Business owners are turning to inbound marketing methodologies to improve inefficiencies in their sales funnels. B2B buyer behavior is changing, marketing technology is improving quickly and the traditional sales process is getting left behind in favor of more effective, budget-friendly tactics.
The recently released State of Inbound report from HubSpot revealed that the second highest global sales priority is improving the efficiency of the sales funnel – the highest priority was of course finding more sales. The study showed 38% of sales reps said the biggest change in the last two or three years has been the increasing difficulty of getting a response from prospects.
There’s no doubt that inbound marketing is taking over traditional sales activities. But why is this happening? And why right now?
Why Business Owners Are Investing in Inbound Marketing This Year
Even though the B2B sector has been slow to adopt inbound marketing, they are investing in full swing now, as evidenced by the statistics at the beginning of this article. There are many factors involved in the decision to invest in inbound and digital marketing, but there’s one that’s more important than all others: return on investment (ROI).
You may have read about some of the announcements from Google’s recent Google Marketing Next 2017 conference. Some of the most exciting things they announced were related to attribution – in other words, the ability to tie a digital marketing initiative directly to revenue. From new ad features to connecting in-store purchases with online research to an entirely new product called Google Attribution, they have doubled down on marketing attribution. Why would this be?
Marketers and business owners alike have always sought higher visibility into ROI on marketing initiatives, especially ones at the top of the funnel that have more distance from an actual sale. Google’s products are a major step forward in this regard, but inbound marketing in general can now produce significant data for decision makers.
Detailed attribution, being able to tell exactly how a marketing tactic impacts revenue, puts ROI within reach for just about anybody. Attribution data takes a lot of the guesswork out of marketing initiatives, enabling quantitative decision making.
Ultimately, this makes the investment in inbound marketing much safer, which is at the heart of the increasing investment in the B2B sector. Inbound marketing tactics to compensate for the changing buyer’s journey, as well as complement the evolving role of the B2B sales rep, are becoming powerful new methods of lead generation. The emerging accuracy of attribution data only adds to the effectiveness of these tactics in terms of ROI.
Business owners are investing in marketing to fix B2B sales funnel inefficiencies. Buying behavior is changing. If sales and marketing departments don’t keep up, they’ll get left behind.