Optimizing Marketing Strategies for B2B Buyer Types

Optimizing Marketing Strategies

We know that optimizing your marketing approach for each of the fundamental B2B  buyer types leads to higher engagement and better brand recognition, but how can you choose the right approach一with the most effective words and the most influential underlying messages一to best speak to these audiences? How do you choose which aspect of your product will most interest the buyer, and how will your delivery of that information pique their interest and close the most deals? 

When crafting your marketing approach, choosing the optimal framing, words, and motivational drives for each of the buyer types in your target audience is important. In order to speak to them the most directly, you’ll need to understand what values they hold in the decision-making process, what particular things they desire in products, and which ideas are the most likely to make them act. Merging the theories from Will Leach’s book, Marketing to Mindstates, and Geoffrey A. Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm, we’ll take an in-depth look at what drives each of these buyer types and how to optimize your marketing approach for these factors. 

Visionaries: What they want

For Visionaries, the cost of the product is not as important as the substance of the dream it promises. As such, marketing for this type should not focus on cost or economy but instead on how innovative, cutting-edge, or game-changing the product will be. Visionaries want to buy into something that has never been done before, and so past evidence or “proof” that the product has worked elsewhere is not particularly useful, and might even get in the way. In the same vein, they’re willing to accept projected ROI, as long as it’s substantial enough to pique their interest. Generally, they also want to see impressive promises, like big milestones being passed, or impactful change happening quickly. 

The words that speak to Visionaries’ values the most clearly are those like: 

Game changer; dramatic; the first; the only; X times faster/better; cutting edge; “X factor.” 

In sum, anything that promises a large pay-off by way of a new technology will speak the most directly to what they desire in products. 

Visionaries’ motivational aspirations are for achievement, autonomy, and engagement. To support these values, marketing content should underline how investing in the product will fulfill these psychological needs. To cater to the desire for achievement, content should promise them the feeling of being accomplished or tech savvy for choosing your product. This is best applied when it relates to their willingness to back an innovative or game-changing option. 

When it comes to autonomy, your marketing approach should suggest an independence from what everyone else is doing, and feed into their desire to feel unique in their decision-making process. Highlight the elements of the product that stand out, and suggest that choosing your more novel product over a mainstream one will communicate a sense of originality in the Visionary’s decision-making process. An excellent example of this comes from Apple’s highly successful 1997 ad campaign, whose slogan read, “Think different.” In presenting the idea, Steve Jobs said it was about “honoring the people who think different and move this world forward.” The campaign’s call to those who desire to feel “unique” from the mainstream population ended up pulling the company out of its economic slump, highlighting the efficacy of marketing to a specific audience and optimizing your messaging to isolate what motivates them. 

As for the need for engagement, make sure the product is marketed in such a way as to excite their interest, particularly because of how novel or unconventional the product is. Visionaries need to feel excited about the choices they make, so an effective approach to market to them will rely on engaging content.

Pragmatists: What they want

For Pragmatists, cost and proof of concept are important, but they are more so factors in their decision rather than the basis of it (as is the case with Conservatives). Pragmatists will want to see how these factors will relate to the overall likelihood of success if they decide to choose your product, but when sharing this information with them, it’s wise to optimize the frame in which you choose to share it in order to best address their values and desires. As such, they’ll respond best to demonstrable incremental improvements, case studies, and quantifiable ROI. They want to see detailed analysis or case study as proof that your product has worked for others in their industry, and they appreciate realistic promises over the far-fetched claims that’ll be the most exciting to Visionaries. 

The words that speak to Pragmatists’ values the most clearly are those like: 

Proven; verifiable; demonstrable; incremental; have x number of the top 10 companies as customers

In sum, anything that assures a reliable, evidence- and community-backed solution will speak the most directly to what they desire in products.

The motivational aspirations that most generally drive Pragmatists are competence and empowerment. To optimize for their desire for competence, marketing approaches should give them all the details they need to feel confident in their decision-making process. This can be facilitated through compelling case studies and realistic ROIs. The idea is to make them feel they are competent (even pragmatic) decision-makers who may level all the pros and cons before coming to a decision. 

To inspire the sense of empowerment, it’s important to make them feel in control of the outcome of their decision to move forward with your product and to highlight their authority in the decision-making process. As such, try to underline the strategic merit in choosing your product over others and frame any associated risks as manageable or easily-calculated. A solid strategy here would be to offer them a compelling, fact-based argument that will assure them that their decisions are well-informed and level-headed.

Conservatives: What they want

For Conservatives, cost and brand are everything. They need to know that others in the industry, right now and in the past have used your product without any problems. Even at that, they’ll generally only be incentivized to take on a different product if it’s cheaper than their existing options. To market to them, your approach must highlight your product’s acceptance by their larger community or industry and its ultimate dependability. To build on this, it must also assuage the Conservative’s fear of difficulty or of having to struggle through the transitionary process of learning new features. Market your product as easy-to-use, painless, cheap above all else, and as the industry standard. 

The words that speak to Conservatives’ values the most clearly are those like: 

Oldest, most used; most popular; most trusted; award-winning; since 19XX; zero-risk; simple

In sum, anything that assures a traditional, well-endorsed, and cost-effective product will speak the most directly to what they desire in products.

Conservatives’ main aspirational motivations are for belonging and security. As described above, the way to market to those who value a feeling of belonging would be to highlight how many other professionals in their industry use and have used your product successfully. This is made stronger through messaging that suggests that other Conservative types also trust your brand. The idea is to communicate that, if they choose your product, they’ll be joining a vast array of peers who have already judged this product as reliable and hassle-free. 

To cater to their motivation for security, market your product as the most simple, painless, and risk-free option out there. Conservatives crave the security of an easy, low-adaptive transition because they dislike change, so communicating the simplicity of your onboarding process will speak much louder to them than many other approaches. Additionally, since Conservatives generally believe that things aren’t getting better— perhaps only getting worse with time— suggesting that the product will simplify their lives, that it only takes a few minutes to get started, and that there is a 24 hour hotline ready to help at any time is a strong idea. 

