Carlos Hidalgo is worried. He wants to know if business-to-business marketers have the ability “to perform at a high level within their roles.”
Hidalgo has good reason for concern. His research reveals startling statistics about marketing departments in companies with revenues over $250 million:
- When asked “How effective are your demand generation programs at achieving your primary goals?” only 2.8% said effective.
- When asked to “Rate the skill set of the marketing personnel in terms of executing their Demand Generation Strategy,” only 7.5% stated their teams were highly skilled while 55.7% rated themselves as unskilled.
These are shocking admissions. Can you imagine if Finance and Accounting admitted that only 2.8% of their programs were effective? Or that only 7.5% of their teams were highly skilled? Heads would roll. Audit teams would be deployed. People would be either retrained or replaced.
Or what about Sales? Would Sales Management put with these conditions? Absolutely not. They would stomp down the hall to the executive suite and make a strident case for the funds to improve. You’d hear worn-out cliches about Sales being where the rubber meets the road. Money would magically be found in the budgets of other departments. People would get training. Under-performers would be culled from the herd.
So why, Carlos asks, are these disappointing results allowed to persist in Marketing? Not enough power? Organizational lethargy?
Carlos pins the problem on marketing enablement. If you can’t hire people with the skills you need, then you have no choice but to train and develop your own staff. Since most of the buyer’s journey is completed before a buyer ever speaks to a sales rep, marketing staff must be enabled to educate and nurture buyers on their journey.
Marketing is now a strategic department for any B2B enterprise organization and to not spend the money on enablement will only hamstring those who are trying – many in vain – to drive more value from their efforts.
But people, let’s face the facts. Whatever the cause, few marketing organizations are likely to change anytime soon. Sure, they’ll eventually change. Slowly. Over time. But shifts in organizational recruiting, training, mentoring, and culture happen at a glacial pace.
And that’s where you come in. Here’s an opportunity for you. Can you be a disruptive force in your marketing practices? Look around at the other companies in your industry. Most of them will remain lethargic. You have an opportunity to use marketing for competitive advantage.
You have an opportunity to:
- Move more of your direct sales activities to inside sales.
- Move more inside sales activities to no-touch marketing.
- Use no-touch marketing to attract, educate, and nurture qualified buyers.
Most B2B marketing organizations are behind the curve. Find ways to disrupt and get ahead of them.