B2B sales and marketing has undergone a considerable transformation in recent years. As if to illustrate these changes, the number of marketing technology providers has doubled within the last year and now numbers close to 2,000. There is an average of 5.4 stakeholders involved in any one B2B deal. With the emergence of consensus-based decision making, sales reps must work towards a collective yes to win new business.
We have arrived in a situation where reps are faced with increasingly complex selling scenarios as they look to address the concerns of each stakeholder involved in the deal. Realising, the difficulties involved in B2B selling, companies have increased their investment in high quality supporting content that can help reps to communicate their value message. Research from ITSMA has shown that the single largest B2B budget item - representing 16% of average spend - was collateral.
Indeed, a new report from Docurated shows that 85% of CMOs now list supporting sales as their number one priority. Much of this support comes in the form of high quality content designed specifically to help sales communicate their value message. However, here is where problems start to emerge. At a time when content investments have reached an all time high, as much as 90% of marketing produced content is going unused. This statistic reflects poorly on the state of B2B marketing productivity today.
The high level of investment in B2B content has brought with it a number of unforeseen problems. Aging infrastructures and confusion over where content is stored means reps do not have immediate access to the content they need. The result is reps will recreate content themselves wasting valuable selling time or else use lower quality content they have access to.
Another issue at the heart of these problems is the inability of sales and marketing to work together as one unit. Docurated’s research shows that 56% of sales reps still prepare their own sales materials. This situation is hardly ideal when you consider the high level of investment in content specifically designed to support sales. It seems there is a disconnect between what marketing envisions and how sales people actually work.
Now, more so than ever before, sales and marketing must work together as one unit. It is no longer enough for marketing to create high quality content, save it to an enterprise repository and move on to the next project. Instead, marketing must share responsibility for revenue with sales. Marketing and sales must work together to ensure sales has access to the best content. In B2B today, Marketing has a role to play from generating leads right through to helping sales close the deal.
With marketing productivity on the floor the time has come for a fundamental re-examination of the role of marketing within a B2B organization. Marketing must move beyond the role of demand-generating, content-creating, lead hand off machine and look to should share goals, KPIs, and revenue responsibility with sales. By eliminating the divide between marketing and sales, companies can adapt to the challenges they face today beginning with the low levels of marketing productivity.
To access The State of Marketing Productivity Report click here.