Driving Marketing Success for B-to-B Organizations
3. Effective processes. Know the buying process and how your customers buy. Then map out your prospect life cycle from prospect to customer, along with the behaviors associated with each stage as your prospects become more engaged.
Define the activities that offer the highest return across the different stages of the customer life cycle. Regularly review how effectively leads move through your funnel and establish programs to improve the pace at which they move. This could either mean strengthening your weakest link or building on your strengths. Coordinate activities with sales. Leverage the resulting improvements to build a stronger relationship with sales. Don’t push leads to sales too soon. Part of your process should include setting up service-level agreements with sales for lead handoff and opportunity development.
4. Organizational alignment. Just as a marketing organization can't succeed with staff that are all right-brained (or all left brained for that matter), you need to know if you have the right people in the appropriate roles within your marketing team. Creative contributors can't drive success in a vacuum, and data-driven contributors can’t succeed simply by understanding their target. Having both in place and working symbiotically is essential to generating better results and higher revenue.
5. Enabling technologies. New companies with hot technologies are continually emerging with the promise of solving all your problems with the click of a mouse. The right technology empowers marketing, but technology must follow — not lead — business requirements. CRM technology combined with appropriate monitoring and analytics tools provide insight into your customer and can help you apply best practice strategies for acquisition. Marketing automation tools help you execute effectively, quantify the results and feed back into the strategy. Finding the right tools to better manage your process will reap substantial rewards. Tools that force you to adapt your process to them will lead to tears.