Although the enlightened buyer can remain elusive and immune from traditional marketing approaches, at some point in the sales cycle they reveal themselves to an organization by expressing interest. They visit a blog site. They download a white paper. Or they attend a Webinar.
From there, it becomes paramount for marketers and sales reps to cultivate and nurture the prospect relationship. That’s because in business-to-business and public sector sales there is typically a lengthy time gap between lead identification and close.
Marketers are armed with a myriad of high impact tools to facilitate the lead nurturing process. For instance, marketing automation solutions from vendors like Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, eTrigue, Hubspot, Pardot and Silverpop offer content distribution, analytics and scoring functionality.
Yet, buyers ultimately do business with companies…or should I more accurately write “people”…they know and trust. Yes, it remains a relationship sell.
I was reminded of the impact of the relationship when I spent a few hours today at the Satellite 2014 conference in Washington, DC.
A niche conference that attracts about 10,000 executives in the satellite communications and technology industry, nearly every booth, breakout room and meeting place in the exhibit hall was occupied with customers, prospects, vendors and partners talking business.
Here are a couple of photos from the show.