What marketing path is the fastest to revenue? In order to get to revenue, you need to gain the attention of the prospect and engage them in a business conversation. With that in mind, I contend that inside sales is the fastest speed to revenue.
Inside sales, which is typically a mixture of cold calling, warm calling and email marketing, has as its primary goal engaging the prospect in conversation. Whether the call focuses on appointment setting for a sales presentation, driving attendance to trade shows or other events, or pitching and closing a transactional sale, customer engagement begins early in a successful process.
Social Media’s goal is less about engaging in conversation and more about building awareness and a customer relationship. That being said, awareness and relationships take time. Social media relies on customers and prospects to reach out and start the conversation, so it is on their timetable and dependent on their first effort. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter – all excellent social media platforms. Twitter is a fundamental for B2B marketing. Facebook and Pinterest can fit nicely in a B2B marketing strategy for many companies. But fastest to revenue? No.
SEO optimization is not a marketing path so much as a marketing requirement. According to Netcraft’s March 2012 survey, there are over 644 million active websites and the Internet continues to grow rapidly. SEO and its ongoing optimization efforts is a process that takes a significant commitment of time, effort, and investment in order for prospects to find you. Again, it leaves the responsibility of being found to the customer who is searching of you or the solution you can provide. More importantly, SEO is not optional! Critical? Yes. Fastest to revenue? No.
As always, each business is unique and will need to find the right marketing mix for itself. When considering alternate marketing channels, speed to revenue is an important factor. What marketing path will engage your customer fastest, on your time table rather than theirs? Inside Sales should be considered as a part of an effective and efficient marketing strategy for B2B marketers.