“Gartner’s Future of Sales” research shows that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will be automated and occur in digital channels

Introduction

What is required for successful sales has changed more in the last 3 years than the previous 50 years.  The modern B2B Buyer now expects you to provide content and support to help drive their pre-sales education deep into their Buyer’s Journey.

Here are 39 critical stats to help you understand why a content marketing process that includes Digital First Pre-Sales Education and sustained Lead Nurturing is critical for long term success.

Here Are the Key Sales and Marketing Operations Stats B2B Business Owners Should Know

Inside Sales Calls Statistics

  • In 2012 it took 7 attempted calls to reach a prospect. Today it takes 18 attempted calls to reach a prospect. (Call Hippo)
  • 44% of salespeople give up calling leads after 1 attempt. (CSO Insights)
  • Making 8 or more call attempts to scored leads can boost conversion rates by up to 70%. (Salesforce)
  • Only 33% of an inside sales rep’s time is spent actively selling. (CSO Insights)
  • Sales reps can spend up to 40% of their time looking for somebody to call. (Inside Sales Report)  
  • 74% of an inside sales reps pipeline comes from marketing efforts, and inside sales average dials are consistently down 20% year-over-year (Bridge Group Inc)

Insights and Action: Calling and connecting is hard. You need to help your Sales Reps call smarter and help them to make the most of the call when they do connect. If, on a regular basis, a company can help a sale rep prioritize who to call, and provide insights about what to call about, you are going to see an increase in conversions. Always track results and collect/aggregate data in your CRM.

Leads

  • 97% of visitors who come to your website for the first time aren’t ready to buy. (Marketo)
  • 78% of inbound leads 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)
  • 90% of buyers attend tradeshows to learn about new solutions. (Tradeshow Network)
  • 70% of your buyers prefer to learn about new solutions by email with introductory digital education. (Marketing Sherpa Survey)
  • 24% are open to first learning about a new solution in Social Media. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than any other traditional marketing strategies. (CSO Insights)
  • Targeting users with content relevant to their problem yields 73% higher conversion rates. (Gartner)

Insights and Action: Generating the initial lead and building awareness is still the first step in the process, and you can and should consider using multiple channels. Your initial content should focus on highlighting statistics, challenges, pains and problems. But lead generation is only the first step in the process.

 

B2B Buyers Behaviors and Desires Have Changed

 

  • According to Forrester Research, 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research and solution education online before engaging with a sales rep.
  • Your typical buyer consumes 6-12 pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep. (Forrester)
  • 80% of Buyers want to delay dealing with Sales Reps until they have completed initial research and are ready to shortlist for a decision – moving from consideration to preference stage. (Marketing Sherpa)
  • 62% of buyers say they try to make a business decision based on online content alone. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. (Gartner)
  • B2B buyers are 57%-70% through buying research before agreeing to meet with sales. (Forrester)
  • 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decision. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. (Sirius Decisions)
  • 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of videos and articles versus articles. (Forrester)

 

Insights and Action: Lead nurturing and content marketing is no longer optional. Buyers now required sustained content marketing and nurturing to support their entire pre-sales Buyer’s Journey.  

 

Video

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

  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, 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 downloads increased 380% in 2021. (Wistia)
  • Video downloads continued to increase by 180% the first quarter of 2022. (Vidyard)
  • Webinar attendance increased by 330% in 2020. And 20% to 40% of first-time registrants (not even attendees) convert into opportunity within one year. (On24)
  • 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)
  • 81% of the videos created by companies under 200 employees were user-generated. (Vidyard)
  • 54% of viewers watch a video all the way to the end. And the average length of videos increased to 9:48 seconds in 2021. (Vidyard)
  • Technology, Consulting and Professional Services Companies create the most videos for both awareness and nurturing. (Vidyard)

Insights and Action: Video has emerged as the most powerful type of content for buyers awareness and education. Long term success requires a commitment to video to support your entire pre-sales education process.

 

Lead Nurturing

  • Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% to 40% increase in calls to connect ratios versus non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Companies excelling at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales opportunities at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
  • Businesses using marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified opportunities. (Gartner)
  • 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)
  • 79% of most successful companies have been using marketing automation for 2 or more years before they see maximum results. (Forrester)

Insights and Action: Lead nurturing is now a requirement. Sellers that implement lead nurturing solutions win more business, more frequently over competitors that don’t. Consider allocating Sales Development Rep budget to Lead Nurturing as soon as possible

 

Conclusion

Replacing your historical rep driven process and Ad Hoc lead gen tactics with a lead nurturing process is not an “if”, but a “when” decision. The B2B Buyer now rewards sellers for this process.

Many small businesses, young companies, mid-size companies, and even under resourced sales and marketing groups are struggling to keep up with this digital first transformation. Many have an initial lead gen program in place, but that program is not producing the results it used to, or it’s not producing to expectations. In many cases, they struggle to craft a solid lead engagement strategy deeper into the funnel, they’re flying blind with a scattershot strategy or they are completely reliant on inbound leads. They lack:

  • The bandwidth to make informed decisions around the right marketing and sales tech to leverage.
  • The talent and resources to create quality content on a consistent basis. or
  • The time or can’t afford to assemble the experienced team,

What they need is a proven sales and marketing operation expert to run a sales engagement engine consistently.

About Gabriel Sales and Digital Demand Center 

Gabriel Sales’ can help. When you’re ready we have developed Digital Demand Center a turnkey solution designed specifically for SMBs that turns the Digital First Transformation into an opportunity for SMB sellers to survive and thrive.

If your still not convinced or 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.