Building marketing and sales for B2B
B2B marketers are increasingly moving toward Internet lead generation because this is where the majority of their prospects are. However, it can be difficult to attract new clients in the niche market, and sales cycles are far more complicated.
In a simple buying cycle, there are only a few customer touch points and the sales process tends to be shorter, according to CMS Wire. The B2B sales cycle is a much more involved process with several different influences from within an organization. The end user, IT manager and executives all play a role in B2B purchases. Marketing can be more complicated with several people involved, and there are more points of contact along the way.
Why online marketing is important for B2B companies
If someone is considering a consumer product, the decision process may not be drawn out because the consequences of picking a less than satisfactory item are not as high. But with B2B, the equipment or software will be a part of the company’s procedures for several years, so it’s important to make the right selection. This is why buyers often take a few months to make a decision.
Although the buying cycle is longer and more complex for B2B companies, many of the Internet marketing methods organizations can use are the same. Similar to consumer brands, it’s important to have a highly functional, up-to-date website. Because the sales process is longer, potential clients may visit the site more than once. If the website is difficult to navigate or the prospect can’t find relevant information during the first visit, he or she may seek a competitor instead of returning.
B2B buyers may be focused on software, but they are still consumers who look at websites and engage with people in their industry on social media. Although some B2B products are highly niche, marketers can engage with prospects online to generate a higher number of qualified leads.
Using marketing automation to boost sales
There is a shift taking place in B2B to become more technologically focused, Business 2 Community stated. Buyers want relevant content tailored to their needs, and they are becoming more aware of all the options in the industry. B2B brands need an online marketing system that can help them adjust to these changes.
When B2B marketers capture leads, prospects may be at different stages of the buying cycle. Some may be just starting to weigh their options while others have narrowed it down to a few choices. This means leads will require different amounts of nurturing until they are ready to make a sale, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for B2B.
Prospects will request or want different kinds of information based on where they are in the buying cycle. Marketing automation can help B2B companies attract more qualified leads. Marketers can then engage with prospects based on their needs and interests. Because leads are more targeted and relevant, the sales team can improve their close ratio.