Understanding How B2B Sales Work for Professional Services Firms

Outlining the processes and tools essential to successful B2B sales

The definition of B2B sales says it is the transaction between two businesses. Parallels are drawn between B2B and B2C sales, but the B2B sales are quite different from the B2C sales. The strategies that work in B2C sales are almost futile in B2B sales. A B2B sales process is a highly complex undertaking that involves a sophisticated approach to target every client. It starts from the market research, prospecting, sales pitch, and objection handling and ends with closing the sales and follow-up. B2B sales playbook, sales tools, strategic frameworks, proprietary software, and much more are involved in the sale process.

This post will look into the basic aspects of B2B sales for professional service firms.   

How is B2B Sales Different From B2C Sales?

Bplans Blog

Image courtesy of Bplans Blog.

B2B sales are distinctively different from B2C sales. In B2B sales, a business is selling to another business. Thus, the prospective buyer is highly educated. Your business needs a well-trained B2B sales team to target prospects effectively. Whereas in B2C sales, a company sells to the end customers. Have a look at some key points of differences between B2B sales and B2C sales.

Target audience

In business-to-business sales, the target audience is limited. Unlike B2C sales, a business is not selling to millions of customers. Instead, a B2B company has a few hundred clients to target. Therefore, sales strategies such as account-based marketing are often used in the business-to-business sales process. 

Multiple decision-makers

There are multiple decision-makers involved in the B2B sales. A professional services company has to identify the key decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders. The involvement of multiple decision-makers complicates the sales process and makes it longer than withB2C sales, where only one person is involved in the decision-making.   

Long sales cycle

Business-to-business sales are more about building the partnership than selling the product. According to CSO Insights, 46.4% of B2B sales to new customers take longer than seven months to complete. In B2C sales, customers can make impulsive decisions based on the trends, but B2B sales include dealing with educated prospective buyers with specific needs. It is a collaborative approach where the focus is less transactional and more consultative.

Higher price points

B2B solutions and products come at higher price points. Thus, the pricing strategy varies from client to client based on the solution required. Whereas in B2C sales, there is standard pricing for all the customers.  

After-sales support

B2C customers do not need dedicated support to learn to use the product. Whereas, in the B2B professional service industry, a company needs dedicated after-sales staff to make the buyer’s sales journey easy. For example, an IT services firm that wants to sell the new software to prospective clients needs an onboarding agent to help a business get started with the software. The process does not end only at successfully selling the software solution. The IT company needs dedicated support staff to provide technical support and a customer success manager to cultivate the relationship with the existing client.   

What is the Typical Process of B2B Sales?

Viral solutions

Image courtesy of Viral Solutions.

Due to the very nature of the B2B industry, the B2B sales process is highly sophisticated. Some steps in the process may vary from industry to industry or depend on the company, but the standard workflow includes:

Market research 

Market research helps a B2B salesperson understand the potential of the market, competitors, and the target audience. It can be done by purchasing the data from data collection companies or using various methods of data collection. It also helps determine how well the product or service will fit into the marketplace.

Prospecting

The obtained data is analyzed, and based on various factors, a B2B salesperson finds the potential customers. A variety of factors such as a client’s needs, interest and budget, revenue potential, and profit margins are taken into account while prospecting. The purpose is to ensure that prospects are a good fit for the sales team.  

Reaching the prospects

 Marketing material is directed to the potential clients to gain their attention and schedule a demo. B2B businesses can use both outbound and inbound marketing techniques to create leads and drive B2B sales growth. The outbound marketing strategy includes cold calling, direct email, social media advertisements, and texting. At the same time, an inbound marketing strategy includes generating a portion of leads via forms, trade shows, email marketing, advertising, and other channels.   

Sales pitch 

Sales pitching is the most important step where a salesperson meets the potential client and explains how the company’s product or services are the right fit. As Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” A salesperson needs to show the client what they want. The product demo takes the most energy and often decides whether or not a client will purchase the product or services.              

Objection handling

Objection handling focuses on figuring out the concerns a client still has and finding out a solution. Concerns can be related to some unfulfilled need or with pricing. A good B2B salesperson uses negotiation skills to convert this into leads.    

Closing the sales

By this step, a B2B salesperson has addressed all the concerns of the clients. Only the official paperwork is left. It is very important for a salesperson not to hurry at this stage and if the client is still hesitant to make the purchase, provide them with additional meetings, B2B sales consulting, or a product demo.    

Follow up

In the B2B industry, the role of a salesperson does not end with sales. A salesperson or a dedicated customer success representative works with a client to ensure that the client is successful with the product. This determines a client’s experience with the brand and helps in customer retention and expansion.

What are the Common Tools Used in the B2B Sales Process?

Vablet

Image courtesy of Vablet.

Various tools are used to devise the B2B sales strategy, execute the sales campaign, and track the results. A B2B firm needs a sales playbook, sales growth model, CRM software, and proprietary tools to manage the sales process.

