Earlier this week, I highlighted a study that noted the lengthening B2B sales cycle. B2B operators are saleschartalso struggling to refine their marketing campaigns to drive enough good sales leads at the top of the funnel. While the need to emphasize brand is paramount, enterprises also must understand which tactics are working best and put resources into them to increase leads.

The ‘Priming the Pipeline: Driving Awareness, Conversions & Sales’ study was funded by Bizo on behalf of BtoB. The marketers in the study said the following formats were helping them achieve brand awareness with prospective clients:

  • Websites: 27%
  • Display advertising: 19%
  • Social media: 18%
  • In-person events: 13%
  • Search: 9%

However, these respondents incorrectly valued email according to Russell Glass, CEO at Bizo. About 8 in 10 B2B operators call email an integral part of all phases of marketing. In Glass’s opinion, email functions as a lower-funnel tool and is best used for existing customers, not for generating leads.

About 40% of surveyed marketers remain frustrated by the process of matching the right tactics with prospects at key stages in the sales cycle.  Currently, about 27% of marketers are trying to attribute clicks in digital campaigns to conversions.  As marketers focus more of their branding efforts to specific points in the sales cycle, especially at the top of the funnel, they should get better at identifying what is working for them and adjust their allocations accordingly.

Are you tracking which marketing efforts are delivering results at key points in the funnel?

[Source: Hosford, Christopher. Branding is key in filling the sales pipeline. Btobonline.com. 8 Apr. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2013]