B2B marketing is a different game than B2C and typically it was very much undervalued by organizations in lieu of their sales team. In the past, salespeople were made superstars and held all the glory, while marketing was more of an afterthought.
Sales teams have always been the heroes and highest paid employees in most B2B organizations. That is why many salespeople got the reputation as premadonna and holding way too much power. I was one of these salespeople early in my career, so I can relate. The good news for B2B companies is that the game has changed and with the rise of the internet and prospects being heavily inundated with sales-oriented communication, the tide has totally shifted.
Related: What is B2B Marketing?
In 2018, the game has completely changed.
When it comes to prospecting for salespeople, the process is not the same today as it was years ago. Knocking on doors will not work and cold calling is exceptionally hard.
Just think, how many of you CEO’s or C-level’s answer the phone anymore and what type of mood are you in when you do? Does it piss you off? It does for me and I have no interest in talking to who is calling me. We are all busy and we want to control our schedules and calendars.
Evaluating solutions people are selling needs to happen on our own terms or we will not be very receptive to what is being discussed.
Keep in mind that this is something coming from someone who started his career as a top producing salesperson at Xerox; I’m not a biased marketing person bashing sales, it’s just true.
The game has changed… You need to change as well or you will lose market share and drive your customers crazy.
With that said, there’s a more scalable way to go attack the exact prospects you want and we have the secret sauce. We have proven this on many clients and, more important than anything, have proven this on our internal Power Digital Marketing efforts where we’ve become one of the fastest growing b2b companies in the nation and have done it with virtually no salespeople at an incredibly profitable rate where we acquire clients at a very low cost. This is reflected in our overall company profit, which is 2x the industry average.
Here are 5 things that we can give you from our playbook of success.
Customer Journey Mapping
One of the biggest mistakes b2b companies make and we made this mistake early on at PDM is you think you know your customer and what drives decisions and their pains and fears, but it’s really not defined and it’s too general. Doing the hard work to verticalize your different audiences and decision makers in those audiences and identifying what drives them will give you the blueprint to truly have something compelling to say to them and not be another generic place and pray marketer.
Our process for this starts with the Buyer Journey. The buyer’s journey is a framework that acknowledges a buyer’s unique progression through the awareness, consideration and decision phases ultimately culminating in a conversion. When mapped throughout the entire buying process, buyers’ journey mapping can positively impact sales and close the gap between your sales and marketing efforts.
From there, we identify the Length of Journey. PDM will evaluate and consider various factors that impact the length of each persona’s buying journey since the length of the buyer journey impacts the composition of your ideal funnels. For example, how complex is your product or service? If your product is on the more complex end of the spectrum, the length of your buyer journey is likely to be longer with additional education touchpoints needed as compared to a simple, straightforward offering.
Then we dive into your Funnel Audit where we evaluate your current funnel and identify TOFU, MOFU, BOFU efforts and metrics. We’ll create an ideal funnel based off of your Buyer Journey.
Finally, it’s critical to Conduct a Gap Analysis. We’ll find the spots where your marketing and sales funnel is lacking in order to start clearly defining solutions. PDM will compare your current funnel to the three ideal funnels created and will highlight all areas of opportunity. To effectively identify all areas of opportunity, PDM will conduct a channel-specific analysis. PDM will then compile a line item report detailing their findings from the gap analysis.
As the CEO of a company that gets a lot of sales calls, the phone calls drive me crazy and you’ll never get my attention on a call. A really well thought out strategic email is totally different. Trust me, there are some bad emails I get too, but I get good ones weekly that really hit on a pain point and land in my inbox with a compelling subject. When this happens I’ll often reply myself or forward to a relevant team member to pursue. This process can be automated and deployed at scale. We’ve deployed this email campaign starting with a client with 0 leads to getting over 30 leads per week in a matter of a month.
Adjust Your Digital Ad Efforts TODAY
I will bet money that your internal media buyer or agency that is running your ad campaigns is optimizing based off a CPL, or Cost Per Lead. I’m here to tell you that that form of measurement and optimization is incredibly flawed. The cost of the lead should really be the third metric that matters. They should be optimizing and measuring based on revenue per lead. Great news there is that with modern technology, this is possible. We set this up daily for our clients in platforms like Hubspot, Pardot, WhatConverts, and many others. Making this switch will be the difference between generating low quality, “hope they convert” leads at a very cost effective rate to converting leads that make you money and drive revenue and profit.
With that being said, it might not be that simple for your company. If your sales cycle is one that takes substantial time – weeks, months, years – optimizing based on revenue closed may be flawed. The reason why is that this data will not flow into the ad engine fast enough for them to optimize on what’s working. The solution is going one step down in the data you optimize off of. No that’s not CPL, but it is proposal value. For the leads that come through, what is the proposal value? The metric down from that would be quality lead versus just cost per lead.
Depending on your sales process, this needs to be custom. It’s not hard and we can help you do this and do this all the time. This will probably even give you a major profit lift within a month if you’re looking at the right metrics.
Top of Funnel Conversion Elements
This is one of the most flawed things we see with b2b marketing and we have made this mistake ourselves. What brands do is they think they can advertise to you and immediately convince you to get on the phone or book a demo. They go right for a hard sell without offering any value and expect to get results. Truth is, for me to commit 30 minutes to one hour of my time, I better be very convinced that it’s going to be amazing.
The way to do this and have someone convinced is by having more digestible, rapid conversion points that will give immediate value without asking too much of them. The value to them is they may get an amazing resource to use, a webinar, or a compelling industry report that will make them look amazing at their next staff meeting. The value to you is that you’ll get this person’s information and email and impress them, which means you can add them into your nurturing program to turn them into a sales-ready lead down the line.
The reason why we’re so confident in these methods to build your b2b marketing campaigns more effectively is because we’ve seen this time and time again in a flawed way where b2b companies prioritize sales over marketing and don’t get the results. Moreover, we’ve seen this first-hand with Power Digital.
If you implement these tactics today, you will undoubtedly get better results. We have deployed these four things many times for clients and can do so in an efficient and cost-effective way for your b2b brand.