For many retailers and service providers, the natural growth of your business often includes transitioning from solely business-to-consumer sales and into business-to-business. The business-to-business marketing world has changed over the last few years. A Demand Gen report found that 67 percent of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. Succeeding in B2B sales requires your organization to adopt different tactics and new strategies to reach this new demographic. As such, here’s a look at several ways you can make the transition into B2B and succeed.
Create Relevant Content
Marketing to businesses requires different methods than one would use to market to consumers. Creating content that is valuable, relevant and consistent should be a key focus of your marketing strategy, but the type of content you create is different when you are dealing with businesses. The sales cycle is longer with businesses than it is with consumers, and many people are part of the decision to buy, which means your content should focus on educating your potential clientele.
While nothing beats a live one-on-one conversation, webinars can be just as compelling and educational for your customers. Webinars are not sales pitches for your product or service, but a seminar about your industry that shows the relevancy of your company within it. Share your upcoming webinar on social media and register emails from your audience members. You’ll have the leads you need, but remember to curb your expectations about attendance. Convince and Convert points out that half of those scheduled to attend won’t. If you record and offer your webinars on your website, you can offer downloads and get a second wave of leads from a single piece of content.
Social media is still the leading tactic among B2B marketers, and a study by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 92 percent of B2B use non-blog social media to reach potential clients. Your goal with social media to be seen by the businesses you will eventually be reaching out to, but simply having people see your company is valueless in the abstract. You need to create quantifiable interaction or your web presence will vanish when your social media marketing budget runs out. Good social media marketing is about immediate interaction, and companies like LifeLock are excellent examples of how your social media can serve as a marketing tool and customer resource. Businesses turn to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a means of staying up to date with industry trends, and you can position your brand as a source of this information and create loyal followers that will translate into professional relationships easily.
Selling to businesses is different than selling to consumers, and all the marketing in the world won’t matter if your sales team is treating your business clients like individual consumers. Sales teams can often be left to their own devices to create their own content, but when dealing with businesses you must be sure your sales machine runs perfectly. Make sure your sales team has an updated brand bible that outlines how they will present your brand to other businesses.