Many times it can be difficult to estimate the benefits of using search, analytics, and email for B2B businesses. Surely high ticket items that range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and have long sales cycles don’t have a process that begins online. Or do they?
Many B2B companies are surprised at the amount of search volume that comes in each month, stemming from the research that prospective buyers are initiating online. Search doesn’t have a price cut-off, and the opportunities that result from these search queries can make a huge impact on a company’s bottom line.
Just ask Midmark. The healthcare manufacturing company saw such an opportunity in early 2011 when they hired Endai to help generate and nurture leads through Endai’s proprietary methodology, Playbook, which utilizes search, analytics, and email to find and guide prospects seamlessly through the buying cycle.
Midmark is a well-known brand with a strong brand identity, but they saw online as a way to connect with their customers in a more meaningful way, all the while generating new leads for the company and leading them into the beginning of the sales funnel in a way that was both cost effective and time efficient. In addition, they wanted to make it easier for potential customers to browse through product lines and receive helpful information on product lines that can be more complex than most.
While on the surface, it would seem that many B2B buyers making large purchasing decisions would want to speak with a sales rep one-on-one, the massive change in the way customers initiate the purchasing process has turned that method of thinking on its head. Even B2B customers who plan on making large, strategic purchases begin their research on search engines.
Email provided the most ideal way for Midmark to engage with potential customers by giving them specific product information while encouraging them to set up a meeting with their designated sales rep to move the sale into the next phase of the funnel. This move allowed Midmark to automate the initial steps of their sales funnel (which can be time consuming) and allowed their sales team to focus their time and energy on highly qualified leads, closing deals and generating revenue.
According to eMarketing Manager, Kevin Hallum, the biggest benefit they’ve seen is having hard data to base decisions on, rather than guessing or using self-reported data. “Now that we have visibility from search to closed revenue in the pipeline, we can make more informed decisions on where to invest marketing dollars.”
“In the first year, we were very surprised. We have a huge market share and we needed to know that a) customers were finding us online, and b) that we took the right steps to build a relationship with them. The folks at Endai have really provided a focus on tying the effort to strategic business goals, rather than trying to randomly optimize things and that’s been the key for us, is terms of seeing value out of it.”