What is a Business Playbook & How Can it Benefit B2B Firms?

A business playbook can help employees stay focused, productive, accountable, and organized. It helps organizations document how things get done right and provide guidance to the employees. Therefore, every B2B firm must include business playbooks in their B2B business plan to operate efficiently and effectively. Continue reading this blog post to learn more about the business playbooks and their importance for business growth.  

What is a Business Playbook? 

A business playbook is a collection of best practices and actions required to complete a task successfully and run an organization effectively. Usually, a business playbook describes the policies, workflows, and procedures, and includes the answers to various questions like what a company does, how, why, and who does what and when. But, you can also find specific B2B business playbooks for a particular task, such as playbooks for content planning, competitive analysis, sales and marketing strategies, and more. 

Important Elements of a B2B Business Playbook

Though each playbook is unique, they have some common elements. Here we have listed the essential elements of a business playbook. 

  • A playbook should include information about your company, your values, and the factors that differentiate your services from your competitors. 
  • The playbook products should be well-organized so that the team members can find what they are looking for. A clear layout and table of contents can make the playbook more efficient.
  • The playbook should define the target audience so that the marketing and sales team can work accordingly. 
  • A playbook should always have room for changes and should never be set in stone. As your team develops or the business environment changes, you can update the playbook as required.

How Does a Playbook Help B2B Firms Grow? 

If you are wondering whether your professional service firm needs a business playbook or not, you must read the points shared below. Here are the top benefits of using playbooks for a B2B firm.

  • Playbooks Can Help to Scale Your Business

When you have good playbooks by your side, you can hire new people without fear. Business playbooks help new employees to get up to speed immediately. Also, clear and organized instructions make it easy to complete the job responsibilities and produce quality work, which helps accelerate business growth. 

  • It Helps Save Valuable Time 

With the playbook products, you can find that your employees will not have to spend hours doing the same things repeatedly. Instead, they can spend their time in value-adding activities, which are important for the firm’s growth. 

  • Make Employees Independent 

When you have business playbooks in your B2B firm, employees can quickly refer to them for any help rather than constantly asking the managers for guidance. Also, team leaders and managers can focus on their work and trust their employees to get the job done right. 

  • Playbooks Help Identify the Areas for Improvement 

Business playbooks make it easier to identify areas for improvement. So, whenever your team identifies any challenges, they can solve or address the issue, making things easier for the new hires. Keeping changes and updates in playbooks is important.

  • Ensure All Important Information is in One Place

Business playbooks consist of vital information required to operate a business successfully. You and your team can access the documented and organized information in one place, which saves time and results in quality work. 

Company Expert’s Popular Playbook Products 

Company Expert offers several business playbooks to help in business planning, sales, and marketing. Here’s a brief overview of our popular playbooks. 

  • Playbooks for Business Planning 

The top three popular playbooks for business planning are:

  • Ansoff Matrix Tool 

A business must know how and in which direction it can grow effectively. You can use the Ansoff Matrix tool to come up with various options for expansion in current or new markets. This tool can help in a business’s horizontal, vertical, and diagonal expansion. 

  • Assessing Your Competitor’s Marketing Campaigns 

Competitors’ marketing campaigns should be assessed periodically because as the market shifts, new competitors emerge. Assessing your competitor’s marketing campaigns is a playbook that provides a competitor analysis template to assess a competitor’s marketing campaigns. You can use this playbook to develop a differentiated and competitive strategy for your B2B firm.  

  • Business Plan Forecast Playbook 

The business plan forecast helps review the past and predicts future performance. It allows B2B businesses to make better-informed decisions and improves external and internal communication. You can use this playbook to build a business plan forecast that can be monitored and adjusted in real-time.

  • Sales Playbooks 

The popular sales playbook of Company Expert includes:

  • Account Based Marketing (ABM) Playbook 

The account-based marketing strategy helps B2B firms focus on their marketing efforts. Develop an account-based marketing strategy for your B2B firm with the help of a B2B playbook. It is a sales playbook that helps companies create highly personalized marketing campaigns based on the needs and interests of certain accounts. 

  • Account Management Playbook

Use the account management playbook to develop your firm’s standardized account management strategy. This will enable you to create repeatable and scalable processes to drive predictable revenue and build stronger relationships. This playbook defines, nurtures, develops, and grows your important clients. 

  • Competitive Battle Scorecard 

The purpose of the competitive battle scorecard tool is to help prepare the sales team in advance for a call or presentation to a prospect. It also assists in identifying information about competitors that will enable the sales team to convert prospects into a client. 

  • Marketing Playbooks 

The marketing playbooks you can use to boost your B2B marketing strategies include:

  • Elevator Pitch 

The elevator pitch framework allows companies to state what they do and why their products and services are better than their competitors. This tool provides a framework for developing an elevator pitch for business planning. 

  • Branding Guide 

Brand guidelines communicate various things about your brand internally to your business and externally to prospects and clients. This playbook helps establish the brand identity as it includes a set of rules to create a unified identity.

  • Content Planning 

Content planning is important in order to create compelling content, content pillars, solution-oriented content, and optimize SEO. Use this playbook product to create the right content and become the thought leader in your B2B industry. This tool aims to ensure brand consistency and tone across your marketing.

Wrapping Up 

Now that you know about the business playbooks and their benefits, it’s time to use Company Expert’s playbooks to accelerate the growth of your B2B firm. We want to position your firm as a trusted resource and leader in your industry. When you partner with us, you get the ready-made solution to your business challenges, which can help drive exponential growth. 

Company Expert’s B2B playbook products also build trust in your firm, reduce the long sales cycle, and position your company in an overcrowded market. So, schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help your B2B firm reach the heights of success!

What Are the Commonly Used Brand B2B Positioning Strategies?

Brand positioning is the last step of the STP model. STP stands for segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Segmentation categorizes your target audience into multiple groups based on common characteristics. Targeting determines the potential of each group and finds a highly profitable market for the brand. And positioning showcases your brand in a positive light in comparison to your competitors.

