Digital Marketing Cannot Replace Your B2B Sales Function

Most prospective customers will not buy on the first interaction with your business.

Much as there is no point fighting gravity, there is no point in fighting this harsh truth.

This is especially true if you are selling a complex solution to other businesses, with a typically longer sales cycle (like most of my clients do).

Therefore, don’t be surprised if your paid digital advertising doesn’t immediately, instantaneously deliver floods of new sales.

It can happen, and it does happen sometimes - especially if you have something like an eCommerce functionality on your site where certain products/services can be purchased directly.

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But realistically?

The chances of someone clicking on a Google ad or LinkedIn ad and deciding there and then to whip out the corporate Amex card and hand over $100k for an order are slim.

Too many businesses I encounter seem to have been sold on the idea that digital marketing can completely replace the sales function of their business by immediately dumping ready-to-buy leads on the doorstep (once again, this can happen but when it does it's more of a windfall than anything else).

Instead, your digital activity should be seen as another string to your bow. It's a complementary activity, and not a replacement.

In fact, for many longer sales cycle businesses, it's about bringing some new interest in the door but also helping to nudge along and soften up the leads your sales team are working on.

If you go into digital marketing with unreasonable expectations (and to be fair to B2B business owners, I think a lot of this comes from being sold the idea that they can simply apply a 'direct to consumer' digital marketing model to a very different business model and expect immediate results) then you'll be disappointed and not stick at it long enough to see the true value and potential for your organisation.