Three Chronic B2B Sales Problems and How to Correct Them in 2011

Earlier this week we focused on b2b 2011 predictions. Today we are looking at three chronic b2b problems. We spoke with Russell Kern, president of marketing communications agency The Kern Organization, to get his take on how companies can go about remedying them:

Problem One: Not getting enough results from online marketing.

Remedy: Significantly improve the level of content and, through enhanced distribution, improve the curiosity level about your product and services. Ramp up the desire for your content online to boost response rates among prospects.

Problem Two: Not converting enough inquires to sales.

Remedy: More consistent and more relevant automated lead nurturing programs. “Investing in marketing automation is the killer app for 2011,” Kern said. But he is quick to add that b2b companies not short shrift the human component of lead-nurturing programs. “There’s the human touch of making the application work for you and there’s the human touch of connecting with potential buyers and recognizing, in b2b, the telephone, videoconferencing and face-to-face are still crucial in getting buys made because people are still buying from other human beings.”

Problem Three: Outdated data.

Remedy: Having an in-house policy (and detailed procedure) for consistent data hygiene, data cleanup, data appending and a “rigor” throughout the organization to monitor the data. Key elements that b2b sales and marketing execs should measure within the data include: How much new data was submitted into the database in a given period of time? How many errors were corrected? and How many addresses were deleted?

*Kern was voted one of the most “50 Influential People in Sales Lead Management in 2010” by the Sales Lead Management Association.