Brand positioning has played a huge role in establishing brand authority in the market for many B2C brands. Just take the example of Coca-Cola. The brand name has become a generic term for all similar products in its niche market.

Many B2B brands also have used a successful B2B brand positioning strategy that is favorable, valuable, and credible to the consumer. Take the example of Intel. It is a B2B brand that provides chipsets for computer manufacturers. But the brand has targeted the end customers directly in order to be perceived as favorable, valuable, and credible to the consumer. This forces computer manufacturers across the globe to choose Intel as a partner for their chipset.

In this post, we will discuss brand positioning, the commonly used brand positioning strategies, and how to use B2B playbook products to create a brand positioning strategy.

What is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is the process of determining how you are perceived in the mind of your target audience. Firms use brand positioning to gain a competitive edge in the market. Brand positioning is generally approached in three ways: functional positioning, symbolic positioning, and experiential positioning.

Functional Positioning

Functional positioning focuses on the functional aspects of the products or services that stand out from others.

Symbolic Positioning

Symbolic positioning focuses on the characteristics of the brand that fulfill the target audience’s sense of belonging.

Experiential Positioning

Experiential positioning is based on the brands’ characteristics that stimulate the client’s sensory or emotional connection.

Brand

What are The Different Brand Positioning Strategies?

Brand positioning allows the brand to differentiate itself from the competitors. Not all B2B businesses have the same brand positioning strategy. It varies from business to business based on the nature of what your firm offers and your industry.

To craft a successful B2B marketing strategy, a B2B business needs to get into the shoes of its target audience and review its product from their point of view. There are certain attributes every client wants from the product or service your business provides. Therefore, you need to evaluate your brand on those attributes as compared to your competitors. Then craft a strategy to position your brand on what you stand for.

Every B2B business will have brand positioning among its clients, whether or not you consciously build it. It is very important to have the right B2B brand positioning to gain a competitive advantage in the market.

1. Customer Service-Based Positioning

You might know some B2B brands in the industry known for their exceptional customer service and technical support. Customer service-based positioning is a great way to attract new clients to your business, especially when the solutions you offer are similar to those of competitors. You can justify your price or gain a competitive advantage by promising great customer service. The only thing you need to remember is that if you use customer service or technical support as a brand positioning, you should deliver on it. Otherwise, it would do more harm to your reputation than good.

2. Convenience-Based Positioning

Convenience-based positioning is a great way for B2B companies to highlight their products or services among their competitors. B2B product-based companies can effectively use this B2B marketing strategy. A B2B company has the edge when it comes to convenience over competitors on any of the following factors: the design of the product, ease of use, and product interface. The only problem with this strategy is that you must consistently ensure that your product is the most convenient compared to the other options in the market. This can lead to the cost of hiring developers to keep the product or services up to the level of your promise.

3. Quality-Based Positioning

Not many B2B companies opt for this strategy because quality often comes at a premium cost, and not many clients are readily inspired to invest in quality. At the same time, you will see B2B companies in every niche that stand for quality. The major problem with quality-based positioning is a fair share of your audience will simply skip your brand in favor of the cheaper alternative. Therefore, it is very important to perform your segmentation and targeting process right to find the right buyer persona for your brand. There are various ways a B2B firm can show the quality of its solutions to the target audience. It can be in the form of technology, innovation, security, or special features.

4. Price-Based Positioning

Opposite to the quality approach, a B2B brand can opt for price-based positioning. In this approach, you try to price your company’s solutions as the cheapest in the market. This approach can run your brand into the perception that it provides lower-quality products or services. But on the other side, you can easily sell your services and products to a vast target audience. If you perform your research right and choose the right buyer persona, you can likely convert prospects into customers at a good rate.

Based positioning

5. Differentiation-Based Positioning

Differentiation-based positioning focuses on a product’s uniqueness or innovative qualities in comparison to the traditional competition to gain a competitive advantage. In this approach, a lot depends on what you have to offer. When you use the differentiation approach, you are selling something your clients are not used to, or there is no history of the innovation you are offering. This may lead to the complete denial of the product by your target audience. Therefore, you must carefully examine the market potential before opting for this approach.

How to Create a B2B positioning Strategy for Your Business?

You can create your B2B positioning strategy for your business using the B2B positioning framework and B2B playbook products. A good B2B framework includes the best practices that help you create your business’ customized B2B positioning strategy. Key decision-makers, C-level executives, and marketing managers can use the guidelines in the framework to create customized B2B positioning strategies to serve their business goals.

B2B Positioning and Messaging Playbook from Company Expert

Company Expert’s B2B Positioning and Messaging framework is packed with insights, examples, and actionable strategies to help grow your B2B firm. In addition, it includes playbooks and point solutions. You will get the following products in this B2B solution set:

Value Proposition Framework: This playbook provides the framework to create a Value Proposition for your firm.

Developing Client Personas: This playbook provides the framework to create composite representations of your ideal prospect within your preferred target segments.

7 Ps of Marketing: This tool helps you to implement and evaluate the key marketing elements of your B2B professional service firm.

Branding Guide: Brand guidelines communicate a variety of things about your brand, both internally to your business and externally to your prospects and clients.

Editorial Guidelines: This playbook provides the framework to create Editorial Guidelines for your firm. Editorial Guidelines help your content writers develop blogs and articles that will strike the right tone and message with your target clients, and establish a consistent style for your firm.

Elevator Pitch: This playbook provides a framework for developing an elevator pitch for business planning.

You can explore our collection of B2B playbook products in the marketing, planning, sales, and online presence categories.

8 B2B Marketing Playbook Products that Can Help Drive Your Business Growth| Company Expert

 

Building a B2B marketing strategy that delivers results requires thoughtful planning and the right execution. From creative demands and budget limits to channel decisions, a B2B marketer has to juggle various items while planning marketing strategies.  Your firm’s B2B marketing strategies should be compelling and persuasive enough that the audience responds and engages with your products and services.

