Corporate websites currently rank as the No. 1 source of new leads for businesses, according to Demandbase's 2011 B2B website demand-generation study, and the percentage of leads coming from the corporate website is expected to skyrocket in the next three years. In fact, B2B research and analyst firm SiriusDecisions predicts that 71 percent of leads will come from the corporate website by 2015.
Today's self-directed business buyers are able to find the information they need, when they need it, through social media, solution provider websites, or a plethora of other content channels. The rise of the informed buyer marks a transformation in the role of sales organizations as the need for direct-sales interaction shifts toward the latter end of the buying process. Given this change in how B2B decision makers are shopping, it's easy to recognize that a consistent and relevant inbound marketing experience plays a vital role in progressing sales.
In a recent survey of B2B companies, marketers indicated that digital was their most important channel for lead generation. Yet, only 20 percent of marketers believe their websites are performing to their maximum lead-engagement potential. Luckily, with the right vision and sponsorship, marketers can reinvent their corporate sites to engage savvy buyers with personalized and relevant web experiences throughout the sales cycle.
Here's a look at the four biggest challenges to enabling effective inbound lead nurturing:
Challenge: Sales and demand-generation teams -- those with the most customer insight and engagement mastery -- have little control over the enterprise site experience.
Solution: Sales and demand-generation experts must guide the user-centered corporate website strategy.
The historical rise of demand generation as "external marketing" programs and enterprise websites as an "internal marketing" engagement mechanism explains why two critical marketing drivers coexist with little cohesion, but this mindset is grossly out of touch with how people purchase today. Many demand-generation teams would have to move mountains and resource changes to make it happen. When evaluating talent to lead the charge, demand-generation experts will emerge as the natural choice.