Your B2B marketing department has done its job. They’ve filled the funnel with sales leads. The sales department followed through on the leads provided but somehow your close-ratios are dropping. What happened?
They say you save the best for last. And this time they were right.Jay Baer ended the first day of MarketingSherpa’sB2B Summit in San Francisco with a memorable keynote. Now, I am trying to write this pretty quick so you will just get the important pieces.
To effectively build relationships with prospects, sales teams need to learn to leverage evolving sales strategies. Without utilizing social networking, content marketing and other strategies, sales teams are likely leaving money on the table.
In a recent blog post I began to explore some ideas concerning the nature and economics of cognitive work in the modern corporation. I made a distinction between Business to Consumer (B2C) work and Business to Business (B2B) work. In B2B work, leaders have to create a way for their organizations to coordinate and collaborate to create solutions for their customers. Think about how complicated it is to get a large commercial insurance policy underwritten, or a new airplane built to specification, or a new company’s IPO launched successfully.
Social media can be many things: a place to network with friends, a way to follow market trends and monitor brand sentiment, a customer service tool for identifying unhappy customers. But is it a tool for demand generation? I believe the answer is yes, but that it requires a different mindset for lead generation and measuring ROI.
In a down economy, what changes to lead generation can B2B sales and marketing professionals do to increase sales? Our next interview in theB2B Marketing thought leader interview series(a series covering the entire revenue cycle, from the earliest stages of demand generation andlead managementto the pursuit of revenue and customer loyalty) seeks to find these answers with 35+ year sales veteran Marvin Miletsky, co-author ofPerspectives on Increasing Sales(along with James Callander).
You never read about selling in books about innovation. But, for B2B products, the first sales of a new product or service are crucial lifelines. Let’s be clear about this: no matter how cool, fast, inventive, or buzzworthy your product is, if you can’t bring paying customers on board, it’s not worth anything to your business–in fact, it’s a drain.