Most of us assume complex project B2B prospects spend a lot of time working with salespeople figuring out specifications, understanding options, and developing proposals.
Most industrial and manufacturing companies staff their teams based on that central assumption.
Thanks to Gartner for this graphic!
According to this model, your sales team may get 5-6% of the total time the buyer invests in the sale.
The research time is significantly higher than the time with your sales team.
Are you influencing your prospects the 95% of the time they are not talking to your sales team?
We have convinced industrial and manufacturing companies to invest in marketing, content, websites, SEO, and building authority online for years.
But even still, I have yet to see any industrial or manufacturing company budget anywhere close to marketing what they budget for the sales team.
Most industrial and manufacturing buyers are middle-aged or older. No bias there, just an observation.
When they are in positions to make more buying decisions, imagine how little time millennials will want to spend with your salespeople.
We just did a deep dive into website analytics for a client - who is developing lots of interesting content online for a traditional industrial audience and winning lots of business as a result - and we found that people were spending over 5 minutes reading a blog post on their mobile devices.
The topic related to the cost of their types of products and how to determine their true ROI of them.
A classic deep dive topic - cost is always something looked for when someone is researching a B2B product or service.
No salesperson of our client was involved, yet the content is hugely influential to thousands of people every month.
Marketing and your strategy should boil down to communicating your expertise to the people that need it. If you do not have a content strategy, you are not delivering what your prospects want - helpful information available to them when they are not talking to your salespeople.
I will dig more deeply into this idea in the next few articles but just meditate - yes, meditate - so you can think clearly about the implications of this information to your business, your budgets, and to your future.