Recapping

Having a nuanced understanding of the buyer types you’re selling to is essential when optimizing your marketing approach. However, just as essential is understanding which proven online marketing strategies you can use to cultivate high-quality leads within these three groups. 

You can find more resources like this on the SOMAmetrics website under resources. Or click here to schedule a call if you would like to speak with one of our associates.

Five Factors Affecting Revenue Growth

Factors of Revenue Growth

According to research from Gartner, only 6% of chief sales officers (CSOs) report that they are extremely confident in their team’s ability to meet or exceed their revenue goals. This means that for the vast majority of sales leaders, reaching revenue growth targets is a high-priority challenge. 

At the same time, the B2B purchasing process has changed entirely in the digital era. To stay competitive, companies must adapt and keep up with their dynamic customer bases as their buyers navigate the digital world on their own terms. But how can companies do this?

The following five factors offer insight into the key elements that impact your company’s revenue growth.

Factor 1: Choose the Right Market Focus

Choosing the right market focus for your company is the single most important factor impacting your revenue growth. It’s essentially the keystone of your marketing and sales activities, the one crucial element that can make or break your revenue growth.

A well-chosen, narrow market focus can result in millions of dollars in the sales pipeline, as well as more high-quality leads each month. 

How does this work? A narrow target market empowers you to focus on excelling in a specific area. You can develop in-depth knowledge of your target market that would be impossible to develop otherwise. This increases efficacy and boosts the number of high-quality leads generated by your marketing efforts. 

Read more

Factor 2: The Sales Process Is the Buyer’s Process

The old sales process is out of date. The tactics that may have worked in the past—like cold calls and mass email marketing campaigns—are quickly becoming obsolete. 

Today’s buyers spend only 5% of their time with a given sales representative during the purchasing process, on average. They spend more time researching solutions online, preferring to discover for themselves whether or not a vendor is well-suited to fulfill their needs. 

In the new buyer’s landscape, you must meet buyers on their terms—which involves creating highly individualized content to demonstrate what you have to offer your target market. 

Read more

Factor 3: Align Sales and Marketing for High Growth

To facilitate revenue growth, marketing has to be directly linked to sales outcomes. It’s not enough for marketing to simply generate brand awareness anymore—marketing strategies must result in high-quality leads that are likely to start a conversation with sales. 

In fact, at least 50% of sales that close should be a direct result of your marketing strategies

To align sales and marketing, make sure that your sales goals are the motivation behind your marketing efforts. Uniting sales and marketing with a common goal will change the way you approach marketing, transforming it from a cost center to a revenue generator. Read on to discover how to accomplish this.

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Factor 4: Use Intelligent Sales Data to Grow Sales

How do you ensure that your marketing and sales departments are up-to-date and in alignment? The answer is simple—use intelligent sales data to guide your strategies, rather than historical data and experience-based knowledge.

One goal of intelligent sales data is to keep your strategies as up-to-date as possible. You should be responding to industry changes and accommodating new buyer preferences in real-time, not years into the future. This makes intuitive sense—using historical data, you are responding to buyers’ past preferences, not their current needs. Intelligent sales data keeps your strategies cutting-edge. This will keep your company from falling behind.

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Factor 5: Importance of Managing by Metrics

You can’t fix what you can’t see. That’s what the final factor is all about—to successfully increase revenue growth, you must track the right metrics and use them to build effective strategies for sales and marketing.

Using metrics to manage your strategies will provide you with an objective understanding of how your sales and marketing efforts are performing. The right metrics will expose where you can improve, where you’re already excelling, and everything in between. This is essential to increasing revenue growth. 

Read more

Revenue Growth: Focus on Buyers

One key element all five factors have in common is a focus on the buyer. At every stage of the process, successful sales and marketing strategies place the buyer front and center. 

This is what B2B buyers expect in the current era. They want to work with vendors who understand their industry and anticipate their needs, preferences, and habits. To put it simply, today’s buyers have higher expectations than ever before. The companies that deliver revenue growth in this environment are prepared to meet and exceed these expectations.

Further Resources:

To learn how to best leverage these five factors to reduce costs and grow your revenue, download our full white paper

Read more about revenue growth strategy here

Schedule your free value prop analysis here

Factor 1: Choose the Right Market Focus

Successful marketing isn’t about reaching the broadest audience possible—it’s about reaching the right audience for your company. 

You have a limited marketing budget, which means that you have to maximize the ROI of each dollar you spend. Without a defined target market, you will waste your resources reaching market segments that aren’t the right fit for your product.

The challenge is to target and reach customers who are most likely to convert into sales. You don’t want to waste your money on anything else.

By targeting a narrow market, you can increase your depth of understanding in a specific industry. By offering more individualized information that is relevant to potential customers, you stand out from the competition. 

Remember, your goal is to get on the shortlist of vendors the buyer will contact. Buyers want to know that you can offer the right solutions for their specific pain points. 

To do this, you’ll need to develop an in-depth understanding of your buyers. Not only do you need to understand their industry, but you also need to understand what motivates your buyers as individuals. This process is also known as persona development, which involves conducting thorough research to create a profile of the types of customers that are most likely to purchase your product. 

Let’s make the concept of choosing a market focus more concrete with a case study. 

Case Study: Establishing Market Presence with Digital Content Strategy

Without a specific industry target, your marketing efforts could draw the attention of companies in any number of industries. Not all of these companies will be the right fit for your product. 

In this instance, the client was a digital technology services provider that built digital capabilities for its clients. They provided services to any incoming request and did not target a specific industry. Company executives knew they had to focus on a specific industry sector to execute its outbound strategy, but which one was the right one?

We helped the client analyze its track record to determine which industries were the ideal targets. Then, we conducted in-depth industry research to narrow down the top industry that was worth targeting. 

