I think we can all agree that the world of marketing is changing at a rapid rate. This change is a struggle for many marketers, as demonstrated in some of the following statistics from a 2011 MarketingSherpa survey of 1,745 B2B marketers. The level of difficulty has increased as marketing takes on some of the lead generation responsibilities that used to rest almost entirely on sales.
The trick now, as marketers, is to identify important trends, create focal points, stay competitive, and respond effectively to the shifting dynamic of marketing and sales. Let’s take a quick look at some information from the 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, then we can assess what needs to happen in the marketing community as a result.
• 68% of study participants have not identified their Sales and Marketing funnel
• 61% send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified
• 79% have not established lead scoring
• 65% have not established lead nurturing
(Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey; Methodology: Fielded June 2011, N=1,745)
As mentioned previously, there is no doubt that the changes in the marketing and sales environment provides some real challenges for B2B marketing. However, these statistics show a clear lack of responsiveness by marketers to engage in funnel optimization. There is a distinct need for sales and marketing to go to “the table” in order to identify and optimize the sales and marketing funnel. Both parties have a vital role in establishing the processes and parameters that will maximize the generation of qualified sales leads. As our friends at Sirius Decisions will recommend, implementing a SLA (service level agreement) will formalize the process and provide a format for accountability.
Change can be tough, but swimming upstream is even tougher. And that is exactly what marketers will be doing if decisive efforts aren’t made toward funnel optimization. For some folks, I understand that’s like expecting cats and dogs to play together. The result, however, is significantly better than a trip to the animal hospital. According to the 2011 MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Survey, businesses that actually establish formal methodologies for funnel optimization experience a 56% increase in lead generation ROI above businesses that lack these processes. Clearly, it is effective (and profitable) to have a convergence of marketing and sales that optimizes your funnel. The question is: where are you at in this process and what will it take to get you to the next level?
For more information around Vendere Partners CSM (converged sales and marketing) model, click the link.