57% of B2B buyers have already made their purchase decision before ever speaking to a sales person (CEB Global).
Ask any modern marketer one of the keys to generating consistent leads, and one thing they’ll say – if not the first – is automate your content marketing. Automated content marketing makes it easy for you to send compelling messages at a thoughtful and coordinated cadence. Scoring your buyers engagement with the content allows you to understand your audience and where they are in the buyers’ journey. This process is the most effective way to generate and develop leads without breaking the bank. It also produces superior results because content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3-times as many leads (DemandMetric). Furthermore, B2B marketers say the number one benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more and better leads (Pepper Global). Add analytics to your content marketing automation efforts, and you have a good recipe for generating quality leads consistently – 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation (BrightTALK, 2015).
In today’s B2B market, buyers research and engage digitally with content through 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey before they even consider talking with someone regarding a purchase(Lenati). In fact, 47% of buyers want to view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016). So it’s paramount for your content marketing strategy and lead gen success to run campaigns with enough content to generate trust with buyers looking for you to:
- Prove you understand the problems they face
- Understand what problem your solution solves
- Understand what does this solution do better than the others
- Confirm this solution a good fit for their need
Addressing these FAQs that occur over and over again in your sales process can be automated with educational content that discusses industry trends, common pains, different ways to approach various solutions to industry issues, etc. This simple and substantive information that you can share as a thought leader gives buyers the information they need as they move through their buyers’ journey. Not only does it build trust with the buyer, it offers them insight to make an informed decision about solution options. Because in reality most buyers look at sells reps as a necessary evil. Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% prefer to consult a digital content (HubSpot, 2016).
Align Marketing and Sales to Improve Lead Generation Efforts
With the multiple moving parts involved in the modern sales and marketing machine, both departments must work together to generate leads, educate them, and move them towards a purchase decision. Marketo finds that companies with an aligned sales and marketing strategy are 67% better at closing deals. Having an aligned sales and marketing process that works well for generating leads is critical to any firm’s growth. With alignment, both entities understand the target audience, the sales cycle, the appropriate content to send through the proper channels at the right time. The coordination of sales and marketing bridges the communication gaps that otherwise stifle messaging consistency and lead qualification collaboration. By bringing marketing and sales together and making us more effective as a team, we can build a stronger program to meet advisor needs and achieve business results.” – Mary Rosai, Senior Vice President of Institutional Services Marketing, Charles Schwab (Marketo).
Create Authentic and Subtantive Content, Score It and Automate It
If you talk to any modern sales and marketing professional these days about content marketing and how they approach it, you’ll most likely hear four things in common. Think of them as “the four pillars,” of content marketing:
- Tell simple, direct and compelling stories
- Be insightful and helpful
- Leverage data when possible to back-up your claims
- Offer advice without hard pitching your solution
In this day and age, B2B buyers are squeezed for time, so they’re interested in useful, and simple to consume educational content that is easy to access and digest. Case studies, white papers and educational blogs helps buyers compare their efforts, challenges and pains with their peers and/or justify their investment. 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions (Lenati). The most tangible way to link your business to B2B buyers needs is to show how you solve problems better than your competition.
Marketing automation allows you to share your educational and thought leadership content along the buyers’ journey to develop trust and stay top of mind with consumers that are not quite ready to buy. Automation tools allow you to score leads according to the value of the content their engaging with, allowing your sales and marketing team to predict their readiness to buy based on the content they consumed. In a recent survey of companies leveraging marketing automation with quality educational content on a a regular basis 80% of users saw their number of converted leads increase, with 77% seeing the number of sales conversions from those leads increase (VB Insight).
B2B lead generation is one of the top sales challenges facing many SMBs that want to grow their sales revenue. Generating a consistent flow of quality leads is critical to be competitive in the market. Telling simple stories in a systematic way and executing content marketing campaigns using modern sales and marketing operations is crtical to any business that wants to consistently grow their sales funnel in todays buyer driven market. Implementing the right strategy, lead generation techniques, and technologies to allow your sales team to focus on selling to qualified leads, while your marketers focus on sustained and consistent lead generation efforts will improve your sales results and help you meet your revenue targets.
Gabriel Sales specializes in helping SMBs and Startups grow business with modern sales and marketing operations. Our team can augment gaps in your existing sales and marketing operations or we can be leveraged for full service campaigns that include:
- Integrated Sales and Marketing Strategies
- Database Research and Targeting
- Automation and CRM Systems Best Practices
- Systems Implementation
- Inbound Lead Generation
- Outbound Lead Generation and Lead Scoring
- Sales Qualification
To learn more about how we can help you grow your business (or decide if we are the right fit for you), we invite you to visit our page that details our integrated approach to sales and marketing outsourcing. Or feel free to contact us for free initial consultation and discovery session to see if our approach is the right fit to help you hit your revenue targets.