Here at INCo we like to practice what we preach (almost always!). Like many B2B organisations, creating a consistent sales pipeline is top priority. As experts in the field of B2B lead generation, our blog today provides the inside information on how we ourselves overcame the challenges in pipeline creation in today’s ever changing market.
1. The Buying Cycle –
Reaching the decision maker within your prospect account at the right time is a bigger obstacle than ever. Traditional marketing channels are not reaching your prospects early enough because, as we found out in our last blog Marketing in 2016 – A Customer-Centric Approach, 70-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they engage with a vendor. At INCo, we recognised this change in buying behaviour. We are a HubSpot Gold Partner, using the marketing automation tool to create inbound marketing campaigns to get in front of our buying market online.
Sales enablement to solve prospect’s challenges is a big part of that – providing our prospective buyers with real tangible value. Historically, it has been tempting to demonstrate where INCo can help without delving deeper into the route of the problem, or where a prospect has not been ready to engage. The Business Development team have the tools to use the intelligence we have gathered - about a prospects’ interactions online, for example, or to share some thought leadership about the challenges last discussed. We take a more consultative approach to sales, advising the best solution to our buyer’s needs.
2. Digital Marketing –
Perhaps you are using inbound marketing to reach prospects at the top-of-the-funnel, yet your conversion rate is low and you’re not yielding the results you need to fill your pipeline? This is where our marketing automation tool plays a huge role in generating sales qualified leads. We nurture our prospects – with email marketing, case studies, blogs, and industry insights – content which will help your buyer persona address their challenges. Bottom-of-the-funnel offerings will make sure they convert when they are ready, and this is where our fabulous (if we do say so ourselves) Business Development team step in.
3. Coherency –
Coherence – in messaging, follow-up and action - is the answer to lead generation. If the message which your organisation is pushing out to your buyer personas through inbound marketing is not coherent with the strategy of your sales team, how can you lead your prospects through their buyer journey? INCo utilise Direct and Digital Marketing combined in a multi-channel marketing strategy, to create touchpoints at the key stages within the buyer journey.
Research from ITSMA shows that 78% of executives are willing to respond to outreach, if the messaging seems strategically relevant. This is all about sales enablement. Providing your sales team with resources will ensure that the outreach they conduct will appeal to your prospects by addressing their strategic challenges and pain points. An Account Based Sales and Marketing approach will ensure your sales team tailor their pitch and content to individual accounts – making the sales process very much a personal, one-on-one experience, turning accounts into opportunities.
Targeting EMEA can cause obstacles when different sales teams face budget constraints, follow different methods of practice and resource is skewed across regions. Although localisation is important, and should be recognised when developing your buyer personas, it is important that a coherent strategy is communicated across regions, and best practice remains so all regions follow the same path to generate pipeline.
4. Segmentation of the Business Development Team -
Segmentation of the responsibility between prospecting and closing deals is paramount. At INCo the roles within our team are clearly defined. The Business Development Consultants generate pipeline and then book meetings with sales qualified leads. Our Business Development Manager and our VP of Sales then work on these opportunities, leading them to the final stage of the buyer journey – becoming a customer.
The different functions within our organisation have embraced the inbound marketing methodology, alongside the outbound marketing which is our bread and butter. We are continuously optimising and improving our multi-touch approach but we have already seen some pretty impressive figures:
- Website visits up by 12%
- Contacts up by 25%
- Customers up by 200%
- Conversions up by 123%
(Figures for Jan-June 2016 compared to July-December 2015)
Direct and Digital Marketing has worked for INCo, overcoming the challenges B2B organisations face in pipeline generation. Download our eBook below to find out more about using a combined Direct and Digital Marketing Strategy to generate consistent pipeline.