In a crowded marketplace it makes sense that you need to spend a lot of time and money to stand out from the crowd. Generating a lead is no small feat, even for the most experienced marketer.

In the last few years, we’ve finessed the sales funnel even further. Nurturing that lead with relevant emails and great content has become a science unto itself.

Taking this into account, we were surprised to find out that a lot of people are still struggling to convert their leads. With a successful conversion rate being less than 2%, where are B2B companies failing?

That’s why we decided to conduct research with Prezi to find this blind spot in the sales funnel. The results were quite surprising but the good news is that they were easily fixable. Let’s jump into the top of the funnel and see where it takes us.

TOP OF THE FUNNEL GETS A LOT OF ATTENTION

85% of respondents cite content creation as the most important factor contributing to their organization’s overall success.  We know the types of content people often make: blog posts, infographics, e-books, etc.  The middle of funnel tactics like email campaigns and website optimization are both being catered to very well.

But it seems that’s where the measurement stops. Forty-nine percent of B2B marketers measure content marketing ROI at the top of the funnel. They count leads and audience building as success.

THE COST

For B2B companies, all the effort put into the top of the funnel is essentially to get a meeting. A meeting, whether in person or over the phone, is how most B2B companies close deals. So how much do people spend on getting to that meeting? Let’s look at some numbers:

  • Companies of 10-100 people spend on average $42,400 creating content to attract buyers
  • They then spend an additional $100,000 to put that content in front of eyeballs
  • 28% of a company’s marketing budget is dedicated to content marketing

With all that money most people are getting the leads they need, why is it that even though they get those leads to the Evaluation stage they can’t get them to purchase?

THE BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL BLIND SPOT

It’s easy to blame a lackluster sales team or a convoluted sales process, but what we found was this:

When goals are not achieved it turns out the most vulnerable area of the sales process is when moving prospects from “evaluation” to “moment of decision.”

The two areas that most negatively impact success in acquiring customers:

  1. Ineffective marketing strategies
  2. Poor quality presentations that do not engage clients and prospects.

For organizations that don’t achieve sales goals, building and delivering effective presentations is even more important:

  • Those experiencing no sales growth build and present fewer presentations
  • 71% have less than five presentations monthly

Fewer presentations means they’re taking a cookie cutter approach. They build out all this custom content to attract different demos at the top of the funnel, only to then throw them all in one big mixing pot.

So the answer to this problem isn’t just more presentations. We aren’t suggesting that to close more deals you should be making five, ten or 20 presentations per month. The answer is that you need to create better presentations. You need to engage your audience.

The reason why these companies’ presentations are not effective (top reasons according to our research):

  • Lack of dynamic and interactive presentations
  • Inability to personalize and adapt presentation in real time
  • Focus on the seller rather than the client

FIXING THE BLINDSPOT

A conversational approach to presentations is tailored completely around this idea of engagement.

Conversational Presenting is all about the idea of starting dialogues. Rather than talking at your potential client, you begin talking with them. In our modern world everyone googles everyone. There’s no need for an About Us slide anymore because chances are if a company has invited you to present, they’ve already done their due diligence.

That’s why we recommend just beginning with an open question like, “Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, I’d love to hear what you’d like to learn more about?”

The presentation lifecycle should not end when you shake hands and exit the room. This is where a lot of people fall into the “out of sight, out of mind’ problem.

To remedy this, toolsets such as Prezi include deep post-presentation analytics. This means that when you leave the room and your prospect is moving through the presentation on their own you can see exactly where they go and how long they stay there.

Not only does this help you with follow-ups, but you can also use that data to get better for the next presentation. We use analytics for our websites, our emails, and even our ads, so why are we not learning how to close deals better?

To get a full copy of the research findings, please click here.