February 28th, 2023 | Updated on March 20th, 2023
For years, B2B vendors considered building websites and filling them with product descriptions and price pages sufficient digitization and kept all other interactions offline.
Although websites are a requisite in modern-day business, as a standalone tactic, they offer little in the way of customer interactions. This means a prospective buyer can visit a website, like what they see but move on to a competitor who offers active online support.
A Mckinsey’s research revealed that brands that have scaled up digital solutions enjoy up to eight times the growth (before interest and taxes) of peers that don’t. That figure is too substantial to overlook if you are a business seeking growth.
Let’s explore some of these digital solutions, shall we?
1. Automate Processes to Improve Customer Experiences
Slow responses have been an ongoing concern to B2B shoppers, especially when they consider the breezy experiences they enjoy in B2C shopping.
They don’t want to have in-person meetings with sales teams when conducting simple or repeat purchases, but rather convenient, transparent, and speedy shopping experiences.
A Gartner report estimates that by the year 2025, up to 80 percent of sales interactions in the B2B space will happen digitally. You can, in part, handle this evolution of interaction preferences by automating your processes.
Some processes you can automate include order placement, customer support, invoice processing, CRM processes, account reconciliation, and social media management.
Besides aligning with the future needs of buyers, the present benefits of automating processes include
- Facilitating efficient communication with customers through chatbots, live chat, and drip campaigns
- Improving workflows for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction
- Accessing customer insight data to inform online ads and other marketing campaigns
- Receiving prompt and actionable customer feedback to improve operations
2. Incorporate Data Analysis
Here is a sobering stat from a Forbes article on big data.
Up to 79 percent of business executives indicated that shunning big data put their competitive position at risk and they could go out of business. A further 83 percent leveraged data for greater competitive advantage.
Since we’re aiming for growth and a superior edge over the competition, incorporating data analytics across all aspects of the business will be worthwhile.
Here are some roles data analytics can play in your organization
- Customer acquisition and retention. Prospects and customers leave digital footprints that may help you understand patterns, trends, needs, and motivations. These insights can inform personalization efforts and improve your services.
- Innovation and product development. Harnessing big data allows you to track competitor activities, product/service reviews, and customer needs. You can then design new or improve existing products/services and come up with different offerings that meet your customers’ changing needs.
- Cutting down operational costs. By understanding customer preferences and needs, you’ll run targeted campaigns improving efficiency and reducing costs. A far better option than shooting in the dark.
3. Take a Multichannel Approach
This customer-oriented tactic identifies the communication channels your ideal customers use and leverages these channels to interact with them.
In short, you engage diverse channels that may include social media, SMS, web interactions, online ads, and email to reach your audience where they are. This is how you can make sure that you are maximizing all profits from your B2B sales leads database.
The strategy is flexible, innovative, adaptive, and fueled by data. You can review your channel mix to spot those with high ROI, the underperforming ones, and those your competitors are using. Then adjust your channel mix to provide a seamless, consistent, and competitive audience-led message.
The core components of this multichannel approach include:
- Knowing your audience. Use data to understand their digital footprints, favorite online “hang out joints”, content consumption habits and preferences, and purchase considerations so you can personalize their experiences.
- Identifying key channels. Budget and human resources may not allow you to maintain an active presence on every channel. Identify those that drive the highest results and plant yourself there.
- Maintaining consistency across channels. As you adapt your message to suit channel-recommended formats, strive for creativity while retaining consistency in your message.
- Reporting. Track channel ROI and adapt to changing demands and behavior patterns of your audiences.
4. Make Cold Calls
The fat lady hasn’t sung over this strategy yet, and that’s because cold calling is alive and evolving with the times.
Modern-day reps don’t deploy hard-selling tactics. They focus on building genuine and valuable relationships with prospective customers and securing sales meetings continuously.
Best practices include
- Working with accurate lists. Let your customer profiles and consumer data inform the list of prospects you create. In addition to contact info, enrich your list with any information that may help start the conversation or support your call.
- Using a good phone system. Look for features like power dialling, call recording, call whispering and live coaching, etc. They help minimise time wastage, record phone calls for analysis afterward, and allow supervisors to offer sales reps discreet support when they encounter difficult prospects.
- Following up leads. Most prospects will need time to assess your offering, create a budget, and deal with a host of internal issues before saying yes. Rather than cast aside a prospect after a single follow-up, keep up the momentum to ensure you reach your goal.
5. Invest In Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Unlike other digital strategies where you cast your net and haul in a load of fish, ABM is more like spearfishing.
You identify a high-value account (perhaps several high-propensity high-value accounts) then go at them like there’s no one else on the market.
The strategy relies on strong account insights to develop a highly personalized approach that builds relationships and the much-needed buy-in from key stakeholders.
Succeeding here requires teams to
- Identify good-fit accounts. Use data-driven insights to pick out high-propensity accounts that fit your target criteria (e.g., ideal revenue, location, and challenges your solutions can address). Proceed to identify the stakeholders you need to engage.
- Put together ABM-focused content. With the insights you gathered on your key accounts, create content that addresses their specific challenges. Whether it’s on-page content personalization, email marketing or social selling ensure your message resonates with their needs.
- Reporting. Is your team moving these key accounts to opportunities? Are they successfully developing relationships with the decision-makers? Are these decision-makers interacting with your content? These are some of the metrics you can look at.