Understanding target audience biggest challenge for B2B marketers

B2B marketers say their biggest challenge is understanding who their target audience is, according to research from Dun & Bradstreet.

Some 57% admitted lack of target audience understanding was their biggest hurdle, while ensuring they have relevant and complete data came a close second (56%).

Sadly, this is corroborated by buyer expectations, with only 51% saying they have seen an improvement in sales and marketing communications in the past few years.

Furthermore, over a quarter (29%) of buyers cited a lack of basic company research as their biggest frustration when receiving sales calls, while 29% stated they're being called during the busiest time of the day.

Marketing and sales are untimely and irrelevant

More worryingly, 48% of buyers complained the sales messages they receive aren’t relevant to their roles – while over a third say communications aren’t timely.

The research also comprised responses from B2B salespeople, who admitted only 17% of new leads are converted into revenue, with time constraints the biggest inhibitor to success: salespeople spend over two hours researching a prospect before contacting them, according to the report.

Consequently, 24% of sales respondents said they don’t have enough time to fully research prospects, with a further 35% confessing they feel under more pressure than ever to provide value beyond that which buyers can typically find online.

Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “As sales and marketing teams converge, it’s critical for them to have accurate and aligned data about their target audiences to help convert any lead into a paying customer more quickly.

“B2B buying is a longer process that is likely to begin before a salesperson is even involved. Sales acceleration principles will help sales and marketing teams surface actionable insights and connected buying signals, which help convert prospects into customers and increase ROI.”

B2B salespeople criticise irregularity of marketing meetings

Sales and marketing alignment problems could be to blame for the disparity between marketing/sales messages and buyer expectations: 38% of B2B salespeople describe their relationship with marketing as ‘hit or miss’, according to separate research by Televerde.

B2B salespeople blame a lack of regular communication as one of the main stumbling blocks in achieving sales/marketing alignment, with 44% of respondents admitting they meet with their marketing peers once per month at best.

The Dun & Bradstreet research polled two groups: 312 B2B buyers and 300 B2B sales and marketing professionals from across North America and the United Kingdom.