Digital marketing isn’t working in enterprise accounts. It generates awareness and leads – but it isn’t driving quality pipeline or generating sales.
I talk to “C” level executives in some of the world’s largest companies. They say they aren’t getting enough quality leads from digital marketing to make their numbers in their Enterprise segments. Most are from people who influence or research but aren’t decision makers, or are with the wrong companies. Many waste more time than they are worth. They aren’t getting leads in the right companies at the right level at the right time. Why?
Every Enterprise has many problems. The buyer’s journey begins when one becomes a high enough priority. Senior executives decide on priorities, identify the cause and agree an approach before they look to buy.
An example – sales are down. There are many approaches – hire or fire salespeople, reduce prices, buy a new CRM, run sales training.
If you sell a CRM and they decide on sales training your opportunity disappears before you engage. Even if they do decide on a new CRM what do they do? They look at the market.
But who are “they”? Which specific individuals visit your web site, download your white paper, fill out your forms?
The executives decide they need a CRM. The CEO asks the CIO to investigate. The CIO delegates the task to a manager who says to his team “go look at CRMs. They’re your “leads” – people two levels or more from the decision makers.
So when you follow them up you ask if they have authority. Of course they don’t. Does your CEO or CMO spend time trawling the web? I don’t think so.
You ask about their budget & if they don’t have one many sales people lose interest. But if they do, someone helped them set it. If it wasn’t you it was probably your competitor. So you enter the deal too late and become column fodder. You spend an arm and a leg on a deal you have no chance of winning. You’re just there to make up the numbers.
But don’t stop digital marketing – just use it better. You still want influencers and researchers to know about you. You just don’t want them as entry into the account. You need to be building executive relationships at the same time.
Then when your digital marketing identifies a “lead” you don’t call them. You call the decision makers you’ve already built a relationship with. Senior executives you’ve developed trust with by nurturing them, listening to them, helping them, discussing their business issues. When they’re ready to buy you’ll know them and they’ll know and trust you.
We call this Triangulation – building trusted executive relationships and using digital marketing to build credibility and as a trigger. A digital lead triggers an additional call to the decision maker – “just in time” selling.
This process combines digital and direct approach.
- Select and profile your Enterprise targets
Don’t try to sell to the universe – pick a manageable number for direct approach.
- Identify a three tier account map
Who are the decision makers, influencers and researchers?
- Use digital marketing to develop credibility and identify triggers
You’re probably already doing this.
- Use Authentic Relationship Management to educate & nurture the decision makers
Develop a trusted relationship where you focus on them and their business issues. We call this Authentic Relationship Management.
- Use trigger events to call senior executives you’ve been building a relationship with
When you sell to an enterprise you need to cover all levels – decision makers, influencers and researchers. Digital marketing is great for the technicians and researchers but it’s ineffective at executive level.
A combination of direct approach at executive level and digital marketing covers all bases and works brilliantly.
When we follow up a client’s digitally generated leads (and leads from events, etc.) we call executives we’re already building relationships with. This has significantly boosted Clients’ sales by providing much higher quality opportunities with trusted relationships in place.
Intelligently combining digital marketing with Authentic Relationship Management helps you sell higher, wider – and more.