With one specific industry in mind, the next steps were to create content for this industry and generate targeted demand through email campaigns and phone prospecting. 

As a result of this digital content strategy, the client generated 16 high-quality leads per month, increased name recognition, and brought 4 million dollars into the sales pipeline. This success story demonstrates the value of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific industry. 

The Right Market Focus: Key to Success

With a narrow target market, you can develop your understanding of your target market to a greater degree. You can devote more of your resources to specializing in this industry, to refining your knowledge of their pain points, current and future challenges, and crucially, how your company and its services can help. 

There’s a reason that finding the right market focus is Factor 1—it’s the first thing companies should nail when developing a strategy for increasing revenue. It will make your company stand out, and increase the effectiveness of the following factors—starting with the buyer’s process in Factor 2

Resources:

5 Ways to Reach Your High Performance Marketing Goals

Case Study: Establishing Market Presence with Digital Content Strategy

Persona Development & Targeting 

The Creative Content River White Paper

Factor 2: The Sales Process is the Buyer’s Process

Does this story sound familiar? A salesperson blindly calls and emails through a list of contacts, hoping that someone will respond so he can convince them to schedule a meeting. On the off chance that he is successful, he will conduct the meeting as follows: First, he will tell the prospect all about himself. Then, he’ll ask the respondent about their company. Regardless of the response, he will then launch into selling his product. 

This clunky, sales-centered approach is the old sales process that prioritizes the salesperson’s preferences. There’s a reason this process is ineffective—despite its name, the sales process is not really about the salesperson. Buyers aren’t interested in working on a salesperson’s schedule—they have their own priorities to fulfill, and they appreciate salespeople who anticipate and respond to their needs and work with their schedule. 

So, calling it “the sales process” is a misnomer. Your focus should be on the buyer’s needs, desires, and timeline, making it more accurate to call it the buyer’s process.

To fully understand the buyer’s perspective along their journey toward making a purchase, let’s look at the purchasing process from their point of view. 

The Buyer’s Process

Today’s buyers start with research. Once they recognize the problem that needs solving, a team member begins looking for answers online. They’ll comb through blogs, articles, industry reports, and other sources, all in search of the best possible solution to the problem at hand. Your job is to stand out amongst this crowded market and make it to the shortlist of vendors they will contact. 

To stand out, your content must address exactly what your buyers are looking for. This is where your in-depth knowledge of your target market comes into play (as you already know from Factor 1). 

The reality is that buyers only spend 5% of their time with a given sales rep during the purchasing process, on average. As they spend less time with sales reps and more time researching online, your content is becoming increasingly important

Buyers make the crucial decision of whether or not to include your company on the shortlist based almost entirely on your content. So, you must ensure that your content is highly valuable, relevant to their needs, and surfaces on search results pages. 

As you can see from the following infographic, marketers use a variety of content types designed to appeal to buyers at different phases of the process. 

Content to demonstrate your comprehensive knowledge of the potential buyer’s needs at every stage of their journey is the key to standing out in a crowded market. This approach works with the buyer’s preferred process—conducting independent research—and provides them with useful information to substantiate their purchasing decision.

Ultimately, the key to building a successful marketing and sales strategy is to focus on what the buyer wants. Your focus on a single target market will shine through your content and encourage readers to set up a meeting. Now the question becomes—how do you ensure that the right people are finding your content? Read Factor 3 to find out. 

Resources:

The Creative Content River White Paper

Content That Converts White Paper

Fixing a Broken B2B Sales Model

Digital Marketing Mix Infographic

Factor 3: Align Sales and Marketing for High Growth

Marketing and sales should work hand in hand to increase growth. Ideally, marketing efforts will deliver about 50% of the leads that the sales department will convert into buyers. 

Start with your revenue goal and work backward from there to determine the targets your sales and marketing efforts should strive to reach. This process will align sales and marketing in pursuit of a common goal: growing revenue. 

To achieve this goal, marketing has to deliver the right kinds of leads. It’s not just about branding and spreading the word—it’s about finding highly motivated leads interested in purchasing the product you’re selling, capturing their attention, and nurturing them along the funnel toward sales.

The following infographic shows exactly what we mean when we talk about funneling prospects toward sales

However, for every highly qualified lead that is likely to convert into a sale, there are plenty of less-qualified leads who will find their way into your funnel. Maybe they’re students researching a project, or an HR manager creating a job description—whatever the reason, they’ve come across your content, shared their contact information to download it, and are not at all interested in purchasing your product.

You should choose targeted keywords to filter out as many of these leads as possible, but you will probably still receive some low-quality leads. Now, it’s the marketing department’s job to sort through these leads and separate the promising ones from the rest. 

Automation is key in this instance. Your marketing department is busy with strategic high-level tasks, and separating leads manually is time-consuming. Automate the process so you receive more of the job titles you want to receive while minimizing the number of low-quality leads. 

The goal is to streamline the lead generation process to deliver the highest quality leads possible to your sales team. To accomplish this, both departments must be on the same page in terms of their goals, progress, and how these indicators will be measured. 

Read Factor 4 for more information about automating intelligent sales data to grow sales.

Resources:

Fixing a Broken B2B Sales Model

High Growth Lead Generation Cheat Sheet

3 Prospecting Strategies and Why They’re Effective

Four Funnels Infographic

High Growth Lead Generation Playbook

Factor 4: Use Intelligent Sales Data to Grow Sales

Traditionally, sales planning relied on account segmentation, driven by historical knowledge of the market rather than up-to-date facts. But things have changed.

In a post-COVID-19 world, historical data may not be relevant at all. The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have long-lasting effects on consumers and companies alike. So, using outdated data to develop your sales strategy will leave you struggling to keep up with buyers’ needs in real-time.

Experts predict that smarter, more responsible, and scalable AI will be key to growing revenue from sales in today’s world. Access to constantly updating information about your target markets and their industry trends will be essential to developing effective sales strategies.

