Key Video Stats for B2B Sales and Marketing

Key Video Stats for B2B Sales and Marketing

Key Video Stats for B2B Sales and Marketing Operations

Video Trends for B2B Sales

The expanded use of of video to help buyers buy more effectively and sellers sell more effectively is common knowledge for most B2B sales and marketing operation teams. And its already common knowledge that exiting the pandemic, video was one of the breakout tools of the Digital First Transformation.  

But what are the latest video trends for B2B sales that small business owners need to be aware of right now?  What are the trends your Sales and Marketing Operations team need to be aware of?  And what should you be thinking about as you craft your short and long-term sales strategies for the coming quarters and years?

Buyers Continue to Watch More Video

If you thought the pandemic was going to be the high point of video, you would be wrong.  Buyers continue to engage with video at an increased rate.

Video Trends for B2B Sales

Video Still Drives the Most Initial Engagement

  • Using the word video in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%. (Syndacast)
  • Video offers increase click-through rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%. (Syndacast)
  • Video users have 27% higher click-through rates and 34% higher web conversion rates. (Pardot)

Video continues to be one of the most productive ways to improve the performance of your email marketing and nurturing campaigns.

 

Video is Great For Lead Scoring

  • Video plays are one of the three most effective ways to score leads (Pardot)

Watch a Quick Video on How Lead Scoring Works

Watch this quick video to learn more about “Lead Scoring” and how your sales team can leverage video insights to close more business

Video Doubles the Time Spent on Your Website

  • The average time spent on pages with video is 6 minutes, the average time spent on pages without video is 2.4 minutes.

If you invest time and money driving traffic to your website, you lose over 50% real engagement by not offering access to video on as many pages as possible.

Buyers Prefer “Video” Education over “Text” Articles When Learning About a Solution

  • Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. (Net-Results)

As mentioned above, Buyers are continuing to increase video consumption and some of it has to do with the preference for video over text.

Video is Preferred When Nurturing Buyers and for Pre-Sales Education

  • 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of videos and articles versus just articles. (Forester)
  • 91% of Buyers believe that the pandemic made video even more important for understanding the specific value of a brand, product and/or service. (McKinsey)

Buyers continue to increase their use of video as part of their pre-sales education.

Buyers Are Watching Longer Videos and They Are Watching More of the Video

According to Vidyard and Syndacast, when videos are less than one minute, most Buyers watch 68% of the video.  But now, even when normalizing for videos between 30 seconds to 1 hour: 

  • 54% of viewers now watch a video all the way to the end. (That’s up from 45% in 2020.)
  • The average length of videos increased to 9:48 seconds in 2021. (That’s up from 4:50 seconds in 2022. )

Buyers are becoming conditioned to videos as part of their Buyer’s Journey. Sellers can now break up longer presentations and use video to replace many of the presentations that were historically done during one-to-one meetings as part of the pre-sales education process.

User Generated Video is Now “In”

  • 80% of all videos created in 2021 were user-generated videos, versus just 60% in 2020. (Vidyard)
  • Two-thirds of user-generated videos were either screen recordings (capturing just what’s on-screen) or “hybrid” videos (which include a webcam feed in the corner of the screen recording to show the presenter’s face at the same time). (Vidyard)
  • 81% of the videos created by companies under 200 employees were user-generated. For companies over 600 employees, 75% of all videos were user-generated. (Vidyard)
  • Large and medium companies moved away from external video creation, focusing instead on leveraging a combination of internal and external resources. (Vidyard)

User- generated video has a few distinct advantages: It’s quicker to create, it’s cheaper, and it shows the relatable humanity of the person behind the screen.   This is great news for the small business owner and sales and marketing operations team because it gives them parity and makes it easier for them to compete with larger competitors.