In today’s competitive environment, the world of B2B marketing strategies has expanded. In addition, the behavior of professional service buyers has also changed. So, surviving, growing, and standing out in a crowded marketplace is challenging for B2B businesses. However, with the right planning and Company Expert playbooks, you can craft winning marketing strategies to achieve your desired results. Continue reading this article to learn how you can drive your business’ growth.

What is B2B Marketing?

When a business plans and executes marketing strategies geared toward a business or organization, it is known as B2B marketing. The purpose of B2B marketing is to make other businesses familiar with your brand name and the value of your products/services in order to convert them into clients. This is a crucial part of the B2B business plan. B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of people who are decision-makers of other businesses. It differs from B2C marketing as it’s a complex process, more informational, and straightforward.

Plan Effective Marketing Strategies with Company Expert’s Playbook Products

Now that you know about B2B marketing before you begin to form B2B marketing strategies for your firm, you should learn about the following playbook products. Learn how you can use these products to plan effective marketing strategies.

1. Assessing Your Competitor’s Marketing Campaigns 

A detailed and periodic analysis of your competitor’s marketing campaigns is crucial as new competitors keep emerging. The information you gather in competitive analysis can help your firm build a sustainable competitive advantage. But it requires reasonable effort and a lot of time, which is why you should use the playbook as it provides a framework to assess competitors’ marketing campaigns. In addition, it helps you identify your direct and indirect competitors and compile research on SEO and social channels. Moreover, you can also use this playbook to assess a potential acquisition, highlight certain risks, and provide information to sales staff to position the firm better.

2. B2B Positioning and Messaging

This is a solution set packed with insights, examples, and actionable strategies to help grow B2B firms. The solution set includes a combination of playbooks and point solutions to help solve the concerns of B2B firms. The three B2B marketing frameworks that you may find in this solution set are – the value proposition framework, developing client personas, and the 7 Ps of marketing. The value proposition is a product that provides a framework to create a value proposition for your firm. The other product, developing client persona, helps you develop a composite representation of ideal prospects. Lastly, the 7PS marketing positions your firm in the market and evaluates its presence.

3. Branding Guide 

Brand guidelines are a set of rules that help create a unique identity by connecting multiple elements within your brands like colors, logos, or typography. In addition, it communicates various things about your brand internally to your business and externally to your prospects and clients. This playbook product is a well-developed branding guide that can help you establish your brand identity. The branding guide contains a section on your brand identity and your brand assets. It is a helpful resource for professionals like writers or designers who create marketing material when you rebrand or start a new company.

4. Content Idea Generation 

B2B marketing is all about building long-lasting relationships. Content marketing allows you to show your target audience that you care about their issues. In addition, content helps the website rank high in search results and reduces the cost per lead. So, do you know what content can help your business grow? Content idea generation playbook is a product that helps you create interesting and engaging content to become a thought leader in your professional service industry. A B2B marketer can rely on this playbook to create blogs and articles that resonate with their target market.

5. LinkedIn Campaign Planning

The importance of social media is undeniable in B2B marketing strategies. According to a study, LinkedIn had a conversion rate of 2.74%, while traffic from Twitter and Facebook had conversion rates of 0.69% and 0.77%, respectively. So, you must plan effective LinkedIn campaigns as they can help generate leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Usually, sales and marketing professionals spend a lot of time and money planning campaigns to move users from one stage of the funnel to the next. But you can save time and resources with the LinkedIn campaign planning playbook. It helps utilize LinkedIn to its full capacity.

6. Developing Client Personas

As stated earlier, B2B marketing is about communicating with the target audience. So, delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is important. But first, you must have a deeper understanding of your client’s personas. Developing a client persona is a business playbook product that provides a framework to create a composite representation of your ideal prospect within your preferred target segments. It helps you understand the profile of the target client and segments with details about their needs, behavior, attitude, and problems. You can use this to develop targeted messages and marketing campaigns.

7. GTM Strategy

The GTM strategy is a short-term, step-by-step map focused on launching a product, service, expansion, or venture. Do you want to expand your business or launch a new product/service? If yes, the GTM strategy product can help you. It helps you engage with a new market or present an idea to the existing client base. In addition, the GTM strategy playbook walks you through defining the purpose of your GTM, who your targets are, what you are selling, and more. Establish a growth plan and increase the chance of a successful launch with this playbook.

8. Developing Effective Case Studies 

Case studies are the equivalent of social proof during the lead generation and sales process. They help B2B professional service firms increase their credibility and stand out during the buying process. You can use a playbook to develop effective case studies. Company Expert offers a tool that provides a 6-step guide to developing robust case studies that can capture the reader’s attention, keep their interests, and elicit a call to action.

Wrapping Up 

An effective marketing plan should communicate to the target audience how your B2B firm can help their business grow. Business customers are fickle and critical. So, keeping the target audience in mind is extremely important when planning marketing strategies. It’s important to remember that the online marketing world is evolving at a faster rate. There has been a paradigm shift in how people market and sell their products/services. A B2B marketer must be familiar with effective, trending, and modern marketing strategies to succeed.

Assessing and improving B2B marketing strategies is important to remain competitive. Do you want to build new and vigorous marketing strategies for your B2B business? Then, you must include Company Expert’s B2B marketing playbook products in your plan. We are a highly specialized consulting team focused on helping B2B companies develop and implement breakout growth strategies. Partner with us to create inbound and outbound marketing campaigns for your business growth. You can also visit our website to learn more about our playbook products. Request a free consultation now!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Effective B2B Case Studies

Content is the lifeblood of the sales and marketing efforts of a B2B firm. And, when it is about B2B marketing, case studies are a gold mine. They help establish credibility and move leads along through the sales funnel. According to a report, 71% of B2B marketers use case studies as part of B2B marketing strategiesHowever, if you haven’t used this for your firm, it’s time to include case studies in your marketing strategies. Continue reading this post to learn how to write effective B2B case studies. 

What is a B2B Case Study?

A B2B case study is a piece of marketing content that helps increase sales. It helps you share your client’s success with your prospects in order to position your company as a trusted leader. In other words, it is the ‘before and after representation’ of your client’s success. Many people assume that a case study is a self-congratulating marketing piece. But that’s not true. According to B2B consultant experts, the main aim of the case study is to help would-be clients understand how your B2B firm can help them. So, a well-written case study can convert a prospect into a client.

