To survive this difficult business environment, businesses cannot continue doing what they’ve always done in the past. Marketing and sales are now being forced to ‘do more with less’ due to reduced staffing and budget cuts. Here are some of the trends I’ve noticed in the B2B marketing and sales world …
- There is an increased emphasis on measured results and ROI of all marketing expenditures.
- Sales cycles are getting longer with buyers much more cost conscious about their purchases.
- Businesses now need to generate new leads outside their normal sphere of relationships and contacts.
- Increased use of marketing automation tools to reduce expenses – while still nurturing leads who may turn into prospects in the future.
- More emphasis on website copy optimization that clearly portrays a company’s ‘value proposition’ and a clear ‘call to action’. No more ‘business card’ websites.
- Growing use of internet marketing and search engine optimization so businesses can easily ‘be found’ when prospects are looking for their product/service.
- Tracking and monitoring of website traffic including keywords used to get there, and referral sites.
- Increased use of multi-channel marketing campaigns (print, email, internet, telesales, etc).
- Prospects are looking for (and downloading) much more product information and collateral as they perform their due diligence before buying.
- More effort is being spent on lead scoring so the sales team is only given qualified leads and expected to follow-up on all of them.
In the good old days businesses may have been able to flourish with casual marketing efforts and less than 100% lead follow-up but not anymore. In this challenging economy, every qualified lead might be worth thousands of dollars to acquire making it more important than ever to (1) understand which marketing approach worked the best and (2) ensure each and every one is followed up on by the sales team.
– Steve (www.SPMsolutions.NET)