B2B Companies That Need to Demonstrate “Thought Leadership” or “Demo” Product Create the Most Videos

  • Technology Companies, Consulting and Professional Services Companies create the most videos for both awareness and nurturing. (Vidyard)
  • These same B2B Sellers increased their average video production in 2021 by 334% compared to 2020. (Wisita)

Now that user-generated videos have reached mainstream adoption, combined with all the advantages of video for increased engagement and pre-sales education, B2B sales competitors with more complex sales cycles are bullish on the value of video to make their Buyer’s Journey as frictionless as possible.

Buyers Convert to Sales Ready Leads After Watching Three or More Videos

  • 80% of Buyers that convert to Sales Ready Leads have watched 3 or more videos. (Patel Industries)

Pushing the play button is an “active” action vs. the “passive” act of clicking through ad offers and scrolling through a web page.  Buyers that are interested in considering your solution will typically engage in three or more active acts.   This makes video one of the most effective ways to prioritize  potential opportunities for your sales team.

Conclusion

Successful Sales and Marketing Operations, especially for Pre-Sales Education, now requires leveraging video at every stage of your sales funnel.

This means you need to strongly consider leveraging video for your awareness and pre-sales education process to replace your historical rep driven process The B2B Buyer now expects you to leverage video to help them learn about your solution and the Buyer rewards the Seller for this process. This is the main takeaway regarding video trends for B2B sales.

 

About Digital Demand Center™

When you are ready to get started  integrating video into your lead generation, lead nurturing process and sales automation process Digital Demand Center™can help.  Video is critical feature of our turnkey solution designed specifically for SMBs that turns the Digital First Buyers into Sales Ready Leads. Watch the video below to learn more about our approach and solution.

 

Watch Now: The Digital First Buyer and Digital Demand Center™

And if you are new to video marketing and the Digital First Transformation and feel like you would like a much deeper crash course on all challenges and tactics required for success, we invite you to check out our Educational Video Series on The Digital First Transformation and Small and Medium Sized Businesses.

Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen & Lead Nurturing

Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen & Lead Nurturing

Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen — a Critical Tactic for Lead Nurturing Success

Background – The Adoption of Demand Generation and Marketing Automation

During the pandemic we witnessed a dramatic shift towards content marketing and the pursuit of multiple digital channels to generate leads. And according to Gartner’s latest survey, we also witnessed a dramatic shift to a Digital First sales process to replace the historical pre-sales education tasks of the Sales Development Rep with extremely positive results. That’s where lead scoring for B2B demand gen comes in.

 

Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen

The Impact on Leads

As a result, Buyers have now started their digital education far in advance of being ready to buy.

  • Less than 5% of Email Click Throughs are Ready to Buy – 96% of leads are not ready to buy when they first hit your website or landing page. (Aberdeen)
  • Less Than 25% of Inbound Form Fills are Ready to Buy – 78% of buyers requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 to 6 months – and 28% will take 12 or more months to buy. (Sirius Decisions)

And simultaneously, Buyers started to expect Sellers to provide digital pre-sales education much deeper into the sales funnel.

  • Buyers conduct over half their pre-sales education online. 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research and solution education online before engaging with a sales rep.
  • 80% of Buyers want to avoid Sales Reps until they have done their pre-sales research. 80% of Buyers want to delay dealing with sales reps until they have completed initial research and are ready to shortlist for a decision. (Marketing Sherpa)

Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation Are Now Requirements

As a result, successful marketing operations teams have moved beyond content marketing for lead gen and are now accountable for providing well educated buyers to their sales reps as part of an integrated pre-sales and content marketing process. These marketing teams now implement Digital Demand Generation programs to nurture buyers through the pre-sales process to provide their sales team with well-educated buyers.  

Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen

According to Gartner, over 58% of successful B2B sales and marketing operation teams are now leveraging a marketing automation platform to manage this nurturing process (and another 12% are planning to implement an automation platform within the next twelve months).