As we discussed in Factor 3, sales and marketing should work hand in hand to deliver sales growth. Intelligent data is the way to ensure that this process is working as it should be. 

But where does this data come from? Automated sales and marketing tools will provide you with the information you need to develop an effective and dynamic strategy for increasing growth. Automated tools simplify the process of collecting useful sales data, which makes it easier to put this information into action. 

Using Intelligent Sales Data: Good Things Take Time

In response to a drop in sales, the sales department might be too eager to make adjustments without taking the time to review performance and properly diagnose the issue affecting sales. A sales diagnosis is key to determine what went wrong and how to fix it.

The data you gather from practices like these should form the basis of your sales and marketing strategy. Rushing into a quick fix without uncovering and addressing the root of the problem will lead to more issues down the line. 

Taking the time to implement intelligent sales data tools, interpret that data, and apply it accurately to your situation is essential to developing the strongest possible sales strategy. This is similar to the process of managing by metrics, the subject of the fifth and final factor affecting revenue growth. 

Resources:

Fixing a Broken B2B Sales Model 

SOMAmetrics Sales Strategy

The Importance of Performing Regular Sales Diagnoses

Sales Diagnosis: A Sales Game-Changer

Factor 5: Importance of Managing by Metrics

To effectively foster growth, you must know exactly what is and isn’t working and why. This is what managing by metrics is all about—to develop growth-minded strategies for sales and marketing, you must track the right metrics in real-time.

Below, you’ll find some examples of critical metrics to track:

  • Closing ratios
  • Sales cycles
  • Average deal sizes
  • Average discount given
  • Quota attainment rate
  • MQL to SQL ratio
  • SQL to closed deal ratio
  • Sales budget per sales dollars
  • Marketing budget per sales dollars

Metrics like these provide you with crucial information that you can use to substantiate your strategic business decisions. They give you an objective and evidence-based measuring stick to use to foster your company’s growth. 

Let’s take a look at a case study that demonstrates the power of metrics in action.

Case Study: 246% Sales Pipeline Growth in 90 Days

This client was a software vendor targeting the financial services industry. Their goal was to increase the number of clients served and bring in more new business from completely new customers—a crucial challenge for any company. So, how did we go about strategizing for this level of growth?

Measuring the right metrics was key to developing and implementing a sales plan that could double sales from new customers in 12 months. To achieve this goal, all salespeople had a set number of activities to complete each week, including calls, emails, and demos. 

The proof is in the results—after 90 days, the company saw a 620% increase in outbound sales calls and achieved 246% growth in the sales pipeline. The result was a 67% increase in the number of deals closed each month.

This level of growth wouldn’t have been possible without regular and accurate measurements of strategic sales metrics. As this case study demonstrates, setting attainable, evidence-based goals for growth is a key step toward building your high-growth lead generation strategy.  

Managing by metrics can expose areas of weakness in your sales and marketing strategies, providing useful data detailing what you can improve on. This is crucial to any sales and marketing strategy today.

Final Thoughts

Through these five factors, we’ve provided a comprehensive overview of the key practices that impact revenue growth in today’s world. This knowledge will form the basis of a sales and marketing strategy that delivers revenue growth now and into the future.

Please contact us with any questions or thoughts. We are here to help.

Resources

Case Study: 246% Sales Pipeline Growth in 90 Days

SOMAmetrics Sales Metrics & KPIs

High Growth Lead Generation Playbook

The Best Marketing Strategies for B2B Buyer Types

Virtual Marketing Strategies B2B Marketing

We know that it’s important to optimize your marketing strategy for each of the B2B buyer types if you’re going to make an impactful marketing campaign, but which specific strategies yield the best results for each type of buyer? 

What’s important to know here is that the way you’ll reach each of the buyer types is going to be dramatically different; you can’t use the same strategies you would use for a Visionary, who would take little issue conducting all business digitally, and a Conservative, who may be hesitant to even use a computer unless absolutely necessary. When optimizing your marketing strategies for each of these groups, it’s crucial to make sure your message doesn’t get lost in the medium. 

Who You Should be Marketing to

Before we get into it, it’s important to get a sense of which of the buyer types will respond best to your product. Keep in mind that a product’s maturity, or the stage it’s at in its life cycle, will determine which buyer category will find it the most appealing. 

In general, Visionaries just need to see a working demo with enough allure and they’re in; they don’t need (or want) to know that the product has been used elsewhere, because they’re looking for something new. 

Pragmatists, on the other hand, won’t show interest in a product that hasn’t been taken on successfully by a peer company. You’ll generally only be successful marketing to a Pragmatist type if you have convincing key accounts, which typically might come from Visionaries.

Only once your product has matured past these stages and has been tested and trusted by many will it become interesting to Conservatives. When figuring out your marketing strategy, make sure to take the life stage of your product (and its associated desirability to each of the groups) into account. To learn more about each of the buyer types in B2B marketing, click here. 

Strategies that Work for Visionaries

Visionary buyers are at once the easiest and the hardest to reach. That’s because you can’t really find them; they find you. On the one hand, they’re exceptionally tech-savvy, and so they know how to scout out the newest products on their own and will reach out for more information if they see a fit. Most of the time, it’ll be the Visionary buyer who initiates contact with you, not the other way around. 

On the other hand, however, trying to find them on your own can be a lot more difficult. Visionaries exist in all industries, and because their claim to fame is largely that they are unique, it’ll be rare to find them in a definable group in any setting. When marketing to them, your best bet will therefore be to take a relatively horizontal approach, as long as it prioritizes online exposure. Visionaries are horizontally focused, meaning that they don’t care about which industry the product is intended for, as long as they think it could fit their own use. So, focus on highlighting the features of your product most likely to engage someone looking for something new. 

Anything online is a good way to go with Visionaries; blogs, posts, forums, ads, and organic or paid searches of any type will all raise your chances of getting their attention. You don’t need to package anything specifically for them just yet; they’ll ask for more information once they’re interested in the product. 

