We’re firm believers that the goal of B2B marketing should be to generate tangible leads, convert these leads into new customers, encourage these customers to become loyal supporters and ultimately drive business growth. To do this effectively sales and marketing need to be integrated, with both disciplines working closely to target prospective customers at various stages of the sales cycle, moving them along from unaware to advocates.
Over recent years there has been a huge shift in the way that people buy. Traditionally, businesses buying from other businesses learnt about products or services via a sales person. Now, the majority of buyers have gone through an in-depth research process before they even consider picking up the phone to speak to a sales person. As we’ve become increasingly comfortable with and reliant on smartphones, social media and the Internet of Things generally, it’s never been easier or quicker for a potential customer to research a company and its products or services, compare them to those of its competitors and see first-hand feedback from other current or previous customers, whether good or bad.
For companies falling short in their product offering or customer service, or for those not willing to take part in the conversation in these digital spaces, this can seem like a scary prospect. But, for marketers this is an exciting time, as we’ve never had so many tools at our fingertips to help companies engage with their customers on a deeper level and on such a big scale, not to mention the data and analytics we can access to monitor the effectiveness of campaigns. Not only has this shift in buyer behaviour allowed marketers to get closer to the sales channel and have a bigger influence on it, for companies prepared to listen to their customers in these digital spaces it presents a huge opportunity to really understand the needs and wants of customers and provide them with the information they need in order to make the right purchasing decision.
How marketing can best support the sales process varies from company to company, but to help visualise a simple integration between sales and marketing and highlight key tactics which can be used at various stages of the sales cycle to achieve business growth, we’ve created a handy infographic which you can download as a PDF here.
If you’d like us to review your sales process and suggest ways that marketing could help achieve business growth, please get in touch.