If you are like us, a B2B business with a premium-level service and a price to match it, you might find yourself frustrated about just how long the sales cycle takes with your prospects. You may always be saying things like, “I think they’ll sign soon, but we’ll see.” Then, three months and seven meetings later, you finally see the email come through with a signed agreement. But for real, why in the world does it take so long to close these customers?
We know how much you love your business - but let's be real for a minute: Is what you do and the product and service you provide so amazingly great that everyone who hears about it for the first time goes running right to the checkout? If you're honest with yourself, that's probably not the case. Today's buyers know they have other options awaiting with just a few quick clicks, so they are going to take some time to do some online research and compare your product or service before signing on the dotted line. But that begs the question, how to you ensure you are at the forefront of that research process so they DO buy from you when it comes time? It's all about amplifying your website with content that answers the questions they are asking at each stage of the buying journey.
If you sell to facility or building managers, you may already know there’s a bit of a “science” with how these individuals make purchasing decisions. You can’t just pop a proposal down and hope they’re going to pick you, especially if you know you aren't the cheapest player in the game. You have to hit a few key pain-points and establish some proven value before they’ll sign on that dotted line.
Imagine two identical ice cream cones looking delicious in the hot Summer sun; one costs two dollars and the other costs ten. Which would you choose to buy? The answer is obvious, the cheaper cone because nobody likes to pay more than they have to, and in today's digital world customers can easily compare prices to get the best deal. They can tell when one vendor, product, or solution costs more than a competitor's, so how can you empower your sales team to navigate this hurdle?
Think about the last time you went to buy something, how did you go about it? In today’s digital age, the sales process has completely changed. Buyers now use the web to research, compare and buy products. Think about your last sales experience… did you want a sales rep always filling your voicemail with cold calls? Would you rather be educated on the information by searching for it on the internet and then talking to a salesperson when you are ready?
When your company launched its first website, it was probably a very exciting day. People from all around the planet could now find you online, expanding your customer base and making things easier for your sales team. But if the last time you redesigned your website you did it to a soundtrack of the Spice Girls, it might be time to take a closer look at whether your site is actually doing all it can for your business.
A common complaint that we hear from marketing leaders is that they do not have enough time or resources to devout to social media engagement. When digging deeper we find that they often times lack focus in who they are trying to engage. They do not know who their social customer is? Ask yourself who is my social customer? By understanding who your social customer is, you will be able to manage you time and resources better and in addition be more effective in motivating consumers to act. Your Social Customer is not a list of everyone that follows you. It is likely that not everyone who has “liked” you, “followed” you, “listed” you or added you to your “stream” is you social customer. So you will need to weed out and identify who really are your social customers. In addition many of your potential social customers are not currently engaging with you. So how do you identify your social customers? There are several ways to identify your social customer. One way is to search for individuals who are discussing ancillary or adjacent products. For instance if you sell mountain bikes, search for people talking about cycling shoes. Another way to identify you social customer is to search for people discussing locations where your product will be used. If someone checks into a restaurant located in a ski resort they are likely to be a candidate to be include on your social customer list if you sell skis. These are just two simple approaches to identifying your social customer, there are many more complicated was to identify your social customer. How does know your social customer save you time and resources? By knowing you social customer and their behaviors you will be able to spend less time messaging to people who are never going to be a customer. You will then be able to spend more time communicating the value of your product and service to your real social customers. Related articles Kevin Dean, Chief Social Strategist CrushIQ | firstname.lastname@example.org Author of Social Strategy Maps Twitter : @kevinjdean Related articles Social Strategy Map Perspectives (crushiq.com)
Before you build your consumer engagement strategy your have to understand the objective and rules of the game. You also have to know who you are playing. So lets spend some time talking about the objective and rules of the Social Media Marketing game.