Structure of a B2B Case Study

The structure can vary based on different factors, but a simple and logical case study works for all. The basic structure of B2B case study should include:

    • Headline

The headline should be solution-related, including the client’s name and specific problem. This will help prospects identify the case studies that apply to them.

    • Overview 

The next step is to explain what the case study is all about. So, write a brief overview of the problem, solution, and result. 

    • Process 

Explain the process involved that helped them reach the expected results. Then, share the details so the potential lead can understand how you can help their business grow. In this section, you can get technical if required. 

    • Results 

Explain the results in detail, along with any facts and figures. 

    • Client Quote

You can use client quotes in the testimonial section and case studies.

    • Call to Action

The last step is to link your services, or a suitable next action in your sales funnel, and write an effective call to action.

How to Write an Effective B2B Case Study

Before writing a case study, you must familiarize yourself with its essential elements. Keep reading to learn how you can write an engaging case study that will keep your readers engaged, and leave them informed and interested in hearing more from you. 

    • An Intriguing Title

Including the client’s name in the headline shows that it is a real-life example. Justy the client’s name is not enough to make the headline interesting and captivating. The three important elements of a case study title include – the client’s company name, the product or service they used, and results that your clients got after partnering with you. Mentioning the products/services help potential leads decide if this is a case study they should be looking at.

    • Short Executive Summary 

The executive summary should be short but impactful. First, introduce your client’s challenges when they hired you and what your B2B firm did to help them. Then, in the next step, outline a few results backed up with data. Finally, ensure that the summary is clear and captivating. 

    • Portray the Client as the Hero of the Case Study 

A common mistake that B2B marketers make with this step is writing good things about their company. Well, that’s not what your readers want to know. Many experienced B2B growth consultants say that people are not interested in knowing how great your firm is; rather, they want a case study to share the client’s opinion about your services or products. So, share your client’s details, like the size of their company and the person you interviewed. The focus of the case study should be the success of your client.

    • Use Quotes to Add Credibility 

Using quotes is a popular tactic when writing an honest and engaging B2B case study. Use the client’s words to add credibility and personality to the case study. However, make sure the quotes you highlight are relevant and specific. Pro tip – include a headshot of the client to make your case study trustworthy. 

    • Use Statistics 

When you want to showcase your client’s success with your products/services, numbers play a vital role. Statistics make a case study look objective, reliable, and convincing. However, if you don’t have metrics, don’t fret! Another way to make a case study impactful is to start with the best quote because social proof is as effective as numbers. Then, ask your clients what your service means to their business and list those benefits in an infographic. In addition, you can also describe the before and after experience of the client.

    • Call to Action

A case study is incomplete without a call to action. After reading the case study, it helps guide your readers where you want them to go. A CTA should be a specific statement directly speaking to the target audience. Other tips to make a CTA stand out include – using design to make your CTA unique and writing a clear CTA mentioning what you want your readers to do. You can have more than one CTA if required. 

    • Get Inspired By Your Competitors

Apart from the tips shared in this post, you can get ideas for writing effective case studies from your competitors. Of course, you don’t have to copy their style, but you can surely learn and get inspired by their content. Try critiquing their case studies, note the hits and misses you find and learn from them. 

    • Important Tips in Order to Squeeze the Most Value From Case Studies

You can follow the tips shared below if you want more eyeballs on your case studies.

    • Dedicate a section of your website to case studies.
    • You can also promote case studies on your home page.
    • Re-purpose case studies and share them in the form of videos so you can promote them on social media and e-newsletters.
    • Hand the case studies to the sales team so they can make the most of them.
    • Use case studies in presentations and conferences if it is relevant.

Things to Avoid When Writing B2B Case Studies

Here we’ll share the common B2B case study mistakes you must avoid.

    • Factual or Grammatical Mistakes 

Various decision-makers are involved when you sell a product or service to a business. So, check the case study twice before posting to avoid factual or grammatical mistakes. It may harm your reputation.   

    • Case Study Sounding like a Marketing Pitch 

Even if you write a case study beautifully, it should not look cheesy. Remember, it’s a case study, not a marketing pitch. In addition, you can use the help of B2B marketing playbook products to write an effective case study. 

    • Too Much Information 

Avoid adding unnecessary details in the case study. Otherwise, your leads may end up with eye strain. You can write around 2-3 pages with proper room for white space and graphics. 

Make Engaging and Effective Case Studies with Company Expert 

Case studies are among the top 3 most effective content types for B2B businesses. Therefore, case study development must be on your marketing calendar. If you don’t want your case study to look like another sales pitch, follow the tips shared in this post to write an engaging and result-driven case study. 

Writing a case study looks like a lengthy process, but it is worth the time and effort. Once you gather the data and master the skills, you can prepare a rewarding case study. Company Expert offers effective tools that provide a 6-step guide to developing robust case studies that capture the reader’s attention. You can use our playbook products and consult our highly specialized consulting team for a sustainable and repeatable path to growth. Schedule a free consultation today!

How Can Personalization Make Your B2B Brand Stand Out and Thrive in 2022?

According to a report, around 80% of businesses see growth in their sales after including personalization in their strategy. But unfortunately, most B2B marketers don’t take advantage of personalization. If you are one of them, it’s time to enhance your B2B marketing strategies. In 2022, you should understand the importance of personalization. 

Gone are the days when B2B marketing had the reputation of being impersonal. Now, with emerging technologies and digital marketing, B2B marketing can be as personal as B2C marketing. As a B2B marketer, you sell products/services to businesses. But, the decision-makers of those businesses are humans. So, a personal touch is important in order to improve your B2B marketing results. 

When it comes to personalization, it’s not only about adding a name to an email. Your potential B2B client is already getting several emails and ads. If you want to sell to someone, tailor your message according to their needs and interests. In this blog post, we’ll share more about B2B marketing personalization and its importance. So, here’s how your B2B firm can make the most of B2B personalization.

