B2B myth: People generate sales, not a website
B2B sales cycles are more complex than consumer-facing selling. Even though the sales team needs to do a large amount of the heavy lifting to generate sales, companies can still benefit from Internet lead generation.
For B2B sales representatives to close deals, they need to meet new contacts and nurture leads through the sales funnel. While the sales team does generate sales and leads, Internet marketing methods – particularly a dynamic website – can make a huge difference in the customer’s journey. Because Internet marketing can fuel lead generation in the sales funnel, online sources can increase the number of the sales the team can gain.
Prospects are fatigued from too many sales pitches
Recent Gartner research found B2B buyers would rather communicate with industry experts than hear another presentation from a sales rep. The majority of respondents valued their interactions with staff members who had a deep understanding of a technical product compared to a small percentage who would rather speak with a salesperson. As B2B purchasing behavior changes, customers are doing more research on their own and want to spend less time hearing pitches from sales teams.
In the past, sales figures were heavily emphasized by the amount of time sales reps sent cold calling, sending out marketing materials, meeting with prospects and making presentations. However, the role of salespeople has changed. Buyers spend more time researching products online and engaging with people in their industries on social networks. B2B companies can reduce the fatigue for the prospects by providing them with relevant information and guiding their journeys rather than being too pushy.
Utilizing a company website can reduce the noise for prospects and help eliminate distractions for the sales team. Content can deliver technical information buyers are interested in so an unnecessary sales pitch can be avoided.
Informative websites facilitate the lead generation process
While skilled salespeople will always be necessary to close the deal, an online marketing system can guide prospects through the buyer’s journey and help them make a more informed decision. According to research from ClickZ, the majority of buyers begin the process of making a purchase with a Google search. Even though some people still seek advice from their colleagues in the industry, the process still includes Internet research at some point along the way. Maintaining a website with relevant information and clear calls to action is one of the best ways to ensure potential customers find the company early in the process.
Although many B2B marketers understand the importance of providing informative content to their target audience, forcing prospects to sift through a large amount of information on their own will not improve lead generation. By using search engine optimization to drive traffic, delivering relevant information and including specific calls to action, B2B companies can encourage email subscriptions or form submissions so the sales team can gain more prospects.