Strategy is essential to success in B2B Sales. Having a defined roadmap for reaching goals will ensure your company’s Marketing and Sales efforts are targeted, measured, and highly effective.
Yet the B2B Sales landscape is always changing. New strategies for lead generation and customer acquisition have to be continually tested and incorporated. Sales professionals must then be equipped with strategic materials and methods as they are developed. Such levels of Sales enablement and preparation are central to keeping pace with the expectations and needs of customers.
When identifying strategies to deploy, it’s important to remember that the modern Sales process depends on creating a holistic experience for the customer. That means using multichannel marketing and personalized content to create a seamless journey for customers through the Sales funnel.
Here are five strategies you can use to drive B2B Sales:
1. Social Selling
Social media is usually thought of as a forum for business-to-consumer interactions, but it can be a powerful engine for business-to-business Sales as well. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are rich grounds for prospecting — but social media holds the most value for Sales reps as a platform for engaging leads.
An ideal use of social media in a B2B Sales strategy is for lead engagement, not necessarily making sales. Sharing content and interacting with other users through comments and reactions can help inspire real connections and conversations. Researching lead or company profiles can also help uncover vital information that guides what content you share. These engagement points can help direct customers to a purchasing decision organically as they consume educational materials and other content resources, or just get to know more about your business from a profile page.
One thing to remember is to have a consistent presence across social media. Your Sales reps should have optimized profiles, and your business pages should all conform to the same brand guidelines.
2. Inbound Marketing
There are better ways for maintaining a well-supplied lead pipeline than cold calling. Inbound marketing can help B2B firms get with the times and allow customers to come to them, instead of expending countless resources on outbound channels that may be low-yield and unpopular with modern business customers. Here are two simple reasons why your company should focus more on inbound marketing:
- Inbound Sales leads arrive primed with intent to either buy or learn more. There’s no guarantee each time you place a cold call that a receptive ear will be on the other line. Inbound Sales leads have demonstrated they want to take further action either by clicking on a social ad, following a “contact us” link in content, or responding to an email campaign. This means your Sales pipeline is continually stocked with primed leads.
- Inbound marketing frees up your Sales professionals to do what they do best: sell! While inbound still requires time and effort to pull off, the demands are less than what outbound would entail. Prospects are doing much of the work themselves, like giving you their information when filling out a form to download a gated content asset.
While it may be worth keeping outbound in the Marketing mix, prioritizing inbound channels could give your B2B Sales the fuel needed to grow.
3. Diversified Content
Blog posts are an old standby of almost any content strategy, but if that’s the only content type you have to offer, Sales leads might grow tired of seeing the same story presented in the same structure. Your salespeople need rich and diverse content to be able to attract, inform, and retain customers. There’s ideal types of content for every stage of the Sales funnel, and serving the right content will ensure the process keeps moving.
While text-based content types like blogs, product catalogs, white papers, and eBooks will help educate customers, visual pieces like infographics and videos are sure to capture their attention and increase interest. For a lead further down the funnel, a five-minute video demonstrating how to use a specific feature of a software solution would be markedly more valuable than a blog explaining the same thing. Infographics and shorter videos are also good content for sharing on social media, where visual elements drive engagement and shares.
Ultimately, the function of diverse content is to be timely and relevant. The Sales rep who has the right content type for every occasion will establish trust and be most able to demonstrate value to decision-makers.
4. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
ABM is a dominant trend in the B2B Sales universe. As more customers crave personalization in products and services, Sales teams are meeting that demand through account-based marketing. At a basic level, ABM is about marketing to a client like it is a market of one. That means creating content, onboarding materials, events, and other relationship collateral specifically designed for this one client. The upside is that highly personalized content will help your business land high-value clients and shorten the sales process. ABM is also useful in retaining accounts and extracting further value over the customer lifetime.
According to Gartner, 75% of B2B organizations with $10 million or more in revenue will have adopted ABM as their primary go-to market model in 2019, a massive increase from 25% in 2017.
While the integration of ABM practices can unlock new opportunities to drive business-to-business sales, adoption takes dedicated planning and implementation. Here are some things to remember when weaving ABM into your strategy:
- Go heavy on research: You have to identify your target audiences, as well as develop full case profiles of them to ensure you know as much as you can about their challenges, culture, management, market, and customer base. Having this insight will help inform exactly how to sell to decision-makers and market to organizational needs on a personalized basis.
- Internal alignment matters: To succeed in ABM, Sales and Marketing have to move in lockstep. Coordination is central to personalizing messaging and relationship interactions. Siloed teams may result in overlap or otherwise disjointed efforts that can leave a negative impression with the client.
- Personas are real: Forget the mock buyer profiles you may have for other markets; for target accounts, you will be able to develop real personas for stakeholders and contacts within your client base. Be sure to incorporate data they generate (like what materials they have accessed most) to ensure needs are met and the content they receive is timely and relevant.
5. Mobile Optimization
Mobile is one of the most important channels for interaction with Sales leads. Smartphones and tablets are highly used devices in offices — so if your site and content are not optimized for mobile, you may bleed leads who were interested but put off by the negative online experience.
There isn’t much room for error: according to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors will abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And since more than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile, your business may stand to lose out on considerable B2B Sales revenue if mobile optimization is not adequately implemented.
How do you optimize your website and web-based content for mobile? An important place to start is navigation. Desktop users have a lot more space to work with than mobile users, and reflecting these limitations in mobile site design is imperative. Fancy drop-down menus will hinder mobile ease-of-use, for example. Other elements will bring down load speed, so determine what is expendable when constructing a mobile design. Don’t forget about screen rotation and ensuring your sites will be compatible and readable. Taking all these factors into account will help you foster a consistent and comprehensive online experience, which benefits the Sales cycle.
In some cases, it may make sense to take a mobile-first approach. Recognizing the importance of mobile optimization to a smooth Sales process, begin with mobile instead of trying to retrofit existing collateral.
A solution to deploy your Sales strategy
The B2B Sales process is demanding, and winning customers will often come down to blending some of the above strategies. For instance, if your company adopts ABM, you will need to pursue multichannel engagement through social media, as well as create and personalize diverse content types that speak to unique challenges or opportunities.
Keeping all these pieces in place is a heavy lift — yet one that’s made infinitely easier with Sales enablement technology. A solution like Showpad can provide you a single repository for managing, updating, and disseminating content, as well as a platform for training staff to ensure Sales and Marketing are totally aligned toward winning customers.
Contact us today for more information.