Sales playbook

A B2B sales playbook is the guide that includes all the information related to the sales process. It specifies the standard operational procedures, key processes, the flow of communication, and roles and responsibilities of every individual involved in the sales process.

CRM software 

CRM software plays a vital role in any B2B organization sales process. CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM software provides a centralized platform for marketers and salespeople to report, manage, and analyze all the communication with people. It also allows a business to perform various operations such as marketing automation, sales automation, leads management, and analytics.    

Proprietary tools and framework

There are many proprietary tools and frameworks provided by the B2B sales consultants to inject speed, alignment, and accelerated growth into the DNA of a firm. A B2B business can use the proprietary processes, strategies, and frameworks to create a sales model that strikes the right balance between sales efficiency and effectiveness. The model takes a pragmatic approach to transform the sales processes, talent, and tools to deliver immediate and sustainable sales growth.

How can a professional B2B consultant help a business?  

A professional B2B consultant helps professional services firms devise their B2B sales strategy. The role of a B2B business consultant includes analyzing the business needs, recognizing the challenges, and helping B2B sales teams create the right winning strategies.

A B2B consultant helps a professional services firm find the right tools, sales playbook, and proprietary framework to run an effective sales campaign that accelerates growth.

If you are looking for a B2B consultant to inject speed, knowledge, and accelerated growth into B2B Financial Services, Technology, and Professional Service Firms, you can partner with Company Expert. We have designed a Growth Accelerator SystemTM (GAS) that systematically fuels growth to your B2B firm. 

5 Effective B2B Strategic Planning Tools to Consider in 2022

How Can B2B Strategic Planning Tools Help You Achieve Your Business Goals?

Creating a well-developed plan and refreshing it is essential for the sustainable growth of every professional service firm. Every business should have proper planning in order to know its current state, future goals, and strategies to analyze and achieve targets. A successful business plan requires commitment, strategy, and the right business planning tools.

Strategic planning is all about the long term goals, big picture decisions, and even the existence of the organization. It acts behind the scenes for a business, and to make the most of it, you must use the B2B planning tools. In this blog post, we are sharing 5 effective and efficient B2B strategic planning tools that you should consider in 2022 and beyond. So, read on to know more about these tools and their benefits in B2B strategic planning.

E.S.T. Tool

PEST stands for Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors. It is a business measurement tool that is used to identify external influences affecting the growth and development of a business.

  • Political – The political environment, political stability, next elections, government laws, and policies that may affect the business.
  • Economic – The change in interest rate, growth rates, or inflation, and the stability of the current economy are considered.
  • Social – The change in lifestyle of people may affect your organization’s target demographic.Education, health, generation shifts, and religious beliefs are some of the important factors that are covered in this category.
  • Technological – Understanding the technological changes impacting the business and their pace is necessary for an organization.

The change in the business environment can bring both threats and opportunities for an organization. A business can’t control all these external factors, but this tool is all about gathering the information and using it effectively for the success of the business. It helps to understand these factors and increase the chance of planning for upcoming challenges rather than reactive decisions.

4 Reasons to use PEST Analysis Tool 

  • It warns you of the upcoming threats and helps spot the opportunities.
  • It helps you adapt according to the changes in the business environment.
  • It helps you understand the risk so that you can stop working on the things that are likely to fail in the future.
  • It helps you make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions.

Image courtesy of Clear Review.

M.A.R.T Objective Tool

Setting achievable goals, and focusing on achieving the goals, is important for an individual as well as a business to be successful. But, another element that is important in order to meet goals is to monitor your progress and make changes in the strategy if required. The SMART business tool provides a structured approach to developing and designing a work plan and helps monitor your progress towards a target. We should consider every element of the SMART tool while setting a goal.

  • Specific – Set a clear, specific goal. If you know what and why you want to achieve a goal, you’ll understand how you can achieve it.
  • Measurable – Set metrics to track the progress towards your goalMeasuring the progress, rewarding yourself in every small achievement, and evaluating the strategy are important.
  • Achievable –Another important thing that you should know before setting a goal is that it should be achievable. It will help you stay focused and motivated. 
  • Relevant – Is your goal contributing towards your broader objective? Think about it and set a relevant goal that benefits your organization.
  • Time – Keep a time frame for every goal so that you can work hard to achieve it before the deadline.But, the time frame should be realistic. 

Setting a SMART goal for your B2B business helps you understand the steps and resources needed to achieve that goal. So, if you want to achieve the goal efficiently and effectively, use SMART objective tools to set SMART goals, monitor and measure its progress, and achieve your goal.

Porter’s Five Forces Tool 

Understanding your competitors is essential for every business. So, Porter’s five forces is a powerful tool that helps you understand your competition. According to Michal Porter, the five forces representing the key sources for competitive pressure in an industry are –

  • Competitive Rivalry – The strength and weakness of your competitors, quality of their products & services may affect your campaigns.
  • Supplier Power – Assessment of how easy it is for the suppliers to increase their prices. If you have more suppliers, you can switch to a cheaper alternative, but if there are fewer suppliers, you will have to rely on them.
  • Buyer Power – When you have many buyers and little competition, your power increases, but if you have a few powerful buyers, they can dictate and drive prices down.
  • The Threat of Substitution – When people get a cheap or easy substitute for what you are offering, it may weaken and threaten your profitability.
  • The Threat of New Entry – A business should have a strong barrier to entry to make a favorable position in the market. Otherwise, rivals can enter your market easily and weaken your position.

