By Perry Rearick, Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer
Yes, you read that right!
Consider this, how many prospect accounts are stalled with your sales team? I’m referring to those accounts that you think are a great fit for your solutions, but they’ve been languishing on tracking boards or in the dark spaces of your CRM for months.
The salesperson says they’ll come in any day now and you’re already projecting the revenue as a sure thing. After the prospect stops taking your calls and gets KO’d, the finger pointing begins. Marketing is delivering bad leads and salespeople aren’t properly following up.
And this can lead to draconian actions like slashing marketing budgets, resorting to aggressive cold-calling tactics, and even firing employees.
Here’s a thought, could you be incorrectly measuring where the prospect is in their buyer’s journey?
When a significant number of prospects become bottlenecked with sales teams, it can often mean that you’re advancing them to the sales lead stage too soon. The solution for this problem is to align the indicators you use to advance prospects through your sales process with the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey begins long before a prospect wants to speak with a seller and even before they have determined they need to purchase something to solve a problem. But when someone accesses our digital marketing content, they often leave some enticing breadcrumbs. Sellers often cannot help themselves and immediately contact the “lead”, claim them as a solid prospect, even if they don’t speak to them, and jam them into the sales funnel.
What can you do about this?
- Gain an understanding of the real B2B buyer’s journey.
- Create a customer-centered content marketing plan to engage buyers in the early stages of their journey when they are seeking help to understand the issues they face and develop strategies to overcome them.
- Create an additional body of content that is customized to each stage of the buyer’s journey. This means far less self-promotional messaging and more thought leadership.
- Develop a sales follow-up process that helps prospects where they are in their journey.
- Align MQLs and SQLs based on your efforts to help the buyer navigate their journey.
When done well, you will build trust with your prospects, and they will call you asking what they need to do to become a customer. And no bottlenecks!