In a fascinating article by MarketingProfs, they detail a business to business (B2B) study conducted by Showpad in June of 2018. In this study, they asked respondents questions about what things affect the length of their sales cycle – what helps and what slows it down. This information is gold for marketers in general, but particularly for those involved in content marketing and generating sales leads for their organizations.
Why is it gold? Because it gives marketers the opportunity to look at customers and prospects in a different light – to refine content strategy to examine the things that befuddle customers and help them find the answers.
Why is that important? Because the content can then pointedly focus on the things that are important to the people you need and want to engage the most – customers. Writing content to include information that educates, clarifies benefits and return on investment (ROI), plus explains industry trends and micro-trends helps potential customers decide who to hire. And you can be the expert they turn to.
Key factors in slowing down a B2B purchase decision?
- Not enough information available
- Not enough information applicable to my purchase
- Difficulty showing ROI
- Did not trust the information found
- Information was confusing
The report also showed that 55% of the respondents say the length of purchasing decisions has increased somewhat or increased significantly compared with just 12 months ago. This is a red flag for all B2B sales organizations because that delay has a direct effect on the bottom line.
The marketing world has become more difficult to navigate. Products and services are more sophisticated, as are the buyers. Buyers need to understand the value and benefits of their purchases at a detail level and often have to sell through to other people in their organizations. They will be doing research, looking for credible information. So, build your content and communications strategy around what your customers need and want to help them answer questions and make their decisions. You’ll benefit in the end with faster decisions and more of them landing in your favor.