This tool helps measure competition intensity and assesses the attractiveness of an industry. A business can use it to understand the factors affecting their profitability so that they can make informed decisions and develop effective competitive strategies.

A.C.I. Tool

This tool helps in defining the role and responsibilities of people, which helps improve the chances of success of a project or strategy. The R.A.C.I. is a visual representation of the key stakeholders involved in a process.

  • Responsible – It includes people working on a project and making important decisions.
  • Accountable – The person approving the task and decisions is accountable for the success and failure of the project.
  • Consulted – These people are active participants who give input, feedback, and any future changes.
  • Informed – People who don’t contribute to the decision or task but need updates on progress or decisions regarding the project.

The tool helps establish a clear description of the roles and responsibilities of the team members. It allows the management team to identify members responsible for different aspects of a project. The R.A.C.I. tools can be used to find overworked employees, organize the process, assign projects effectively, and train new employees.

Image courtesy of Medium.

SWOT Analysis Tool 

It is one of the most popular business assessment tools used by businesses to analyze their strength and weaknesses in a business environment. This tool helps B2B businesses in strategic planning, and here’s all you need to know about this easy-to-use tool.

  • Strength – The qualities that make you unique, the tangible assets, or the type of internal assets are some of the strengths of a business. It includes the internal and positive things of an organization that reduce the chance of risks.
  • Weakness – The more weaknesses, the greater the risks. These are internal but negative in nature. Some of the weaknesses of an organization are resource limitation, crowded market, or strong competition. 
  • Opportunity – These are external, so you can’t control them, but opportunities are positive in nature. So, you can take advantage of the opportunities to reduce the risks.
  • Threat – Threats can also be not controlled by an organization as they are external. But, they are negative, so it’s important to assess the threats because they can create problems for your business.

Benefits of a SWOT Analysis 

  • It is data-driven, and you can use the information for the betterment of your organization in the long run.
  • SWOT analysisis not only about gathering the data. It also stimulates critical thinking.
  • You only have to invest some time in SWOT analysis, and it costs nothing.
  • It can be used for various products, services, or the overall growth of the company.

So, these are the five important strategic planning tools that can help you convert your B2B goals into achievements. Planning is the first and most important step towards a goal. Therefore, whether you have short-term goals or long-term, planning is essential for your business.

Strategic planning tools are helpful for every B2B business, and the products of Company Expert can make things easier for you. You can use our business planning tools to create a robust, fact-based business plans for the sustainable growth of your business. Make an informed decision and create a clear road map with us to achieve your business goals.

8 Out-of-the-Box Social Media Content Strategies for B2B Businesses in 2022

 Master these social media content strategies and see your prospects and growth increase

B2B social media marketing helps raise the popularity and trustworthiness of a business. But, the harsh truth is that many B2B professional service firms fail to use social media channels effectively. B2B social media marketing does not focus primarily on personal buying or daily purchases, so you must have a comprehensive social media strategy. However, finding a fresh and effective content idea for social media campaigns is not an easy task.

With the constant pressure of missing deadlines and creating engaging social media content daily, hitting a creative block is normal. So, here we are listing a few unique and interesting ideas that you can take inspiration from. Create a dynamic social media content strategy and take your B2B business to the next level with these content ideas.

1. Blog Post

Let’s start with the basic content strategy, a blog post. But, this is not a war on the whitepaper. You can use a well-written blog to inform, educate, and grab the attention of your target audience. In addition, it will help in the SEO, and you can share its link on all other social media platforms. But, consistency is the key. You will get the expected results only if you post frequently. Keep your social media profiles active to engage your target audience and demonstrate your capabilities.

2. Create Catchy Short Videos

An entertaining or educational video performs better than text-based stories. So, it’s high time that people need to understand that when we say social media content, it’s not only about the text. It’s also about the videos. Short, catchy videos of 60-90 seconds grab the attention of people and help boost engagement. Even 60% B2B marketers have admitted that they experienced growth in sales after using videos.

But, you must remember a few things when creating a video like – make a content plan with a specific message, it should explain the message you want to convey, the story should grab your attention, and most importantly, the video should have an element of infotainment (information + entertainment).

Image courtesy of Constant Content.
Image courtesy of Constant Content.

3. Understand the Latest Trends 

Social media is evolving at high speed, and if you observe carefully, things are changing rapidly. So, if you want to live up to the expectation of the people, keep an eye on the changing trends to enhance your marketing efforts. Use challenges and hashtags and add a corporate twist to them. Although TikTok and Instagram are not very popular among B2B marketers, if you wish, you can use these platforms to drive results. If you are wondering how to stay on top of the social media trends, here are a few easy tips – check your competitor’s post, read industry-specific magazines, journals, insights, and reports.