What is B2B Personalization?

B2B personalization is creating a specific offer based on data to suit the requirements of a particular customer or segment. It is about delivering the right content to the right person at the right time. With the right B2B marketing frameworks and personalization, a marketing team can target their customers with relevant content. In addition, it also helps increase customer loyalty and the number of customers and reduces the cost of marketing.

The two types of B2B personalization are:

  • Behavioral Personalization 

This involves the use of customer data to identify the patterns of buying habits and preferences. Once you know the expectations and behavior of your prospective clients, you can share personalized messages through targeted offers, campaigns, and promotions.

  • Contextual Personalization 

This involves making marketing content more relevant to a user at a specific time in a specific place. B2B marketers can use the data about user context like location and demographic variables, and combine it with the behavioral data to plan a strategy. This can help determine a user’s psychographic profile to create more relevant content.  

Contextual Personalization

Why Does Personalization Matter in B2B Business?

Around 92% of marketers say that prospects expect a personalized experience. As a result, the B2B firm that delivers on those expectations enjoys millions more dollars in the sales pipeline and higher close and conversion rates. Continue reading to learn the top benefits of B2B personalization.

  • Improved Sales Efficiency

 Incorporating the sales playbook and B2B personalization helps the sales team get the data they need to target high-value prospects. It enables them to spend time and resources on qualified leads rather than making cold calls. Also, personalization makes people feel good, which increases the chances of customers investing in the products or services. Therefore, B2B personalization helps increase sales and conversion rate.

  • Shortened Buying Cycle 

The longer B2B buying cycle is a common B2B sales challenge. Sometimes, turning a prospect into a client may take a year or more. Personalization helps reduce the buying cycle as it focuses on the unique needs of each prospect. It helps deliver hyper-relevant content, products, recommendations, and reviews. In addition, when you care about your customer’s needs, it improves the brand image.

  • Lead Nurturing 

The set of marketing strategies that the sales and marketing team uses to convert a lead into a buyer is known as lead nurturing. When a B2B firm knows what a prospect wants, the marketing and sales teams personalize their experience, increasing the chances of converting them into customers. The prospects feel that the business understands their needs, and it helps the sales and marketing team push those leads down the pipeline.

 

Top Ways to Personalize Your B2B Marketing Campaigns 

Now that you know how personalization can accelerate the growth of your B2B firm, it’s time to talk about its benefits. A robust and strategic approach is important to remain competitive in a crowded B2B marketplace. Most B2B sales and marketing agencies understand the power of B2B personalization, but they fail to make it happen. But, fret not! Here’s how you can bring your B2B firm’s personalized campaigns to life.

  • Website Content – A website plays a vital role in the first impression of a business. Visitors decide whether to leave or learn more about a business based on their site experience. So, it is important to personalize the website content to keep prospects for longer and convince them to engage. A few important tips that may help in website content personalization include:

  • Write a personalized call to action that addresses the prospect’s needs.
  • Determine the category your content fits under, like segment-specific, persona specific, stage-specific, account-specific, or lead-specific.
  • You can repurpose existing content to make it suitable for website visitors.
  • Use automation or personalization software to show content based on individual demographics, interests, and history.

 

 

  • Chat – Integrating the live chat feature in a website is important to increase conversation, conversions, and customer retention. According to the statistics, 51% of consumers stay with or buy again from companies that offer live chat. Live chats help build a stronger connection, enable real conversations, and achieve better results. Whether you want to offer immediate assistance, access to useful resources and content, or address a lead’s needs, live chat is an effective and efficient feature.
  • Email Marketing – Various methods like one-to-one email personalization increase transaction rates, revenue, and ROI. According to the statistics, over 50% of business recipients receive B2B marketing emails that are useless to them. Examining the business customer personas can help avoid sending irrelevant information to people. Apart from including the recipient’s first name, here are a few ways to make emails more personal.
  • Use words like “now” to add a sense of urgency to their pain points.
  • Add words like “you” and “your” to make them feel like you are talking directly to them.
  • The last tip is to use “free” or “new” in the emails as it may attract prospects. Businesses always look for new and interesting offers.
  • Social Media – The social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn help B2B firms gather data they can use for smarter targeting. It helps firms understand when to reach out with personalized offers. Another way to use social media for B2B personalization is to humanize the brand. Participating or starting a conversation on trending topics with businesses on Facebook or LinkedIn groups helps prove expertise in the field. 


Take Your Marketing Strategy to the Next Level with Company Expert

A personalized B2B marketing approach results in faster conversions and stronger prospect relationships. So, if you are distributing the same marketing copy to all your prospects, you might lose some of them to your competitors who are executing personalized marketing. The one-size-fits-all formula does not work in B2B marketing. B2B marketers need to involve smarter targeting to deliver faster and more relevant experiences to prospects.

So, use the information shared in this post to make your products and services more appealing to your leads. You can also get the assistance of a B2B consulting firm like Company Expert to make your marketing campaigns more personable. 

Our highly specialized consulting team is focused on helping B2B firms develop and implement breakout growth strategies that drive real results. We can help you find the best prospects and differentiate you from your competitors. Partner with Company Experts to create an effective marketing system for a sustainable and repeatable path to growth!

The Ultimate Guide to Developing a Winning Go-To-Market Strategy for B2B Firms

 

Launching a new product or service requires effort, time, money, and resources. But, bringing it to the market without a proper plan and solid strategy is not the right approach. Therefore, a B2B firm must have a robust go-to-market plan to ensure the successful launch of a product. The GTM strategy can make or break the success of a new product/service. It is a step-by-step plan for launching a product or expanding to a new market. So, in this post, we’ll share everything you need to know to craft a thoughtful, actionable, and effective go-to-market plan.

Importance of a GTM Strategy

Whether your firm is planning to launch a new product in an existing market or an existing product in a new market, a GTM strategy is helpful. So, before we get into the steps for crafting a GTM strategy, let’s understand the importance of a GTM Strategy for B2B firms.

