Stuck in B2B Sales Limbo? Here’s How to Close the Deal Faster

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Six weeks in, and that B2B deal you’ve been chasing feels like it’s going nowhere? Relax, you’re not alone. Dreamdata’s recent report analysing 414 B2B companies reveals the average customer journey clocks in at a whopping 192 days – with smaller businesses seeing a slightly shorter timeframe of around 147 days. But hey, that’s still a significant chunk of time!

The good news? This report is packed with valuable insights to help you navigate the B2B sales maze and close deals faster. Here’s a breakdown of the key takeaways and actionable steps you can take to optimise your sales process:

Demystifying the B2B Buyer Journey

The 147-day (or 192-day) average might seem daunting, but understanding your average sales cycle timeframe is crucial for setting realistic expectations and building a winning follow-up strategy.

Action Steps:

  • Track Your Interactions: Implement tools or consider conducting a buyers journey workshop to map out your customer interactions from the very beginning. This will help you identify where leads drop off and what keeps them engaged.
  • Set Milestones: Based on the average journey length, establish clear goals and timelines for your sales and marketing teams. This ensures everyone is on the same page and focuses their efforts effectively.

Tailoring Your Approach

The B2B sales journey differs significantly between large and small companies. Smaller businesses often move quicker due to less bureaucracy. Likewise, companies in specific industries or those with different organisational structures will operate differently. Consider these differences and leverage them to your advantage during the sales process.

Action Steps:

  • Segment Your Audience: Create targeted marketing campaigns that address the specific needs and timelines of different company sizes and industries. For instance, larger enterprises may value detailed case studies and technical validations more than smaller companies, which may prioritise cost efficiency and speed of implementation.
  • Prioritise Personalisation: For smaller prospects, prioritise swift and personalised follow-ups. This keeps your solution top-of-mind and fosters a stronger connection.

Optimising Your Marketing Mix

The channels you use to make that initial connection significantly impact the B2B sales journey. Data suggests that certain channels, like review sites, greatly accelerate the buying process, reducing the journey to just 70 days. Understanding which channels perform best allows you to strategically focus your efforts for maximum impact and quicker conversions.

Actionable Steps:

  • Optimise Channel Use: Evaluate the performance of different marketing channels in terms of lead quality and conversion time. Prioritise and allocate more resources to the channels that yield quicker and higher-quality conversions. For example, if review sites and paid advertising channels shorten the sales cycle, consider increasing your investment in these areas to boost your visibility where it counts.
  • Content Strategy: Given that a significant portion of the B2B buying journey is spent without direct interaction with sellers, it’s crucial to have a robust content strategy. Your website design and social media strategy should serve as comprehensive resources that help potential buyers educate themselves at their own pace. This may include creating detailed product descriptions, how-to guides, FAQ sections, video tutorials, and case studies. Ensuring that your content is insightful, easily accessible, and addresses common buyer concerns will help maintain engagement throughout the buyer’s journey, even in your absence.

Data: Your Secret Weapon

Engagement tracking, particularly on platforms like LinkedIn, has been linked to a significant increase in revenue potential. Detailed analytics can provide nearly 8x more revenue! This stark increase highlights the importance of a data-driven approach in modern B2B marketing strategies. By leveraging analytics, companies can unlock detailed insights into buyer behaviors, preferences, and engagement patterns, enabling them to fine-tune their marketing and sales efforts for optimal effectiveness.

Action Steps:

  • Embrace Data Analytics: Implement advanced analytics tools to meticulously measure and track engagement across all your marketing platforms. These tools should help you monitor key metrics such as click-through rates, engagement times, and conversion rates. By analysing this data, you can identify which types of content and which messages resonate most with your audience. Additionally, engagement analytics can reveal less obvious insights such as the best times to post, the most effective content formats, and which discussions or posts lead to actual sales opportunities.
  • Personalise Customer Interactions: Data analytics enable a deeper understanding of individual customer needs and preferences, allowing for more personalised marketing efforts. Tailor your communications, offers, and content to meet the specific interests of different segments of your audience based on their previous interactions with your brand. Personalisation not only enhances customer experience but also significantly increases the likelihood of conversion.
  • Cross-Channel Harmony: Ensure that your marketing efforts are not isolated within single channels. Instead, strive for a harmonised approach that integrates all your channels, creating a seamless customer experience across digital and traditional platforms. For instance, insights gained from LinkedIn can inform content creation on your blog or adjustments to your email marketing campaigns. This cohesive strategy ensures that no matter where a prospect interacts with your brand, they receive a consistent message and experience.
  • Leverage Automation and AI: Utilise automation tools and AI-driven platforms to manage and analyse large datasets more efficiently. These technologies can help in segmenting audiences, personalising content at scale, and optimising campaigns in real-time based on user engagement and feedback.

The Final Word: Unlocking Growth Through Strategic Insights

For small B2B businesses, mastering the intricacies of the sales process involves understanding the customer journey, maximising the right marketing channels, and making data-driven decisions. By taking these strategic steps based on the latest benchmarks, you can refine your go-to-market efforts, accelerate sales cycles, and achieve sustainable growth.

Want help refining your B2B sales and marketing strategy? Let’s talk.

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