One of the top frustrations I hear from sales and marketing is, “Our opportunities seem to get stuck in the pipeline, we need a way to create urgency so they purchase.” This is a common problem for many companies as most products and solutions are a nice-to-have. Will they improve the lives of buyers? Sure! But it doesn’t mean there is a fire burning under them to buy it. This is the reality so many B2B salespeople are faced with – trying to drag opportunities through to the next stage without clear motivation for them to do so.
Just like the article on how to turn prospects into excited opportunities, sales and marketing need to create a journey for opportunities in order for them to progress to purchase. A journey where sales is adding value at each step. With some help from marketing, you can insert some great tools into your sales cycle to do just that.
One of the most common demand generation issues I hear from clients is, “We get leads, but they rarely convert into opportunities.” If you could use some conversion rate improvement, the following marketing tools are excellent assets to use on your website for prospect engagement.
Fundamentally, you will need to build a journey for your website visitors. Think of this journey like hiking trails in a park. The prospect wants to choose which trail they go on and how long they take in their journey. Your job is to keep the path clear and to insert value along the way so they always know how to continue forward and have the motivation to do so. If they aren’t motivated to continue on their journey, they are going to pack up and leave.
Back in 2007, I was asked to figure out what our business needed to be doing in social media. I was asked because I had headed up other transformation projects with success. But those projects I liked, social media on the other hand, I hated. Don’t get me wrong, I completely saw the potential for social media to promote our business and the project was a big success. But when it came to actually creating social posts, that was never my passion – professionally or personally. So the fact that I’m now raving about a new social tool is a bit unexpected.
A huge transformation that B2B companies are undergoing is the switch to Account Based Marketing and Selling (ABM). This is a big change for enterprise companies whose systems and processes revolve around “warm leads” versus “warm accounts”. And with new technology enabling ABM to be successful, big operations decisions and purchases are being made.
But if you’re a startup or a small business looking to grow with marketing, what you’re wondering is “Will ABM even work for a small budget like mine?”
The answer is an emphatic yes! (And you’ll get results faster than the enterprises!)
It’s likely a truth for every B2B marketer, at some point in our careers, we’ve touted features. It’s the ultimate marketing sin, yet it’s sooo easy to do. It’s much harder to step inside the shoes of your customers and figure out what they want to know. The reality is that when a prospect visits your website they want to know two things:
- Is this product for me?
- Will it solve my immediate pain?
And guess what, you have less than 30 seconds to answers those questions for them or they will bounce. If your homepage is focused on what type of product you have and the fancy features that make it special, you’ve lost the sale.
It’s time to think about your blog a bit differently. Sure, blog articles are still a great way to drive traffic to your website, but they can be so much more. Start treating your blog like a lab experiment and amazing things can happen.
3 Experiments to start running on your blog today
Companies I’ve talked to that are taking on an ABM strategy seem to approach BDR involvement with one of two extremes: Either eliminating their role completely under the concept that target accounts are too precious to be handled by anyone other than an account executive OR allowing the BDR team to function as they have been, cold calling into target accounts.
The best approach is somewhere in the middle. BDRs can still play a very important role in ABM, but they do need to change their approach.
So you are taking on an Account Based Marketing strategy – awesome! But wait, that means content now has to be “personalized” to your target accounts and buying personas. And what if you’ve got a big matrix of account types and personas you are going after – how are you going to create all the content needed?
The good news is that there are some fairly simple ways to extend your existing content and resources to meet this demand. Read on to get the content tricks and tools you need to make ABM successful.
So your VP of Marketing just announced that your entire organization is going to shift to Account Based Marketing (ABM) and you’re thinking “Shoot me now! It’s hard enough to create content to feed our marketing engine now, how am I supposed to create personalized content for a dozen personas?!”
Back away from the cliff!
I have good news! You can be the hero of your company’s ABM initiative!
Content Superhero Weapons
In order to help your company win at ABM, you’ll need to bring to the table the following content weapons:
It’s eating away at your budget. Wasted hours on content that doesn’t drive traffic to your website and doesn’t yield conversions. Content takes a lot of manpower to produce – product marketers, content marketers, graphic designers, etc. And if you are promoting the content via organic and/or paid efforts you are wasting those resources too.
The mistake being made is creating content without knowing who you are creating it for. That content is just another blade of grass in a big field of generic content. Sure, maybe you have a job title in mind. But what I’m referring to is knowing exactly who you are trying to get the attention of that is most likely to buy your solution.