This is the third post in our series on the Seven Deadly Sins of B2B Marketing for Small and Medium Sized Businesses. Last week I posted on Sin #2, Expecting Instant Results.
Today I tackle the perspective that many B2B companies have – that they don’t need marketing. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a B2B CEO say ‘We don’t need marketing, we need sales,’ I’d be loaded.
Here’s the problem with that perspective, and why it’s prevalent. There is truth that at the very early stages of a B2B company’s life, there is limited ROI in investing in some marketing tactics like advertising or big branding campaigns. The path to success for most B2B companies starts with an expert in a particular niche who develops something useful and slowly builds a following and then a company. Often the CEO is the chief salesperson and essentially ‘IS’ the brand and the business. When cash is tight, the marketing is done in terms of time, not dollars, and that works.
But there comes a point in a B2B company’s evolution when marketing DOES matter. We see this happen when a company is trying to grow and hires a new salesperson. When companies have no marketing to support that new salesperson, failure is common. The founder / CEO is accustomed to selling without marketing support – and they can do this because they’re the founder. But for anyone else, to sell a product or service that has limited market awareness and no marketing support is an almost impossible order.
A good B2B salesperson will seek out and finalize a deal – a good B2B marketer will create a unique and valuable proposition, and raise awareness of that proposition in the market – making it much easier for the salesperson to do their job.
And that’s why B2B companies need marketing as much as they need sales.