B2B marketers, lead-generation and demand-generation pros are used to constant change, especially at the enterprise level. If it’s your job to reach and engage with B2B decision makers, increase lead conversion and drive more pipeline, you know how often your customers and prospects—and the companies they work for—change. The slippery nature of B2B is more than just a matter of curiosity; it’s a significant impediment to your ability to create marketing campaigns that help you meet your goals.
At Leadspace, we use our own platform to find and engage with our ideal prospects. It is our single best source of leads that convert, by a huge margin. We’ve built our own database over time, and constantly enrich it with new data from the Leadspace Virtual Data Management Platform. As a result, we have unique insights into the world of the B2B professional and how it changes, grows and evolves.
We’ve decided to start sharing those insights, in the hopes they will be useful to anyone who needs to better understand the B2B marketplace, and the underlying necessity of on-demand, accurate data.
The Leadspace Virtual Data Management Platform brings together up-to-date, on-demand data from the best proprietary sources of B2B data, as well as the open Web and social media. The following key findings are drawn from a database sample of 43,376 B2B professionals and the companies they work for. (Note: That’s just the list we use ourselves. The Leadspace VDMP has access to millions of records on both individuals and companies.)
The following insights are drawn from our quarterly database refresh—a best practice we recommend for all marketers. The changes measured are from a three-month period between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.
The B2B Technology Mix is Constantly Changing
Many B2B marketers (including us at Leadspace) look at a company’s installed base of technology to decide if they’re a good prospect. If you’re basing your target lists or outbound campaigns on the technologies in use at a company, be aware that can change more rapidly than you might think. Over the past quarter:
32.8 percent of the 43,376 B2B professionals in our sample changed the mix of core technologies they use or have used, either adding a new one or changing an existing technology.
9.3% of the companies those B2B professionals work for also made significant changes in their installed base of technology. (We’ll be talking more about that in our next report.)
B2B Companies Change Size and Move to New Categories
You’ve probably set a threshold above or below which you prefer to market and sell. How many prospects do you think are “on the bubble” of the criteria you’ve set? Our data show that a significant number of companies move from one company size category to another as often as quarterly. Your ideal prospects may have moved from one category to another, and you might be incorrectly excluding them in your outreach.
An even 10 percent of the companies in our sample moved to a different revenue range category, with 4 percent moving to a higher revenue category.
12 percent of those companies moved to a different size category, with 1.9 percent increasing in size.
While these size and revenue swings aren’t as common amongst enterprise companies, smaller and mid-market companies can jump ranges pretty quickly. Someone who previously wasn’t part of your target criteria can quickly change.
B2B Professionals Move Internally
There’s no doubt you won’t reach your intended audience if you contact them somewhere they aren’t. Not only do B2B marketers face the challenge of finding a champion, but also keeping track of that person. If you’ve ever lost a renewal because your champion moved to a new company or department and her successor brought in a new vendor before you knew the change took place, you’ll understand the impact of this.
Of the 43,376 individuals in the sample size, 1.9% moved to a new department within the same company. Just out of curiosity, we looked deeper and saw that 0.3 percent, or 148 people, moved from Sales to Marketing.
16.4% had a level change (which could be a change from consultant to full-time employee, or similar change).
4.7% of those who changed levels received a promotion (so if you got a promotion in Q1, you’re in an elite group).
A scant 0.3 percent of those (127 people) moved up to the C-suite. Enjoy the new Mercedes!
Job Changes and Promotions Create New Opportunities for Marketers
If your champion or ideal prospect gets promoted, or someone in that company is promoted and becomes the decision maker you need to reach, this can be a key signal that they’re ready to engage with you.
As B2B marketer and demand-gen vet Greg Poirier of SaaS sales and marketing consultants CloudKettle pointed out, “When someone gets promoted, it’s a signal they not only have internal capital and buy-in from upper management, but they may get a new budget or an increase to their existing budget.”
“Plus, they often come into the new role with a mandate for change and a desire to establish their value immediately. This is an ideal combination of signals for marketers that they’re ready to evaluate existing technologies and business practices and have the budget to do it. Obviously this creates a situation you want to jump on before your competitors.”
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We’ll be refreshing our database every quarter, updating these insights and looking at trends over time. In our next update, we’ll be taking a deeper look at job functions and expertise how they may be a sign of changing times for sales and marketing.
If you’d like to learn how you can put the power of Leadspace predictive applications, built on our Virtual Data Management Platform, to work now, integrated with your existing CRM and marketing automation platforms, contact us at (855) 532-3772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Leadspace B2B Index by Leadspace, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.