In B2B marketing, managers typically prefer to develop cost-cutting strategies rather than come up with ways to increase revenues. It’s somewhat easier to reduce expenses by eliminating processes, consolidating vendors or, in a worst-case scenario, laying off staff. Just like your personal budget, businesses can always find areas to trim expenses.
However, developing plans to increase revenue often takes more thought and analysis. Solutions usually become very involved and may require additional staffing resources. Other complex options surface too, including expensive market research, multiple concurrent lead generation campaigns, or creative sales promotions that may require reducing the fees for your products and services.
What typically misses the shortlist of ideas in B2B marketing, unfortunately, is managing existing leads. Companies of all sizes can increase revenues substantially just by working the current sales pipeline.
Lost Revenues from Weak Lead Management Practices
B2B marketing requires a regular flow of qualified leads to be successful. And, to increase revenues, these qualified leads must be expertly managed. Poor lead management practices put millions of dollars in potential sales revenues at risk.
But lost revenues aren’t the only fallout from a sub-par lead management program. B2B marketing efforts can suffer because of the following:
Less Than Desired Brand Awareness. If your programs aren’t producing a sufficient quantity of qualified leads, you’re not improving your brand awareness. The more customers who use your product, the more your brand will be recognized. Plus, you’ll gain valuable feedback from the increased number of customers for future product development.
Market Share. By securing more revenue from the increased number of converted leads, B2B marketing managers boost market share. The more customers a company serves, the greater the share-of-mind the company will enjoy in the marketplace. And, the increased share of mind can have a positive effect on overall market share.
Buyer Behavior. When new customers buy your products or services, you have an opportunity to learn why they made the purchase decision. Purchasing decisions can help B2B marketing managers communicate differentiating factors and position the product or service competitively.
However, it’s not just the new sales that provide insight. Lost sales opportunities can provide crucial information. This feedback will help companies re-position products and develop sound sales objection strategies.
How to Recover Lost Revenue
The absolute best way to recover lost revenue is to improve the lead management process in a B2B marketing program. This project needs to involve both sales and marketing staff. Unfortunately, many companies are at a disadvantage to fully develop a strong lead management program. Reasons include the following:
• Because lead management is not a core competency of most B2B marketing organizations, chances are the associated processes are not fine-tuned or as disciplined as they should be.
• Lead nurturing may not be managed from a comprehensive standpoint. In other words, companies may stop nurturing leads after a marketing campaign ends. Without regular human contact to nurture leads, companies reduce their sales opportunities significantly.
• Lead processes can be ineffective. For example, storing and tracking lead data may be lax. And the hand-off of leads to the sales team may not be as smooth as possible.
• Companies may not have the required staffing resources to successfully manage a lead program. Managing the complete lead management process is not something sales or marketing can do on its own.