Is your marketing program generating a steady flow of high-quality leads for your sales team, or are your salespeople forced to make cold calls because they aren't getting any leads from marketing?

Is your advertising agency or marketing consultant charging you big money on expensive marketing projects and ad campaigns that aren't increasing your sales?

Can you measure the results you're getting from these marketing activities in the form of new prospects, potential sales opportunities, and closed sales?

B2B Marketing Program Failure: Root Causes

Here are the main reasons why B2B marketing programs don't generate sales leads and don’t contribute to sales revenue:

  • Your prospects have changed, but your marketing hasn't: With easy access to product information and content, prospects now drive the purchase decision-making process. They want factual content to help them solve their business or technical problems—not the same tired marketing hype they're still seeing from most companies today;
  • Lack of sales awareness: Many people involved in company marketing programs have never actually sold their company's products to real, live customers. Lacking selling ability, or the knowledge of how to incorporate sales awareness into their marketing programs, marketers within these companies often struggle to develop effective marketing programs that generate meaningful response in the form of measurable sales leads. Fortunately, these skills can be trained using a systematic approach that can help your marketing team discover and instill these key sales motivators into the company's marketing deliverables and programs;
  • Poor execution: Marketing programs often fail due to poor execution, usually caused by lack of knowledge of the key steps that must be taken or managed for each project. This results in projects that don't get done, or don't get done on time, or within budget, to achieve the desired outcome. Lacking sufficient training means the marketing team can't competently execute these projects or manage others, such as outside ad agencies or consultants, who perform these projects;
  • Focus on irrelevant "branding" projects: B2B companies—and the ad agencies and consultants who advise them—mistakenly apply consumer advertising concepts like "branding" to B2B marketing programs. Thinking that money spent on a new logo, a splashy ad or PR campaign, or other image-oriented marketing projects will make any contribution to sales is a common, expensive, and often fatal mistake;
  • Lack of know-how and skill: Company marketing teams lack the skills required to develop effective marketing programs that generate meaningful response and qualified sales leads, to give prospects the problem-solving content they demand in their purchase decision-making process. This knowledge and skills gap applies both to internal marketing teams performing hands-on execution of marketing projects, and to management of these projects if performed by third parties like ad agencies or consultants.

For the most part, the marketing team is not to blame. They either don't have prior selling experience, which would improve their ability to sell their company's products in their marketing programs, or they just never learned these techniques in their prior work experience.

Ultimately, running a series of expensive, ineffective marketing programs that don't contribute to sales destroys the marketing team's credibility, and their support within the company. The next step is to replace the marketing team and its outside consultants with a new team, hoping for the best, or to go without a marketing program, which then puts the responsibility for lead generation on the backs of the company's salespeople.

How To Fix Your Broken Marketing

Executives at companies in B2B markets need to do three things to transform their marketing from a wasted expense into a measurable investment in higher sales and business growth:

  • Stop the marketing hype: Prospects are more interested in how your product solves their problem than the usual fluff put out by B2B ad agencies to B2B markets. Using the Internet, prospects now expect immediate access to the factual, informative content they need from companies to show and tell them how their company's product solves their specific business, technical, or applications-related problem, and that builds the business case for buying your product. If they can't get this from your company, they'll find it from one of your competitors. Success begins when a company stops talking about how great their product is and starts talking to the prospect about how their product solves the prospect's problem;
  • Focus on execution, measurability and results: Once your marketing team has accepted these new realities, they must then learn how to get very, very good at rapidly executing marketing projects, using proven techniques to generate measurable results—inquiries from qualified prospects who then become part of marketing's prospect-to-customer conversion program. Every marketing project can now be measured using CRM and marketing automation, and you want your marketing team to embrace this accountability when developing any marketing campaign;
  • Embrace failure: The harsh secret of B2B marketing is that most first-time marketing projects fail or underperform most of the time. Because prospects may respond differently to marketing programs, this response to sales copy and promotions is often unpredictable. The only way to measure this response is through actual market testing, which often results in lower-than expected response. As a result, accepting, embracing and recovering from failure is the most important aspect of developing and managing B2B marketing programs. Company marketing and sales teams can use small-scale testing to mitigate this risk, and can learn how to execute well, so they can quickly adapt the failed marketing project or test, based on what was learned. But this only works if your team knows how to assess the project, and if it can revise and execute the new program quickly enough to benefit from this new information. Learning how to accept, embrace, and react to failure is the winning success habit required to build effective marketing programs that are a valued contributor to sales and business growth;
  • Stop chasing shiny objects: Without a marketing team that’s well trained in marketing execution and clear, effective presentation of your product’s problem-solving benefits, none of shiny objects of marketing technology—marketing automation, CRM, data analytics, etc.—will improve your marketing results. Layering new technology on top of bad marketing caused by lack of training won't save your marketing program if prospects aren't responding to your sales copy, or if you're not giving them the objective content they need to solve their problem.

How BMI Project-Ready Training Helps You Fix Your Broken Marketing Program

BMI training focuses on the practical, proven techniques required to plan, develop, and execute marketing projects that generate meaningful response, in the form of qualified sales leads, and effective ongoing marketing projects to convert these prospect during the long sales cycles found in many products and services sold in B2B markets. With BMI project-ready training, you make your company’s marketing accountable, changing it from a wasted cost into a measurable investment that generates a positive return and making it an indispensable tool for increasing sales and business growth.

Individual, Web-based training: You and your marketing, sales, and product management teams can use BMI courseware on an individual basis to get the immediate help and training they need to make your next marketing project a success. Our training courseware covers all of the marketing activities that comprise B2B marketing programs—from inbound lead generation, to content-based marketing, trade shows, e-mail marketing, CRM, marketing automation, and more.

Cross-training for non-marketing professionals: BMI training can also be used by in-house training or HR departments, to cross-train those with no prior marketing or product management experience, such as sales, engineering, or other non-marketing staff within the company, on the practical skills required to successfully develop, execute, and manage productive, effective marketing programs.

In-sourcing company marketing programs: To cut their marketing costs and boost the effectiveness and productivity of their marketing, companies also use BMI training, sometimes combined with BMI marketing services consulting, to in-source their marketing, reducing the expense of outside ad agencies and consultants.

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