With the B2B sales cycle longer than ever before, a strategic lead generation and lead nurturing program is critical to cultivating your leads and closing the sale. When it comes to successful B2B marketing campaigns, is your business an industry leader or is lagging behind the competition? From lead generation to thought leadership, here’s what your business needs to know about the state of B2B marketing in 2015 thanks to the top B2B marketing stats.
Don’t Let Leads Fall Through the Cracks: Establish Automated Lead Management
Your business has worked hard to generate those leads. With today’s sales cycle longer than ever before, automated lead management will help prevent those leads from falling through the cracks. Marketing automation tools are a game changer for lead management with real-time, automated response to lead activity. Marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years, according to Focus Research. Gartner Research estimates a 15% savings on creative production with marketing automation. However, a surprising 65% of B2B marketers do not have an established lead nurturing program in place and 70% do not have established lead scoring, according to MarketingSherpa.
- • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (MarketingSherpa)
- • Marketing automation can increase conversion rates by over 50% (The Aberdeen Group)
- • Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research)
- • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
- • Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quote achievement rate. (CSO Insights)
Trend Alert: Lead Nurturing Emails Boost Conversion Rates
If you have not done so already, it’s time to get serious about email marketing. Lead nurturing emails, especially those that are sent automatically in response to a lead’s behavior (e.g., downloading a whitepaper).
- • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. (SilverPop/DemandGen Report)
- • Event-triggered marketing can potentially save 80% of the direct mail budget. (Gartner Research)
- • Lead nurturing emails generate an 8% CTR compared to general email sends, which generate just a 3% CTR. (HubSpot)
- • Lead nurturing emails have a slightly higher unsubscribe rate (1%) than individual email sends (0.5%), indicating their effectiveness in removing unqualified leads from the sales funnel. (HubSpot)
- • Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. (Jupiter Research)
And forget about wearable devices: these are the new marketing frontier. By 2020, Forrester Research predicts that 5% of sales will be the result of data collected via wearable devices – and that figure is only expected to increase as wearable devices saturate the marketplace in the coming decade.
B2B SMBs As Thought Leaders: Quality Content Dominates
Thought leadership is a key part of the B2B marketing process. Today’s buyers get their information online, and many buyers begin searching for information about a product or service months before they are actually ready to engage with a solution provider. So how does your business remain top of mind when it’s time to make the sale? Smart thought leadership.
- • Thought leadership and content marketing programs cost 62% less than traditional marketing and generate three times as many leads. (Demand Metric)
- • 44% of B2B marketers have generated leads via LinkedIn. (ReachForce)
- • Businesses are more likely to visit a B2B tech company’s website after seeing a tweet from the company, getting them one step closer to becoming a lead. (KoMarketing Associates)
If you are not doing so already, marketing automation is an absolute must for developing a mature, successful lead nurturing program in 2015. Marry this program with email marketing to maximize your ROI.