Most B2B marketing organizations miss the biggest opportunities to impact their business because they have not identified the right goals.
Why isn’t business coming out of your ears?
Dig into that question, ask why of every answer or assumption you come up with, and you will eventually get to the root challenge and the basis for goals that can move your business forward.
It is easier said than done.
Most B2B marketing organizations start with a goal that looks like “deliver 18,000 leads to sales.” The lead goal was determined by the new revenue goal, the number of leads sales will need to reach the goal, and the portion of leads that marketing will need to contribute.
It makes sense, it is logical and it can be difficult to question. However, if a spreadsheet and series of status quo assumptions are driving your marketing goals, you will continue to compete on the basis of an increasingly expensive volume game.
It is time to start asking why and finding new opportunities. Here are just a few of the why questions to start with.
- Why is our conversion rate so low?
- Why can’t we raise our average contract value?
- Why isn’t our churn rate lower?
- Why don’t we have more organic, or over the transom, leads?
- Why do we lose so often against competitor X?
- Why do we win so often again competitor Z?
Eventually you will get to answers that highlight things like perceptions, competitive positioning or buying processes that are impacting your business’s success and can be changed through marketing.
Your New Goals
You have now identified things marketing can do that will give you a competitive advantage. You need to prioritize these goals and identify just one or two to adopt as marketing objectives.
If the priorities are not clear, begin estimating the cost, the time and the benefit to your business of each potential objective.
If, like many B2B marketing organizations, you have been primarily focused on lead generation in the past, start with objectives that require a smaller investment and that you will benefit from quickly.
You will still need to deliver leads, but as you work towards your additional goals, you will develop a stronger competitive position that is less dependent lead generation.
Do you see B2B marketers get caught in the lead generation trap, striving to deliver more volume to support growth every year?
Share your observations in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).