4. Social Conversation 

If you want to use social media effectively, starting a social conversation is an excellent idea. Almost every social media platform has features like creating polls that help to interact with the customers and initiate conversation across social channels. So, push a social conversation on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and understand your audience. Apart from the polls, another creative idea is to give natural human-like responses to the audience, like replying in the comments and using friendly, trending words or emojis to interact. You can use the assistance of professional services for digital marketing to develop more creative ideas to initiate conversation. 

Image courtesy of Alexeko.
Image courtesy of Alexeko.

5. Animations or Gifs

Most people love animations or GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) as it is a powerful tool that can be used in a fun way. It’s a 1-5 seconds video that should display your message in an entertaining manner. Some of the creative tips for using a GIF for your business are – use GIFs as a get started guide for social media audiences, using a GIF to give gratitude to your customer or employee, and demonstrate your product features in GIF posts. Giphy and GIMP are two popular tools that you can use to create compelling GIFs and animation for your B2B brand.

6. Have a Unique Brand Voice

Enough of text and visuals, not let’s focus on the brand voice. Many top brands have a unique brand voice that makes them stand out from the crowd. Like a brand color and logo, people should identify your brand voice. But, the first step is to identify your brand voice–whether it is funny, serious, casual, formal, or friendly. The emotion and tone should remain the same in any content you put out for social messaging. Brands with strong and unique personalities never fail to amaze people.

7. Share pictures of Users and Behind the Scenes 

Another successful social media strategy is asking users to submit a picture of the product they have bought from you. In short, it’s like reposting the pictures of your happy customers. Personalization is important in social media, and when people share pictures and write good things about your product or service, other B2B customers can relate– and it helps increase trust and credibility. In the same way, you can also post BTS (behind the scenes) to show the hard work your team puts in to deliver a product or service. You can also praise your employees and their efforts on social media.

8. Online Events 

After the pandemic, a lot of things are happening virtually, so it’s the perfect time to use this opportunity and host online events and webinars. It’s easy, convenient, and effective for lead generation, and selling professional services. You can invite your potential leads to the event, promote the event, and represent yourself as a thought-leader. If you don’t want to make it formal, choose instead to ‘go live’ because it is an informal way of online interaction. You can address  industry-related questions in the live session, or answer questions related to your product or services. Another pro tip is to keep a human face for your social media accounts because it should never sound robotic.

Image courtesy of Hubspot.
Image courtesy of Hubspot.

Easy Tips to Enhance B2B Social Media Posts 

  • Your company’s social media account should have all your important contact information and links that lead to the sign-up part on your website.
  • Social media is known for its short attention span, so every post should captivate the attention of your followers.
  • The social media post should be linked with the right website page. This way, the user doesn’t feel lost in the website they arrive from the social media post they clicked.
  • You can also post about the news, insights, and latest trends of your niche to show your business is aware of what’s happening around the industry.

 

Social Media Platforms that Work Best for B2B Businesses

The importance of social media for boosting B2B businesses is undeniable. However, many people find it difficult to choose the right platform, as there are many options. Here, we have listed the top social media platforms for B2B businesses.

  • Facebook 

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms in the world, with billions of active users. You may be surprised to know that business decision-makers spend 74% more time on Facebook than others. So, it is a powerful tool that B2B marketers can use for brand awareness or better engagement.

  • Twitter

It is a microblogging platform known for limited character content creation. B2B marketers can use this channel to reach the target audience. However, you will have to master the art of creating buzzworthy posts to make most of this social media platform.

  • LinkedIn 

Now, let’s talk about the most popular social media platform for B2B businesses. Almost 97% of B2B marketers love LinkedIn because this platform helps to connect with professionals.  

The Final Word 

If you are a B2B brand, then this post must have helped provide you with some winning social media content ideas. Social media is an effective channel that can help you improve brand identity and improve lead generation. You can always count on a B2B consulting firm like Company Expert for building the online presence of your B2B brand.

We can help you with online presence and assessment, content strategy, editorial guidelines, social media strategy, and content development. So, next time you are stuck, refer to these content ideas or get in touch with us for expert assistance.

Grow Your B2B Business with Revenue-Boosting B2B Marketing Trends in 2022

As the digital world continues to reshape the B2B business, it’s time to look at the key marketing trends that will accelerate the growth of businesses in 2022.

2021 was not an easy year for B2B businesses.  With the uncertainty and volatility fueled by the pandemic, many businesses were almost on the verge of bankruptcy.  The pandemic brought new challenges, which made the survival of B2B firms in the slow-growing economy grueling. There has been a shift in the B2B marketing strategies adopted by firms to deal with these challenges. In 2022, the focus will be on digital acceleration, content prioritization, uplifting security networks, AI-enabled marketing, and more.