Strategies that Work for Pragmatists

Pragmatists, on the other hand, do need to be targeted, and your strategies for them should reflect a nuanced understanding of their needs. It’s important to note that Pragmatists are typically vertically focused, meaning they stay within their industry when looking for new products. More specifically, they’ll want to see not only proof that your product has worked for others, but also that it has worked for companies in the same industry, of a similar size, and of a comparable level of complexity as their company. 

To market to a Pragmatist, you’ll need at least a few key accounts to grab their attention一 most of which will come from the Visionaries who took on your product first. In transitioning from marketing to Visionaries to marketing to Pragmatists, make sure to work with companies that are of a similar size and complexity of those of the Pragmatists you’re targeting; they’ll want to see proof of concept in companies that are similar to theirs. 

You’ll need a more tailored marketing strategy when working with Pragmatists, the majority of which will be online. Materials such as case studies, detailed analyses, white papers, ebooks, buying guides, and even webinars can all prove impactful as long as your product is appropriate for the Pragmatist’s company. 

Strategies that Work for Conservatives

The strategies you’ll use to market to Conservatives will be very different from those previously discussed. Because they’re not exceptionally tech-savvy, online marketing strategies will not engage them nearly as well as they would buyers from other types. Face to face is what  Conservatives prefer, though this method is only as effective as is your brand recognition among their circles. Conservatives like to go to conferences in person in very familiar venues; your success in this sector will rely heavily on whether they recognize you and associate you with their industry. Become a presence in their spaces and gain acceptance by their peers in order to get their attention. 

Besides having a physical presence in the conferences they attend, the most effective marketing strategies for Conservatives will be those that are not limited to the online realm; printed handouts s, phone calls, print publications, and in-person speaking engagements are all effective options for this type. 

Recapping

The marketing strategies you choose to reach your buyers will vary depending on which of the B2B buyer types you intend to attract. As with anything in marketing, it’s important to understand who you’re speaking to and what will incentivize them to act. Click here to learn more about how to optimize these strategies for each of the buyer types一 you’ll learn what words and ideas will speak the most to them and how to frame your information in a way to cater to their unique motivations.

You can find more resources like this on the SOMAmetrics website under resources. Or click here to schedule a call if you would like to speak with one of our associates.

The Elements of a Growth Marketing Stack

The Growth Marketing Stack

With so many tools to choose from for your marketing stack, creating an effective growth marketing strategy might seem daunting. It takes a lot of research and resources to build a strategy that will deliver revenue growth for your company. To make it simple for you, we’ve provided an overview of the six essential elements of a growth marketing stack below.

Website & SEO

Your website provides users with a window into your company. As they browse your website, potential buyers should find everything they need to know about your company and what you have to offer. This might seem obvious, but it’s important—your website is the foundation of your company’s marketing efforts. It is essential to make your website informative, user-friendly, and visible to attract more customers.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you increase your website’s visibility. SEO is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks higher on the results page of any relevant search query. Because most online traffic starts with a search on a search engine, companies must use SEO to ensure that their websites rank highly. A crucial element of SEO is high-quality content—which brings us to our next point.

Blogs

Blogs are like free samples—a quick, bite-sized preview of what you could receive from an establishment as a paying customer. A key feature of any successful blog is accessibility, both in terms of content and online visibility. Potential customers must be able to find and understand your blogs for them to be effective.

Blogs are an excellent tool for brand-building. With each blog you post, you create a new indexed page on your website that can be ranked using search engine algorithms. This increases the relevancy of your website, while also providing more informative content to a broader range of audiences. 

Email Marketing

Newsletters, product announcements, blog postings—these are just a few examples of content you can share in your email marketing campaigns. The goal of email marketing is to nurture prospects and gradually convert them into leads that are ready to start a conversation with sales, also known as Conversation Ready Leads (CRLs).

To reach this goal, you must ensure that your emails are highly relevant and personalized to the needs of each recipient. Remember that your email marketing content goes directly into your potential customers’ inboxes, right alongside work memos and other important information. Make sure it is useful, concise, and visually appealing. Potential customers should be rewarded with information upon opening your emails—this is what will convince readers to seriously consider contacting sales.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is not only for B2C marketing campaigns, and that’s not just because the lines between B2C and B2B are blurring. Like everyone else, B2B buyers make decisions based on a variety of factors, including their personal experiences, goals, and preferences. Buyers care about the human element of the company they’re buying from. 

Social media is your opportunity to make genuine connections with your audience. Through your posts, you can show what your company prioritizes, what makes you stand out from the competition, and how you relate to the individuals in your audience. This element of humanization is important to any marketing campaign today.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engines are the go-to resource for anyone looking for information online—but how do you ensure that users can find your company through these platforms? Search engine marketing (SEM) is one way that companies can use paid advertising to ensure that their business ranks highly on search engine results pages. These ads are displayed based on the keyword a company has chosen.

SEM puts your ad at the top of the search engine results page, guaranteed. The keyword-based approach ensures that buyers will find your product as they’re searching for solutions. This is one effective way to increase your brand’s online visibility.

Display Ad Marketing

Display ads are another form of paid advertising that targets specific demographics of users, often based on factors like their identities or their interests. Display ads use images, videos, or text elements to advertise a product on third-party websites, wherever the user happens to be browsing.

Display ads are an important tool in any growth marketing stack because they can quickly and effectively convey a brand’s message, which increases brand awareness in the long term. However, companies should use this strategy thoughtfully. Some display ads can be disruptive enough to negatively impact the user’s online experience. When used with thoughtful intention, they are an effective brand-building tool that will familiarize users in your target demographic with your company. 

Next Steps

The tools we described above are just one part of a complete growth marketing strategy. To implement them effectively, you must have a strategy in place to provide a solid foundation for success. This is what your in-house marketing team should focus on—developing and fine-tuning a growth marketing strategy that works.

