What are the peculiarities of working in the B2B sphere?
The first mistake that B2B companies often make is hiring B2C contractors. It doesn’t matter how successful such a contractor is or how many cool cases he has. He may be a genius in B2C sales, the main thing is that he does not know the nuances of working with a business: he does not understand the customer journey, he does not understand the specifics of communications, and he knows little about account-based marketing (ABM). As a result, the promotion of the company boils down to the classic scheme with contextual advertising, SEO, and to buy Instagram followers. And sales are low.
The main needs and “pains” of B2B companies boil down to the following:
- A limited number of buyers. In almost any B2B subject, there are a certain number of potential customers to work with. It is not possible to constantly expand your reach and attract more and more customers. That’s why in B2B, every customer is valuable and you need to know how to work with them. And to get your customers more engaged with your product, you can buy Instagram followers to increase permanent informing.
- The need to build sustainable relationships with customers. In B2B, partnerships are built for years to come. If you have a quality product, it doesn’t make sense for the customer to look for a new supplier. That’s why it’s very difficult to steal customers away from your competitors.
- Understand your customers’ business processes. You need to consider that your product is part of the customer’s value chain. To make a successful sale, you need to communicate to the customer the importance of your product in that chain.
- A high level of customer professionalism. The customer himself, or the purchasing committee within his company, is very knowledgeable about the product. The “like-dislike” principle does not work in sales. You must prove the real value of the product.
- A long decision-making cycle. The sales process can extend over several months or years. And during this entire period you need to retain and nurture customer interest so that they remember you and do not switch to your competitors.
- Influence of the human factor. You can ideally build a communication process and think through the entire sales cycle.
- The complexity of delegating business processes. This is what we talked about at the beginning. To build sales effectively, you need internal specialists who see everything from the inside and work with real company objectives in mind, not for the sake of ephemeral metrics.
- There is a need for a competent manager with a broad outlook. We are talking about a person who will manage the marketing processes. It should be a specialist who is thoroughly versed in all the nuances.
- Having a clear strategy. In B2B it is extremely important to have a long-term development plan, because very often the result of current actions can only be seen after a few months or years.
The last point is worth touching on in more detail. Developing a strategy in B2B is much more time-consuming than in B2C. Often the work begins not with an analysis of the market and competitors, but with earlier stages — finding a business model, setting clear goals and studying current business processes. Only with an understanding of a company’s true objectives can you move on to marketing planning.
How to create a B2B strategy
A B2B company’s digital strategy should not be detached from the overall system. Building B2B sales should result in a system that covers absolutely everything from strategy development to final sales. The result is a unique System Electronic Marketing (SEM) concept, in which the various tools of digital marketing are organically linked.
Its advantages over the classical approach are based on the following factors:
- Identification of ineffective advertising sources.
- The search for new sources of customers.
- Analysis of the life-cycle of customers and identification of non-targeted customers.
- Continuous customer education.
- Dealing with generated and degenerated demand.
- Increasing income at the expense of competitors’ clients and unformed demand.
That is, it is not necessary to look for ways to reduce costs and expenses, to find more financially profitable sources of audience attraction and to focus on increasing the number of closed deals by any means. It is important to learn how to work with customers and prove the value and importance of your product.
Which platforms to engage customers on
Of course, there are platforms that are positioned as platforms for business communication. For example, Linkedin and so on. You can really find some useful information on such platforms. But in general, it all depends on the topic of the business and each area will have its own trending platform.
How to find clients in a very narrow field
The basic principle of ABM remains the same. You need to analyze all likely customers, assess them against the profile of your ideal customer and compile a top potential customer. Direct search can be very different ways: in directories, on maps, or through a search on thematic queries.
We enter every possible client into the database, collect data about the company and its turnover, and search for all available information. As a result, we remove all unpromising options and leave only the target audience.
How to work with key clients
The next step after the identification of key clients is intelligence. Using a variety of methods — direct calls, searching for publicly available information on the Internet, specialized services for finding information, and participation in various events in order to meet representatives of a potential client — we gather all possible information about a particular client. The purpose of this task is to find out as much as possible about the client and if possible establish some kind of personal communication with the representatives of the company.
Under no circumstances should we jump straight into sales. For example, if you send a letter to a prospective client at the beginning of an introduction, it should be in the form of personal correspondence. Sending a commercial offer at this stage will be seen as spam, which will kill the communication.
How to educate clients and raise their awareness of the service/goods
One of the fundamental tools in attracting and educating customers is case studies. They have the dual function of attracting and warming up the client.
Customer attraction happens when some good case hits external websites.
Is there a need for analytics on long promotional tools
The use of analytics helps to identify patterns, establish non-obvious points and predict actions. This is particularly noticeable in long sales cycles, where we actively track associated conversions.