As B2B marketers across the country work to get back on track, one of the toughest challenges they face is rebuilding the pipeline for their sales colleagues to drive revenue. After pausing ad campaigns, canceling live events, and pivoting marketing messages from “engage with us” to “we care,” the flow of qualified leads may have slowed to a trickle.
From A Trickle to A Roar?
The good news is that B2B buyers are seeking out and interacting with businesses more today than a month ago, according to the benchmark data Hubspot has been collecting from their 70,000 global customers. Web traffic is up, email open and click rates are above pre-COVID levels, and customer-initiated sales conversations are increasing.
There’s no doubt that the flow of qualified leads will improve. The real question is how quickly they will convert into buyers. Opportunity and deal creation data from Hubspot and Salesforce show both are trending 8 to 12% behind pre-COVID levels, resulting in longer sales cycles and slower revenue growth.
Quick Dollars vs. Slow Dollars
While your sales team waits, you can influence faster revenue growth by focusing your marketing efforts on existing customers. Marketing to existing customers is less costly, more efficient, and results in higher ROI than acquisition marketing.
Remember, these are people who know, like and trust your brand. They have already looked to you to solve a problem, improve a situation, or meet a need. You’re 90% of the way there.
If you are ready to leverage customer marketing to speed up revenue growth for your company, a cross-sell or upsell campaign is an excellent place to start.
Start With The Data
It all starts with the data for this customer marketing effort. Begin by segmenting your customers by the product or service they initially purchased. Do a secondary slice looking at the date of purchase and create sub-segments at 12 months, 18 months, 24 months-plus. The age of your customer influences your messaging and your offer. Once you have the segments set, determine two or three offers that best fit based on the data you have. These can be add-on services, complementary products, or an entirely new solution.
Email is the best outreach method for this campaign. Your customers have already opted into email communications from your brand, which automatically increases open and click-thru rates. Your email content should emphasize your existing relationship, the value you currently bring to them, and why you think the new offer it’s a good fit.
Don’t Try Just One
Remember, it may take multiple touches to connect and hold their attention, so plan this campaign as a series of emails over a three- to four-week period. As always, track and measure this marketing effort. The data you collect will demonstrate the need for whether or not to continue customer marketing efforts as businesses adjust to the new normal.