It probably comes as no surprise that salespeople want more qualified leads from marketing, but what else can marketing do to help the sales function along? As it stands, better messaging is a key factor for B2B salespeople, according to a study from Televerde [download page].
The report is based on a survey of more than 200 sales leaders who sell B2B products or services, the majority of whom are with companies with more than $50 million in revenues.
Respondents were asked what marketing can do to help them win more deals. Interestingly, better messaging was actually cited by more respondents as a top-5 assist than more qualified leads.
That brings to mind past research from Corporation Visions, in which messaging was identified as the most important factor driving B2B deals to close.
On a related note, salespeople are also looking for improved materials from marketing, with these factors rounding out the top 5 in the Televerde report:
- Better marketing materials;
- More case studies & testimonials; and
- Vertical and segment targeting and materials.
That last point speaks to the importance of personalized messaging, particularly for account-based marketing.
Content marketing has emerged as an important factor in sales enablement: research from Seismic suggests that only a minority of executives believe that the quantity and quality of content provided to salespeople meets or exceeds expectations.
As for salespeople’s desire for more qualified leads? Recent research from Altify suggests that while 61% of marketers feel their team is competent at delivering reasonable numbers of qualified sales opportunities, just one-third (34%) of salespeople agree.
Still, on a positive note, more than three-quarters of the respondents to Televerde’s survey characterize the quality of leads generated through marketing activities as “good” to “excellent.”
What’s Most Useful to Sales?
In another question examining marketing’s increased utility to sales, Televerde asked sales professionals which of various marketing assets, tools and activities are most useful to them.
Respondents actually rated industry events the most useful marketing activity, perhaps due to the quality of leads generated by attendance to these events. Indeed, a recent study found more than three-quarters of enterprise marketers rating the effectiveness of their organizations a top-2 box on a 5-point scale when asked about driving business results such as demand generation and pipeline acceleration from in-person events.
Beyond in-person events, sales teams also see the utility of marketing providing a value proposition – something again tied to messaging.
Close behind, case studies and sales presentations are also considered very important marketing assets by sales teams. B2B buyers themselves feel that the sales presentation is their most important content asset.
To end on an encouraging note, salespeople feel fairly confident about their alignment with marketing, as more than 6 in 10 feel that these functions are aligned at their companies.