They use a marketing automation platform because it is the central technology required to successfully execute Demand Generation with the sustained nurturing that is now required for success.  A marketing automation platform is critical for demand generation because it allows you to do four things:

  • Email Marketing – Send sustained email nurturing campaigns to targeted leads
  • Track a Buyer’s Digital Engagement – The platform allows you track the digital engagement of your lead’s activities, as well as their interaction with specific pieces of online content
  • Lead Scoring – Allows you to score leads and they engage with your digital content and nurturing campaigns
  • Alert/Prioritize Sales to Hottest Leads – Send alerts, notifications and prioritize leads for your sales team once a lead is “Sales-Ready”

What is Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen and How Does it Work?

Lead scoring is the process of giving each lead a numerical score to predict and rank the sales-readiness of each lead.

That numerical score is calculated in three ways:

  1. Explicit Contact Data
  2. The Buyer’s activity
  3. Predictive Content Engagement

 

Video – Nurturing, Lead Scoring for B2B Demand Gen and How it Works with Digital Demand Center™

(Watch Time – 3:00 Minutes)

One – Explicit Contact Data

Targeting the right market should already be a top priority for your sales and marketing operations team. Great targeting leads to better results and a better ROI on your marketing investment. A well-built database of targeted leads can help make this easier, but having a perfect lead database is not a realistic goal.

If you are targeting a broad market or generating a great deal of suspect PPC inbound leads, the first step is to give the best targets a higher score. This can be done directly in the Marketing Automation Platform based on your ideal fit. Below is a quick example of the customization that can be programed in the Marketing Automation Platform.

Two – The Buyer’s Activity

Lead scoring allows you to track a Buyer’s activity in a number of ways including:

  • Email Opens
  • Email Clicks
  • Video Plays
  • Duration of Video Watched
  • Form Visits
  • Number of Page Views
  • Visits to Your Website
  • Repeat Visits
  • Time on The Website

These scores continue to accrue over time every time your potential buyer comes back to your site(s).

Three – Predictive Content Engagement – The Most Critical Lead Scoring Step

Not all types of activities and engagement are created equal. An effective demand generation program requires that you nurture a buyer deeper into their pre-sales journey using different types of content to meet the buyers increasing needs as they get closer to a decision.

The deeper the buyer moves into the sales funnel the higher the numerical score associated with that that specific type/piece of content becomes.

Lead Nurturing Engagement Model

Your marketing automation platform then allows you to weight your content score based what stage the content indicates they engaged with as part of their Buyer’s Journey. If the buyer is still at the “Awareness” stage that engagement will get a score of 10. If they move on to checking out a piece of content (like a Demo Video) that indicates they are at the “Preference” stage they will get an additional score of 250”.

In addition to prioritizing leads that may be “Sales Ready” directly in your CRM. Lead Scoring also allows your marketing team to trigger alerts for leads that are Buyer that are demonstrating buying signals for quick and/or immediate follow up so they never miss an opportunity.

One of the most effective ways to score leads and predict when a buyer is ready to buy is a buyer’s  engagement with video.  You can learn more about this in our article –  What Videos Are Most Effective B2B Lead Scoring and Sales Automation.

These alerts are typically shared via email and are predominantly one of three types of notifications.

  • Predictive Engagement – The lead is engaging with content that typically indicates they are moving from “Consideration” to “Preference” or “Decision” stages.
  • Predictive Score – The lead is engaging with digital education in a meaningful way. The “Buyer” is becoming a “Well Educated Buyer” and their engagement and activities indicates they are trying to solve a problem in a way in which your solution looks like a potential fit.
  • Inbound Request – Sales team is immediately notified when any inbound requests are made by a potential Buyer.

Conclusion

Lead Nurturing is quickly becoming critical to the success of B2B Sales and Marketing Operation because B2B Buyers reward Sellers for a Digital First Pre-Sales Education process.

