I’m excited to announce the launch of our first report developed in coordination with Ascend2: The State of Lead Generation – Benchmarks for the Complex Sale.
In this report, we were specifically looking to understand the perspective of B2B marketers who are focused on a lengthy sales cycle, involving numerous purchase influencers.
The key question asked:
What strategies and tactics are significantly increasing lead generation effectiveness in a complex sale situation?
It was of little surprise that these marketers view the quality of leads generated as their most important goal but also their most significant barrier to success.
This objective and concern has been echoed in broader B2B marketing report coverage we’ve seen as well.
What was more interesting was that tactics used to achieve success were varied. No single tactic stood out. The percentage range between the seventh most effective tactic (paid advertising) and most effective tactic (email marketing), was only 30 to 50 percent respectively.
B2B marketers responsible for marketing in a complex sales environment were divided in the tactics that were most effective in generated quality leads for their organizations.
Equally important was the realization that content marketing, ranking second in tactical effectiveness (47 percent), is arguably essential in supporting the impact of all of the other tactics listed.
Content marketing was also the most difficult tactic to execute, as indicated by 52 percent of respondents.
Key Takeaways for B2B Marketers
It is clear that B2B marketers working in complex sales environments need to invest in multiple tactics to determine what will be the most effective for their target audiences and buyers. There was not a single tactic that everyone agrees to be most effective.
I would also argue many of these tactics can be applied and are more or less effective throughout various aspects of the buying cycle.
For example, email marketing may be the most effective of all tactics, but may fail in execution if little has been done to build awareness and trust through SEO and social media efforts.
When prioritizing tactics required to generate high-quality leads, B2B marketers in this environment to evaluate the balance between effectiveness and ability to execute.
Questions to consider:
- What resources do we have available to develop the range of potential tactics required to generate high-quality leads?
- What does the competitive landscape look like as it pertains to digital marketing execution?
- What strengths does our current marketing team have that will enable our organization to execute these tactics? Do we require outside assistance given these assessments?
According to our findings, 75 percent of complex sale marketers outsource all or part of their lead generation tactics. The more time and resource intensive a tactic is – such as content marketing, social media, and SEO – the more likely an organization is to require outside assistance to execute it.
The good news was that a convincing 88 percent of the majority of complex sale marketers believe the effectiveness of lead generation is increasing to some extent, with 46 percent describing the increase as significant.
Only 12 percent surveyed indicated that they continue to struggle with lead generation effectiveness.
The full report, including additional analysis, marketing charts, and methodology can be downloaded here, with brief form submission.
A special thanks goes out to the team at Cre8d for their assistance with the report, including chart layouts and design.