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.

What is an Effective B2B Website Design? Top B2B Website Design Trends for 2022

Your website is the window of your business. Keep it fresh, keep it exciting.” – Jay Conrad Levinson.

According to a study, 53% of B2B clients make half of their buying decisions online, and more than 63% use the internet for half of their product research. An internet search is the first stop when B2B buyers look for a solution to their pain points. As a result, your B2B website meets your prospects before you do. Therefore, a B2B website acts as a marketing tool. It is a vital part of the B2B business plan that helps generate inquiries and leads to more clients. 

A website should be armed like a salesperson to sell your products/services because it is the storefront of a B2B firm. Therefore, it should be clean, attention-grabbing, and inviting. So, whether you are planning to design a new website or redesign your existing website, ensure that it reflects the voice and vision of your B2B firm. 

Many people assume website design is only about looks. But, an effective web design is more than visuals; it also includes structure, content, layout, and SEO. An effective B2B web design is crucial to stand out from the competition. 

So, in this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about B2B website design and the website design trends that you may consider to revamp your website. Read this post to learn how you can plan and implement B2B website best practices to convert more visitors into leads. 

What is B2B Website Design? The Importance of a Successful B2B Web Design

Web designing is the process of planning, conceptualizing, and arranging content on a website. It determines the look of a website by using a combination of aesthetic and functional elements. An effective B2B web design is a part of B2B marketing strategies, as it helps communicate your brand message to website visitors, which helps nurture leads. 

Here we have listed a few benefits of B2B web design to help you understand the importance of a successful one.

    • Google Rankings – A well-designed website means there are chances of better Google ranking. The search engine wants to see websites with a modern design and the latest features. Good ranking is helpful in order to generate more clicks to your website.
    • Improved User Experience – Another benefit of a well-designed website is that it helps improve and enhance the user experience. Good user experience is the key to the success of a website. Outdated websites may affect your company’s reputation, and users are likely to click away from such websites.  
    • Authenticity and Credibility – Authenticity, trust, and credibility are a few things that B2B buyers look for in a firm. According to research, 75% of users stated that they decide on a company’s credibility based on its web design. So a B2B website must have a simple and clean design with no unnecessary decorations.     

 

picture

8 B2B Web Design Trends for 2022

The website’s appearance plays an important role in building a profitable online business. Though you can seek guidance from a B2B sales and marketing agency for effective web designs, being familiar with the latest website design trends is also important. So, here’s a list of popular web design trends you should know in 2022. 

    1. Single-Page Website

Users prefer a single-page website as it eliminates the confusion about where they should click to go next. Also, it creates a simple user interface. Users enjoy linear navigation flow, allowing a seamless experience from page to page.  

    1. App-Like Experience

These days most people spend time on the web using apps that focus on user experience and interaction. So, designing an app-like website for B2B firms is on-trend and gives an interactive experience to the clients. A prospect is expected to stay longer on your site when you have an interactive website. In addition, it also helps improve the perception of your brand. 

    1. Artificial Intelligence

AI elements are expected to evolve more in 2022 and beyond to transform visitors’ web experience with human-like interactions. A chatbot is one of the AI elements that help offer around the clock support to users. It improves a prospect’s journey and makes them feel cared for, resulting in client satisfaction. This can help build long-term relationships. 

    1. Intuitive Navigation Bar

There are various pages on a website. So, choosing valuable pages to include in the main navigation menu can be tricky. Just because you have enough space on your website does not mean you should place everything on the menu. The general rule of thumb is to include only 5-7 headers in the menu. The intuitive menu navigates the prospect through the website from web page to web page. It helps them consume the information they want and ignore what they do not want. 

    1. Bold Typography 

Bright and bold typography on your B2B firm’s website can help make a good impression. It helps communicate your message clearly, making a lasting impact. When people don’t have enough time to spend on a site, bold titles and shortened messaging capture the user’s attention and decrease conversion time. So, when you work on the marketing and business planning for your B2B company, you can include this trend in your website design to make it look updated and impactful. 

    1. Minimalism 

“Less is more” is a statement B2B firms should follow for their website design. Visitors should not get distracted by a lot of information. This is very important for B2B firms with complex business models, services, or products. Let your visitors focus on what you are offering. They should not be disturbed by overwhelming content or flashy designs. In addition, minimalist websites load much faster than other sites. So, include only essential elements and keep the web design neat and airy.

minimalism

    1. Optimize for Mobile Devices

When you start working on the website design, consider the mobile-first design. This means you’ll want to start the designing process on the smallest screen possible. Almost 51% of the population accesses the internet using mobile devices, which is expected to reach 72.6% by 2025. Also, Google uses mobile-first indexing to rank websites. This is reason enough for B2B firms to consider mobile-first web designs. 

    1. Micro-Interactions

As the name suggests, micro-interaction is about an interaction between the design and the user, which helps make the design memorable and enhances the user’s experience. It can be a color change of a button, or a change of the angle of view. The purpose of micro-interaction is to make the web user experience enjoyable and exciting. For example – when a web page takes longer to load, you can show an animated countdown to entertain users. 

Partner with Company Expert to Design or Revamp Your B2B Website

Now that you are familiar with B2B web design, its importance, and the latest web design trends, you can use this information wisely in designing/redesigning your B2B firm’s website. There are already a lot of good websites out there, but you must raise the bar to stand out from the crowd. You can also seek help from professionals like Company Expert to ensure a smooth website redesign project.

Company Expert can help you build a professional-looking website to attract and convert more clients. We offer various business playbooks and a full-service web program that includes designing, developing and maintaining the website under one roof. Let our experts revamp your website so that you can focus on your business growth. Schedule a free consultation today!

Want to Know How to Repurpose B2B Content Here’s All You Need to Know!

 

“A good piece of content never gets old if we know how to find the new out of it, every time!” – Robert Duke.

Content marketing is the secret weapon B2B marketers use to engage the industry, generate leads, and close deals. As a result, incorporating content marketing in B2B marketing strategies is crucial because of the real results it delivers. But content is not an ad; it is an informative and relevant piece that is valuable for the marketers and the prospective and current customers.

In recent times, digital channels have played an important role in a buyer’s journey, and good marketing is all about good content. 90% of B2B buyers admit that content plays a vital role in their decision-making. But unfortunately, 22% of B2B marketers still don’t incorporate content marketing in their strategy. This is because they face challenges in producing good and relevant content.

Content marketing is not about creating content every day. It is about getting the best content in front of people. So, when B2B marketers understand the magic of content repurposing, they can make the most of content marketing. It can take your content strategy from good to great. When we hear the term content, many people assume it to be a blog post or article. But content can take many forms. It can be a downloadable white paper, an image, a video, or a social media post.

So, in this blog post, we’ll share how B2B marketers can get more mileage out of B2B content with the help of content repurposing. Scroll down to learn how you can give fresh life to your content.

What is B2B Content Repurposing?

 

What is B2B Content Repurposing

 

Creating relevant and compelling content takes hours of research, time, money, and effort. So, why use the content only once? With content repurposing, you can use already existing content in multiple formats. You can transform a video into a blog or a blog into an infographic. Content repurposing is simply taking a single piece of content and recreating it in different formats.

Creating and sharing high-quality content is not easy, but it is important to boost a B2B business plan and marketing strategy. However, you don’t need to run on the content writing treadmill. Content repurposing can keep your editorial calendar full, saving you time and money. So, work with an audience-first mindset and stretch your content resources further with content repurposing.

Refreshing vs. Repurposing Content: Know the Difference 

Before we learn more about content repurposing, B2B marketers must know about the thin transparent line that differentiates content repurposing from content refreshing. Unfortunately, many B2B marketers confuse the two, resulting in a costly mistake. Though both tactics are beneficial for content marketing, knowing the difference is a must because they serve different purposes.

Content refreshing is all about editing the existing content. It means the content is updated, but the intent and format of the content remain the same. This can involve updating the statistics or facts to provide the most recent information to the readers. On the other hand, with content repurposing, the format is updated, and the purpose is altered to reach a broader or different target audience. For example – transforming a presentation into a video or blog post.

Top Benefits of B2B Content Repurposing

According to a report, B2B marketers spend an average of 33 hours a week in creating new content. It is a complex and time-consuming process. However, B2B playbook products can make the task easier.

When B2B marketing teams create a content piece from scratch, it involves conceptualizing, researching, creating, reviewing, publishing, and distributing. So, repurposing B2B content maximizes the impact of a single piece of content. Let’s learn about the benefits of content repurposing.

  • Reach More Prospects – Some people love reading while others are attracted to visual content. Most people have short attention spans or are too busy to read a long article, while some find longer articles reliable. So, let’s face it, people consume information in different ways. No matter how hard we try, a single piece of content may not work for everyone. Content repurposing helps reach more prospects and customers across different mediums.
  • Support SEO –When you cover a topic from multiple angles, it helps improve the SEO. So having a complete library with videos, blogs, and infographics signals to search algorithms that your site is a valuable source of information. Remember, Google likes quality content, so content repurposing attracts search traffic.
  • Multi-Channel Marketing– In the competitive world of B2B marketing, the importance of multi-channel marketing for lead generation is undeniable. Expanding one idea into several content pieces is an easy and effective idea to maximize multi-channel marketing. For example – if you have a blog post, you can also make an infographic or a slideshow. You can then use the important parts of the blog to create an engaging social media post.
  • Increase Value and Life of Content – We are all aware that thousands of content pieces are being published daily. Once the audience reads them, they become stale. But you can share the same content in a completely new way through a different medium, and the same audience may find it interesting. So, content repurposing helps squeeze every bit of juice out of the content and expands the reach.
  • Brand Credibility – Repetition is undoubtedly a key tactic in marketing, but people easily get tired of hearing and seeing the same things repeatedly. Content repurposing is a great idea to deliver the same message differently and sustain it for a considerable amount of time. It helps increase recall, authority, and credibility in the B2B market.

 

Brand Credibility

 

Tips to Repurpose B2B Digital Content

Now that we know all about content repurposing and its benefits, it’s time to get familiar with a few methods to repurpose content. Though it depends on business planning for B2B companies, the firm’s business goals, and the target audience’s nature, a few general tips may be helpful for everyone. So, here are four remarkable ways to repurpose content.

  • Quora Q&A into the Blog Posts

Finding the right title for a blog post can be a daunting task. So, try finding a relevant question on Quora aligned with your business and write a blog post about it. nsure you choose a question with several upvotes and answer it as industry experts. It will help you get valuable traffic on your website composed of people looking for the answers.

  • Slideshows, E-books into Infographics

Visual information is catchy and can easily captivate your target audience’s attention. The decision-makers of the B2B firms are humans, and we all know that human beings are visual learners. So, it’s a good idea to transform slideshows or e-books into infographics. It can help show data and text in distinct sections, making it easier for potential clients to understand the key message of the content.

  • Transform Webinar Recordings into Useful Content

Webinars have gained immense popularity in recent times. You can record a webinar to stretch its usefulness beyond the event. This is a great way to provide expert insight and new information to the target audience. You can offer it as a gated download or post it on social media. You can also use it as a blog post with additional research and insight.

 

 

  • Create Audio Content from Blogs 

Many people don’t have enough time to read your blog posts. So, you can create audio content from the blog content. Then, you can either share the audio file with the blog post or share it as a podcast episode. It is a great strategy to attract people who prefer listening rather than reading plain text.

How Can Company Expert Help in Content Repurposing?

Repurposing existing content improves website SEO and increases the reach of your content. However, it does not mean you should stop creating new content. Rather, content repurposing is a great way to maximize the resources involved in content creation and keep up with the changing preferences of B2B buyers.

Content repurposing helps save time and money and expands your reach. But, you should know how to do it right in order to reap the maximum benefits. A strong content repurposing plan is important to strengthen your content marketing to win clients. So, when you want to alter one piece of B2B content to make other pieces of content, you can use Company Expert’s B2B content repurposing marketing framework. It provides the framework for content repurposing and addresses common questions like how to plan, develop, and optimize existing content. So, partner with us to help your B2B firm increase utility value, while reducing the cost of producing content.

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.

How Can You Reduce the Marketing Cost of a B2B Business?

 

Suppose you started a business and developed an impeccable product or service that’s better than every other option in the market, but the thing is, no one knows about this product or service. So, you decided to make every possible effort to let the public know that you are in the market.

Was it a Good Approach?

For example, your product revenue from a client was $100, but following that approach, you end up spending $50 for marketing. As a rule of thumb, B2B companies should spend between 2-5% of their revenue on marketing. And, you, in the urge to get clients end up spending half of the revenue.

The answer is, this was not a good approach. This was a hypothetical scenario, but there is truth to it because 90% of startup B2Bs fail.

This post will look at the 9 B2B marketing strategies that will help you reduce your marketing costs without hurting your business. For example, Couchbase’s ABM marketing campaign generated a $1.5m sales pipeline through deep audience insights, proving that account-based marketing is quite a popular marketing tactic in the B2B world.

9 Strategies to Reduce Your B2B Business Marketing Cost


1. Get a Clear Picture of Your Marketing Budget

Assessing the current situation is always the first step to making improvements. Conduct an in-depth marketing audit. Find out how much you are spending on each marketing strategy. There are various ways in which a company can invest in marketing, such as marketing research, competitive analysis, running marketing campaigns, and paying for sponsorship. Evaluate where your money is going to find out what can be done.

One major marketing expense involves content creation and promotion. Find out how much you are investing in running social media ads, creating marketing copies for emails, producing blogs, articles, and other additional forms of advertising content.

 

 

2. Drop the Omnipresence Approach

Once you have a clear idea of where your money is going, now comes the step of reducing the costs. Most businesses agree that having an omnichannel marketing approach is important for success, but it is not always the case with B2B marketing. For example, you provide financial services for IT companies to manage their financial operations. Your go-to channel would be LinkedIn, where you can find these companies. There is no point in creating an advertising campaign for IT companies that hardly use Instagram to seek professional financial services.

Cut down the marketing channels and invest only in those channels bringing you quality leads. This way, you are improving the efficiency of the marketing campaign and reducing marketing costs. You can create an effective LinkedIn campaign using the LinkedIn Campaign Planning playbook.

3. Know Your High-Value Clients

In 2018, Unilever reduced the number of ads by 30%. The brand is facing the situation of oversaturation, which leads to a diminishing return. When Unilever made that change, they got better results at a lesser cost. You can do the same thing for your B2B business. It is important to know who your high-value clients are and try to redirect your major marketing efforts to these clients.

For example, account-based marketing follows this approach. It has a higher ROI than any marketing strategy. In 2021, 70% of marketers reported using ABM, and 86% of marketers reported improved win rates with ABM. Therefore, narrow your focus and market aggressively to the clients that convert and stay with you over the long term.

You might think you will miss out on the opportunities that may or may not convert. The problem with marketing to clients that aren’t in your ideal market is that first, they will take more effort to convert, and second even if they purchase from you once, they will not repeat the purchase. Thus overall customer acquisition cost will be more than the customer lifetime value. These are the two important factors that a B2B business needs to consider while building the ideal profile for their clients.

 

 

4. Make Marketing an Efficient Process With Marketing Automation

There is a lot of talk going on about marketing automation. Almost every B2B marketing consulting firm recommends adopting it. If you carefully observe the purpose of marketing automation, it is to increase the efficiency of the marketing teams and allow them to focus on high-value tasks. What it eventually does is reduce marketing costs.

Just look at the tasks that marketing automation can do: automated replies to emails, posting on social media, providing online assistance with chatbots, etc. These tasks can consume your professional marketing attention, time, and energy. You can use a marketing automation tool for these repetitive processes.

Marketing automation tools can help in various advanced level operations such as high-quality lead generation, nurturing and scoring, audience segmentation and targeting, analytics, reporting to optimize marketing and content strategies, and upsell and cross-sell activities. This may eliminate the need to hire a few marketing resources. Investing in marketing automation can bring your marketing costs down by improving operational efficiency.

5. Existing Content is a Gold Mine

Content creation is one of the major marketing costs, and after a certain point creating new content becomes more and more difficult. If you have invested in content marketing for a while, you probably have a gold mine of quality content. No law says you cannot reuse the content. Post the old content by making smart changes, and it will help you attract new clients. This way, you can reduce your marketing costs when you want to cut without hampering the marketing campaign.

6. Existing Customers Can Generate Referrals

Acquiring a new customer is a costly process. Investing in creating referrals is a great way to increase ROI. For example, you can run a reward program for existing clients when they share your product or service with other people. This works great with subscription-based B2B business models. Another way to generate referrals is by providing a quality customer experience to your clients. It is a well-known fact that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25% to 95%.

7. Find the Gray Area Between In-House, DIY, and Outsourcing

Reducing your marketing costs without hurting the campaign is an art. There are only a few realistic things you can do. For example, you can bring some of the marketing activities in-house. Hire a resource who can do multiple activities. If you find a freelancer content creator who can work at a cheaper price, hire that freelancer for content creation. Try to be flexible by evaluating all the pros and cons. Just make sure you are not sacrificing the quality. If you have some good resources, try to retain them and create a perfect mix between in-house, DIY, and outsourcing.

 

 

8. Free Tools Can Save You a Decent Money

Running a marketing campaign includes the use of a range of business marketing tools. You can cut down your marketing costs by switching to the free tools. But there are a few questions you need to ask before making this decision. Is there a good alternative available for the business tools you are using? Do the marketing tools contribute to your business’s bottom line? Can you proceed with the marketing operations without the premium version of these tools? Answer these questions honestly. If you opt to switch to the free tools, you can reduce your marketing costs significantly by making little compromises.

9. Break the Traditional Conditioning  

Typically B2B businesses should invest 2-5% of their budget on marketing, but there are times when you have to spend more on marketing, somewhere from 8-10%. And there are times when you can follow zero-based budgeting. This approach focuses on calculating from marketing zero, apart from the initial operating costs. You can go beyond the traditional concepts of marketing to find the right budget for your organization.

We hope these 9 strategies can help you reduce the marketing costs for your business. If you need advice from expert B2B consultants, you can contact Company Expert business advisors.

Company Expert’s business advisors have decades of experience working with professional service companies. We have consulted with Fortune 500 financial services, technology, payroll companies, individual entrepreneurs, and small businesses. In addition, our business advisors are certified mentors with SCORE. Get in touch with us to reduce your organization’s marketing costs without hurting your business.

The Importance of Thoughtful Planning for the Sustainable Growth of a B2B Business

What elements do you need in your plan to have a killer B2B marketing strategy? This blog will look at a few critical elements that each B2B marketing plan should have to generate, nourish, and hang on to qualified leads.

You can attain the best B2B marketing strategy if the company’s strategy is well-defined.

B2B planning pushes a company to pay attention to the areas that sell the marketing direction. The foremost questions that arise are:

– Who is the target audience?

– What are the needs of the audiences?

– How does the product/service address those needs?

– Why is the product/ service better than the competition?

With the help of this technique, you will be able to analyze the strategy that needs to be polished. Plus, you will be able to work on the algorithm of alignment between the stakeholders.

With the help of planning, not only will you get greater clarity but it will also  open opportunities for fundamental change. To strengthen the customer-centric approach to the market, you need to employ an organizational design that closely reflects B2B prepositions. Plus, you can get help with a B2B business plan from experts.

How to Create an Effective B2B Marketing Plan?

You can accomplish this by breaking down the task into three steps:

  1. A thorough review of your current marketing performance and plan.
  2. Define your objectives and goals, and prepare some guidelines.
  3. Move forward with a marketing plan and execute it.

 

B2B Marketing Plan

 

Let Us Have a Look at These Three Steps in Depth.

1.Regulate a Comprehensive Review

Before you get started with anything to enhance your B2B planning, you need to know two major things:

– The current position of your business.

– The position where you want your business to go.

While it is often easy and appealing to put the past behind you and get started with the future, a successful marketing campaign is often based on real-time learning. Therefore any business must analyze the current situation. You should meet with your team and look into:

– What worked the best for the business in the past 12 months?

– What didn’t meet your expectations?

– Which goal was your business able to meet and miss?

– With the help of which tactic did you get the best ROI?

If your business has several tactics to deliver the best results, it should prioritize and double down on them before jumping to anything new.

Moving on to the new trends can be exciting and fun, and doing different kinds of experiments is important to stay relevant. Still, it can be damaging  to your strategic plan template.

If you cut your focal point from tactics currently working for you and bring you ROI, you will risk your marketing strategy.

– Review your market knowledge

Can you recall, when was the last time when you reviewed your audience, market, and personas? You need to understand that people’s needs, wants, and desires change. If your business has not been able to keep in touch with the audience for a long period, this is the right time to do the same. For help with this, you can rely on our B2B sales playbook.

Suppose you have been seeing your customers behaving differently, using new products and platforms. Also, you have noticed their interest in new subjects which wasn’t there before; then, you need to analyze how your competition is evolving.

Your business needs to analyze if your assumption about the target audience is correct or not. You can do this by examining and comparing the following.

– Your data- is it within the expectations of the audience?

– How do you compare the numbers of the industry benchmark?

– How is your competition coming up with the target market?

After analyzing the landscape, make sure that you update the buyer’s persona with new details and insights that you’ve unleashed. Furthermore, for help, you can rely on B2B consulting.

 

content-audit

 

Run a content audit

Your business needs to understand the importance of content marketing. It is a crucial foundation of your digital customer experience. Plus, it is a powerful way to bring in new leads and sales with the help of organic search. However, most businesses fail to understand its importance. With the help of your team, you need to conduct a content audit and look into:

– The top content in terms of performance.

– The content that is performing the worst.

– The keyword performance.

After completing the audit, you will be able to identify the void in your existing content. With this data in hand, you will be able to plan for content creation and removal of content that has no relevance.

2. Establish Marketing Goals and Objectives

Setting up a marketing strategy that helps get you where you wish to go is crucial in B2B marketing planning. You can initiate by brainstorming how marketing can align itself to meet the goal of your business. Then, ensure that your marketing efforts are strategically aligned so that you, with the help of your team, can begin working on the plan to get where you wish to be.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

You will not be able to improve what you don’t work on. Ensure that you look at the KPIs and see if they are still aligned with your business goals.

– Pick and focus on your marketing tactics

There is no scarcity of  tactics that your business can use as a part of a digital marketing strategy. There is always something available for:

– Paid search engine marketing,

– For SEO focused content marketing,

– For Email marketing strategies,

– For paid and organic social media marketing.

The data and tactics that you use will depend on the aim of your business, its KPIs, and brand positioning.

Divide your budget

As much as it is fun to have the liberty and freedom of having a huge budget, a tight budget will always make you focus on the factors that need the spotlight for marketing efforts.

Ensure that you split your marketing budget by,

– Campaigns,

– Channels,

– Quarter.

By splitting and allocating the finances, you will know what marketing efforts work for you and what isn’t.

 

Marketing Plan

 

3. Create your Marketing Plan

When you reach this point, chances are you have created the goals for your marketing strategy. Plus, you must have analyzed your current constraints and capabilities. You have picked up the tactics that you will be using based on that information, and also planned your spending. Now will be the right time to analyze where you will focus your resources and plan your content creation and promotion. A B2B sales and marketing agency can help you in the best possible ways with your marketing plan.

Content strategy development

You need to make your content around a theme or a topic to have a solid content strategy. Ensure that you brainstorm your content ideas and sub-topics. These should be entirely based on your keyword strategy. For keywords, ensure that you conduct your due diligence.

Tailor content to the customer journey

You need to understand that not everyone is a buyer straightaway. Therefore, one of the foremost reasons you need to tailor your content marketing efforts is to provide value to all the customer journey stages.

Building brand experiences and community

By knowing the major milestones and projects of your business ahead of time, you will have the ability to maximize the impact of your marketing.

Now, you must be wondering about the benefits of thoughtful planning for the sustainable growth of B2B businesses.

Here Is a List of a Few Benefits of a B2B Marketing Plan

  1. With the help of a B2B marketing plan, you will be able to keep your marketing efforts aligned with corporate goals and objectives.
  2. With the help of a plan, you will be able to keep your marketing efforts proactive.
  3. With the help of a plan, you will be able to keep your whole organization on the same page.
  4. A good plan will help you to facilitate measurements.
  5. With the help of a plan, you will have an insight into the big picture.

Besides a few mentioned above, there are several reasons to make a strong B2B marketing plan. First, the value of a sound plan outshines any investment you will make in creating a solid B2B marketing plan. Plus, the benefits will last for several years.

For professional help with business planning for B2B companies, you can rely on Company Expert, who will use the growth accelerator system to fuel your online growth. With the help of the experts, you will be able to unleash your full potential.

How Can B2B Sales Consultants Help Early-Stage Businesses?

The struggle to earn and retain clients for early-stage businesses is real. It is initially a tough road for startups and small businesses to grab the attention of customers, especially when there are similar existing solutions in the market. More than 90% of the startups failed in 2019. The research shows that 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, and 50% in the fifth year. There can be various reasons behind the failure of a B2B business, but essentially, most B2B startups and businesses fail because they cannot earn new clients. That’s where the role of sales and sales consultant comes into play.

A sales consultant is a professional advisor who helps companies manage their sales operations and achieve business goals. Professional B2B consultants or sales growth firms work closely with the B2B firms. Partnering with a sales consultant or growth firm comes with many benefits. Have a look at how a sales consultant can help a B2B business in four primary ways.

1. Process

It is hard to find sales efforts of successful organizations that include throwing random tactics and finding out what works. Unfortunately, most early-stage businesses make this mistake due to the lack of standard processes and operations. A sales consultant helps a B2B firm develop standard sales management processes, operations, and practices. A clear and data-driven approach to the sales process is a living guide that holds everything together. An organization can do that by creating a playbook for every process.

A playbook includes process workflows, standard operating procedures, and cultural values that shape a consistent response. It helps your team learn how to go through various situations. Your sales consultant can help your B2B firm create playbooks to develop standard processes for every operation. If you do not have a sales playbook for your B2B firm, you can use the Company Expert B2B sales playbook.  

Sales Playbook

The Company Expert Sales Playbook provides an organization with the framework to create their own Sales Playbook. This Sales Playbook framework contains seven critical elements for success in selling professional services. In addition, it includes a collection of best practices and strategies for being successful as a salesperson with clients.

The sales playbook will help a B2B sales team manage different stages of the sales cycle, handle objections, understand potential clients, and achieve the right positioning and messaging. In addition, you can use this playbook to create a systematic approach to how to sell across your organization.

Sales Playbook

2. Technology

Technology is at the core of successful sales management. Every B2B sales team needs various sales tools for analytics, automation, enablement, prospecting, forecasting, and other sales operations. A professional sales consultant helps B2B firms find and leverage the right B2B tools for the organization. Sales tools help automate day-to-day processes, simplify the various aspects of sales, and increase efficiency in all aspects of the sales process.   

