Spire Agency’s Mike Stopper Evaluates the Value of Time in B2B Sales Cycle
The dropping of the ball in Times Square and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” seem far behind us now as 2022 is officially on the clock. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are synonymous with champagne, kissing, fireworks, black-eyed peas, resolutions, and college football. But when you think of it, time is probably the most identifiable part of the New Year.
Whether you are counting down the final 10 seconds of the year, waiting for the clock to strike midnight, or you’re turning the mental page on another calendar year, it’s perfectly natural at this time of year to reflect on time—past, present, and future.
Time is perhaps the most important commodity in the world. Everyone has an equal amount of it. And it is incredibly precious. In both our personal and professional lives, it’s important to make the most of our time. After all, “Time is money,” as Benjamin Franklin once said.
“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
—Miles Davis, American Jazz Musician
A recent Gallup Poll survey revealed that the average workweek for U.S. full-time employees consists of 47 hours. That almost adds up to an extra full day of work every week. So, we thought we’d look at important time measures in B2B marketing, and how we spend the precious hours of our workday.
Compared to time spent before the pandemic, buyers are investing more time in purchasing decisions, says Iron Paper. While we may have more time to research, this uptick in time spent is also a result of limited dollars from the stunted economy. Every dollar spent is scrutinized because every dollar is precious.
- The process of buying lasts up to four months for nearly 75% of buyers, according to Marketing Charts.
- The B2B News Network found that B2B buyers spend 40+ hours researching products and services.
- Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than five years ago, according to Biznology.
- The first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time, says Portent.
“You’ve got mail.” And perhaps, more of it than ever before. Anyone who said email marketing is dead never met a pandemic before. Email reaches buyers throughout the day, every day.
- 58% of adults check their email first thing in the morning, according to Capterra.
- Employees spend an average of 13 hours per week in their inbox, says Campaign Monitor.
- B2B prospects spend 10 to 60 minutes each day looking at promotional email, according to WebFx.
- 35% of marketers choose to send three to five emails per week to their customers, says HubSpot.
“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
—Steve Jobs, Apple Founder
Work-from-home has given more buyers the time to read, or even write, blog posts. Blogs are impactful from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, but also provide a steady stream of content for your inbound marketing program. However, the content has to be beneficial to the reader or you can lose them quickly.
- The average blog post takes three hours and 55 minutes to write, says Orbit Media.
- Marketers have only 122 seconds to make an impact and engage their audiences with branded content before losing them, according to Influence & Co.
- The average reader spends just 37 seconds reading a blog post, according to Tech Jury.
Search is the first dollar you should spend in media, as it intersects with someone deep in the buying funnel.
“Time, time, time. See what’s become of me.”
—The Bangles, “Hazy Shade of Winter”
Social media is the one form of media that can be in front of buyers every day. We religiously dedicate time to it in both our personal and professional lives, and it can be a powerful sales channel when used by brands appropriately.
- 86% of people use social media at least once a day, according to WebFx.
- Every person spends roughly 8.4 minutes per day on YouTube, according to Tech Crunch.
- 33% of a user’s total internet time goes to social media, according to WebFx.
- The average LinkedIn user spends six minutes and 55 seconds every day on the platform, says SimilarWeb.
- Optimal Facebook posting time for B2B is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, according to Sprout Social.
- Optimal time to tweet for B2B is between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.
- Optimal B2B posting time for LinkedIn is Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and at noon; Thursdays at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; and Fridays at 9 a.m.
- Optimal posting time for Instagram is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Time’s up. As you evaluate the year ahead, know where your B2B buyers, and even your B2B self, spend time. And spend the time interacting with them at many different brand touchpoints to ensure the time spent with your brand is valuable. After all, time waits for no one.
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