 2022: B2B businesses will shift towards digital marketing

Proactive marketers never rely on stagnant marketing strategies; why? Because B2B marketing strategies don’t stay relevant for a long time. Some go out of fashion, and some are replaced by new and innovative strategies. Over the past few years, the B2B industry has seen a shift from sales and cold calling to digital content marketing strategies and search engine optimization tactics. But, that’s not all. B2B marketing experts predict new trends that will impact the growth of the B2B business in 2022. This blog will shed light on the key B2B business marketing trends.  But, before that, let’s look at some key statistics and the need-to-adopt new trends that will fuel  B2B sales growth

 

The Changing Dynamics of B2B Marketing and Key Statistics in 2022

According to a study conducted by Forrester, there are five key areas where B2B marketing will undergo significant changes in 2022.

  • There will be a rebalance of marketing from a 70/30 ratio (new over existing customers) to a 50/50 ratio in 2022.

  • Account-based marketing will occupy half of the B2B marketing, and CMO’s will adopt a more strategic approach.

  • Partner experience as a strategy for growth will take center stage. In 2022, 50 % of marketers will establish a PX function.

  • Digital engagement and customer focus strategies will be highlighted.

  • There will be a change in the key marketing metrics.

  • Post pandemic, there will be a shift towards outsourcing key marketing elements to specialists.

Other key statistics marketers should focus on include:

  • 44 % of the LinkedIn audience believes the account-based experience will be the top trend in 2022

  • 31% predict AI-powered automation tools will be the key focus in 2022

  • 15 % consider original content to take center stage

  • 10 % predict there will be a focus on mobile-first strategies

 

Six B2B marketing Trends Businesses Should Gear up for in 2022

Image courtesy of Marketing91.

A Shift from ABM to ABX

In 2022, B2B marketers will encounter the revolution of account-based marketing into the account-based experience. ABX is a hyper-targeted strategy that focuses on using data-driven insights to craft unique customer experiences.  ABX is a holistic approach that requires a proper balance between sales, marketing, and customer teams.  The incredible benefits of ABX include more wins on higher-value accounts, high closing rates, and enhanced customer experiences.

ABX will become an essential part of the marketing and sales team in 2022. To master the new approach, B2B businesses must-have new tools in place to record customer journeys in one place, and accessible to every team.  In 2022, marketers must explore ABM and experience platforms to engage and convert prospects into customers.

B2B Digital Acceleration

After the pandemic, marketers shifted from in-person customer interactions to remote interactions. Customers prefer to deal with an online company that offers high-quality digital experiences.  Data that highlights the need for going digital

  • 90 % of B2B buyers start their buying journey with an online search (Dialogtech)

  • 73 % of buyers involved in research and decision making are millennial

Key Opportunities for Digital Acceleration

Update Your Website: Businesses must re-invest and upgrade their website for a complete online customer journey. A website can become a valuable tool and the biggest marketing asset in the digital environment if used properly.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly: To rank on the first page of Google, ensure your website is mobile responsive.

Explore New Virtual Event Opportunities: Hybrid events that combine in-person and virtual options will be on the rise in 2022.

Image courtesy of Sendian Creations.

Content is King- The Philosophy will Continue

In 2022 again, the content will get a key mention whenever brands talk about B2B go-to-market strategy and sales strategy. B2B marketing and a robust content marketing strategy go hand in hand.   Blogging drives traffic to the website, educates prospects, and helps to establish the business as a thought leader in the industry. But, the key is to create meaningful content that educates customers and targets customers’ key points.

Businesses have to ensure that keywords are properly optimized and use long content. Data shows that articles with more than 3000 words get three times more traffic, four times more shares, and three times more backlinks than short blogs or articles. Content should cater to each stage of the buyer’s journey and answer the customer’s question.

Key opportunities

  • B2B marketers must conduct a content audit to address customers’ needs and create content accordingly.

  • Invest in SEO to promote your content and help customers find your content when they are online.

Automation of the Workflow

 

In 2022, marketers will shift towards AI marketing. AI makes marketers smart, efficient, and faster with better insights and analytics.  Through AI, marketers can automate everything from audience targeting and segmentation and personalization, lead scoring, and event content insights. Here are some statistics that show the importance of AI in B2B marketing.

  • Two–thirds of B2B marketers plan to evaluate or implement AI for marketing. (Demand Metric)

  • AI and machine learning will generate more than $1.4 million by resolving marketing and sales problems. (McKinsey Global Institute)

  • From 2018 to 2020, the use of AI increased from 29 % to 84 %.

Key opportunities

  • Marketers should use the AI predictive analytical capabilities

  • Using AI to refine a content strategy that will resonate with the audience gives you an upper hand over competitors.

  • Make personalized campaigns using the power of AI.

Image courtesy of the Business Journals.

The Focus will Shift Towards Customer Marketing

If you aim to acquire new business before expanding existing accounts as a marketer, it will only waste your resources and time. The profitable strategy is to nurture and establish an existing relationship with customers. In 2022, for B2B business growth, marketers should focus on the customer marketing approach. The new strategy helps boost customer relationships by making sure customers get the best service or product. The customer approach will reduce churn and increase locality, and improve customer relationships.

Key Opportunities

  • Marketers must educate customers on using the product and communicate with them to understand their problems.

