What Support Do B2B Marketers Offer Sales?

June 22, 2020

ON24 Content Provided B2B Marketers to Sales Jun2020Data from last year shows that B2B marketers believe that while content is beneficial for top-of-the-funnel activities such as creating awareness and generating leads, it can also help to generate sales. But what types of content are marketers passing on to their colleagues in sales? This is what a new report [download page] from ON24, Market2Marketers and Heinz Marketing reveals.

Although marketers report that they provide their company’s sales teams with many different types of content, half (52%) say they most frequently provide case studies. About the same percentage say they provide product/service collateral (51%), while another 48% frequently provide primary research.

The same report found that a majority of B2B marketers were including video as part of their overall strategy this year. Sales is also benefiting from video, with 43% of marketers saying they frequently provide this type of content to their sales organization.

Sales also receive blog posts (42%), webinars (40%), guides (39%) and tip sheets (39%) from marketing. And, to a somewhat lesser extent, sales teams are being provided with white papers (33%).

The Relationship Between Sales and Marketing Has Improved

The relationship between sales and marketing has not always been a smooth one. Whether it’s been poor communication between the departments, not being on the same page when it comes to customer insights, or the seemingly age-old issue of siloing, the relationship often has room for improvement.

This new report shows that progress has occurred. Nine in 10 marketing professionals surveyed say they either agree (48%) or strongly agree (40%) that, in their organization, sales and marketing have a close working relationship, while 8 in 10 either agree (48%) or strongly agree (33%) that the two departments are in agreement in regards to objectives.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters (78%) are in agreement that their organization’s sales and marketing teams are aligned at a strategic and operational level, and another 79% agree that the two teams are aligned in terms of revenue objectives and goals.

What About the Top Performers?

Some 79% of the respondents also agree that sales and marketing see eye-to-eye on the definition of a qualified lead. This is a critical element, especially when looking at the differences between top-performers (the 54% of respondents who rated the success of their performance a 6 or 7 in a scale of 1 to 7) and the mainstream (those rating between 1 and 5). Indeed, top performers (80%) are more likely than mainstream performers (49%) to agree that their company’s sales team believes that the MQLs sent by marketing are viable and truly qualified.

This is not the only difference. A greater share of top performers (57%) says that their current go-to-market programs are highly scalable when it comes to supporting the goals of sales, marketing and customer success (compared to 14% of the mainstream). And, while some 62% of the mainstream performers say their go-to-market programs are somewhat scaleable, 22% report that they are finding it challenging to scale, compared to just 5% of top performers.

And, finally, targeting the right decision-makers at the right time in the buying process is important. For example, about 9 in 10 (88% of) top performers believe that their marketing efforts are specifically created for the different personas in a target account’s buying committee, while only 6 in 10 mainstream performers can say the same.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 137 B2B marketing professionals across various roles, industries and organization sizes. The survey was conducted in January 2020.

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