3 Prospecting Strategies and Why They’re Effective

High Performance Prospecting Strategies  

Prospecting is how companies find new business—it’s the process of searching for potential buyers for your company. But you’re not looking for just any customer. Prospecting identifies buyers who would be a good fit for your products, which increases the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. This is crucial for any company’s success.

Read on to discover the three key steps to high performance prospecting. 

Planning

Start by determining your goals for your prospecting efforts. What concrete results do you want to see? Set a quota that you want to reach, and then make a concrete plan detailing how you will reach that quota.

Create a short, 1-2 page GOSPA (Goals > Objectives > Strategies > Plans > Activities) to solidify your plan to reach your prospecting quota. You must directly connect Objectives with Activities using realistic numbers and ratios. 

By creating a detailed and concrete prospecting plan, you lay the foundation for your success. This process ensures that your prospecting efforts will deliver demonstrable results.

Intriguing 

Now that you have identified your likely buyers, it’s time to catch their attention. This step involves your company’s value proposition, which identifies your unique offering to customers. What do you have to offer? What can you do better than everyone else? What’s your specialization? This is what your value proposition should explain.

Sales calls are one of the most effective ways to intrigue buyers. They’re quick, easy, and they give you the chance to connect with buyers as individuals. Plus, responses to sales calls demonstrate more interest than responses to emails. So, you receive higher quality leads from your sales calls, which is exactly what you want your prospecting strategies to deliver.

You might be wondering, what if they don’t pick up? If your call is sent to voicemail, that’s no problem—just leave your 10-second value proposition as a voicemail. A well-crafted value proposition will generate interest in any format.

Qualifying and Scheduling

All the processes you’ve completed up to this point work toward the ultimate goal of making a sale. Now, you must ensure that your planning and hard work will pay off.

Create a clear qualifying process that prioritizes the most important, must-have criteria for your leads before the nice-to-haves. You want your prospecting strategies to result in highly qualified leads who are motivated to schedule appointments with sales. Keep this goal in mind as you determine your qualifying criteria.

Prospecting: Final Thoughts

Planning, intriguing, qualifying, and scheduling: these are the key ingredients for your high performance prospecting strategy. Throughout each step, remember your ultimate goal of increasing sales—this will substantiate your decision-making as you build your prospecting strategy. When done right, prospecting strategies will increase the efficacy of your marketing campaigns and deliver more qualified leads to your sales reps. 

To read the complete guide to high performance sales and marketing, download this playbook

5 Ways to Reach Your High Performance Marketing Goals

High Performance Marketing

The key to high performance is to focus on building depth in a select few areas of excellence while leaving no vulnerabilities in other areas. You want your company to stand out for its ability to perform at a higher level than anyone else—this level of specialization is a key factor that will encourage buyers to work with you. At the same time, you don’t want to neglect all of the other functions that are important to your business.

Take marketing, for example. Marketing is a process that includes several unique and correlated functions that must be performed at a high level to ensure success. Below, we will discuss how you can optimize these areas to achieve your high performance marketing goals.

1 – Targeting

Targeting is all about finding the right buyers for your company. You’re looking for your niche—the people who are most likely to purchase your product. 

Successful companies target a narrow market full of prospects that are more likely to purchase their product. On the surface, casting a wide net that covers more people might seem like a good idea. More people should mean more sales, right? In reality, this approach means that you will spend more of your limited marketing budget on reaching less motivated buyers, on average. It’s more effective to focus on likely buyers in the first place.

By targeting the right market, you can tailor your marketing messages on a more individualized level. Since today’s buyers are looking for individually tailored solutions, this will make your company stand out as a potential vendor.

2 – Messaging

The next step is to communicate what your company can offer to your target market. Since you’ve focused on a motivated target market, your messaging will be more effective at communicating your company’s value directly to the potential buyer. 

Your messaging must distill your company’s value proposition into an easy-to-understand format. It must be able to communicate this value in a variety of media and across platforms to reach customers where they’re searching online. 

To start, you should identify your value proposition in your own words. Then, refine that value proposition to emphasize the key points you want buyers to consider as they encounter your product. This process will make your value proposition stand out.

3 – Captivating

Catching a prospect’s attention is no easy feat. Every day, consumers are faced with thousands of marketing messages, most of which they automatically tune out. Your job is to captivate potential buyers, even if they’ve never heard of you before—you must break through the noise and catch their attention.

This step is all about creating compelling advertising. Your messages should be eye-catching, unique, and tailored to the unique interests of your prospect. Ensure that your messaging is valuable by speaking to the individual pain points your prospects face. It’s not easy to produce high-quality advertising, but it will make a world of difference when it comes to reaching your target market.

4 – Acquiring

Now that you’ve captured the interest of your prospects, it’s time to convert that interest into leads. Your advertising should have led them to low-barrier content that demonstrates the value you provide to their company. The next step is to drive them to long-form content that is even more valuable, to the point that they’re willing to share their contact information to access it. Once you have their contact information, you’ve successfully acquired a lead and you can begin the next step—converting them to sales.

5 – Converting

The final step of the marketing process is to convert these leads into Conversation Ready Leads (CRLs)—leads that want to talk to sales. Your marketing efforts should produce a steady stream of CRLs for the sales team to work with. This process involves nurturing your prospects, which can include targeted email campaigns, behavior automation, and social proof to encourage leads to seriously consider purchasing. 

Choosing Trusted Partners for High Performance Marketing

So far, we’ve introduced 5 essential steps to reaching your high performance marketing goals. Seeing the tasks required at each step, it might seem like you’ll need to hire quite a few employees to accomplish everything. However, this approach is costly.

To maximize your company’s growth rate, you should focus on delivering your strategic differentiator—whether that’s in the realm of sales, marketing, or something else—and leave everything else in the hands of trusted partners. Your partners should deliver their strategic differentiators. This way, you can focus on developing the functions that are the most important to your success, while ensuring that all other functions are still in good hands. This is how you can achieve your high performance marketing goals, without committing to the cost of a full-time team. 

