continued improvement - there isn't a fixed point at which B2B marketing is ever 'done'. You need to accept that changes to user requirements, technology and demand require ongoing adaptation, and there is always space to optimise your products and marketing activities further.
We mentioned lead quality, and it's essential that you monitor where your best leads come from, not just the most.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), or Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are far more valuable to a B2B business than a lead with little prospect of converting into a sale.
Investing in marketing activities that produce several excellent qualified leads is better than pouring budgets into approaches that generate thousands of leads with minimal conversions.
Focus on Your Sales Conversion Rates
Following on from the above point about lead quality, if your target is business growth, you need to look at your conversion metrics and evaluate where you can make improvements.
Around 90% of B2B buyers make decisions based primarily on the information they find during online searches, so putting effort into your B2B website sales conversions is a big priority.
One of the easiest options is to shorten and simplify the buyer's journey, so you ask less of them to convert from a lead into a paid-up client.
A highly targeted, concise sales approach that engages with buyers in the right way can solve specific problems quickly, decrease the time spent trying to convert a lead, and initiate a faster purchasing decision.
Setting a conversion benchmark can be useful if your company would benefit from a quantifiable target to aim for.
Although rates vary between industries, the average is just 2.23%, emphasising the importance of capturing high-quality leads with a higher likelihood of converting.
If your conversions aren't up to scratch, you can revisit your marketing strategy armed with performance data and choose where to make changes, such as gathering leads from different sources or with other value propositions.
Upgrade The Business Sales Pipeline
Our fourth and final recommendation is to assess your sales pipeline - this reveals where your prospect is currently sitting in your sales funnel.
Sales teams move through phases when moving a lead into a customer, usually following this series of steps:
- Lead gen: targeted ads and campaigns capture data about potential leads.
- Lead nurture: the B2B company engages their prospect with relevant content and communications. (Read more about B2B content marketing)
- Qualified leads: sales teams qualify a lead as an MQL or SQL and determine that they are more likely to become customers and require further engagement.
- Closing the deal: the dialogue progresses to a successful purchase.
- Post-sale: customer support teams and account managers take over and continue to nurture the client to ensure they are happy with the service, have all the information they need, and will purchase again when required.
Sales pipelines differ from sales funnels because they are action-orientated and dictate specific tasks or processes that the sales team needs to focus on, depending on where the buyer has reached in the conversion journey.
By getting to grips with your sales pipeline, personalising communications, and aligning your activities to each buyer, you can shorten the sales cycle and boost your closed deals by a clear margin.
If you’re looking to significantly grow your B2B business through your marketing efforts, get in touch with Tiga B2B Marketing Agency today. We’ve been creating industry-leading B2B marketing campaigns for over 30 years!
This post was written by:
Tanya is the Marketing Services Manager of Tiga Creative Marketing and manages the content, search, paid advertising and Marketing Automation team.
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