B2B marketing is a tough beast to tame. The lengthy sales cycle means there are so many points where you can lose a lead. When that happens, it feels like all that effort was wasted — and telling yourself at least you learned something is a consolation prize. You try again, with a different approach, but that doesn’t work. Nor the next one.
The major theme for HubSpot and CEO Brian Halligan’s keynote at INBOUND 2018 was the idea of “retiring the funnel.” Instead, he urged marketers to create a marketing flywheel. Wait, what?
Hopefully, you’ve got your Inbound Marketing engine chugging along, bringing you leads that convert into customers. As you’ve built this, adding blog articles, developing personas, and measuring your efforts, you’ve probably started wondering, “exactly how specific can targeting go?”
Do you still view Sales and Marketing as distinct silos with different goals and a linear relationship? Marketing finds leads, Sales qualifies these leads and turns them into customers?
Sure, that used to be the best approach. It served companies well for the last century. But as you’ve probably noticed, today’s customer is different. They’re researching their purchases long before they make them, and the amount of information available makes the traditional sales rep less important. It also makes traditional advertising less important.
Digital transformation is an ongoing trend sweeping established companies as they become more attuned to what technology offers. If you’re shuffling after the striking B2B marketing change that’s allowed adopters to drive growth, the competitive market won’t wait for you to catch up.
It’s a good sign that you’re researching CRM software: it means you’re paying attention to what’s happening in the world of sales. With customers able to research anything they like online, in their own time, without talking to a salesperson first, the game has changed.