Nobody ever said B2B marketing was going to be easy. Marketing to other businesses is one of the most challenging tasks a marketer can be faced with; however, there are certain key things (key behaviours) that the most successful B2B marketers all practice.
These practices all feature one essential element in common: directing B2B efforts where they are most needed, whether they involve customer retention, sales or internal management. Adopting these practices in your own marketing initiatives can make a world of difference in pushing B2B business, and help you achieve meaningful growth for your organisation.
Gleanster Research surveyed 750 B2B Marketers and their report identified a number of notable differences that are common among top performers. We have added in a couple ourselves to the list of best practices of top B2B Marketers.
1. They focus on retention first
Let’s get the harsh realities on the table first: B2B marketing professionals can spend too much time on bringing in new customers, and not enough on keeping their existing customer base happy. In the inbound marketing methodology, this is what’s referred to as the “delight” factor. The final step in inbound is tailored entirely around delighting customers indefinitely and keeping them engaged with a company.
The most successful B2B marketers spend, on average, almost a quarter of their time on customer retention and expansion. They also allocate their budget towards their retention efforts in a way that makes business with existing customers possible and profitable.
2. They take control of the sales funnel
When it comes to B2B, monitoring conversions and actively engaging with leads throughout the sales funnel is something that sets effective marketers apart from the rest. Marketers should guide their customers through the entire conversion lifecycle, from first impressions to close; doing so builds stronger rapport with audiences, resulting in happier, higher quality clients.
The customer/user experience isn’t just a sales consideration, which is something that successful B2B marketers realise right out the door.
3. They're actively involved in sales
The most effective B2B marketers don’t shun sales. Rather, they embrace it. Many B2B marketers have gone all-in with the idea of SMarketing; a combined methodology of intertwined sales and marketing, in which marketers involve themselves in the sales process to further lead conversion efforts.
When marketers actively participate in their company’s sales process (listening in on calls, talking directly with customers, inquiring about the sales market, etc.), they get a firmer grasp on ways they can direct joint sales and marketing strategies.
4. They know how to read and respond to metrics
Too often, B2B marketers focus too strongly on customer conversation, without giving the due time to managing metrics, and using that information to make smarter marketing decisions. Analytics have become a cornerstone of B2B marketing that are absolutely essential in converting and engaging with customers.
Marketing analytics, like those generated automatically within HubSpot, allow marketers to personalise conversations with leads and more accurately target their needs; needs that, when met, convert. The most effective B2B marketers practice behavioural targeting via marketing metrics 75% more than average marketers do, and generate the results to match ("Rethinking the Role of Marketing" - Gleanster Research).
5. They filter out the background noise
Successful B2B marketers know more than just the right things to focus on when directing marketing efforts; they also know what to tune out. Everyone has a view on marketing, and how it should be done, these views and ideas are mostly misinformed. Effective B2B marketers know to filter out the noise and make positive decisions when taking on or passing up projects.
It’s impractical to create custom sales and marketing projects based on every whimsical idea or desire of others in your organisation, and this is something that the most effective marketers acknowledge. Listen, filter and execute in a way that truly furthers your business, as opposed to the fluff aspects of B2B.
6. They acknowledge that their staff is everything
Perhaps the most defining thing that sets highly effective B2B marketers apart from the rest is the way they value their team. 92% of the world’s most successful marketers prioritise team skills and resources as a major business challenge; this is compared to a meagre 50% on average.
The most effective B2B professionals make it a habit of keeping their teams informed, and attuned to ongoing marketing trends. Keeping entire teams engaged in the marketing sphere creates more effective marketing campaigns; more effective campaigns translates into higher customer conversions.
We hope you found value in this post, let us know of other habits that you believe the best in our business display.