Lead Conversion Statistics All B2B Marketers Need to Know

B2B marketing is complex with a myriad of tactics, technologies, and data solutions to choose from to promote your business and sell your products and services.

As complex as modern B2B marketing is, it is also as simple as:

  • How do I attract people to my products and services
  • How do I convert those people to purchase?

Ascend2, in partnership with Verse, surveyed 277 marketing professionals to learn more about the state of lead conversion.

If you find that lead conversion is difficult, you are not alone. The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales found that only 12% of marketing professionals are very satisfied with their lead conversion abilities.

Companies continue to struggle with establishing contact, qualifying, and effectively following up with the leads they spend so much time and money to generate. Lead conversion is challenging, but the inability to improve lead conversion rates has several significant, negative downstream impacts: wasted marketing budget, wasted sales team time, and significant lost revenue opportunity.

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lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Conversions, Conversion Rate

What B2B Marketing Leaders Are Measuring: Five Key Takeaways

  • Our 2020 Metrics Study looked at the metrics included on the leadership dashboards used by B2B marketing leaders to express performance
  • The selections of metrics provides a deep view into the areas of performance B2B marketing leaders are prioritizing
  • Differences seen between high- and low-growth organizations provide a view into how successful companies focus their performance measurement

Are you curious about what marketing leaders across B2B are measuring these days? How does it compare with what your organization is measuring? We’ve recently completed our 2020 Metrics Study and have some answers.

The study looked at the metrics B2B leaders use to manage performance. Instead of asking leaders their opinions on which metrics they feel are most important or have available should the need arise, we simply asked worldwide B2B leaders which metrics appear on their company’s top-level dashboards. I’ll focus on the data we gathered on top-level marketing dashboards, often referred to as the CMO dashboard.

I’ll focus on the data we gathered on top-level marketing dashboards, often referred to as the CMO dashboard. The findings tell us some critical things about the state of B2B marketing today:

  • Leadership attention is precious. Although the potential for marketing to make an impact may feel limitless, the attention of executive audiences has its limits. On average, marketing leadership dashboards present eight metrics for consistent review. 
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marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021

In B2B Marketing, Personalization and Relevancy Must be the Same

Remember back in 2010 when you got your first email from a brand that knew your first name automatically and it gave you all the feels? I still remember my first “Hello Randy!” marketing email. It felt so personal, didn’t it?

But then, as with everything cool and new, it quickly became the norm. We figured out merge fields, the magic was revealed and those initial “ooh” and “ahh” sensations we first felt left us in a hurry. Fast-forward to today, and personalization is still a key goal in marketing. It could even be argued that it’s grown in importance, as data has become more accessible and actionable.

But… do you really understand personalization? What if I told you that relevancy is actually at the heart of the personalization you need today in your marketing? It’s true, and here’s why:

Merge Text Fields are the Bare Minimum

First, don’t get me wrong. I have zero beef with merge fields and it’s still cool to log in to my Netflix account, for example, and see that familiar salutation with my name on the screen. But it’s what comes after the hello that can make me feel like the VIP of customers and, even more importantly, provide me with real value.

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content marketing culture, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, personalization, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021, Marketing Trends 2021, Content Relevancy, Merge Text Fields

Time To Update Your B2B Go-To-Market Strategy

“The internet hasn’t been kind to the sales rep,” says sales and marketing author Brian Gray.

If you are thinking your sales reps will be the gateway of your go-to-market strategy, experts say you have another think coming.

Increasingly, sales reps must provide an experience, not just info.

“Before the internet, when the rep was in control of distributing all the information a prospect could get, they knew early on that they were being considered,” says Gray, leader of Revenue Path Group. “It allowed for multitouch sales methodologies to form. Each call, at each stage, took on different importance and training.”

Before the internet, business-to-business (B2B) prospects needed a sales rep to obtain information. That meant that as soon as a prospect entered the marketplace, they were in touch with viable options.

“Today that's not the case,” says Gray. “Prospects delegate a lot of research to a lower-level employee, who brings options to the table. By the time they make contact, they have decided their own solution, pigeonholed you in with some competitors and want you to compete on price.”

The importance of the internet and social media is not news. But like many other aspects of marketing, Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated this shift. This has a huge impact on go-to-market strategy.

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marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, customer experience, sales strategy, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021, Sales Cycle, Go-to-market

Why sales enablement is much more than just another buzzword

But what about sales enablement? Is it just one more buzzword used by businesses to try and sell another piece of software that doesn’t actually help salespeople? The short answer is a resounding no. Sales enablement is much more than a buzzword – and it’s here to stay.

The only complication is that it can mean different things to different people, and its definition has changed significantly over the years. Before technology reigned supreme, sales enablement could be defined as anything that helps teams sell better. For example, a comfortable pair of shoes that allows sales teams to move faster and for longer than their competitors. Today, things are rather different.

In the modern world, sales enablement is all about using content and resources in the most effective and efficient way possible, with the goal of helping sales teams complete more sales faster by shortening the buyer journey.

Content that connects

Sales enablement helps to solve many of the key problems that B2B sellers suffer from – namely the fact that there is too much content, and at the same time, rarely the right content when it’s actually needed.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors

B2B marketing: Solving the big five challenges

Let’s face it, as a B2B tech company, marketing isn’t easy.

