The path to purchase has evolved, there is far more time spend on research and reviewing service that it is on the purchase itself.
66% of B2B buyers in the EU evaluate their providers annually and that even goes up in advanced markets such as the Nordics and the same buyers are frustrated by inconsistent experiences and services.
95% of EU B2B buyers prefer a partner with ample content to navigate the entire journey, in Norway as a sample 79% of those are in a mobile-first world.
Decision are being made long before companies are aware that they are a consideration (or not). More research done by buyers not only translate to more informed decisions but great opportunity to be in front of prospects long before they know they need you or you them.
But it is also a threat, only 17% of those researching find the quality of business related videos satisfying, while 33% basically can‘t find relevant videos, or think they are hard to find.
To excel, organizations have to crack multi-touch revenue attribution and apply that to their sales/communication cycle.
In my mind eCommerce funnels and lead generation funnels have the same fundamentals. eCommerce funnel is more about the smaller sales that have shorter life cycles, decisions taken with shorter notice than lead generated funnels.
Here is the thing, lead generated funnels are not only about the big deals, the multi-touch sales cycles where the steps are more complex and touch more stakeholders, such as boards, CEO’s, CTO’s and the professionals using it.
During lead generation there are stages that organizations is not aware of but can through clever tactics be a apart of the dialog (we call it “watercooler tactics”) – Circle K becomes top of mind with relevant omnipresence.
What both have in common is the need for multi-touch revenue attribution.
Both need a funnel as a tool to optimize the flow and usability of sales assets, data collected is as much about internal as it is about external data.
Complex B2B Sales Lead Gen
Most of my customers prescribe to two different methodologies: one is a funnel for qualifying leads, the second is a sales process (and the third might be farming). Each organisation’s sales process normally differs, but many will use common strategies for the qualifying leads part – attached is a description of the widely used Demand Waterfall by Sirius Decisions.
In essence, the work that you do digitally and through content creates demand through some form of value exchange (ie to get this paper you give me your details). They are AQLs (Automated Qualified Leads). Many organisations will then pass these to their inside sales department or telemarketing support to qualify the leads further (check they are real and understand their need) before they are passed to sales – essentially moving from automated qualified to telemarketing qualified, and then sales qualified. Once they are an actual opportunity they get moved into the sales process (normally a staged approach).
“There needs to be a integrated approach, a clear understanding between the creative, the execution and payoff – It needs to be seamless and the understanding of Social Selling is crucial.”
Kristjan Mar Hauksson, COO and Digital Evangelist at SMFB, 2016
A key trend that is occurring is to use marketing automation tools to nurture the lead using content – so after their first engagement, using these systems you set up a series of journeys for customer types with rules…if they download x, send them to y, if they visit a page, send another email etc. As their interaction with your content and real estate grows, they are lead scored, and once they hit a certain value, are passed straight to sales to qualify.
Most have some variant of the process described above in place so we either work with what process or help define it further so that it works.