The B2B sales and marketing space has changed. Businesses that you deemed your biggest rivals aren’t, the Covid-19 pandemic is.
It’s changed the way we interact, crippled certain sectors of the economy, and changed buying habits. Buyers have formed new and perhaps more stringent purchasing habits they won’t be letting go off soon.
With all the surrounding disruptions, is it possible to achieve post-Covid B2B sales success? Here are five things you should consider doing:
- Digitizing Your Offerings
Lockdowns and social distancing protocols have disrupted traditional in-person meetings between B2B sellers and buyers.
Digitizing your business is a great way to remain relevant in a world where an online presence is as important as a physical one
Here is why.
Research shows that over 80 percent of shoppers research online before making a purchase. They research different offerings to ensure they get the best deal.
Procurement officers, managers, and members of buying committees fall in this category too. In the same way, they look up products for personal use, they will look up business purchases.
Some activities you can embark on include:
- Investing in consumer relationship management software to help you manage your consumers more effectively.
- Revamping your website and making it interactive (add live chat). You may need to refresh your web content to ensure its relevance in the times we are living in.
- Setting up social media channels and be an active member
- Executing digital ad campaigns
- Hosting webinars
A creative content strategy that showcases the usefulness of your products/services will attract, educate, and encourage engagements that can be nurtured into sales.
- Cold Calling
The Covid-19 pandemic created different dynamics for different businesses. While some struggled during the pandemic, others thrived.
Companies that weren’t interested in doing business six to eight months ago could now need your services.
As with every strategy, preparation is crucial, otherwise, your pitch will fall on deaf ears.
Classify your prospects according to their specialization and research how they have been affected by the pandemic – positive or otherwise. Also, look at competitors and gaps in their offerings.
This way you can tailor the cold calls and solutions to suit the situation they are in.
You want to be an informed partner, so before calling, make sure you know a couple of things about the contact person. Look up their name, job title, hobbies, and personal convictions/values.
Your cold calls should feature two aspects:
Empathy: Start your calls by showing that you care about your prospect and the situation they are in. Your prospect needs to feel that you’re available to help in any way you can.
Profitability: Allow the call to gravitate to how your products or solutions can help them stay profitable. You can prove this using case studies or a calculator.
Since every business is looking to stay afloat and make a profit, the prospect will listen to what you have to say.
- Focusing on Existing Customers
They are already in your books, why go back to them?
With the pandemic, it’s likely that their needs have evolved. Keeping in touch with your customers allows you to identify these needs and craft solutions for them, increasing your income.
But it’s not all about what you can get.
Checking in with existing customers makes them feel special and valued. Find out how they are handling things and if there is any way, you can support them.
This helps increase their trust in your brand and keeps you at the fore of their minds. If they need anything, they are bound to get in touch with you or refer another business to you.
Other than calls and email check-ins-ins, here are other ways that you can focus on existing customers
- Crafting newsletters that share useful information including info that’s not tied to business
- Creating ad campaigns that target their needs
- Making it easy for customers to access information or customer support
- Meeting and managing customer expectations of your product/service
- Rapidly responding to customer needs, accelerating innovative solutions to their problems
- Providing incentives such as gift cards or discounts
- Harnessing the Power of Data
Your goal here is to convert contacts into leads and, finally, customers.
B2B data can be harnessed from in-house sources (social platforms and websites) or from a paid vendor.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create your ideal customer profile. This will eliminate businesses that will not benefit from your offerings.
Your ideal customer profile should include:
The industries you are targeting, size, and location
Contact person’s full name, job title, phone and email contact, the department they are in, social media, and tenure in the company.
If you choose to analyze the data in-house, then you can look for engagement data. This will capture prospects who previously browsed your site, downloaded something, or commented on your social posts.
You can also target contacts who have opened your emails or clicked on ads but didn’t proceed any further.
Teams can use internal trackers to identify what visitors did while browsing your website and what areas captured their interest.
Reputable paid vendors work in a similar fashion but have access to a bigger contact base.
Once you supply them with your ideal customer profile, they will generate numerous contacts that you market to straight away.
With the data at hand, you can segment these leads into cold, warm, and hot leads. Then craft meaningful content that will resonate, nurture and convert them into customers.
- Rethinking Your Goal-Setting Process
Before throwing a number at your employees (“We need to grow 150% this year to make up for last year”) it will be wise to have a sense of where your employees’ heads are.
It’s been a tough year for most people and your employees may be dealing with far more than they are letting on.
Employee surveys and manager/employee conversations can help you gauge how much your team is ready to take on.
During the initial phases, you can soften your SMART criteria to focus more on process orientation over hard individual targets.
Some ways you can help your team bounce back include:
- Set short-term goals that employees can work towards and achieve. It will help them get back into rhythm.
- Recognize employees who achieve their goals to boost morale
- Avoid dumping numbers on your team. Set goals collectively to help your team take ownership of the process and the outcome.
Keep goals realistic and ensure that your team has the infrastructure to undertake those goals.
Irrespective of your B2B area, the pandemic shook our lives and businesses in ways we had not expected.
Yet, by being relatable to your customers, leads, and staff, you stand a better chance of getting them to buy into your solutions.
The ideas we’ve shared are likely to shape the way we conduct business now and in the near future.
How are you handling your B2B sales post-Covid-19?