I often contemplate the reasons why 50% of marketing and sales work still goes to waste. What are the resources we should invest in the customer journey and how should they be targeted? How do we get the timing of one-to-one sales right and how do we ensure that a good sales person has a) adequate resources and b) sufficient skills to offer the right services to the customer (cf. challenger sale)?

If the marketing funnel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, it indicates that the company invests in the creation of awareness among potential customers with the aim of efficiently converting this interest into sales.

I have given a lot of thought to whether B2B businesses are right to invest the majority of resources in A) increasing awareness (=quantity) and B) performing purchase stage discussions (=closing leads).

Wouldn’t giving more attention to the intermediate stages – from lead capture to the purchase decision – bring the best results? However, not many companies operate this way.

But doing so would ensure that those who show an interest feel that the company provides assistance and guidance, puts its heart into its work, and offers an excellent customer experience.And even if not all of these prospects decide to purchase the product or service, the experience would make a good impression on them, leading to opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing

All too often, companies focus on increasing exposure (via the internet, social media or events) and following up on any indications of interest (phone calls, offer requests). The wasted opportunities lie between these two stages – the sales team might make a phone call but they often fail to offer additional information or value to the customer, focusing instead on asking about the customer’s purchase decision. The customer, who might not be ready to make a purchase decision at this point, finds the question annoying, and the call ends up being counterproductive.

I argue that companies, in any sector, that invest in engaging efficiently with potential customers that are searching for more information are on a path to creating the best possible customer experience from the outset.

This serves to nurture an image of a company that provides added value and support and offers more than talk about products and closing the deal. In contrast, companies that solely focus on increasing awareness and closing deals will not number among the success stories of the 2020s.

Companies that single-mindedly pursue increasing awareness and closing leads waste a large proportion of their marketing and sales resources.

This leads to at least 50% of resources going to waste, in both sales and marketing.

It is worth considering whether a change of tactics is called for. It could improve your company image, make work more motivating and produce better results.