Now here’s some interesting Thursday reading for you: According to a new study conducted by Google and CEB, the average b2b customer is already 57% of the way along their purchasing journey before they even contact your sales team.
57%! This means that for many b2b businesses your potential customer isn’t even appearing on your radar until they’re almost at proposal stage: In fact, in some cases they’re only making contact after their purchase decision has been made.
Now I don’t know about you, but that raises some interesting questions for us down here in Chemistry Town: How many customers are we not even getting the chance to talk to before they make their purchasing decisions? And where are these prospects going for the information they need to get them to that 57% point? (No prizes for guessing the answer to this one, Sherlock!)
Yep, you guessed it: the answer is – once again – online. If your customers aren’t buying online, they’re doing most of their research online, and making more of their decisions based on their online research. So how do you make sure this new state of play leaves you King of the lead-generation castle, rather than the court jester?
The four new pillars of b2b lead generation
- Look at your website: is it answering all the research questions your customers are likely to be asking? Is it appealing to look at? Easily navigable? Optimised for mobile?
- How about your content marketing? Not just for product specs and demos (although these are super-valuable), consider using content to share news, information and opinions too: all these will help to attract, inform and ultimately sell your company and your products to customers.
- If you’re not engaging in pay-per-click advertising, start - otherwise your competitors are simply pipping you to the post. It doesn’t have to be a huge investment, and the more you do it, the more you’ll learn about what’s working and what isn’t.
- Promote your content through the right social media platforms: and while you’re there, listen to what people are saying about your product, your competitors and your market. Don’t be afraid to get involved in the conversation, either!
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