Invoca has acquired DialogTech. Learn about the benefits of Invoca’s active conversation intelligence platform →

31 Statistics B2B Marketers Need to Know in 2021

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

When consumers need a B2B vendor, they almost always start with online research. But when it comes time to convert, consumers want to speak to a real human being to answer their lingering questions, whether they’re shopping for business services, software vendors, logistics providers, or manufacturers. With in-person interactions limited due to COVID-19, these conversations are taking place over the phone.

To optimize their digital advertising ROI and drive revenue, B2B marketers are leveraging conversation intelligence from phone calls. This powerful data helps them improve personalization and make smarter optimizations to their digital advertising campaigns.

Below are 31 statistics that can help you shape your 2021 B2B marketing strategy.

The B2B Consumer Journey Often Begins Online

1. 90% of B2B customers start their journey with a search. To attract top-of-funnel leads, B2B marketers should refine their SEO strategies (Source: Forrester).

2. Consumers make 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. B2B consumers are highly educated and like to comparison shop for the best possible value (Source: Google).

3. 90% of B2B customers research 2-7 sites before they make a purchase. To drive conversions, it’s important to provide B2B consumers with quality content that differentiates your company from its competitors (Source: Digital Commerce 360).

4. In 2020, 80% of the average B2B buyer journey took place online. B2B buyers will only reach out to an agent once they’ve surveyed the market and done extensive research (Source: Forrester & Gartner).

5. As a result of COVID-19, 96% of B2B sales teams have shifted to remote selling. With no in-person meetings, B2B companies need to create optimal digital and phone call experiences for prospects (Source: McKinsey).

B2B Leads Are Expensive and the Purchase Cycle Is Long

6. B2B digital ad spend will reach $9.03 billion in 2021. The digital advertising landscape will become more saturated for B2B marketers, increasing cost per lead (Source: eMarketer).

7. B2B costs per lead (CPLs) often exceed $100. Business services leads are among the most expensive B2B leads to drive ($229), while consulting leads are among the cheapest ($50).

Cost per lead for B2B marketers Sources: Forrester, Google, Digital Commerce 360, Growth Point, HubSpot, Bizible

8. In 2019, B2B ad spend reached $6.08 billion, an 18.7% increase from 2018. It’s more expensive than ever for B2B marketers to compete in the digital advertising landscape (Source: eMarketer).

9. 54% of buyers say that the B2B purchasing cycle is getting longer. B2B marketers should work with sales to develop efficient processes to move their leads down funnel (Source: The New B2B Buyer Experience).

10. 77% of B2B buyers are conducting more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision. 75% are using more information sources for research and evaluation, and 52% are increasing the number of buying group members (Source: Demand Gen Report).

11. The number of people involved in a single company buying decision has risen from 1-2 to 7-8 in a typical small business, max 500 employees. The more decision-makers involved in the process, the longer the purchase cycle will likely stretch (Source: Gartner).

12. Nurtured B2B leads are 20% more likely to make a purchase. B2B leads require numerous touches to advance them through the funnel (Source: HubSpot).

B2B Consumers Expect a Seamless Omnichannel Journey

13. 73% of B2B executives say customer expectations for personalized experiences are higher now than ever. To convert them, B2B marketers need to deliver consistent omnichannel experiences (Source: Accenture).

14. In their 2020 report, PWC found that the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. To keep up with the competition, B2B marketers need to prioritize omnichannel experiences (Source: PWC).

15. 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult. Despite the increased investment in omnichannel, many B2B marketers are failing to deliver a frictionless customer experience (Source: Gartner).

16. In 2020, the customer experience was the number one key brand differentiator, beating out both product and price. B2B buyers want products and services that are easy to understand, buy, and use  (Source: Walker Info).

17. 86% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Investing in the customer experience is worth it, even if it drives up your pricing (Source: PWC).

18. Focusing on the customer experience, starting from front-end sales to ongoing support, can increase revenue by 5% to 10%. Improving the customer experience will have a direct impact on your bottom line (Source: McKinsey & Company).

19. More than 90% of buyers say they’re likely to buy again from a vendor that had a superior mobile experience. Just 50% of B2B buyers would buy again from a vendor that provided a poor mobile experience (Source: BCG).

