As more of the buying cycle moves online and into the hands of the marketing team, B2B marketers are proactively collecting, analyzing and leveraging vast quantities of data. They look at website traffic, clicks, impressions, form-fills, etc. The list goes on and on. They’re using the data to improve the effectiveness of their marketing activities and learn better ways to excel across digital channels.
One of the biggest, relatively new challenges they’re working against is the fact that anywhere from 60-90% of buying cycle now takes place before the handraise. That means sales sits and waits while marketing is fumbling in the dark, trying anything they can to get visitors to fill out a form. It’s a lot of unknowns for both parties, unless they have the right technology to turn on the lights.
Smart marketers have the ability to identify anonymous employees at accounts visiting their website. Typically they use this data to “personalize” the website experience to suit that account (e.g. driving a employee at a manufacturing company to manufacturing-specific content). Sales can also use this data to get a head start by reaching out to companies that are visiting the website and potentially interested in buying – well before the employees self-identify. Furthermore, by seeing which pages a company has visited, reps will already know which products and services to focus on during early conversations.
Marketers know that spikes in traffic to the website from a particular company indicate increased interest, and will use that fact to enhance campaign activities to that company. Sales and account execs can benefit greatly from knowing about traffic spikes as well. For example, if Sales sees that a prospect is demonstrating increased interest, they can reach out proactively. Additionally, they recommend certain accounts for targeted marketing or advertising campaigns. There’s also a lot of potential for account execs. If a customer suddenly starts viewing new product pages, that might indicate they’re ready for an upsell.
Website traffic is a key indicator of intent to buy, and while it’s nice data for Marketing to have, it provides critical insight for Sales. The B2B buying cycle is long, but if it’s going well, the company you’re targeting should show increased engagement with product and services pages. But that happens at a different rate for every account, and it’s worthwhile to evaluate website activity against CRM data such as account status and pipeline opportunity. If there’s a lot of website traffic, the account might be in better shape than you thought. If however the visits trail off, you might be in danger of losing that deal. In either case, Sales should be able to monitor those changes and reach out with appropriate response.
The problem with all this is that marketing data tends to be off in a silo where only marketers can see it. At Demandbase, we’ve been working pretty hard for the past few months to solve that problem, and I’m very excited to share that we’ve found a way to get sales people all the marketing data they need, right in the platform they use most: Salesforce. I’ll be demoing Sales Accelerator at Dreamforce all week. Stop by our booth at the expo hall (N2121) to say hello and check it out. Or if you can’t make it to Dreamforce, learn more about the news in our press release.