According to the Labor Department’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey the number of people leaving their jobs in September 2021 hit an all-time high of 3%. That was a record-breaking month, piggybacking on previous record months. “The Great Resignation” is real, and it can be seen across virtually all industries. To add insult to that employment injury, recent statistics have shown that one-third of new employees are quitting after about six months. (1)
This high employee turnover is not only a headache for employers, but also a big concern for B2B marketers trying to reach decision makers in companies who aren’t there anymore! Some may have dismissed the “Great Resignation” as only a problem in entry level positions in retail or entertainment, but it is reaching far into high tech, healthcare, and manufacturing and squarely at middle management and above, where the majority of B2B demand generation campaigns are targeted.
How the Great Resignation Could Have a Devastating Effect on Your Demand Generation Campaigns—But You Can Start to Fix this Now
This will begin to negatively affect your B2B demand generation campaigns in several ways:
- With increasingly poor email deliverability, from bounced (undeliverable email addresses).
- Wasted sales team efforts in trying to follow up on leads that are no longer at the company.
- Disrupted decision making teams in companies. You could have been close to a sale in an account and voila 2 of the 5 key decision makers have left. You will need to navigate into the company all over again in a few months to find out who the new decision makers are.
All of the issues above are reflections of B2B data quality issues created by this unprecedented employee turnover. These data quality issues will begin to negatively affect the number of marketing and sales qualified leads you have in your marketing automation system, and maybe even the open opportunities in your CRM. It could have a devastating effect on your sales pipeline for the next two quarters if efforts are not taken to stop the data hemorrhage now.
How to Fix the B2B Demand Generation Problems Caused by the Great Resignation
The first step in addressing the problem is to acknowledge there are significant financial risks to not addressing it immediately. The second step is to recognize it will take marketing budget to fix it. In my experience, marketing data cleansing has been the most underfunded aspect of marketing. There always seems to be lots of shinier marketing tech stack things to spend marketing budget on, rather than good quality data.
I recommend several steps be taken immediately:
- Analyze the data deprecation rate (ie the rate at which you are getting email hard bounces, etc). This will give you a sense of how fast your company database is aging and help you to talk to vendors about how much data cleansing you need on a monthly basis.
- Get help. Bring vendors on board who can interface with your CRM and continually cleanse your marketing data.
- Get more help. Cleansing your current data isn’t enough to keep up and probably not enough to keep ahead of your demand generation goals. Your database will fall behind if all you do is try to correct your current data. People are moving jobs at too quick of a pace. You are going to need to identify, profile, and target key accounts more aggressively than ever before.
- Have a strategy to reach remote workers. 74 percent of workers say that having a remote work opportunity would make them less likely to leave a company, and 64 percent of recruiters report that being able to pitch a work-from-home policy helps them find high-quality talent.(2) They are an elusive bunch that are hard for data companies to find their email addresses and even harder to find their phone numbers. You need to get them to come to you with very good content programs. Use content networks to your best advantage, test using social media advertising on networks such as LinkedIn, and by all means optimize your SEO so that when they’re looking for a solution on their own, they’ll find you.
We predict you’ll need to spend a higher proportion of your marketing budget on data cleansing, content programs and SEO than you ever have in past years to keep up with your target’s job changes and lure them to find you. Hopefully what you’ll find on the prospect’s side is happier employees who will stay at their next job for a while, but maybe not, so keep the data cleansing going!
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Written by Laurie Beasley
1 “19 Employee Retention Statistics That Will Surprise you (2021)”; Apollo Technical; July 30, 2021; https://apollotechnical.com/employee-retention-statistics/
2 Steward, Jack; “The Ultimate List Of Remote Work Statistics for 2021”; Findstack; September 21, 2021; https://findstack.com/remote-work-statistics/