70% of the buyers journey is completed before sales hear from them
In Phil Fernandez's book Revenue Disruption and CEO of Marketo, Phil espouses with abundant product information available onlinesuch as customer reviews, peer evaluations, independent analysis, social network referrals, user generated content and morethe vast majority of buyers begin their buy cycle in a search engine or online, effectively circumventing sales people, completing the majority of their buying process and and short list have been completed.
What does this mean for us? Well the role of marketing has increased prior to hand over of a lead to a sales team. It means that businesses need to rethink their traditional approach to sales and marketing. This has a spin on effect to how investments are made. According to SiriusDecisions, Inc., "70 percent of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales."
Therefore, marketing now owns the majority of the buying cycle and must implement lead acquisition techniquessuch as content marketing and inbound marketingto engage buyers early and in the formative stages of the buying cycle. Phil explains his approach called the Revenue Performance Management (RPM) in an interview with CRM.
Search that most sales teams spend 20 to 60 percent of their time inefficiently calling prospects who no longer need or want to be contacted by sales people.
If marketing can become more efficient in using lead acquisition techniques (such as compelling content, search engine optimization, search marketing, etc.) to be found by early stage buyers, nurture not-yet-ready to buy prospects, and transfer those sales-ready buyers to the sales team at the precise point when they become ready to engage in active buyer discussions, the sales team will avoid inefficient prospecting and allocate their time to selling activities such as demonstrating value, advancing opportunities, and negotiating and closing sales deals.
Marketo has shifted its spend based on the Phils RPM approach, spending as much on marketing as sales. This actually makes sales more efficient by limiting their sales activities to truly qualified buyers. How much do you spend on marketing V sales? Is it time to review your approach?