A recent McKinsey report found that 20% of B2B decision makers will spend $500,000 to $5 million on just one interaction. Moreover, over 75% of B2B buyers and sellers prefer communicating through digital channels.
These figures make a strong case for digital marketing as a tool for B2B sales acceleration. Digital marketing can drive your B2B sales acceleration through lead generation, targeted advertising, data-driven insights and increased visibility.
Below, we’ll dive into how digital marketing facilitates B2B sales acceleration and growth.
The Purpose of Sales Acceleration
Sales acceleration increases the efficiency and speed of the sales cycle through multiple strategies, including sales enablement, lead qualification and more. The process shortens the deal cycle and helps buyers pass through the pipeline faster.
On average, most B2B companies take one to six months to get a new customer. For larger sales, a company might take anywhere from six to nine months to close a deal. Meanwhile, the sales cycle for a SaaS company is 84 days on average.
At this rate, a B2B company would only win a handful of customers yearly. Even worse, if there’s no framework for customer acquisition and sales enablement, the company might drain its resources without closing a sale.
The primary purpose of sales acceleration is to speed up the movement of prospects through the sales pipeline by using your resources more effectively. It helps boost revenue generation, bring in new customers and improve your bottom line.
Why B2B Companies Need Better Sales Acceleration
B2B companies need a cohesive sales acceleration framework to improve customer satisfaction, increase the sales team’s efficiency and shorten deal cycles.
Here are some benefits of sales acceleration for B2B companies.
Understand Your Prospects Better
Today, marketers know more about their prospects than ever before. Digital marketing data — contextual and behavioral — helps companies understand their customers.
Traditionally, marketers used a hit-or-miss approach. For example, they’d send out generic cold emails and calls, hoping to find someone interested in their product.
Today, over 77% of U.S. companies use data to inform decision-making and yield better results. For example, you can use data from digital marketing campaigns to inform your B2B marketing strategy. With it, you create buyer personas and get real-time buying signals to build targeted campaigns.
Increase Sales Team Productivity and Efficiency
Sales acceleration improves lead generation and efficiency because sales teams identify the most promising leads. The sales rep or team can prioritize follow-ups for prospects most likely to close.
Many sales accelerations tools also have built-in automation features to streamline routine tasks, such as follow-up emails and data entry. It frees up time for your sales team, so they focus on high-value activities like relationship building.
Close More Deals, Faster
Ultimately, reducing the time your sales team devotes to menial tasks contributes to shorter deal cycles. Understanding your buyers better also shortens the sales cycle.
With effective sales acceleration, companies understand the needs of their prospects at every step of the buying journey.
Your sales team can tailor its approach to every prospect’s interests, pain points and preferences. When you show that you understand them and offer solutions, they’re more likely to trust and eventually buy from you.
How Marketing and Sales Acceleration Work Together
Back in the day, prospecting was done in isolation. But, modern sales acceleration means collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Together, each fine-tunes marketing strategies and sales pitches to perform better.
The marketing team creates brand awareness and generates leads. Meanwhile, the sales team shares common questions that prospects ask, which reveals opportunities to improve marketing messages.
Here’s how each team can collaborate to accelerate sales.
The more information a sales rep has about a lead, the easier it is to move top prospects through the sales funnel. Customer research may include:
- Company background
- Potential pain points
- Product information
- Preferred communication channels
- Competitive information
Marketers can work with the sales team to create buyer personas, including pain points, goals, buying behaviors and demographics. Similarly, sales teams can share customer feedback with marketing to generate content and strategies relevant to changing customer needs.
With B2B sales acceleration, you clearly identify sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).
Marketing-qualified leads are curious but still in the learning phase, so sending them to the sales team doesn’t make sense. However, sales-qualified have more intent to buy. Focusing your efforts on sales-qualified leads means increasing your deal close rates. It can also signal which marketing campaigns best bring in sales-qualified leads.
In lead scoring, the sales and marketing teams assign a numerical score or value to each lead based on their interests, engagement and demographics. The marketing team tracks prospect behavior across touchpoints — email interactions, website visits and social media activity.
Meanwhile, the sales team assigns points to these leads based on their intent and interests. Together, lead scoring prioritizes promising leads and accelerates sales.
Lead routing assigns leads to the right sales reps. You might segment reps based on their expertise or prior interactions with similar clients. Or, you can segment them based on company size, industry and location.
As usual, the marketing team manages the information collection part.
- Where is the lead coming from?
- What stage is the lead in?
- Which industry do they focus on?
With this data, the sales team can choose which rep to assign to the lead.
The “rule of seven” states that it takes an average of seven interactions before a prospect becomes a buyer. Marketing teams provide several of these interactions or touchpoints.
For example, they can send personalized emails to leads during the buying journey. These could include educational content, promotional offers, welcome emails, product updates, etc. They can also create relevant content to educate leads about the company’s product or service.
Marketing teams also create touchpoints through social media platforms by engaging leads through questionnaires and content. Once the marketing team has done its part, sales can take over. They nurture leads through personalized follow-ups, product demos and relationship building.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Over 70% of B2B marketers use account-based marketing (ABM). ABM targets and prioritizes high-value accounts to make the most of sales reps’ time.
When implementing ABM, sales and marketing teams must determine resource allocation for every target account. They assign roles to every marketer and sales rep to transition the prospect seamlessly between sales and marketing activities.
The marketing team chips in by providing technographic and firmographic data from the customer relationship management (CRM) system. The team might use predictive analysis and machine learning to analyze data for precise insights.
Meanwhile, the sales teams create a communication strategy tailored to each account. They also develop relationships with decision-makers in the identified accounts.
Companies with an aligned ABM strategy see a 208% uplift in revenue.
At Goodway, our ABM experts help you focus on high-value accounts to increase revenue and speed up the sales cycle. We look beyond MQLs and focus on improving overall sales acceleration and revenue.
Salesforce’s State of Sales Report shows that 57% of high-performing sales teams use analytics compared to 16% of underperforming teams. High-performing teams are also 3.5 times more likely to use data analytics daily in their selling and prospecting efforts.
Marketing teams have immediate access to intent data and share it with their sales counterparts. But marketing data alone isn’t enough. Sales reps must also spend time with customers to collect information and accommodate their needs. In fact, high-performing sales reps spend 22% more time with customers.
Improving Your B2B Sales Acceleration
Digital marketing and sales acceleration go hand in hand. Together, they accelerate deal cycles, save time and increase revenue generation.
Creating a B2B marketing strategy and aligning it with the sales team can be challenging. To begin accelerating sales and landing more deals, schedule a chat with Goodway Group.