  • Businesses using marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified opportunities.
  • 95% of buyers short list a solution provider that “Provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process” (DemandGen Report)
  • You are 2X as likely to win business over your competitor if you provide a substantive digital education experience for your prospects throughout their buying process (McKinsey)

And Leads Scoring is the critical process to capture the most sales value from this process. Nurturing without Lead Scoring is like ordering food and then leaving the table when it’s time to eat.

 

About Digital Demand Center™ (and Gabriel Sales)

 

Gabriel Sales has been helping companies build successful sales and marketing operations for over 20 years.  As part of these efforts, we have implemented marketing automation platforms over 150 times for companies ranging in size from Start Ups, through Small and Mid-Market businesses as well as serving the Fortune 500.

Digital Demand Center is a turnkey solution designed specifically for the small and medium sized businesses.  Our cost effective solution is engineered for companies that are serious about meeting the challenges and capturing the rewards of executing an automated digital first sales process.   DDC allows us to deploy our expertise and lead scoring best practices (cross pollinated) across all the successful organizations we support and serve.  For a detailed overview of the needs of the modern buyer, more about the problems we can help you solve and how that happens you can watch the video below and read our quick article Why Outsource Demand Generation and Lead Nurturing?.

 

 

Video – The Modern Digital First B2B Buyer and Digital Demand Center™

 

(Watch Time – 10:00 Minutes) Learn How to Successfully Meet the Needs of the Modern B2B Buyer with Digital Demand Center™ and Provide Your Sales Team with a Steady Flow of Well Educated “Sales Ready” Leads

If you are still not convinced nurturing, pre-sales automation and lead scoring is critical or feel like you would like a much deeper crash course on all challenges, budget, technology and tactics required for success, we invite you to check out our Educational Video Series on The Digital First Transformation.

 

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities including up-selling (58%) (Adestra).

While marketing automation has been a legitimate business solution for more than five years now, it’s not until recently that’s it’s gathered more interest from small- and medium-sized B2B businesses. And why not, it’s a proven tool for your sales process – producing an average of 14.5% increase in sales productivity and reducing overall sales and marketing overhead by an average of 12.2%.

And these gains are realized even when most SMBs fail to leverage the true power of marketing automation to take care of the early stage sales funnel/buyer’s journey customer education. Because unfortunately, most SMBs only use marketing automation tools to send newsletters. In fact, more than 60% of marketers limit the use of their platform for email blasts to stay in touch with existing customers, and only 13% are using automation software in more advance ways (Autopilot).

Marketing automation platforms produce the best return on investment when they are used to run lead development campaigns, to score leads and to capture information about your potential customers to make your sales staff more productive. Marketing automation can make your sales and marketing operations more effective and efficient by attracting leads, educating them about your products and solutions, identifying and measuring their interest, and providing their level of real interest in your product or services. Sales may then cherry-pick the leads that express the most interest and are most likely to buy.

Here are five ways marketing automation can help you grow your sales at a lower cost.

Marketing Automation enables you to nurture not-yet-ready-to-buy prospects.

It takes an average of between 7 and 13 touches to develop a buyer before a sale is made. Marketing automation can become a stand-in for a junior level sales and marketing person, sharing company information and knowledge directly with your potential buyers. For those leads that are already aware of your solution, but aren’t yet ready to buy, marketing automation allows you to stay top-of-mind and build trust with your leads by offering educational content about industry trends and developments. It allows you to further boost your online presence, highlight product enhancements, and establish industry-leading influence. And it works: nurtured leads produce an average of a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (DemandGen Report).

Research has shown that only 5% of B2B prospects are ready to buy at any given time. And 50% of qualified leads are not ready to buy either (Gleanster Research). And yet, many B2B companies today do not have a strategy to develop these opportunities; so sales reps simply discard them as ‘not interested.’ However, by nurturing your leads with light, educational content on a regular basis, you can stay top-of-mind and over time, develop real active interest (and deals) from leads you generated 6 to 12, to even 18 months ago.