  • Gifting can help in surprising, delighting, and solidifying relationships.

  • Effectively align marketing, sales, and customer success teams

  • Celebrate customer success by using case studies or social media posts

Shift Towards a Mobile-First Strategy

For enhanced customer experience, B2B marketers must use a user-friendly, mobile-focused experience for all their prospects. 80 % use a mobile phone to look for product reviews or to compare prices instead of visiting the brick and mortar store.  In 2021, digital advertising created 64.4% of advertising revenue and was predicted to shift towards a mobile-first marketing strategy. With the increase in tracking options on mobile, it becomes easy for marketers to target customers in a way they prefer, thus increasing prospects in the pipeline and revenue.

Change in the Lead Generation Channels

It’s essential forB2B marketers to generate a quality lead. After COVID-19 hit the world, events were no longer effective in generating leads. Marketers shifted to online events and used social media as an emerging lead generation channel. Social advertisement and highly personalized strategies help B2B businesses to generate more revenue and develop interactions with their customers. In 2022, marketers will shift from market-driven to persona-driven marketing strategies.  The focus will be to match searcher intent with developing content calendars.

In addition to the above trends, B2B marketers will use cutting-edge technology to optimize new types of search and use AI and chatbots to improve customer experience.

If you want to take your B2B business to the acme of success, adopt these marketing trends to redefine your campaign. Company Expert will help businesses boost their B2B business growth with playbooks that will help your business to unlock its full growth potential.

Successful B2B Growth Strategies to Accelerate the Growth of Technology Firms

Use these helpful B2B strategies for tech firms to ignite growth

If you want your B2B tech business to improve at an increasing rate, you must have a powerful B2B growth strategy. We are living in a digital world, where things keep evolving at a high rate of speed, and in order to remain at the top, you must have something extraordinary. Technology is the driving force of the future, and when you are planning a growth strategy for an IT firm, your marketing strategy should fit your business, industry, and location.

In the 21st century, a business should continuously assess its marketing strategies and find new ways to improve. Here we have listed a few effective and efficient strategies that will help in marketing IT servicesSo, let’s find out how you can boost the growth of your B2B tech firm.

Understanding the Audience

The first step to planning a successful strategy for the growth of a business is to understand the audience. But, when we talk about B2B tech firms, it becomes more important as all tech leaders have different goals. So, we can’t expect the same marketing strategies to work for every firm. Here’s a list of a few tech professions, along with their roles and responsibilities.

  • System Administrators – Admins have to work with the technology on a daily basis, so they don’t care about the budget and total cost of ownership.
  • IT Managers – If managers are your target audience, you should show them how your product or service can help them grow. IT managers are only concerned about completing the project on time and the administration being productive.
  • IT Directors – This is a higher-level position where a professional has to take care of several things, which includes efficiency, productivity, as well as the budget.
  • VP Level and Up – Managing the team and keeping the boss happy both are important at this level.You can directly market your tech product by emphasizing how it may make their employees productive. 

So, understand the different types of your target audience, find out their interests, and draft the marketing message accordingly. It is important to know that the same marketing message will not apply to all.

company expert
Image courtesy of Forbes.

Build Customer Relationships

Every business should have a clear, compelling, and effective plan to achieve set goals and success. Building and developing customer relationships should be a part of the business plan for marketing IT services because even in the digital world, sometimes a few traditional ways work and deliver results. One such way is to build a network of people, because personal touch in the real world is essential for real results. To make the most of relationship building, you can use both old and modern ideas together. You can use the internet to search for the first source of contact, and then call prospects and, if possible, meet them in person before starting a long-term contract. 

Today, many business owners overlook the importance of this tactic, but if you take it seriously and invest time, money, and other resources to develop customer relationships, it will surely help your B2B tech business. Be flexible, listen to the needs of people, and develop a network who may help your business grow.

An Engaging Website

Like any other sector, technology plays an important role in the growth of a tech firm too. In this digital world, having an engaging website is the foundation of your digital marketing plan. Here’s how you can prepare a smooth, streamlined website that can power up your B2B technology company’s growth. 

  • Sleek Design –A good website makes you stand out from the crowd, and usually, visitors love a website with a wow factor. It should build trust, answer all the important questions, address key points, and help the visitor to make a decision that may ultimately help in selling IT services. The website should have attractive features, and it should reflect the unique factors of your brand.
  • Mobile-Friendly Website – A responsive website design that adjusts the display for each type of design is very helpful. This is because many people may visit the website via mobile devices. So, if you don’t want to miss out on important people, create a mobile-friendly website design.
  • Interactive Web Content – Another important factor of a website is using interactive content. A good website should have assessments, customized tools, videos, clickable photos, roll-over effects, and a chatbox.All these things lower website bounce rates and boost site authority.
  • Customer Support – The aim of a good B2B tech business website is to educate, build trust, and help buyers make a decision that they should rely on your products and services. Include some design elements like live chat, support channels, or a customer portal to show that you care about your customers.
  • Knowledge Base – Add FAQs page, How-to’s, Resource Section, and Technical Glossary to your website to address some common tech-related questions.

Almost 94% of first impressions of a website is design-related, and 75% of users value the website to establish trust. So, make sure to have an engaging website to improve the user experience of the visitors.

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Image courtesy of Kinsta.

Select a Channel

Apart from the website, another important aspect of marketing strategies for professional services is to select the right channel that will help your message reach the right audience at the right time. Most B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing and lead generation. However, it does not mean that other social media channels don’t work for B2B tech firms.

You will have to plan a strategy, execute it, and observe what is working for you. One channel that is working for other firms might not work for you, so it totally depends on your tactics. Many business owners also rely on email marketing. Almost 31% of marketers believe that email is their top revenue-generating channel. So, use various channels and focus more on the one that delivers results for you.

Content Marketing

Now, let’s discuss the importance of content marketing for B2B tech firms. You can take your marketing strategy to the next level with the right content. Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing, which means marketing efforts that bring people to your brand. The biggest challenge that tech firms face is that the content does not reach the right decision-makers, and it lacks relevance for a specific audience.

So, the solution is to understand the audience, write accordingly, and use the right channel to post the content. B2B content should be created for each stage of the buying journey – research phase, deliberation phase, and decision phase. The aim of B2B tech content is to generate awareness and acquire new customers. Content marketing for B2B tech companies fall into the following categories – blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, infographics, case studies, memes or gifs, testimonials, and reviews. You can utilize these various forms of content to attract new customers.

How Can Company Expert Help B2B Tech Firms Grow?

All industries are not created equally, so when you plan a B2B technology marketing strategy, keep your goal in mind. In this competitive market, it can be challenging for tech firms to identify, target, and convert the right clients. Even tech firms with innovative technology may also find it difficult to get in front of the right level of decision-makers to have business-level discussions.

However, Company Expert can help you with the right B2B marketing strategies. Know your target audience, plan and execute an effective strategy, try to reach the target audience, educate and inform them, and deliver your message.

Company Expert specializes in helping small and mid-sized B2B technology firms with effective growth strategies. We can help you in four major areas – planning, marketing, online presence, and sales. So, unlock your firm’s potential with us and see your tech business reach new heights of success.

How to Develop a B2B Marketing Strategy that Delivers Results in 2022

Main image courtesy of Corporate Finance Institute.

Picture this:  The owner of a bank is looking for ways to reach out to businesses in need of loans.  Cold calling and newspaper ads are not providing any satisfactory results. Looking at other B2B companies, the team decides to use online marketing to get new clients.

However, before using online marketing, a firm has to know the ins and outs of B2B marketing and create an effective B2B marketing campaign. Marketing professional services in a B2B competitive industry is not a cakewalk.  When it comes to B2C marketing guides, the internet is flooded with information, but the situation is not that bright for B2B marketing. In order to present a hard to resist offer, B2B firms have to delve deeper into the customers’ minds.

One study shows that 70% of B2B buyers define their needs before engaging with a sales representative. And, 44% of customers know which solution will solve their problem.  B2B clients have clear needs, and it’s the service provider’s responsibility to deliver the same. Firms can only do that through an effective B2B marketing strategy that encompasses keys to success.

B2B marketing statistics every business owner must know in 2022

  • Favorite marketing strategies for B2B companies are blogging, email newsletters, social networks, eBooks, and events.
  • 55% of B2B buyers consider three to five pieces of content before reaching out to the supplier.
  • Through events, brands generate more leads in  B2B settings, and case studies help convert and accelerate maximum leads.
  • More than 80% of social media leads come from LinkedIn.

Factors that Make a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy

Quality and creative content

Publishing low-quality content will act as a roadblock in the firm’s B2B business growth. Clients demand an in depth-review and explanations concerning the content. Firms have to spend a lot of time and effort on each article to make it informative and attractive.

Through content, firms can show how they can solve clients’ problems. They can also use real-life examples like statistical findings and case studies. Also, a longer post catches audiences’ attention if it is properly structured and clearly outlines the main ideas.

Video testimonial works like a magic

When hiring a B2B firm, clients look for reviews and ask fellow customers about their experiences.  A testimonial video will act as a referral for B2B firms and prove their professional authority in the industry.  Common elements that must be present in a video testimonial include:

  • How the firm approaches and communicates with the clients
  • How the firm customizes offers according to client needs
  • Do firms look for long-term client relationships?

Before including videos in the B2B marketing strategy, firms have to ensure every part of the video reflects professionalism and authority.

Include the best channels of communication

Never waste money on irrelevant platforms. The best channels of communication include:

  • Website: make it content-rich and easy to navigate
  • Email-newsletters: it’s the most effective channel of communication
  • Social media: focus on important B2B networks
  • Events: while firms go digital, events provide the human touch which clients appreciate

Measure data, it is the cornerstone of a successful strategy

B2B companies or even B2C companies, can’t improve what they can’t measure.  Even if they have sufficient data, the inability to encode the data and draw conclusions will result in a failure. That’s why firms need skilled data analysts who focus on key performance indicators and promptly identify and respond.

6 tips to craft an effective B2B marketing strategy

Who is your target audience?  What are their needs and preferences?

Want to establish a successful B2B marketing campaign? The first step is to research your target audience.  If the firm is unaware of its ideal buyers, their needs, and preferences, creating a successful marketing strategy will be impossible. B2B companies targets both firmsand their decision-makers, and you should include both segments when creating a marketing strategy. In target market analysis, firms have to focus on:

  • Company size
  • Company type
  • Company location
  • Key points
  • Position of decision-makers within the company

Figure out the main selling points

After defining the target audience and ways to reach them, identify what content will work best for them. Next, outline the main selling points like will B2B product increase client’s sales, improve the customer experience or improve employee motivation. Firms can use statistical data like numbers, case studies, infographics, and other statistics to define the key selling points.  Through the statistical data, communicate to the client’s that firms, products, or service can improve their operations in the long run.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will become popular in 2022

As a marketer, do you believe more the leads, the better it is? It’s not always true. In Account-Based marketing, firms focus on creating campaigns that are targeted to a specific audience. In this way, ABM makes live of salesforce easy, as the content and campaign will be target audience-specific. Firms, who include ABM in their B2B marketing strategies, have one primary goal; establish a closer alignment between sales and marketing.  Alignment between sales and marketing leads to:

  • Increase in revenue
  • Greater brand awareness
  • More money from the  deal

To know more about the AMB, use our Account-Based Marketing Playbook.

Live chat and conversational selling will take center stage

Do you think live chats are only for dealing with complaints?   There is no denying it’s an extremely effective customer service channel.  92 % of customers are satisfied with the live chat experience, which is more than any other communication channel.  However, live chat is much more than a customer service function.

Firms can use live chat as their most effective and productive sales channel. According to a study, customers who use webchat will 2.8 times convert more than those who don’t use the feature.  It’s easy to set up live chat on any website or landing page. Firms have to sign up and customize the chat widget.

Have a clear and engaging brand voice

Unless and until you don’t have a clear brand message, you can’t interact with your audience.  To develop an effective marketing strategy, firms have to identify and communicate key messages based on their brand values and the customers’ needs. Next, develop strategies to align the brand message with the target audience. Firms can communicate the brand message via various online and offline channels.

Invest in paid media

Every proactive marketer is aware of the benefits of paid media; both search as well a social.  B2B firms must include innovative digital marketing tactics in their B2B business plan.  B2B firms must move from a tactical, siloed approach to a well-driven strategic approach that includes all paid channels.  Benefits of including paid media in the marketing strategy include:

  • Google ads generate an 8 % click-through rate.
  • More than two-thirds of marketers invest in social ads.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn deliver the best ROI
  • Video posts deliver the highest organic engagement on Facebook
  • 26 % of Facebook users who click on ads purchase a product based on the ads they see
  • 50 % of B2B buyers refer to LinkedIn before making any purchase.

Organic marketing tactics are on the decline because of the decrease in the organic search click-through rates.  In 2022, B2B businesses can’t afford to turn a blind eye to paid marketing activities.  Professional B2B firms have to focus on retargeting i, as the chances of retargeting customers clicking the ads are higher.

In addition to the above factors, other elements of a successful B2B go to market strategy includes follow-up scheduling, growth hacking, completive research, event marketing, and marketing automation.  Amidst changes in the B2B industry, it’s high time for firms to shift from in-person sales strategies to leveraging technology and data to craft a value-driven marketing strategy. 

How will Company Expert help you in developing an effective marketing strategy?

Finding it a challenge to offer unique value in the competitive business environment? Need help in crafting a well-articulated marketing strategy? Company Expert will help you out by using innovative business tools like business playbooks.  Our marketing playbooks will give B2B businesses a road map to boost their growth and stand out in the competition. The marketing playbooks cover everything from B2B positioning and messaging to B2B professional services sales and marketing campaigns.

A case study demonstrating how Company Expert helped a FinTech firm in the evaluation of their business lines against market opportunity

Problems

Our client, a FinTech firm, had two core business lines – one focused on the retirement industry and one on the mutual fund industry. They were a midsized FinTech firm that had limited resources. They wanted a third party to assess these business lines against market opportunities to determine where they should focus their resources.

Solutions

We conducted market research to identify the market size and growth of each market and determine the size of the addressable market. We analyzed their existing P&L and developed pro forma financials. In addition, we conducted an overall competitive assessment of their products against key competitors to identify the client’s key strengths and areas needing improvement.

Based upon the results of our analysis, we recommended that the client exit one of the business lines and focus their resources on a better opportunity. The client agreed with our recommendation and exited the one business.

Outputs

  • Benchmarking Against Competitors
  • Sizing the Market
  • Sales Segmentation
  • Assessed Each Product Against the 4 Levers of Growth – e.g., Optimize Distribution, Enhance Existing Products, Pursue Adjacencies, Grow Inorganically.
  • Industry Research
  • Financial Modelling