      1. It provides the essential information a firm needs to position itself against competitors.

      2. A GTM strategy ensures that you are going in the right direction and are targeting the right people.

      3.  It helps avoid mistakes and increases the chance of a successful launch.

Although there is no single ‘appropriate’ way to craft a GTM strategy, having a few important things can help make an effective GTM strategy. A good GTM plan should include components like – product-market fit, target audience, competitive analysis and channels of distribution, and KPIs to measure success.

Key Pillars of a Go-To-Market Strategy 

A B2B GTM plan framework maps out how a new product/service the B2B firm will deliver can add value to the existing and new target customers. When you craft a go-to-market strategy, it should be built around these three key pillars:

Why you are launching your product 

Who it is for 

How you will make people buy it 

The clear-cut answer to these questions will help establish an effective GTM plan. Apart from this, you should consider your distribution strategy, the process your sales team uses, and the sales channel you should use. All these things help determine whether you are on the right path.

How to Build a Go-to-Market Strategy?

Now that you know the importance of a well-crafted go-to-market strategy for the success of a new product/service in the market, the next step is to develop a GTM strategy. So, here we have outlined the important steps to plan a winning B2B go-to-market strategy.

1. Identify the Buying Center and Persona

When you plan to launch a product/service in the market, the first step is to consider your customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, an average of 6.8 people decides whether a company should use a product or not. These people together are known as buying centers. Though roles may vary based on the product or industry you are selling to. Here we have listed a few common job titles:

         – Initiator shows the initial interest

         – The user uses the product regularly

         – Influencer convinces other that the product is needed

         – The decision-maker makes the final purchasing decision 

         – The buyer owns the budget

         – Approver pushes the initiative on a larger scale

         – Gatekeeper decides whether a product is implemented or approved

You must ask your team to research the job titles that could impact your solution. Know about each role, its responsibility, goals, and pain points. They will be the ones to put your product/service on the map. So, learn who these people are, what motivates them, and their problems.

 

2. Create a Value Matrix to Identify Messaging

The value matrix breaks down each buying center persona, their business problem, and how your product/service can solve those problems. You can use a business playbook product or create a chart with each persona in one column. After that, list the pain points they face daily. If your product solves any of those problems, you can include them in the row below. The last step is to create a message in a meaningful way. The message must capture the pain points.

3. Understand the Buyer’s Journey 

Understanding your potential customer’s journey from the buyer’s and your company’s perspectives is important. From the customer’s perspective, the buying process goes like this: buyer realizes their business problem and researches the topic. After that, they shortlist the potential solutions. Finally, they talk to the sales team of the solution provider and test the product to narrow down the list of solutions.

However, the buyer’s journey from the business perspective is divided into the three sections – Top of the funnel (ToFu), Middle of the funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the funnel (BoFu). Another popular and effective method is the flywheel methodology that puts the customer at the center and turns leads from prospects to customers to active promoters. In this model, customers go through three stages – attract, engage, and delight.

In the first phase, content grabs the customer’s attention, and then the prospect’s digital behavior shows that your product/service can solve their problem. Next, the marketing team is responsible for generating interest and educating the audience about the product’s value. When they reach a stage where they must decide on the purchase, the sales team takes over. Finally, the lead enters the delight phase when the sales representative closes the sales. If the customer has a painless onboarding process and friendly customer service, they can become a promoter.

4. Choose a Sales Strategy

Once you finish the foundational work, it’s time to pick a strategy to push your product into the market. There are four go-to-market sales strategies, each catering to a different product and business model.

        – The self-service model – In this model, customers purchase on their own. However, this model works mostly for B2C purchases only.

        – The inside sales business model – It is when a prospect needs to be nurtured by a sales representative to convert into a deal.

        – The field sales business model – This model is for complex products with high price points. In this model, a full sales organization closes the large enterprise deals.

        – The channel model – This is when an outside agency or partner sells your products/services.

        – Create Compelling Content 

 

 

The content marketing team can drive traffic to your site by targeting the keywords that your potential customers would search for. So, your GTM plan template must include creating quality content to get new clients for your new products/services. Content planning includes:

            1. Keyword Research – Identify keywords related to your product, analyze the volume and difficulty of ranking, and check who is ranking for those keywords.

           2. Content Research – Find interesting content topics that include your keywords.

           3. Content Creation – Create relevant, unique, and interesting content on those topics.

          4. Design – Make content engaging and visually appealing with images, videos, and multimedia.

          5. Promote – Share the link on your content via social media to your customer database.

          6. Build Links – Find out link-building tactics to gain more traffic.

          7. Conversion Rate – Keep track of the engagement and measure the conversion rates of your content.

Optimize 

Optimizing is important to determine the success and failure of any strategy. So, the last and important step of a GTM strategy is to keep an eye on how content performs and how many customers enter the sales funnel. As opportunities move through the funnel, it’s important to track at which stage the opportunities fall out and why. The key performance indicators (KPIs) for managing a sales team are volume, conversion rate, and time. An easy way to track the performance is to outline the clear objectives of the GTM strategy and figure out the best ways to track them. The common metrics to track the performance are:

1. Customer acquisition costs

2. ROI of sales strategy

3. Conversion rates

4. Length of the sales cycle

5. Customer lifetime value

Partner with Company Expert to Design an Effective B2B GTM Strategy

 Unveiling a new product without the right go-to-market strategy can be a costly mistake. To make your new product/service profitable, you must build a go-to-market strategy before bringing it into the marketplace. With the steps shared in this post, you now know how a B2B firm can take a new product/service from the research and development phase to the public.

Additionally, you can use Company Expert’s playbook product Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy that focuses on launching one specific product/service, expansion, or venture. This playbook will help you engage with a new market. So, partner with Company Expert to increase the chance of a successful launch!