To read more about how to reach your high performance marketing goals, download this playbook

Align Sales and Marketing for High Growth

Align sales and marketing for high growth

In the new B2B sales paradigm, marketing and sales must be numerically aligned to facilitate a high revenue growth rate. 

Too often, marketing strategies are implemented without defining the specific revenue goals they aim to achieve. Valuable time, energy, and resources are wasted when marketing is not aligned with sales—in fact, 60% of respondents to a 2020 LinkedIn survey agree that misalignment could damage financial performance

Especially as more of the buying process is completed online before sales reps get involved, misalignment could have increasingly disastrous consequences for the revenue growth of a company going forward. Fortunately, a strong alignment can help a company generate 209% more revenue from marketing

Sales and Marketing: Better Together

Sellers must be aware that 75% of sales should come from leads generated by marketing. This number makes intuitive sense—revenue-driven marketers know that the point of marketing is to generate and nurture leads that will result in sales.

With greater alignment between sales and marketing, both teams are better equipped for the sales process, which results in increased revenues. Marketing will have a greater understanding of which leads to nurture, which to pass along to sales, and which sources and content are the best for their purposes. Plus, sales will increase their understanding of each lead, which will improve sales outcomes.

Bear in mind that the journey of today’s buyer is complex—buyers are increasingly looking for sellers that will provide customized solutions for their individual needs. For this reason, it is increasingly important for sales and marketing to be in conversation with one another to establish a shared understanding of the needs of each customer.

How to Achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment

As discussed in depth in the Four Funnels Framework, all revenues start in marketing and end in sales. But the planning starts with sales. 

First, a company must define its revenue goals. From there, the company can work backward to determine how many inbound and outbound leads will be required to reach those goals. By rooting the marketing strategy in revenue outcomes, the company can align sales and marketing in pursuit of a shared goal: revenue growth. With both teams equally responsible for facilitating revenue growth, the alignment between sales and marketing increases—and so does revenue. 

It’s not enough for sales and marketing to operate in separate silos anymore—in the new B2B sales process, sales and marketing must work closely together to maximize revenue growth.

SOMAmetrics is a revenue-focused marketing agency, delivering high-quality leads that close faster and at a higher rate. Our proven process identifies the best targets, defines the most compelling messaging, and runs highly targeted, digital campaigns—for about 35% of what it costs clients to do internally.

Download the white paper that shows you how to tightly align Sales and Marketing for High Growth.

Choose the Right Market Focus for Revenue Growth

choose the right market focus for revenue growth

Choose the Right Market Focus for Revenue Growth

For a B2B company seeking to increase its revenue, the first step is choosing the right market. Market focus is the single most important factor impacting revenue growth.

There has been a shift in expectations for B2B marketing departments in recent years. Today, nearly 70% of CEOs expect CMOs to lead revenue growth for their companies. In order to facilitate revenue growth, today’s marketers need to increase their understanding of their customer bases and better anticipate customer needs. In today’s world, marketers who fail to work toward the goal of revenue growth will fall behind their competitors.

This means that today’s B2B marketers have to take things back to basics and reevaluate the fundamentals of their marketing strategies in order to maximize revenue growth—and this process starts with defining the right market.

Choosing the Right Market: Broad vs. Narrow

When it comes to determining a target market, many companies make the mistake of defining their market in the broadest possible terms. This might make sense at first glance—one could rationalize that a broader market definition will include more potential customers—but in reality, this is the wrong approach for revenue growth.

With a broad target market, marketing content will have to appeal to a wide variety of individuals with differing needs and motives for purchase. This makes it difficult for a company to demonstrate its depth of understanding of a potential client’s needs and the workings of the client’s specific industry. In addition, with an unnecessarily broad target market, marketers risk wasting resources on customers who are unlikely to purchase the product. In the end, with a broad market definition, marketers will encounter difficulties when it comes to differentiating their business from competitors.

On the other hand, a narrower market segmentation is often correlated with an increase in revenue. Instead of trying to reach a large audience with a vague and general message, marketing content will be much more effective if it is geared towards one specific customer’s needs. 

This might seem like a counterintuitive marketing strategy—how can a business be successful by targeting a single customer? It’s important to remember that companies within a market segment are in conversation with one another. By providing solutions to one specific company at the center of a market segment, marketers can simultaneously appeal to other companies with similar needs and goals. 

Putting Market Focus Into Practice

To make this concept more concrete, let’s consider an example in the form of a hypothetical company that provides software for the healthcare industry. According to marketing expert Geoffrey Moore, there are three elements of a B2B market segment: industry, role in that industry, and geography. With this in mind, the target market segment for this company could be defined as Hospital Administrators in the United States.

A specific number of potential customers will fall into this category, which can be expanded to include more potential customers or narrowed even further, as demonstrated in the table below. 

Segment

A. Hospital Administrators in California

B. Hospital Administrators in US

C. Healthcare Professionals in US

Estimated Number

400

2,200

128,000

Key Competitors

4-6

70-120

200-300

Message

Managing value-based reimbursement

Managing value-based reimbursement

Regulations in healthcare

Conferences

3

17

211

As discussed previously, it might initially seem like a good idea to target the broadest possible market—Healthcare Professionals in the United States—because of its 128,000 potential customers. But it is vital to consider the perspective of the buyer—will this software company provide value to all 128,000 US-based Healthcare Professionals equally? In addition, what messaging and strategies will be effective to reach all of these professionals with varying job descriptions, including Doctors, Nurses, and Hospital Administrators, to name a few? 

At this point, the company faces a difficult decision: It can choose to go shallow and wide, or invest exorbitant amounts of money in building expertise in each specific profession. Most companies choose to go shallow and wide, rather than investing in a focused market—and they are ultimately beaten out by companies that choose to go narrow and deep—which explains why the costs of sales and marketing rise faster than revenues.

