Seth Godin is always good for a few ideas. He wrote a post about mediocrity and a post about fact finding vs. synthesizing ideas and a post about manuals. All three were enjoyable on their own, but I felt them come together—okay, synthesize—in a way that made sense from a B2B marketing perspective.
B2B Marketing's outcome is to incite people to embrace change. It's about generating intent. To take action because the benefit of doing so far outweighs the wait-and-see attitude that leaves companies sitting on the sidelines (mediocrity).
To get people off the sidelines, your marketing content will be most effective if it's about the increased, improved capabilities your customers can harness by using your products. Make sure you help them envision what their lives will be like when they use your products and that the outcome makes a difference they want. Then you can generate intent.
Seth talked about fact finding and how it should be simple, but is not the goal. If you think about your potential customers ability to research, they can get the "facts"—specs or data sheets—about your products. What they cannot easily get, and probably won't go to the trouble to generate on their own, is what that information means and why they should go out on a limb to take the risk by changing their current situation. A situation they know what to expect from.
It's up to marketing to synthesize the "facts" with desirable outcomes specific to a prospective customer. Show them why, from a strategic capabilities perspective - not a tactical features perspective. This is the stuff that gets them saying, "I've got to have that." This is your company's secret sauce, your expertise, why you see the world a little bit differently than your prospective customers, in a way that helps them achieve what they cannot do as well on their own.
Tactical is the kind of stuff that goes in a manual. Strategic is the cool stuff that stretches imagination about how to brilliantly get from where a company is today to where they want to be tomorrow. Credibly, of course. Because, chances are, that it's not going to be by doing what they've done in the past. The world changes too fast now...