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The Most Important Marketing and Sales Measures to Increase B2B Revenues

The digital needs in B2B marketing and sales are changing rapidly. We wanted to know in a flash survey how B2B companies deal with the most important challenges and measures.

Among survey participants, the most important marketing and sales measures are:

We further explored the question of what makes a successful content marketing strategy for B2B companies by comparing the results of the survey to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks from the Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs, which surveyed 1,798 companies in North America.

Survey participants from B2B, B2B2C and B2C

The 118 survey participants refer to different customer groups in terms of marketing and sales measures: B2B, B2C and B2B2C

  • Business-to-Business (B2B) 62.71 %, corresponding to 74 participants

  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) 19.49 %, corresponding to 23 participants

  • B2B and B2C hybrid (B2B2C) 17.80 %, equivalent to 21 participants

Sample N = 118, 19.02.2020

The following section discusses the B2B and B2B2C results in more detail.

What Are the Three Most Important Marketing and Sales Measures to Increase Sales in B2B?

Source: own representation

Inbount Marketing / Content Marketing 60.81%
Search Engine Optimization 55.41%
Email Marketing 29.73%
Participation in trade fair 24.32%
Social media marketing 22.97%
Search engine advertising (SEA) 20.27%
E-commerce 20.27%
Advertising in trade magazines 12.16%
Direct marketing 12.16%
Influencer Marketing 8.11%
Online video advertising 6.76%
Display Advertising 6.76%
Affiliate Marketing 5.41%

It was also mentioned that maintaining relationships via online and offline channels at the same time was the most important measure.

What Are the Three Most Important Challenges in B2B Marketing and Sales?

Source: own representation

Win new customers 64.47%
Website visitors (traffic) 57.89%
Generate leads 57.89%
Integration with existing systems 32.89%
Segment customers by product 23.68%
Provide ROI on marketing activities 22.37%
Training team, lack of know-how 21.05%
Consideration of data security and privacy 11.84%
Do not know how to start 6.58%
Encounter internal resistance 3.95%

It was also mentioned that it is difficult to find the time for content writing internally. Or it is a great effort to find the right external content writers for B2B.

What Do B2B Companies that Are Successful with Content Marketing Do Differently?

We took a closer look at B2B companies that see digital marketing and sales as not very important and at the same time have other priorities in the company.

  • Companies that see digital as not very important didn't see a potential ROI on digital marketing projects for 2 years (compared to experienced digital companies at 1 year)

  • Similarly, content marketing was ranked as a top revenue driver by only 45% (compared to 63%) and SEO by only 36% (compared to 62%).

  • Only 9% see the task of segmenting customers by product as a challenge (compared to 32% for higher priority companies).

Content Marketing Benchmarks

We compared the results from our non-representative study to the larger Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks survey, which polled 1,798 B2B companies in North America. A comparison to find out what the successful B2B companies are doing differently in content marketing:

  Successful companies Browse Unsuccessful companies
Use metrics to measure content performance & ROI 95% 80% 62%
Deliver content to the right place at the right time 93% 71% 37%
Weight informative content more than promotional content 88% 66% 50%
Rate their own ability to demonstrate ROI as very good 84% 59% 25%
Build a customer relationship 84% 63% 39%
Actively nurture leads 83% 68% 51%
Create an optimal customer experience along the customer journey 83% 52% 23%
Have a documented content strategy 69% 41% 16%
Build a readership 68% 45% 30%

Source: own illustration based on B2B Content Marketing Report 2020, CMI Content Marketing Institute


B2B companies are focusing more and more on inbound / content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) in marketing and sales. The challenges such as gaining new customers, generating website visitors (traffic) and leads require a structured approach. B2B companies, can successfully do content marketing if they plan ahead accordingly: