According to Marketing Sherpa’s recent, 2009, B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey, the #2 most important challenge to B2B marketers, after generating high-quality leads, is marketing in a lengthening sales cycle. Almost 40% of the 1,147 surveyed, or nearly half of the respondents consider this a challenge. With effective and consistent content curation, B2B marketers can overcome the difficulties of a lengthening sales cycle. Delivering highly relevant content in a consistent, periodic manner, throughout the complete sales cycle will support sales and increase the authority of the companies that do so effectively.
Tip #1: Deliver authority before the first sales contact. Deliver insights as consistently as a trusted newscaster
Although most B2B marketers understand the “who, what, when and why” as prospects enter the funnel, keeping up with the key issues that drive initial prospect interest is difficult. Content curation allows companies to capture and share a comprehensive collection of relevant content key to the current issues which drive customer interest and search for a solution. Delivering authority before there’s a sales pain establishes a history of insight and commitment to a topic. It also is a competitive way to keep a brand, front and center, of a prospect not yet in that perfect pain situation.
Tip #2: When customers search the issue, they should find your brand at each step
Where do prospects get all their information on researching a particular key issue that is at the heart of their problem? If the only content they can get will be at the level of pain, then customers can only connect with sales during the pain-step and must find their other information needs elsewhere. To stay competitive in all steps of the sales cycle, a company must “grab and hold” a customer’s attention as long as possible. Only through relevant, comprehensive, and curated content can a company achieve this difficult level of engagement. When customers research, independently, whether via Google or any other source, they should easily find your brand ready to address the issue from the perspective of their research query.
Tip#3: Provide Sales team with dynamic content resources they can leverage to engage prospects anytime, anywhere
B2B sales teams need new ways to stay relevant and engaged with numerous busy prospects that do not move through all parts of the sales cycle at the same pace. Current drip-marketing consists of static content that lack a “real-time” connection to industry issues. Did something happen today that could reengage a prospect to make an early decision? Provide your sales team dynamic, continuous intelligence that they can repurpose or start conversations with prospects. The best salespeople are always looking for new reasons to start conversations.
With curated content, marketing teams can dominate the sales cycle and create new opportunities for sales team to close early and close often. Are you going to simply let longer sales cycles get the best of your organization?