Recently Implisit, a CRM data and automation technology company, analyzed the sales pipeline data of hundreds of B2B companies. Then, they used their findings to create a nifty and informative infographic. The first part of that infographic is here:
- As you might have expected or experienced, B2B sales cycles, from lead gen to close, can be long. While the specific companies and industries analyzed were not disclosed, this average sales cycle time rings true for dental capital equipment and technology purchases.
- Customer referrals had the best conversion rate while lead lists had the worst. This is expected. After all, do you really expect to get sales from some list (of possibly dubious origin) you had to purchase?
- Events were second to last, although webinars and tradeshows were given their own categories. The types of events were not specified, only referred to as “company events”. My takeaway from this is that these were more company branding “wine & cheese” receptions, rather than KOL speaker seminar events. Events still have their place – corporate events can be great buzz generators for product launches and company branding. If you’re looking for sales from an event, make sure it includes ample opportunity for customer referral elements.
- Lastly the quadrant chart at the bottom helps to confirm the current evolution of B2B sales and marketing. Social channels and PR are quickening the process of referral generation while (well constructed) websites are allowing prospects to do their own research faster. Advertising, events, and tradeshows still have a place in branding and product launch, but they are less likely to yield lead conversion.
The second half of the infographic looked at opportunity to sale conversion:
- With the long sales cycle in B2B (and dental equipment and technology), don’t expect one tactic to take a prospect from lead to close. A webinar may generate opportunities, but they may need to see some more info (customer testimonial videos perhaps) on a website custom landing page or get a hands-on demo in order to close.
- Understand what your goals for each tactic (lead source) are. And separate what tactics you expect to generate leads and sales directly vs. which tactics you employ for company and/or product branding. If necessary, seek help.
I’ve written in several articles on this site that there is no “silver bullet” marketing tactic. The data revealed in this infographic serve to underscore that point. Employ the right tactics for the right goals (e.g., direct sales vs. brand establishment) and let your data help illuminate the way.
Thank you to Implisit for this analysis and to Hubspot for sharing it. And thank you for reading.