Marketing automation allows you track and manage your early stage prospects and their content engagement on an ongoing basis as they go through the buyer’s journey over and extended period of time. The tool then reports data back to your team about their overall interactions, rather than by each individual campaign. This data is pushed to your CRM and used to more accurately identify and communicate to sales what leads need attention.

Lead nurturing works: 67% of B2B marketers say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing. And 15% companies report seeing an increase of 30% or more (Demand Gen Report). The top companies that excel at lead nurturing, generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Forrester Research).

Marketing Automation allows you to track content engagement by prospect.

96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy (yet) (Marketo). And only 25% of those leads are legitimate and should advance to sales (Gleanster Research).

One of the greatest features of marketing automation is the ability to measure each piece of content a prospect has consumed throughout their interaction with your emails and website. These measurements help you monitor and analyze the buyers journey, allowing you to better understand customer buying behavior, identify your most engaging content, and pinpoint the preferred and most active distribution channels.

Marketing automation allows you to score prospects according to the type of content they’ve engaged with. Different types of content are scored based on how predictive they are in relationship to a buyer stage in your sales cycle. Basic educational content is not as highly scored as video webcasts about a specific buyer pain/need or demo videos relating to a specific solution. Each email sent within an automation campaign is scored to identify what content is interesting to buyers and how frequently they are engaging with it.

This type of data allows you to see when specific prospects have shown enough interest, so it makes sense for a sales rep to reach out with a personal email or phone call to move the deal forward. By using this type of dynamic lead scoring, you will have the ability to rank and score formerly unquantifiable implicit digital activities and take the appropriate sales action. The use of explicit data – higher scores for different lead criteria – allows you to grade your prospect compared to your ideal customer profile, making your sales team more armed and effective when they make first contact. These sales automation efforts seamlessly pass top scoring prospects over to well-prepared sales reps with background information on the leads interest in real-time.

Overall, lead scoring allows your sales team to focus on the most interested buyers and allows you to prioritize buyers that are the best fit for your company’s solution.

Marketing Automation allows you to use analytics to refine and improve your content and sales process.

One of the most valuable things marketing automation provides is data. Using the platform’s analytical features, you can track and monitor engagement at a more detailed level in order to understand when and how to improve. For example, platforms provide data for when a video is watched. This allows you to identify which pieces of content are being consumed, and which are not.  Your marketing team can create more of what works, making pivots to making the right marketing investments easier to understand and execute.

Real-time lead alerts via email allow your sales team to follow-up faster when buyers are actively engaged in your content and submit a request.  And we all know, time is money: there’s a 10x drop-off in lead qualification when sales waits longer than five minutes to respond to a lead – and a 400% decrease when sales waits 10 minutes or more (HBR, Insidesales).

With these alerts and summaries sales reps can more easily:

  • Prioritize their day with the most active prospects
  • Call buyers when they know they are sitting at their desk
  • Click on links to trigger CRM profile lookups for buyer insights
  • Send custom emails to active prospects with a few quick clicks

Additionally, marketing automation provides buyer intelligence for your marketing team. It shows what topics/pains buyers are most motivated by.  And many of these reports are available in your CRM. Information like original lead source, specific page views, how long they spent on the page, webinar attendance and video views can also be tracked and analyzed. This type of data allows sales and marketing to work effectively together to drive sales as a team.

Marketing Automation Improves Lead Generation

Demand Gen’s State of Demand Generation study shows, 77% of buyers want different, targeted content at each stage of their research. Marketing automation allows you to send certain messages at designated times to your database Nurturing campaigns communicate with buyers through every step of the buyer’s journey – staying in front leads not yet ready to buy.  This lowers cost dramatically  and reduces lead churn rate, and helps you get the most from your lead generation efforts because it enables your company  to stay in touch with buyers over a long period of time without the expense and time of regular check in phone calls by sales reps. With lead nurturing, sales reps don’t waste time chasing leads not yet ready to buy, while the marketing team prevents cold leads from slipping through the cracks.

