In today’s B2B sales world, self-educated buyers are, on average, 60-70% of the way to a buying decision before they talk to your sales people.
And according to Gartner, these same self-educated buyers spend only 32% of their time reading vendor content or interacting with your salespeople. This lack of buyer interaction has stretched the role of the marketing team from simply engendering awareness and creating interest, to guiding customers throughout the buying cycle and much deeper into the funnel.
With sales not engaged in the early stages of the buying cycle, marketing is being forced to deliver content that is both relevant and personalized to an unknown buyer that is researching options independently and relying on peers and consultants to determine if you’re qualified to address their problem.
The results are not great!
79% of Marketing Leads never Convert to Sales
When marketing leads fail to convert, it’s tempting to blame marketing for bad leads or sales for poor execution. But when you consider that many marketers are shepherding self-educated buyers from awareness through some portion of evaluation with a script aimed at a theoretical personality (a marketing persona) – you can begin to understand why 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales.
It’s tough to argue with the logic behind “know your customer” – know their interests, preferences, fears and goals. But it’s difficult to imagine that buying decisions for ERP software, CRM solutions, or Marketing Automation systems align with things like our age, our job title, whether or not we like to manage people, or any other garden-variety details you find in a typical marketing persona.
Instead of getting caught up in all kinds of details about self-educated buyers that may or may not actually matter, buyer insights focus on the things that actually influence a buying decision. The various triggers that cause people not only to engage with your company, but also to make a purchase.