“If marketing has one goal, it’s to reach customers at the moments that most influence their decisions.”
Growing your company to a deadline means there is no capacity for wasting marketing resources or customer attention. It is imperative that your marketing appears when and where the need is recognised and your customer is looking for partners or suppliers.
One of the biggest disconnects in companies is between sales and marketing teams. Often the sales team understands how the customers buy, but the marketing team doesn’t have the journey mapped and therefore cannot provide support to that customer through that decision journey. Or marketing are delivering leads and sales not converting ‘a golden opportunity’; there’s always something. In reality each department has more and more challenges as the world digitises and customers morph and change behaviours. Focusing these often friction filled departments on a single growth goal is essential.
With so much of B2B customer research and decision making done away from your organisation, usually before your sales and marketing teams are even aware an opportunity exists, its vital to understand the paths customers take in your market sector.
In the first instance your brand plays a significant part; their initial search will include your organisation’s reputation, reviews, feedback from other like-minded organisations to judge your fit with theirs and you’ll have no influence (other than all of the investment you’ve put into your brand and therefore your reputation in the marketplace).
If the prospect has decided you might be the right fit for their need at that particular time, relying on the old methods and B2B decision funnels is increasingly challenging and often not producing the desired results. The new B2B customer journey is where customers are prompted by a trigger (one of their own, not one of
you company’s making) to take action and start looking more deeply at your company, products and/or services. Following their research and their initial contact with you, your understanding of their triggers is the best driver for building a successful strategy. It ensures that the customer is at the centre of the communication and you can tailor your approach to his need rather than relentlessly pushing products which may or may not be relevant. Demand triggers like software becoming non-compliant, missed sales targets, staff shortages following a contract win etc. deliver immediate and quantifiable demand.
Part of any accelerated marketing program must be to ensure sales and marketing work seamlessly, the brand establishes your reputation, the correct triggers and compelling value propositions work to move the prospect closer to your business with every interaction. This journey can move backwards, forwards and sideways before a successful contract is achieved, therefore clear goals and exceptional integration is key to success.
To find out how well your sales and marketing team are integrating and how well your aligned with your customer triggers, try our Step IQ tool today
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A clear value proposition is critical to uniting your company around a common cause. It provides a compelling customer benefit and forms the basis of everything you do.