The biggest lesson for marketers in recent times is that customers are looking for solutions and not a sales pitch. The same holds true for B2B marketing professionals. Their clients want to purchase an effective product rather than avail an attractive offer.
Businesses will have to revisit their B2B sales plan and make major changes to their approach. The emphasis should be on “teaching” much more than “selling”. In fact, you can say that advising is the new sales pitch.
Moreover, the internet is enabling people to cross-check the claims made by a business. They are also using the web to conduct their pre-purchase research. According to Demand Gen’s B2B Buyers Survey Report 2018, 45% of buyers said they were using more sources than earlier to evaluate purchases. The client has become more aware and is using avenues like social media to find out solutions.
This has also increased the time for closing a sale. The same report quotes 31% of the respondents as saying that “the length of their purchase cycle has increased”.
So what do B2B marketers do in this rapidly changing scenario? They can use the following steps to reframe their sales strategy and build customer trust.
1. Rewrite Your Sales Pitch
Start by rewriting your sales script. An effective message needs to be delivered in the prospective client’s language. It should be focusing on solving his/her problem rather than singing your product’s praise.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think why should she buy what you are offering. This will provide an idea about the kind of words they want to hear. The stress must always be on the benefits she gets and not how you are the best. That will get subtly conveyed through the message.
Take a look at the marketing video created for Slack, the messaging application. It smartly uses Sandwich Video, the company which was shooting the video as the beneficiary of the service. The case study helps a client see how the business used the app for improving communication between team members.
Shot candidly, this 140-second clip highlights the qualities of Slack but keeps the focus on the client’s gains. A potential customer will identify with the journey of the Sandwich Video team. They start with a problem and discover an efficient solution.
So, rephrase your pitch to make your audience the focus of the sales message along with the product.
2. Research The Target Audience Before Approaching Them
It’s like stating the obvious, isn’t it? Every entrepreneur knows the value of research for all aspects of running a business. However, it is essential to know what to look for in research.
You have collected a list of potential clients and hope to convert most of them into users. The question now is how can your sales representative convince the leads.
Try to find out as much about the potential users as you can. Learn about the size of their business and their target customers. Find out the kind of challenges they face and what are their business objectives.
One of the most important points to remember is your leads’ pain points. These real or perceived problems faced by them gives your sales team a chance to connect with them.
All this information will be helpful in devising an effective approach for the team. They will know how to present the product so that the client sees it as an effective solution.
3. Evaluate And Segment The Leads
It is essential to have a mechanism for segmenting leads before starting the lead-generation process. But how do you differentiate between a good lead and a bad one?
There can be no clear answer to this question as every organization is unique and has its own requirements. However, it is the duty of the sales and marketing departments to identify the criteria for segmenting the leads.
The real challenge a B2B business faces is not in lead generation but in lead conversion. A majority of the people are not ready for purchase. This means that even if you are bringing in a high number of leads, no fruitful result will be achieved as they are not ready for conversion.
This is why segmentation is so important. It helps in generating high-quality leads that are ripe for conversion.
4. Adopt A Consultative Approach
As the opening lines of this article suggested, the focus must be on teaching rather than pitching. The Demand Gen’s B2B Buyers Survey Report 2018 said that 76% of B2B buyers said they wanted customized content. They want to access product data sheets and reviews which have been created specifically for them.
The same Demand Gen study reported that 65% of the buyers depend upon recommendations and reviews while making a choice.
This shift in approach where vendors are behaving like customers needs a change in tactics by marketers too. Create content which is related to problems faced by the clients. This content must be included in your email marketing campaign and on the website.
When the sales representatives meet prospective clients they must encourage them to speak their mind. The objective is to listen to the customers and build a relationship. Do not harp about the qualities of your organization.
Let customers themselves discover the benefit of using your services. Tell them about the useful advice they can access on your portal and social networks. Try to engage them on multiple levels.
5. Invest In A Powerful CRM Tool
If clients are using technology (the internet) to make things complex, you can take its help to find a solution. Invest in a powerful CRM software and ensure that your workforce gets ample training before using it.
The solution will help successfully negotiate the complexities of a B2B funnel and identify new opportunities. Working with measurable metrics will be much more productive as compared to the hit and trial approach.
The software will help you track users’ journey through the sales funnel closely. It will also be useful in identifying ways to encourage them to reach the final phase.
6. A Chain Is As Strong As Its Weakest Link
You must be thinking that it’s a saying, not a marketing step. Well, the maxim has a lesson for all marketers. Read on.
Not every lead can be converted into a paying user. There will always be some people who will be less keen enthusiastic about your products than others. This is your business sales chain’s weakest link.
Most of the time, businesses do not focus too much on this category of prospective clients. An email or a phone call at regular intervals is the most that they do.
Focus on strengthening this weakest link and try to turn them into subscribers. Learn how these leads were generated. Were they referred by an existing user? Reach them through that client to start a conversation. Did a marketing campaign bring them in? Ask what they liked in that promotion which attracted them to your platform?
The answers to these questions will help build a relationship. Nurture it and sooner or later, these weak leads will be encouraged to try your product.
Your entire sales and marketing strategy must revolve around the target audience. Only surveys and polls are not going to give you valuable insight into their minds.
Reach out to them and have conversations about their business. This will help you in not only understanding potential customer behavior but also in building valuable relationships.
Brandon Graves is a Blogger and WordPress developer at HireWPGeeks – Best Company for HTML to WordPress conversion. He loves to share excellent stuff on WordPress & Digital Marketing. You can also follow him on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.
Deepti is a senior content writer with AeroLeads. She spends a lot of time brainstorming ideas and writing marketing and sales content. She also has a knack for writing and reading about politics and prevalent social issues and regularly pens letters to the Editor of The Hindu newspaper. When she is not working, you’ll find her socializing with friends or binge-watching Netflix. (And devouring sushi).