All You Need to Know About Using Sales Playbooks for B2B Businesses

 

B2B sales is not an easy process. It is a highly sophisticated undertaking that requires various elements to be in sync. Just to give you an idea, there are seven steps in a typical B2B sales process:

  • Prospecting
  • Connecting and qualifying leads
  • Researching the company
  • Delivering effective pitch
  • Handling objections
  • Closing the deal
  • Nurturing and continuing to sell

 
Each step requires a well-crafted approach in order to master the sale. The average B2B sales cycle is 4 months. This makes it hard for sales representatives to be consistent, effective, and productive in B2B sales without the support of additional tools. That’s where the role of the sales playbook comes into play. It is one of the tools used by B2B companies to sell products efficiently and effectively to their customers.

In this post, we will look at a sales playbook, how a sales playbook can help your sales team, and how to create a B2B sales playbook.

What is a Sales Playbook?  

A sales playbook is a manual that includes sales processes, workflows, best practices, tactics, and strategies to be used at the different stages of the sales process. It is a living document that keeps your sales process in line. Without the standardized process, your sales team has to develop a different angle whenever they face a new situation, or talk to a prospect or lead. Having a sales playbook in place ensures consistency in sales operations.

 

 

What are the Benefits of Using a B2B Sales Playbook?

Before understanding the benefits of a B2B sales playbook, it is very important to understand the challenges a B2B business faces in sales. The most common challenge a new B2B business faces is the scattered sales process. When a business does not have a well-defined sales process, it uses random tactics and follows the hit and trial approach. This eventually leads to a lack of consistency in sales operations, reduced productivity, poor brand messaging and positioning, low returns on investment, and higher ramp-up time. Using a sales playbook has a range of benefits for B2B businesses. First,let’s look at some of the key benefits of using a sales playbook.

Make Your Sales Process Consistent 

With  a sales playbook, your entire sales team follows a standardized approach. A sales playbook includes sales materials, strategies, discovery call questions, KPIs, buyer personas, sales process details, etc. It helps you consolidate every pitch, tactic, email, and call script. This helps your sales team send the same brand message to the prospects and clients. As a result, there is no discrepancy in the company’s positioning and messaging. This brings consistency to the sales operations, since everyone speaks the same brand voice.

Improves the Productivity of the Sales Team

A good sales playbook can significantly boost the productivity of the sales team. It includes the best sales practices, discovery call questions, messages, and other content. It also frees up time for the sales representatives, allowing them to focus more on converting leads than searching for content.

60% of clients want to connect with a sales professional during the consideration stage after researching their options and devising  a shortlist. Your sales team can focus more on nurturing the leads and finding new ways to close the sales by effectively using the sales playbook.

 

 

Provides Support to Sales Professionals

Top B2B companies stress sales enablement practices. Sales enablement provides support to the sales professionals in the form of  information, content, and tools that help them sell more effectively. A sales playbook is part of the sale enablement effort. A digital sales playbook includes the materials that help salespeople in critical situations when dealing with clients.

19% of buyers want to speak with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process, when they’re first learning about the product. This is why it is a good idea to have a sales playbook to assist your sales team. If your sales professional has any doubts regarding the product, they can refer to the sales playbook for more information. This helps them better convey the message to the client and handle any questions a client is asking about the product or services. 

Makes it Easy to Train New Salespeople  

A sales playbook covers all the aspects of the sales operations, making it easier for the sales managers to train new salespeople. A salesperson spends on average 18 months in an organization, and it takes 3 months for a salesperson to ramp up to full productivity. A sales playbook makes it easier for the sales professional to understand the company products or services, processes, and workflow so they can function at full capacity.

Adopt the Best Sales Practices

A sales playbook is a great business tool to help bring the best out of your sales team. You can add the best sales strategies to your playbook, and everyone can have access to them. Not only that, most sales playbooks can be customized. If you want to make any additions and alert everyone in the meantime, you can just change the sales playbook. To improve your operational efficacy, you can add the best sales plays to your sales playbook. A sales play is a set of repeatable steps, actions, and best practices for sales reps during a specific stage of the sales process.

How to Create a Sales Playbook for Your Business

Creating a sales playbook for a business is a step-by-step process. Every business has a unique sales playbook, but a few basics are common in creating a sales playbook.

Review Your Sales Process  

The first step to creating a sales playbook is to review your current sales process. Next, you need to create a sales playbook that includes your current goals, the way your sales representatives sell, your latest products and features, your buyer personas, and more. An in-depth audit of the sales process helps you find out your objective.

 

 

Define The Objective   

Every sales playbook has a goal. First, decide on what objective your sales playbook is going to cover. You can ask the following simple questions to find out the objective of the sales playbook:

  • What do you want from the sales playbook?
  • What are the current challenges you are facing?
  • What are the things you want to include in the sales playbook?
  • What are you expecting from the playbook?
  • When should the playbook be finalized?

All of these questions help you find the goal of the sales playbook.

Decide on Key Contributors

A sales playbook is the living document on which your entire sales process will stand. First, decide on the people involved in creating a sales playbook. Include the key players such as sales VPs, directors and managers, sales reps, B2B consultants, and marketing team members while writing a sales playbook.

Create The Content

The next step is to create the content of the sales playbook. This is the most important step because a sales playbook provides training and education for sales reps. A sales playbook includes the best sales practices, strategies, processes, workflows, information on products or services, etc. Carefully craft the content of the sales playbook using the sales playbook framework and templates.

Analyze Your Sales Playbook

Once you have created the sales playbook for your business, the next step is to implement and share your sales playbook with the team. After a period of time:

  • Analyze the success of your playbook.
  • Take the feedback from the sales representatives.
  • Keep an eye on the relevance, success, and helpfulness of the sales playbook and compare the efficacy of the sales playbook against the original set objectives.

If your sales playbook needs improvement, make the necessary changes.

Using the Company Expert sales playbook framework, you can create an effective Sales Playbook for your organization.

The Complete Guide to Creating a LinkedIn Marketing Plan for B2B Businesses | Company Expert

Did you know more than 30 million companies and 770 million people across the globe use LinkedIn? It is a result-oriented professional social media platform that serves B2B companies and marketers. But, if you don’t have the right knowledge and strategy, LinkedIn can become another time-consuming social network. Therefore, you must invest time in proper research to gain knowledge and seek the help of B2B marketing frameworks to craft an effective strategy.