Marketers using automation software generate 2x the number of leads than those using blast email software and are perceived by their peers to be 2x as effective at communicating with buyers (Autopilot, 2015; Hubspot Marketing Statistics). Enough said.

About Us

Gabriel Sales specializes in helping SMBs and Startups grow their 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 Implementation
  • Inbound Lead Generation
  • Outbound Lead Generation and Lead Scoring
  • Sales Qualification
  • Closing

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.

 

 

Marketing Automation Implementation Checklist

Marketing Automation Implementation Checklist

The Science of Fast and Effective Marketing Automation

 

Marketing Automation is the simplest and most effective way to instantly improve lead generation and conversion. Implementing a marketing automation solution will streamline your sales and marketing efforts into one easy-manage process.

By downloading this checklist, you will learn:

  • WHAT is involved in the technical set-up of marketing automation software
  • WHO in your organization each implementation task is delegated to
  • HOW to automate your marketing content to generate leads and ROI

 

 

8 Marketing Automation Tips

8 Marketing Automation Tips

Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Propeller)

B2B marketers say the number one benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more qualified leads (Pepper Global). They experience these great results because, marketing automation allows you to educate buyers, build trust, and stay in touch with prospects as they search for solutions to their problems. However, while more than 60% of marketers use email to stay in touch with their prospects, only 13% use marketing automation tools so they put in some of the effort but only get a fraction of the results. They also miss out on early stage leads, since marketers using marketing automation generate twice as many leads than those who just use one off blast emails. It’s statistics like these that spurred us to share some of Gabriel Sales’ automation best practices that have benefitted our firm and our clients.

Marketing automation is not necessarily difficult, but it does require a bit of a learning curve and some planning. Here are eight best practices we use that will ensure you’re marketing automation will be used wisely.

Start with a Strategy

Without a strategy, your marketing automation tool will inevitably become an ordinary email tool, blasting one-off messages and newsletters. The process of creating a strategy requires defining your value proposition, targeting your audiences, outlining the buyer personas of your ideal customers and mapping your buyer’s journey to your sales process. This allows you to tell your story, establish thought leadership and build trust with your potential buyers without the expense of sales reps doing this one customer at a time. A DemandGen study found that 95% of buyers consider content as trustworthy (and in some cases at early stages more trustworth then sales reps) when evaluating a company and its offerings.

Framework to Tell a Powerful Sales Story with Simple Messages

A critical part of the strategy will be a series of simple messages that tells your sales story in a way that resonates with your buyer’s needs.  This message framework will anchor your marketing efforts.  This framework  will deliver the right message at the right time based on where your buyer is at specific stages their buyers journey. As the table shows, there are different pieces of content topics and different types of media that work best for certain stages. While educating your potential buyers  about your perspective on challenges they face in the marketplace, who you are, and how you may be able to solve their problems, your content will be organized in a systematic way to help them  understand if you are the right fit to help them solve their challenges .  This builds trust with buyers looking to buy and keeps your brand and your solutions top of mind, for those not yet ready to purchase with helpful educational content.

Use Lead Nurturing to Create Opportunities

On average it takes, on average between 7 and 13 touches by both sales and/or marekting before a sale is made. This does not count the 47% of buyers who want to view 3-5 pieces of content before they even want to engage with a sales rep. (DemandGen). All this takes time.  And if you rely on sales reps to carry the load it can also take a significant amount of money. For those leads that already know about your solution, but aren’t yet ready to buy, lead nurturing allows you to stay top of mind through offering educational and thought-leadership content about industry trends and developments without the expense of a sales rep. Establishing thought-leadership is critical to an overall effective cost of sales percentage, since 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders which includes the company’s selling solutions that solve their problems (Demand Gen Report, 2016). Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate with educational thought leadership generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost (Source: Forrester Research).

