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We’ve passed a few annual milestones recently – spring’s arrival, the end of Q1, first 100 days, and of course: the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 officially being declared a pandemic. As I look at the rest of the year, it’s got me wondering – have we seen the end of the B2B world as we know it?

Give this R.E.M. song a listen as we see what the experts are saying this week:

HubSpot Data Update – Q1 2021

It’s that time again! Let’s look at the HubSpot March 2021 data and see how sales and marketing activities are trending against the benchmark:

  • Deals created continued to increase – now up 34%!
  • Closed deals increased to 13% – the highest in Q1
  • Sales email sends further increased too, but responses remained 30% below
  • Marketing email sends remained comfortably at 30% over, with open rates around 11% over

Oddly enough, marketing emails seem to be proving effective and have strong open rates, but the same can’t be said for sales emails. Is it the poor quality of sales emails? Are sales reps relying too much on email? Are messages simply not targeted or relevant? Check this out:

  • Sales calls had a big (72%) increase over benchmark
  • Active conversation interactions were at 23% over
  • Contact growth was also impressive – 32% over

Last month’s data gives us a lot to digest. It seems to prove that success for sales is in conversations – and cutting through all of the email ‘noise’ out there. Seems like the activity for sales calls has increased, so perhaps the lack of sales email response is just showing how a combination of both sales email AND sales call is necessary to be effective – a true multi-channel approach.

This multi-touch/multi-channel approach is even more important in an ABM strategy. It’s imperative to use multiple touches for your demand/buying units – something I discussed at length with Alisa from Forrester/SiriusDecisions in our recent webinar. It’s all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time! Right? Right!

It’s Okay to Let People Think You Suck

I wouldn’t recommend you watch Lee Abrams’ video unless you are having trouble sleeping. But if you do, you’ll learn a lot about your audience.

Abrams helped create FM radio when FM radio mattered, and his hands guided music in the early days of SiriusXM. More recently, he shared a video that won’t win awards for production or drama but does a particularly good job of explaining audiences and how they react to and consume music and other media. Some interesting info, including my key takeaway – to succeed, you need to pick a single fan group to appeal to and everyone else needs to think you suck.

Bob Lefsetz says this isn’t new… this is just ‘marketing in general.’ I agree. As smart marketers we should all know this. We spend so much time talking about Ideal Customer Profiles, Relative Targeting, TAM/SAM/SOM – but I think sometimes we still try to be everything to everyone.

Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline? I hope not – let’s really focus our effort on our ideal customer profile/target market and the viewpoint of this audience. Maybe our work or offer doesn’t need to repel all other groups – but we should certainly not be concerned if they DO think we suck. Just focus on the right target, the right offer, and the right message, and we’ll all feel fine!

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello.

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat