If your B2B company has gotten by for so long without computer assisted marketing and sales functions, why suddenly does it need it now? I guess the short answer is to refer you to my post on the Internet Size Problem.
But here are a few specific thoughts which may help to put this into perspective.
I was talking to one of our prospects the other day, a man with an impressive 25-year track-record in selling complex B2B solutions. He said three things which resonated with me:
- His company puts about 1,000 sales leads into the top of the sales funnel to get one sale out of the bottom
- The average purchase decision in his prospect b2b companies these days, involves at least 3 people
- The average sales cycle is 25% to 30% longer than it was a few years ago.
Surprised by the numbers – think they’re way too high? Sean O’Donovan, of FunnelBuilders wrote this in his post on Demand Generation and Inbound Marketing: If you’re generating sales leads using offline tactics like direct mail and cold calling, you’re likely to need around 7-10 suspects to create one prospect, about 7-10 prospects to create one qualified opportunity and approximately 7-10 qualified opportunities to create one closed deal. Do the math and you’ll see that generating any volume of offline opportunities means you’ll need to maintain contact with a huge number of raw suspects.
And some people think these numbers are too low. In a conversation with the VP of Marketing at a large B2B company last week, he put the number at 2,000 sales leads in to get one deal out at the bottom.
So, if you want 100 new customers, you need to process at least 100,000 sales leads. Think of doing that without automation. Think of all the steps you go through now, to convert a cold lead into a hot prospect. Even if you’re not using IBM’s rule of 7 touches to get from cold to hot lead, the scale of what needs doing is simply too large for a manual approach.
No, there really is only one way to go here: automate or become irrelevant.
Bit-by-Bit #15, from Eric.