Integrate Social into Your Distribution Network

While marketing automation is associated with email marketing, modern automation tools are now easily connected to help you publish your content to additional networks in social media. That said, those channels are merely that, distribution outlets where it exposes your content to additional buyers so you can educate and build trust with your audience in additional areas across the web.  If you make the investment in content it also makes sense to share that content in social media.  Blog articles are leveraged by your automation platform to generate and score leads by educating and building trust.  But since you already have the content you can post it to social media to solidify a relationship with your leads and to make additional buyers aware of your solution.

Use Lead Scoring to Identify Who’s Engaging

Lead scoring is the least used feature by most businesses but it is the most critical for small and mid sized companies to increase productivity and lower their cost of sales. Lead scoring is the ability to figure out where someone is in their buying process and when they are getting actively interested in purchasing.  Lead scoring allows  sales and marketing to quickly flag who should be getting more attention from higher-end sales reps. Lead scoring will generate more revenue because better leads (buyers with high scores that are ready for sales interaction) will bubble to the top and be pritorized for you sales team, allowing your sales team to contact your most potential buyers at the right time. Lead scoring saves you money because leads with low scores that are not yet ready to buy, can be managed and developed by less expensive reps or in some case just by nurturing with marketing automation during their early education stages of your sales cycle. Lead scoring works. 68% of top marketers report lead scoring as the most responsible feature for improving thedirect revenue contribution of their content marketing efforts (Lenskold Group).

Integrate your CRM to Capture Lead Data

Capturing data and valuable information about your buyers is one of the key drivers to help you drive sales.  Marketing automation allows you to capture both key sales and marketing metrics. When you have collected this information in your CRM system you sales reps will have direct access to it.  This allows your sales reps to easily organize and sort prospects by any number of criteria including, points accumulated,  predict location in the sales funnel/buyer’s journey and to see what educational content the buyer has consumed.  This data allows you to sort buyers and then to sell to them more effectively because they will have a jump start on their level of education and business needs.

Use Data to Improve How Your Target Markets

You can learn a lot about your target audience by measuring the people who are engaging with your content through your website and emails.  To better understand the interactions you can split them into two data categories, explicit and implicit. Explicit data tells you who’s volunteered information to you via web forms, events or other interactions such as phone calls. Implicit data measures online behavior such as emails opened, click-throughs, form submissions, and downloads of your marketing collateral.  If an activity is predictive of buying the lead can be scored appropriately and can be highlighted in your CRM.  In many cases you can send real-time alerts to sales reps once a prospect reaches a certain point threshold or if a certain activity takes place. And timing is everything. In some types of sales 35-50% of all sales are won by the vendor that responds first (InsideSales.com).

Keep it Simple

Many SMBs we talk with say they haven’t made the leap to real marketing automation yet because they believe it’s too difficult. And while successful marketing automation involves many moving parts – contact us forms, downloadable assets, social and CRM integration, lead scoring, etc. – it’s important to start small and slow, while always keeping the end goal of the purpose of marketing automation top of mind. And the ultimate point of marketing automation is to put more sales qualified opprotunities into the hands of your closers. Decide on your goals for each campaign and the few KPIs to measure your success and design accordingly. Three simple KPIs to start with are:

  1. Contact volume.Automation helps marketers manage greater lead and prospect volume with more efficiency and effectiveness. So, it’s important to keep an eye on how many contacts, prospects and leads are engaging with your content to better understand where they are in the buyer’s journey and if there are any actions to be taken.
  1. A common goal is to better move contacts through your buyer’s journey and into your sales reps’ funnels, and track progress to identify what content is working and what’s not. Measure how campaigns impact MQLs, SQLs, and unsubscribes: are your campaigns better qualifying leads, improving the marketing-to-sales lead delivery volume, generating deals that are actually interested and helping nurture leads and prospects not yet ready to buy?
  1. Track engagement – email opens, click-throughs, website visits, shares, etc. – to identify the most effective messages and content that moves the needle with your audiences. Tracking engagement also allows you to identify the most active contacts and whether they need attention from sales.

