Technology has put buying right at our fingertips for B2C and B2B purchases—and changed the way businesses need to market and sell to customers. While B2C companies have adapted to the digital revolution, many B2B companies are still playing catch up. Complex products and longer purchasing processes makes transitioning to digital techniques more difficult, but B2B buyers are regular consumers, too, and they're expecting the same experience in their B2B buying journeys. Here's what you need to know for influencing B2B buyers in today's digital marketing landscape.
Why use Automation for Sales & Marketing in B2B? 75% of marketers surveyed by Social Media Today said they currently use at least one type of marketing automation. Automation for marketing and sales ranges from single-use tools to all-encompassing platforms of features designed to generate leads, qualify and nurture them, scale personalized conversations, increase pipeline velocity, and ultimately—close more sales and generate more business with the right customers.
In online marketing, it is important to realize that it can take some time before visitors to your website become customers. With online campaigns, you are essentially generating leads that have the potential to be converted into sales and, in turn, repeat customers. In sales, leads are the best way to reach out to a potential client and build up your brand to develop a business relationship. As with in-person interactions, online leads need to be nurtured. You cannot rely on the visitor to come back to your page—you need a strategy to drive them there. In an online setting, the best way to reach back out to those potential customers is through email.
You already know quality over quantity is especially important when attracting leads. Bringing in low-quality leads means your organization has less of a chance of turning that lead into a loyal customer. These low-quality leads are a waste of your time and can negatively affect your company culture on different levels. Know that every minute you and your staff spend talking to someone who will never say “yes” is a minute you aren’t talking to someone who will. But how do you attract high quality leads instead of just filling your funnel?
Unlike other aspects of business that can generate from a grassroots mentality, the concept of a customer service mentality is one of those where leadership has to be engaged and lead by example. This is clearly lodged in the territory of top-down management direction, making it clear to everyone in the organization that customer service is a number one priority for the company. Achieving a customer service mentality is far easier to say than do.
People don't trust you. Why should they bother spending the time to seek you out if they have no idea that whether you offer is worthy of their time and money? They may know your name and what you are selling, but that is the extent of their knowledge if you don't spend time working on getting them to consider you the go-to source when they are in need. How can you do this? You can greatly increase your customer loyalty factor by utilizing social media. The trick is to combine old-school social media concepts with the newer abilities they give you. Let's explore how this works.
You probably know by now that, in order to be successful, your company needs to have a single narrative that aligns across all departments, informing everything from hiring decisions to corporate image, product development, and customer outreach. In a real sense, this strategic story is the company.
Most manufacturers who sell through indirect sales channels are content to let their distribution network own the relationships with purchasers. The problem with this approach is that their sales partners have tremendous power that can sway buyers to competitive products.