No Dedicated Marketing Team? Try This for Your B2B Marketing Strategy
Small B2B companies may not have the resources to hire a dedicated marketing team, but this doesn’t mean they are off the hook for employing online advertising tactics to attract new customers. With an online marketing system, sales teams can create a solid online presence that brings in new business – without adding to their hefty workloads.
The buyer’s journey typically starts online in the modern B2B world. This often means that sales representatives don’t have control over potential leads’ initial perceptions about the brand and product offerings. Companies that maintain a strong online presence can make a better first impression. Because buyers conduct so much independent research before ever reaching out to a sales rep, the days of cold calling are over. B2B firms need systems in place to more effectively capture leads’ contact information so they can track prospects’ activity throughout the sales cycle.
When your employees add lead nurturing to the mix, this effectiveness can increase further. This tactic allows sales reps to play a role in the decision-making process without being too aggressive.
B2B sales have permanently changed
Do you think you can wing it and allow buyers to have full control over the sales process? Citing data from a number of different industry studies, Stefan Pfeiffer wrote for CMSWire that buyers may have nearly arrived at their decisions before they ever directly contact a sales rep. While a company’s website is a major factor during the earlier stages of the research process, the later phases of the decision involve deeper consideration of peer reviews and recommendations. Despite the fact that this research process mostly occurs online, relationships are still important to winning business. This is where lead nurturing comes in.
Sales teams need to be equipped to handle these new developments in the buyers’ journey. While in larger firms, this responsibility would fall on the marketing team, there are a number of ways sales reps can engage leads to build the relationship. It’s important to make a good first impression online because buyers will be consulting other colleagues in the industry later, and your employees will have less control over this. Creating long-lasting bonds with customers is a great way to turn them into advocates.
Buyers want to have a good relationship with B2B vendors, according to Pfeiffer. This is yet another reason why prospects are suspicious of sales presentations. They want to interact with salespeople who can solve their needs and want to continue the relationship after the sale. Presentations need to be catered around how your product alleviated the pain points of similar businesses. This can help decision-makers see your solution as a serious contender. Extending the relationship beyond the implementation process can help your company win more business in the future if previous customers are looking to upgrade.
How sales teams can use lead nurturing to conduct marketing
With a marketing automation platform, your sales team can quickly be on their way to employing lead-nurturing campaigns to guide prospects through the sales cycle. Internet lead generation can be costly, which highlights the importance of maximizing the potential of these contacts to avoid losing prospects halfway through the funnel, according to an article for Market Domination Media by Jonathan Long. Lead nurturing can prevent this issue, but you need to be sure you’re doing this properly.
Marketing automation can keep your sales team from missing any clear indications that a prospect is ready to buy. Because leads want you to show that you value the relationship with them, you can’t leave them hanging when they get in touch with you. Additionally, it’s important to avoid sounding like an advertisement when conducting lead-nurturing activities, Long wrote. Don’t make it sound like selling every time you contact prospects. Considering they are on the hunt for relevant information, this is a great opportunity to send them links to interesting articles or white papers. This can make leads more engaged with you.
When nurturing leads, it’s crucial to avoid industry jargon as much as possible. All communications should be in a plain speech to avoid alienating prospects. Leads don’t want to take the time to read a white paper that’s full of industry buzzwords. Although automation can significantly cut down the time your sales employees need to spend doing these activities, it’s important to include a human element in all lead-nurturing communications. This enhances prospects’ relationship with your company.
Even without a separate team of marketers, a platform such as marketing automation can enable your sales team to nurture leads through the sales funnel more effectively. With automated processes, sales don’t need to spend more time marketing instead of on their primary responsibilities. It’s important to create different nurturing communications for each stage of the sales process.