Keeping it simple will only require you to focus on the buyers and purchase influencers you want to engage with right now.  There are all sorts of advanced features and complex segmentation that is possible but this is a distraction in the short term.  When you are just getting started we recommend that you leave the segmentation, tagging, etc. for later campaigns, once you’ve warmed up your audience with your educational, trust-building content.

No matter how you slice it, the move to marketing automation is growing and will be a requirement to compete for sales successfully in the next several years. Currently, 67% of marketing leaders use a marketing automation platform, while over the next two years, an additional 21% of marketing leaders plan to use a marketing automation platform (Salesforce “State of Marketing” 2017). Those numbers are not surprising because marketing automation works and saves time and money for organizations that leverage the technology to their advantage – 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase by 2X over the first 18 months of implementing a platform (VB Insight “Marketing Automation, how to make the right buying decision” 2015). It’s no wonder, 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across channels (Marketo & Ascend2).

 

About Us

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
  • Closing

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.

B2B Content Preference Report What your B2B buyer consumes before making a decision

B2B Content Preference Trend: “A typical firm with 100-500 employees, involves an average of 7 people in most buying decisions” (Gartner Group).

In today’s B2B marketplace, time-starved buyers are using digital content to research solutions for their current pains – 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally (Sirius Decisions). So as a modern marketer, it’s critical to understand your B2B buyers’ journey and then to create educational and thought-leadership content around each buyer stage. Content is critical because 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get learn about new solutions from company articles versus a advertisements or cold callers (B2B PR Sense Blog).

So, B2B content preference tells us what types of content are B2B buyers looking for to learn about solutions? Understanding the answer to this question is key to sales success  because  57% of B2B buyers have already made their short list for purchase decision before ever speaking to a sales person (CEB Global).  

So as content marketing continue to increase in importance and becomes more competitive – 90% of B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions (CMO Council) – and we move full-speed ahead in 2018, we wanted to look back at the trends of 2017 to gauge where we should concentrate our efforts according to the research performed by Demand Gen, in its 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.

We sifted through all the data and pulled out our top 5 B2B content preference statistics for 2017-18 – we’ll keep it short because as the report states: 34% of buyers have less time to devote for reading and research on purchases than last year.

1. 78% say they prefer case studies because it allows them to benchmark themselves against their peers and study real-world examples of a potential solution.
B2B Content Preference

2. 71% prefer content that’s easier to access – 62% want more benchmarking data 87% of buyers give more credence to industry influencer content.

Picture2

3. Email remains the channel most buyers employ to share content, while LinkedIn remains the leading social network.Picture3

4. 97% of B2B buyers prefer prescriptive content that recommends a formulaic solution.Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 2.08.45 PM

5. 95% of buyers said they are willing to share their name, company, and email in exchange for the following content types:

  1. white papers (76% said they will share information),
  2. E-books (63%), webinars (79%),
  3. case studies (57%)
  4. third-party/analyst reports (66%).

They’re less willing to register for asset types such as:

  1. podcasts (19%),
  2. video (19%)
  3. infographics (24%)

Picture5
Summary

Content is the most effective way to educate buyers about your solution and ignite meaningful conversations. It is important to share relevant and educational material. And it is important to share that content consistently and at the right time. Great content organized in a way that creates a memorable experience keeps your buyers engaged and allows them to easily choose the solution that makes sense for them. Delivering content in a calculated and coordinated process allows you to educate and build trust with prospects and move them through the buyers’ journey and into your sales funnel at the same time. And the modern B2B buyer prefers receiving content digitally before engaging with a sales rep. Content can help sales reps sell faster because 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe it (Edelman Trust Barometer).

 

About Us

Gabriel Sales specializes in helping SMBs and Startups grow business with modern sales and marketing operations. Our team understands B2B content preference and 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
  • Closing

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.