As we settle into our current new normal, consistent B2B marketing outreach will be key in achieving sales goals. However, to be successful you must adapt your messaging, understand how metrics are changing, and effectively integrate virtual events, while building long-term nurturing content. Here’s our advice to accomplish this, based on our learnings so far…
Keep evolving messaging to maintain relevancy – at the onset of the pandemic in North America, the most relevant messaging was how to help businesses quickly move and adapt to a remote worker environment. As we recommended in our April 6, 2020 blog Marketing Consistency Now for Sales Predictability Later, succinctly positioning how you can assist with Covid-19 business continuity plans is an effective way to open the doors to a meaningful dialogue. However, it’s important to continually tweak and update your messaging to remain relevant to your customers and prospects. For instance, our technology clients have pivoted their talk track from “let us help you move your employees remote” to “let us help you improve productivity (or security or speed or efficiency) of your remote workforce.” While larger remote workforces will be a relevant business situation for the immediate future, it’s also important to ask business leaders about their next priorities, so you’re not just addressing today’s needs, but also anticipating tomorrow’s.
Understand how metrics are changing – Our pre-pandemic metrics show it took an average of 172 outbound attempts (dials) to uncover and qualify a sales-ready lead. At the peak of the remote-worker transitions, the attempts to qualify a lead jumped to 268, a 55% increase. However, now that remote staff has stabilized, our average has come down to a reasonable 185 attempts, which is just 7.5% higher than our pre-pandemic results. This is not to imply we’re reaching almost the same quantity of buyers now as we were before the pandemic (we’re not). Instead, our near normal attempt-to-lead ratio is driven by higher lead conversion rates. Historically, our lead development representatives (LDRs) were able to convert an average of 18-20% of their conversations into a fully qualified sales lead (lead rate). However, the lead rate has soared significantly over the last four weeks, during which time our LDRs are finding nearly one-third of their conversations with business decision-makers have a defined buying need. This is significant as it indicates while buyers are a bit more challenging to reach; there is tremendous need in the market. Thus, a consistent marketing and sales outreach will pay off, if you can successfully capitalize on each vital conversation (see point #1 regarding relevant messaging!).
Surround your webinars with a clear identity and a human-touch – With the removal of face-to-face events, understandably webinars are becoming more popular. However, the market may be getting oversaturated. Thru our teleprospecting, we’re hearing feedback that the abundance of webinars makes it difficult to determine which are most relevant to attend and/or people are attending so many, the content is blurring together. Therefore, our advice is to put together a limited quantity of webinars and focus promotional messaging on the business benefits and value attendees can expect to extract. Next, couple your webinars with a human-touch tele outreach to answer questions, further define your value and provide a quick avenue to sales, if appropriate.
Another note about virtual events…Many annual user conferences have transformed into free virtual events, attracting larger audiences than previous fee-based events. Be mindful of the potential for increased lead volume, and plan your follow-up accordingly so you can successfully capitalize on it!
Enhance nurturing content to avoid pipeline gaps- As we establish our “here and now” messaging and maintain consistent marketing outreach, it’s essential to not only seek to build your short-term pipeline, but also feed your long-term funnel. The best way to achieve a balance is to listen to your market, particularly those who do not meet your definition of a qualified lead today. By using intelligence gleaned now (i.e. future business priorities) to create and enhance your nurturing content, you will keep your messaging relevant, helping to avoid future pipeline gaps.