LinkedIn helps businesses drive traffic, make connections, establish a partnership, boost brand awareness, and generate leads. So, if you have yet to plan a LinkedIn marketing strategy for your business, you have come to the right place. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning an effective LinkedIn marketing strategy.

Step-By-Step Guide to Craft a LinkedIn Marketing Plan for B2B Businesses

Step 1: Set Realistic Goals

The first step in crafting a LinkedIn marketing plan is to specify goals and objectives. When you take actions without direction, it’s a waste of time and energy. So, having effective marketing strategies for professional services is important. Set realistic goals and be clear about what you expect from LinkedIn marketing for your business. Remember, you are on a social media platform with millions of professional users who are clear about their objectives. Therefore, you can’t take the risk of sailing without radar.

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals are advised. Generally, businesses use LinkedIn marketing to achieve the following goals:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Bring high-quality traffic to the website
  • Strengthen brand reputation
  • Engage with the target audience
  • Sell products or services

You can set two-three goals for a certain strategy and period and make efforts towards achieving them.

 

 

Step 2: Know Your Target Audience and Develop ICP

To achieve the goals established in step 1, you must direct your efforts toward the right people. Therefore, in step 2, you have to figure out ‘who.’ Know who you are marketing to. Developing an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) can help you understand the target audience. In B2B, marketing professionals holding different positions in a company make purchasing decisions for a B2B service or product. So, think carefully about whom you are targeting, what will be their concerns, and how you have to deal with them.

Step 3: Create Your Company Page

Here starts the execution stage. In the third step, you have to create a LinkedIn page for your business. Before that, you must learn the difference between LinkedIn profiles and LinkedIn pages. Profiles are for individuals, and pages are for the business. You should opt for a LinkedIn page to represent your business. Here’s how:

  • Click the work icon in the top right corner of the LinkedIn homepage.
  • Click create a company page.
  • Select the page type according to your company. There are two options –
  • Small Business (less than 200 employees)
  • Medium to large business (more than 200 employees)
  • Enter the company details and create a page.

Once the page is created, the next step is to optimize it to get the desired results.

Step 4: Optimize Your Company Page

The B2B LinkedIn marketing journey begins with creating a killer LinkedIn company page. Pages with complete information get 30% more weekly views. So, here are a few important tips to create a successful LinkedIn company page.

  • The profile image is the first thing people notice when searching for a company page. You can take your company’s logo and resize it according to the platform’s requirements. You can also use your creativity in the profile banner above the company logo. If you think the picture doesn’t make a difference, you should know that company pages with profile pictures get six times more visitors than those without a picture.
  • Write clear, compelling, and well-optimized content for the ‘about us’ section. It should tell visitors all they need to know about your company.

Step 5: Analyze Competitor’s LinkedIn Page

When setting up your LinkedIn company page, competition-motivated stalking is a must. Make a list of companies similar to you and analyze their LinkedIn page. Focus on the type of content they post, their followers, and engagement. You can also seek the help of a competitive analysis framework to understand your competitors better. If you want to get inspired by them, identify the most and least successful competitors and invest more time on their pages. It will help you understand what works on LinkedIn and what doesn’t.

 

 

Step 6: Grow a LinkedIn Following

Another factor that plays an important role in the success of B2B LinkedIn marketing is the number of followers. So, find your audience and connect with them in order to expand your company’s horizons. Everything you post on your LinkedIn page should reach the right people at the right time. The following tips can help you grow your LinkedIn following quickly.

  • Encourage your employees to like and repost your content.
  • If you have a good follower count on other social media platforms, promote your LinkedIn page on other channels too.
  • You can run ads to reach a wider audience.
  • There are several communities on LinkedIn. You can choose a few from them to communicate with your potential customers. In addition, you can also start your own groups.

Step 7: Plan a Content Strategy for LinkedIn

When crafting a LinkedIn content strategy, you can use playbook products and focus on activities like analysis, planning, and content development and dissemination. Publishing unique, valuable, and relevant content is important to keep the followers engaged and get the desired results. You can explore the various content formats for LinkedIn like articles, stories, status updates, videos, carousel posts, document posts, newsletters, and more. Choose what works best for your business.

However, you should not limit yourself to a particular content format. Instead, you can experiment and see what’s working best for you. For example, video format can drive the engagement rate by five times, and live videos can help you gain a 25X engagement rate. Another pro tip for marketers is focusing on three key factors while planning the content strategy – quality, quantity, and regularity. Develop a content calendar, stick to it and post relevant content frequently and regularly.

Step 8: Analyze LinkedIn Marketing Performance

The LinkedIn marketing strategy should be carefully tailored to your specific business needs. However, blindly following a strategy or expert’s advice is not the right approach. Instead, you must keep an eye on whether your B2B marketing strategies deliver the expected results. Thorough analyses of LinkedIn performance and tracking the key metrics can also help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Why is LinkedIn Marketing Important for B2B Business

According to a study by Content Marketing Institute, 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing, and 38% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is generating revenue for them. But, if you still want to know why your B2B brand should be on LinkedIn, here are the top reasons

  • LinkedIn can help boost the online presence of a B2B brand. It is a powerful platform where businesses have an opportunity to network with interesting contacts.
  • If you have the right LinkedIn marketing strategy and proper execution, you can position yourself as a leader in your niche.
  • LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms to identify potential leads, engage them, and turn them into customers.
  • Most importantly, it is the right platform to ask questions and gain insights.
  • LinkedIn has a social sharing button that enables people to share your content which ultimately helps in traffic building.

Partner with Company Expert for Successful LinkedIn Campaign Planning

When it comes to B2B marketing, there is no other social media platform as powerful as LinkedIn. Now that you know how your efforts can lead to greater results on LinkedIn, it’s time to boost the online presence of your B2B business.

Company Expert offers a solution set known as the definitive guide to LinkedIn marketing, which contains a combination of business playbook products and point solutions. In addition, another playbook product known as LinkedIn campaign planning can help save your time in crafting a creative marketing campaign. So, partner with us to utilize LinkedIn to its full capacity!