Technology is moving fast but b2b mindsets are not
B2B marketing in 2021 takes many forms, many constantly evolving at break-neck speed due to the digital revolution and the b2b buyer having far more research touchpoints than was possible even 5 years ago.
But is it valid for the majority of b2b organisations to be operating under the illusion of a ‘funnel’ mindset when it comes to planning their sales and marketing strategy?
The funnel mindset is born out of the volume focussed belief that at the top there is an endless amount of data (interpreted as ‘leads’ or ‘marketing qualified leads’ or simply ‘responses’) which can be constantly dropped in through digital marketing, brand advertising and events.
What then happens further down the funnel will be reliant on the organisations effective, or non-effective (or non-existent!) nurture strategy, but 95% of the time will result in dominant strategic ‘leaks’ which deliver low conversion rates, high wastage, prospect irritation, and non-efficient actual sales at the bottom.
B2B marketplaces are typically small
For the vast majority of b2b organisations the world they sell into is small, niche and categorically has a ceiling i.e. it certainly is not an endless ‘pot’! They do not and never will appeal to a mass audience. So why on earth then is a funnel mindset the default sales planning tool used in b2b?
- “Lets just keep throwing as much down it as we can!”
- “Let’s just keep hiring more and more Inside Sales reps to hit data (any data) as hard and repetitively as we can….one day it will buy!”
- “Let’s invest precious marketing budgets into digital activities which ultimately deliver the wrong kind of leads and quickly result in sales teams becoming disconnected with marketing efforts.”
It simply is not reality…. or rather sustainable reality…funnel mindset in b2b world is effectively business sales growth suicide…. the inevitable will happen one day…
The ‘when’ will be driven around how effective certain parts of that funnel delivery is, and the ability of the sales team to work it to the best of their abilities and the resources they have available.
In the meantime the b2b Sales or Commercial Director has to try and ‘hold together’ the funnel as best they can to deliver challenging growth targets meaning their focus is constantly distracted from ever trying to strategically fix the leaks which they know will unlock more sustainable growth.
Time for change
So, is it not better therefore in 2021 to reverse engineer the traditional b2b sales funnel?
To look at how you fix those leaks simultaneously to amplify sales growth and do it in a sustainable, brand enhancing way? To let loose AI automation and proven thinking to ensure results are delivered fast (which will be the number 1 priority in 2021)?
What about If you have a coherent and effective b2b data strategy that allows you to find, and then access and build your prospect universe using AI to accelerate the process and prioritise your effort?
What if you then nurture this universe with the right blend of effective marketing automation and voice (an ever-important channel in the remote Covid times we find ourselves in), with the right selling story (your proposition) which is delivered consistently across ALL sales teams?
And finally, what if your sales team’s headcount is aligned to the size of your world (what you know it is not what you think it is) to maximise overall efficiencies and profitability.
That process would effectively reverse engineer the funnel mindset and deliver you a sustainable growth plan which is fit for purpose in these ever-changing times.
In 2021 Ampli believe the b2b sales funnel needs to be re-engineered to unlock sales growth potential. We are confident our ‘leak fixing’ solutions will provide b2b organisations with the immediate stimulus they need to kick start their sales growth.
To find out more and unlock your sales growth potential get in touch today.