With typically longer sales cycles, multiple key stakeholders involved in every decision, fierce competition within the industry, and many B2B businesses selling complex solutions rather than single products, B2B tech marketing is… well, it’s complicated. But it’s not impossible.

To help you succeed, we’ve broken down 5 of the most common marketing challenges faced by B2B tech businesses today, and how you can solve them.

B2B tech: it’s a fast-paced industry
With the tech industry evolving so fast, marketers need to be agile; pivoting quickly and adapting effectively when faced with changes or growing competition within the market.

To stay on the leading edge of the industry, be sure to keep your ear to the ground at all times. This means keeping an eye on your target market and your competition, and monitoring reputable sources for any announcements, opportunities or potential threats to your brand.

Changes within the market can present a real problem for businesses who aren’t paying attention. But they can be a boon to brands who are prepared to change and adapt.

Sometimes being just a little quicker than the competition may be all you need. For example: being the first to start talking about a rising trend or new cutting edge technology may help your brand define itself as a thought leader in your industry.

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marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021

3 B2B Sales Strategies Proven to Win More Customers

What is B2B sales?

B2B sales, also known as business to business sales, refers to companies who primarily sell products and services to businesses, rather than direct to consumers (B2C). B2B sales typically have higher order values, longer sales cycles and are often more complex than B2C sales.

B2B sales has changed dramatically in recent years and the B2B sales strategies that used to work are no longer effective.

B2B sales used to be a lot easier.

If a person needed a product or solution, they’d reach out to a potential vendor and deal with a sales person, who’d pitch them with the best options to choose. And if they were happy with what they heard, they would make a purchase.

It was a relatively straight forward process, in which marketing was responsible for filling up the sales funnel with leads, and then for sales teams, they were responsible for getting those leads into a sales pipeline and moving them down the funnel and into a sale.

“The traditional purchase funnel diagram, one which any marketer could sketch from memory, is officially dead. The singular, orderly sequence of purchase stages has been scrambled, and marketers need to conform. In today’s world, where consumers have access to constant information through computers, smart phones and tablets, each person’s path to purchase is complex and unique.“

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Building Community

Why B2B marketers need to bet big on ‘The Big Long’

Imagine for a moment that you are not a B2B marketer. Instead, think of yourself as an investor, and ask yourself this: how do you identify great investments? Well, here’s a winning approach learned from watching the movie ‘The Big Short’ over and over again.

First, find a contrarian idea. The Big Short is about five investors who predicted the housing market crash that was the catalyst for the financial crisis of 2008/09, in defiance of conventional wisdom.

Second, make sure you are right by examining the evidence. In the movie, the character played by Steve Carell flew down to Florida to confirm the housing market was, in fact, comprised of sub-prime loans.

Third, be prepared to wait a while. The housing market did not collapse overnight. It took several years for the contrarians to cash in on their investment.

The big long

Let’s return to the world of B2B marketing. If Warren Buffett was a B2B marketer, where would he invest his capital? We’ll tell you where: at the very top of the funnel. In fact, that’s precisely what Warren Buffett does, buying stakes in famous brands like Coca-Cola, Geico and Apple. In B2C and in B2B, brand building might just be the single best investment a business can make.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, content marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, marketing tactics, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Hyper personalization, Building Community

Three steps to level up your B2B marketing in 2021

2020 was full of disruption and fast pivoting across the marketing spectrum. But for B2B marketers—whose plans are often anchored around in-person events—this period changed the playbook on how to reach crucial business decision-makers. To learn more about how the business decision-making process has changed—and how marketers are adapting accordingly—Twitter partnered with Bain on a new research study.

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content marketing culture, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, capturing audience, CMO, content creation, content marketing, marketing leaders, Tactical Marketing, Tactical Marketing Plan, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Marketing 2021, Marketing Trends 2021

B2B selling in 2021 - give me industry expertise over the flawed pursuit of hyper-personalization

Last week, I threw hyper-personalization under the bus (The myth of hyper-personalization - algorithms are still undermining the customer experience). My beef with hyper-personalization raises another question: how should B2B companies approach marketing and sales in 2021?

One of hyper-personalization's biggest drawbacks? Throwing technology at the wrong problem:

Are we really prepared to argue that algorithms are savvy enough to anticipate our needs in a moment-by-moment context?

Is hyper-personalization the right sales and marketing goal?

This personalization obsession has spilled into sales and marketing, with the fantasy that if we present the prospect with the right offer at just the right time (marketing), or send an "intelligent trigger" from our CRM system (sales), we'll magically have ourselves a new customer. Alas, that ambition gets mucked up by the near-irresistable temptation to blast our contacts with spray-and-pray offers hiding under the personalization rationale, but that's a rant already made.

For sales and marketing to earn relevance in today's economy, we need to redefine the problem. I believe this is fundamentally about culture change, not tech.

I have the apparently unfashionable view that marketers need to become educators/content producers with a journalistic bent, while salespeople need to become advisors.

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content marketing culture, lead generation, marketing strategy, B2B content marketing, B2B marketing, content marketing, marketing leaders, future of marketing, marketing tactics, Tactical Marketing, Best tactics marketing, B2B strategy, B2B Sales, Building trust, B2B Brands, Sales Advisors, Hyper personalization, Building Community, Opt-in Community

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