Sales tools are divided into CRM sales automation, sales enablement, sales management tools, and various other categories. For example, CRM software manages all aspects of an organization’s relationships with customers.

Around 82% of the companies in a survey say they use their CRM systems for sales reporting and process automation. In addition, a Nucleus Research report finds that 65% of the companies using mobile CRM achieve their sales quotas.

Similarly, there are other sales tools to facilitate various sales processes.

Sales automation tools automate repetitive sales processes such as follow-ups, personalized communication, data entry, scheduling, etc.

Sale enablement tools provide sales representatives with materials, resources, processes, information, technology, and data to close sale deals effectively.    

A sales consultant can help an organization find the right sales tools considering business needs and objectives, budget, and other factors. Your sales consultant guides your team on how to leverage tools and technologies that are right for your business and improve the efficiency of sales operations.    

At Company Expert, we help our B2B clients with B2B Proprietary Stock Certificate Administration & Printing Software. It allows professional services firms to create, store, and print multiple software at a time. In addition, it administers, runs reports, and easily changes multiple stock certificates with a push of a button.         

3. Sales Expertise

The role of a sales consultant is vital for early-stage businesses. Once a business has the right sales processes and tools, it needs a sales team to facilitate effective operations. Building a sales team is a big challenge for early-stage businesses. Expert sales professionals are not typically willing to join early-stage businesses. If a business is employing fresh sales talent, they require training.

A sales consulting firm provides a B2B business with its expertise in building a sales team. It helps B2B firms find the right human resources and provide the right training for the sales team. Top professional business consultants have experience in training the sales team. Not just assisting in hiring and training, a sales consultant provides expert advice that supports B2B professional service companies in all stages of growth.  

At Company Expert, we have SCORE-certified business advisors. SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration that helps entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops, and educational resources. Our mentors have decades of experience in senior management responsibilities for multiple functions, including sales, marketing, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. You can partner with our expert business advisors to streamline your sales operation.  

Sales Expertise

4. Networking

The B2B industry is quite different from the B2C industry. Early-stage businesses need to connect with other businesses in the industry to find new clients and opportunities. A professional sales consultant builds a B2B company’s relationship with other firms by helping them participate in conferences and seminars, join online communities, and become a part of a professional services network. In addition, it helps connect potential B2B buyers with B2B sellers.

If you are looking to build a network for your B2B firm, you can become a member of the Company Expert B2B Professional Service Network. We manage the largest network of B2B professional service leaders globally, with over 100,000+ members. It allows an organization to find new clients and opportunities for professional development.     

Is it a Good Idea to Invest in a Sales Consultant at the Early Stage of a Business?  

A business can partner with a sales consultant or sales growth firm at any stage of the business. B2B businesses can utilize the business advisors’ skills, expertise, and knowledge to fuel growth. For example, if an early-stage business struggles to streamline sales operations and develop a consistent sales process, it is good to partner with a sales consultant.

If you are looking for a business advisor for professional service B2B firms, you can partner with Company Expert’s SCORE certified business advisors specialized in the professional services industry.         

What is a Company Expert Growth Accelerator?

Company Expert Growth Accelerator System is an integrated set of proprietary processes, strategies, and frameworks that focuses on four key areas – Marketing, Sales, Planning, and Online Presence. It is designed to inject speed, alignment, and accelerated growth into the DNA of professional services firms.

We can develop a plan that optimizes your strategic options and outcomes, allows you to expand into new markets/solutions, drive growth and profitability, maximize the allocation of capital and resources, and reduce execution risk and expense. You can also explore our proprietary suite of solutions and technology designed to inject speed, knowledge, and accelerated growth into your B2B firm.

We have been in the business for the last 25 years and singularly focused on driving growth for B2B professional services firms. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about our solutions.