This article is the first of a two part series discussing the evolving buy cycle and the drastic impact on marketing and sales. Stay tuned for the sales installment which leads up to our June 7th webinar The New Buy Cycle – It’s Not About Your Sales Cycle.
If you haven’t seen or understood why sales are slowing and your competitors are constantly surpassing you, there’s a good chance it has something to do with the stagnation of your marketing and sales process. The internet has changed the way buyers are buying your products and services. And if you don’t adapt, it will cost you. Most companies live with a legacy process that has worked well for years. However, in today’s market the buyers are interacting with companies and sales people when they choose. Most often they are engaging with our companies quietly through the web. How does this impact marketing?
Using online marketing methods, marketers are able to add leads to the sales pipeline more quickly. But often these leads are not leads but strictly inquiries or suspects. Or potentially they are leads that aren’t ready to buy yet. Sales teams are responding to the current “lead” flow by not working the majority of these contacts and instead generating their own prospects. Marketing is left holding the bag, trying to justify their lead generation budget. This cycle will continue until marketing adjusts. Marketing must look to employ new technologies and processes to capture, track, nurture and score these top of the funnel “leads.” Embracing this new process and technology will provide marketers more capabilities and visibility to support sales. Instead of floods of inquiries flowing to sales, sales will receive more qualified leads – prioritized in order of “sales readiness” and with additional sales intelligence. Sales will be able to make warmer outbound calls to these leads as they can now see what the lead is interested in. Additionally sales will understand that this lead has interacted with the company over several months – moving from whitepaper downloads to webinars to viewing demonstrations.
With the technology and processes in place, marketers can provide the value needed to address this new buy cycle. Not only will marketers be able to provide sales with better opportunities and therefore the company with more revenue, they will be able to track what campaigns, assets and nurturing sequences best moved the potential prospect to become an opportunity. Now marketing will have the visibility and analytics to address corporate boards.
Learn more about how to put these ideas into practice – Join me and Michael Nick, CEO and Author of ROI4Sales, for the June 7th webinar The New Buy Cycle – It’s Not About Your Sales Cycle.