Increasing Your Business's B2B Marketing Success Rate in 2016: Part 2

Posted by Grace McMeekin

IMG_6218.jpgBKM Marketing CEO Bruce McMeekin recently presented at the 2016 NEDMA conference to highlight the best approaches that B2B marketers can deploy to improve lead generation and sales.

This is the second post in a series of blogs that incorporate key tips based on business buying behavior.

Post 2: Fine-tuning your B2B Marketing Sucess Definition

Before you jump right in and start creating B2B marketing content, your results will be stronger if you first define the marketing goals that you are trying to achieve.

In this post, we will offer more insight to help effectively develop your own definition of B2B success. This simple four-step process is crucial to setting yourself up for B2B marketing success.

1. Write down your sales goals.

Surveys reveal that as many as 80% of small business owners do not set or track sales goals. It’s perhaps the most important step in positioning your business for growth, and it’s not as hard as you think. One of the best models for creating goals is George Doran’s widely used “SMART” acronym— specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Be sure to use specific numbers to identify the quantity of sales you aim to make by a certain time. Do that math. Ensure that goals are reasonable and not overly ambitious.

Compare the following examples of SMART goals we might classify as DUMB (dramatic, unquantifiable, meaningless, broad):

Firm Type




Double our business this month

Make twelve $10,000+ sales of VOIP equipment to medical offices during the fourth quarter


Cross sell other products to our customers

Close 10 new credit lines of $100,000 to law firms during 2016

Law Firm

Work my network to find new business

Attend one networking event per month and meet 12 new people this year that can refer business to my firm.


2. Identify the top three personas that will help your team achieve the goals.

One mistake that many firms make is trying to target too many audiences. Every business has a sweet spot, and it is important to prioritize your most profitable target audience before you begin creating content. Catering towards the specific interests, desires, and objectives of these “buyer personas,” is crucial to success definition.

The top personas for your business are much more than simple demographic or firmographic descriptions. You might think of these people in terms of the problems you solve:

  • Who is most interested in the type problems you solve?
  • What gaps in the business cycle do you fill best?
  • What types of buyers take the least amount of time to solve problems for?
  • What types of buyers are most interested in how you think?

Effective marketing takes time and money. So it makes sense to focus your resources on audiences that will value your message most.

3. Consider your 90 day success plan, starting today.

If your goals are SMART, then measurable progress towards achieving them can begin immediately. Organization within your team is imperative to getting your business on track and generating sales results. Make sure that your team knows goals, the target personas, and the specific productive activities that they need to complete by a certain time.

Some companies find it helpful to also identify unproductive activities that they should STOP doing in this initial time. For example, blind cold calling may not be as productive as blog writing to start building a qualified lead pipeline.

4. Remember that sales leads respond to magnetism, not gravity.

Content marketing and search marketing has effectively turned the sales funnel upside down. More and more businesses in 2016 are attracting customers via inbound marketing rather than outbound. 


Instead of reaching out to other customers, businesses are publishing content that answers the questions that their buyer personas are researching. By incorporating keywords in your content that your buyer personas would use to find answers, you are attracting leads that eventually become customers.




A recent survey conducted by Bredin determined the results above. B2B buyers are more likely to explore a vendor’s website, think favorably of a vendor, visit a vendor’s site, and buy from a vendor that offers helpful unbiased tips and advice.

Success definitions are dynamic

There is more to defining success than simple goal setting. Even the best definitions require updating based on your firm’s achievements and competitive or regulatory environment. As such, it is important to alter your B2B marketing success definition frequently as your business expands and changes. By following the 4-step process above, you will ensure that everyone on your team is made aware what needs to be done to achieve your objectives within a specific time frame.

Once your success parameters are set, planning and budgeting your marketing activity becomes much easier. In future posts, we’ll discuss how to use the right marketing content and the right time in the buying process—so it truly simplifies the journey your prospects embark upon to buy your products and services.

Please be sure to subscribe to our blog for Part 3 of this blog series. Or to download the full presentation, simply click on the button below. 

Click to download Increasing Your Business's B2B Marketing Success Rate 


Topics: Bank Marketing, Direct Marketing