5. Help buyers research early in the sales cycle

futurelab default header

by: Jon Miller

Before the Internet, buyers got most of their information by talking directly with sales reps. As a result, it made sense for sales to engage with the customer early in the buying cycle.

Today, however, buyers use the Internet to research and get smart before they ever want to speak with a representative of your company. By the time they engage with sales, the buyer is more educated than ever before – perhaps even more educated than the sales rep.

In today’s world, it is the B2B marketer’s job to help educate the buyer in the early stages of the buying cycle. This can help frame the discussion and establish your company’s brand as a trusted advisor that understands their problems and knows how to solve them. Doing this well means:

  • Leveraging search engine marketing so customers who are seeking your information can find you, and
  • Creating compelling landing pages for each topic that prospects will want to research.

One final note: Make sure to balance the goal of capturing contact information with the fact that requiring a registration to get to the content can reduce conversions by 75-85%, increase bogus registrations, and prevent search engines from finding your content. One way to do this is to give content targeted to prospects early in the sales cycle without requiring registration, reserving registration for more educated buyers who are likely to be further along.

Original Post: http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2006/12/5_help_buyers_r.html