Forrester Research’s newly published report, “Valuable Message Development for B2B Marketing in the Context of Sales Enablement,” doesn’t have much good news for B2B marketers. Among its findings are that 65 percent of business decision makers agree that much of the information provided to them by B2B companies is useless, and 63 percent of IT decision-makers say they typically scan documents and throw them in the trash.
Report author Peter O’Neill, who is Forrester’s research director for B2B marketing, says the results aren’t surprising. The buying landscape has changed completely, with buyers doing much more of their primary research online before they ever talked with vendor. In fact, the job of the B2B sales and marketing professional is increasingly to help the buyer make a decision rather than to sell a product.
The transformed buying process is making long-held concepts like the sales funnel and the lead obsolete, O’Neill says in our interview. Forrester is proposing a new nine-part messaging framework that B2B buyers can use to help focus on buyer’s needs. Content needs to be aligned much more closely to stages in the buying cycle, and sales and marketing professionals need to put aside past rivalries and partner on a consistent approach to the customer.