Phone Calls Play an Important Role in the B2B Consumer Journey

20. 74% of B2B consumers conduct half of their research online before making an offline purchase. Since B2B purchases are highly considered, these customers often call to convert. In the process, they can get answers to their lingering questions or learn the specifics of their use case (Source: Forrester).

21. 92% of customer interactions happen over the phone. These interactions don’t just happen during the purchasing phase — they take place throughout the customer journey (Source: Salesforce).

B2B customers call throughout the decision-making process Source: Google

22. Calls will influence over $1 trillion in US consumer spending this year. In our mobile-first world, calls are often the most convenient way for customers to convert (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

23. Phone calls convert to 10-15x more revenue than web leads. Calls are one of the most valuable conversions B2B marketers can drive. By tracking the calls driven by your B2B ads, you can measure your full ROI and optimize accordingly (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

24. Callers convert 30% faster than web leads. Calls provide a more immediate return on your marketing investment (Source: Forrester).

25. Caller retention rate is 28% higher than web lead retention rate. Driving calls from B2B marketing campaigns is also more profitable in the long-term — callers are more loyal than web leads (Source: Forrester).

26. 84% of marketers report phone calls having higher conversion rates with larger order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement. Phone calls are often the most valuable conversions for B2B marketers (Source: Forrester).

27. 41% of organizations report having increased phone conversion rates by 25% or more in the past 12 months. Not only are consumers calling more due to COVID-19 — they’re also calling with higher intent to make a purchase. Both the volume and value of calls are increasing for many businesses due to COVID-19 (Source: Forrester).

28. 85% of marketers believe inbound calls and phone conversations are a key component of their organization’s digital-first strategy. B2B marketers plan to tap into phone call data to better understand their customers and inform their strategies (Source: Forrester).

Conversation Intelligence Data from Phone Calls Helps B2B Marketers Deliver Better Personalization and Drive More Revenue

29. 48% of marketers have provided or expect to provide enhanced customer experiences as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. With conversation intelligence data, B2B marketers can enhance ad targeting, segment email campaigns, serve personalized website experiences, and more, based on the content of phone conversations (Source: Forrester).

30. 43% of marketers have improved or expect to improve customer acquisition and retention as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. When you tailor consumer experiences based on the content of their phone conversations, you better meet their needs and earn their loyalty (Source: Forrester).

31. Marketers who have scaled conversation intelligence across the enterprise have seen or expect to see improved analytics efficiency, increased business efficiency, improved employee productivity, and seamless integration with existing systems. Conversation intelligence allows B2B companies to get smarter insights into their consumers and make more informed decisions to drive efficiency (Source: Forrester).

So What Can B2B Marketers Do to Drive More High-Quality Calls?

  • Make it easy for B2B shoppers to call you. This includes using call extensions on Google Ads, making “call now” an action on web pages, and including a call option on web forms.
  • Track callers from marketing source to sale. This will help you understand how your digital marketing is generating calls that convert to customers, so you can optimize for what drives the most revenue.
  • Integrate call data with your CRM and advertising tools. In turn, you’ll gain a holistic view of the customer journey and allocate your budget more effectively.
  • Target past callers and lookalikes with the right ads. Your callers provide a wealth of targeting data you can use to more effectively acquire new customers and retarget qualified callers who failed to convert.
  • Use call analytics to personalize the caller experience. To convert callers, it’s important to provide a frictionless, personalized experience that makes them feel valued and known.
  • Analyze conversations to measure what percentage of calls aren’t being answered at each location, if long on-hold times result in high call abandon rates, if the caller was a good lead, if they converted, and which agents or locations are best (and worst) at converting callers to customers. You can then make the appropriate adjustments to your marketing and coach your agents if necessary.
  • Optimize, analyze, repeat. Once you start generating more calls, it’s important to continually test and scale your processes, while correcting issues that hurt your ROI.

To learn more B2B marketing statistics, download our ebook — The Secret to B2B Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls.

Check out our ebook, The Secret to B2B Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls, to learn more B2B marketing statistics.

Download the eBook