However, there is another option—companies can choose to go narrow and deep in one segment at a time. This is the best option for increasing revenues.

Evidence has shown that with a narrower market definition, marketers can maximize revenue growth. Instead of burning through resources to compete with hundreds of other software providers, the software company can simplify the marketing process by honing in on Hospital Administrators in California, for instance. With significantly fewer competitors and fewer conferences to attend, marketers can increase the depth of their content and differentiate their company from the competition more effectively. Plus, it is more feasible for sales reps to become experts on the issues faced by this smaller market. 

When it comes to increasing revenue growth, choosing the right market is the single most important factor for marketers to consider. With the right market, B2B marketers can use their resources more effectively to increase revenue growth.

SOMAmetrics is a revenue-focused marketing agency, delivering high quality leads that close faster and at a higher rate. Our proven process identifies the best targets, defines the most compelling messaging, and runs highly targeted, digital campaigns—for about 35% of what it costs clients to do internally.

Removing Sales Friction in B2B Sales

Group of friendly business men and women shaking hands with no friction

Factor 2: Sales Process is Buyer Process

Research by McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and the sales force training firm The Rain Group all show the same thing: Buyers now prefer to work with sellers who align their process to the Buyer’s process. A seller that does not comply is one that complains about unreturned phone calls and emails—hence increased marketing and sales cost.

The New Buying Process

The studies show  that Buyers prefer to conduct their own research and determine who gets invited to work with them to further refine a possible solution.

The buying process starts internally, typically when some pain becomes no longer acceptable, driving a new initiative to address it. The head of the business or functional unit (the business driver) who is responsible for the resolution of the issue now heads this new initiative. She typically assigns someone on her team to conduct preliminary research and report to her with findings and recommendations.

This is the beginning of the “Buying” process. At this point, no seller is aware that the buying process has started.

The team member assigned to this task now begins the research by entering keywords in her preferred  search engine. She thenreviews the search results and begins tagging the promising ones.

Later, she will go deeper into each result to determine  which will make her final cut. At no point has she called any company—this is all digital content review.

A few days later, she returns to her boss to report and make her recommendations. The business driver then makes the decision of who they will review—in other words, who makes the short list. She then tells her researcher to contact the short list and schedule meetings with the vendors’ representatives.

The New Selling Process

Marketing

Since the buying process starts with research, the first thing that a Seller must do is make sure the seller’s website has deep and relevant content that addresses the issues that its market typically faces.

If the Seller has a focused market as described in Factor 1 above, then not only can it stay abreast with changes in its chosen market, but it can actually be ahead of them with thought leadership. The Seller can anticipate trajectories in regulations, changes in norms, shortages of key supplies, etc.

Because it specifically focuses on a single market and because it has depth, the Seller’s content will surface  among the many sources examined by the Buyer’s researcher. The Seller’s chances of making the short list is pretty high, and it will likely be invited to present.

Lead Generation

In addition to having highly search optimized content that drives inbound leads, if the seller also has outbound lead generation campaigns, then it is virtually guaranteed to make the short list of vendors that get invited. Its emails are likely to be opened as their message is directly relevant and always refreshing its subject matter. Its voicemails are right on and are likely to generate call-backs.

Download the white paper that shows you how to improve your sales operations better

Selling

When invited to meet the business driver, the Seller must recognize that this is a collaborative event and should invite the buyer to fully participate in defining the problem as well as the solution. Read about Factor 3: Sales and Marketing.

This is exactly what buyers today are looking for since their needs are complex and will need customized solutions rather than ready-made ones. . They want Sellers who are willing to work towards customizing a solution that functions perfectly for them.

The Problem with the Old Selling Process

Lets compare the new selling process with the old. The Old Selling process consists of  “blasting” a huge list with irrelevant emails and “dialing for dollars” in hopes that someone picks up. If through sheer persistence, the sales rep gets an appointment, the chances it will get canceled are high.

And if the rep actually gets the meeting, the rep typically will blow it off by forcing a process the buyer does not find useful—first I am going to tell you about me. Then I am going to ask you about you. Then I will show you my product. Then I will send you my proposal…

The old seller driven and seller biased way no longer works. Sellers must understand that Buyers are looking for committed partners.

The Operations that Lead to Success in B2B Sales

Work group of men and women high five over the discussion of B2B sales

Success in B2B Sales: Putting It Together

When assembled, the entire system consists of three very distinct but related processes, each feeding the next with the right kinds of leads for success in B2B sales.

Marketing’s job is to deliver the necessary number of highly targeted MQLs that the Prospecting team will use as its funnel.

The BDRs will then call, qualify, and schedule appointments, thereby delivering the necessary number of SQLs that the sales team needs to build its sales pipeline.

As we have stated, it takes 25-40 dials to reach someone, and you want to make sure that after all that effort, the person reached is the right person. We can’t emphasize enough the need for a highly targeted campaign.

You will notice that the top of each funnel is slightly bigger than the bottom of the preceding funnel. This suggests that each operation must also “make” its own required qualified lead. Prospecting must find its own MQLs in addition to what Marketing provides, and Sales must find its own SQLs in addition to what the Prospecting team delivers.

Finally, this is a closed loop. Not every appointment will happen, and Sales will ask the Prospecting team to reschedule the prospect (lead). More importantly, Sales may find that a prospect is not quite ready to buy and will place the prospect back into Marketing nurture, with a task for Prospecting to try another appointment— say, in six months. Your systems must be well integrated in order to automate this “send back” to the previous funnel.

The overall concept is fairly straightforward. However, given the differences in the three operations— as well as the need for different systems to manage each operation and the need to integrate these systems—the execution part is not that easy.

The key to success in B2B sales is in clearly understanding the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) that will make or break these operations. There four CSFs are: Content, Content Distribution, Automation, and List Management. Read about the first CSF here.