Did you know that today about 70% of the buying decision is made without a salesperson’s help? The buyer’s journey no longer starts with a cold call from a salesperson. Buyers today use the internet to research solutions to their problems, find possible solution providers, ask peers for their recommendations, and narrow the list of providers.
Of course, buyers still attend trade shows and conferences, and read trade journals (mostly online now), but the point is that the salesperson is no longer in the driver’s seat. And if your company sells to engineers and other technical types, it’s even more likely that sales gets brought into the buying decision very late in the game since technical types are especially skeptical of salespeople in general.
What does this mean for your company? You need to rethink and renew your marketing efforts to ensure marketing is doing all it can to generate and nurture qualified leads for your sales team. Today, marketers must be able to meet prospects on their terms with relevant and educational content such as helpful application tips, checklists, case studies, and white papers. This means you need to learn what internet resources your prospects frequent, so you can drive them to your content, and writers who can produce the content of interest to your target prospects. And you need new business processes and software systems to support these efforts and the handoff to sales.
However, many manufacturing company’s marketing departments currently face some major challenges including:
- Lack of technical knowledge to write the content (and internal subject matter experts are too busy!) that drives online marketing
- Lack the experience to re-engineer business processes or set up and use marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Lack an overall lead generation strategy and measurement metrics
To overcome these challenges, you will need to devote more resources to the marketing department that will hire marketers with the right skills and experience, outsource to consultants and freelancers, or do a combination of both to be successful. Marketing and sales teams need to stand on equal footing and work hand-in-hand to deliver results in today’s internet driven buyer’s journey.
Susan Mitchell is President/Owner of B2B Marketing Source, LLC and uses her engineering background and nearly 20 years of business-to-business marketing experience to help clients selling products and services in industrial, manufacturing, engineering, utility, energy efficiency, and commercial facilities services industries drive their marketing to the next level. She can be reached at 240-449-4145 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.