If your customers are other businesses, you know the usual rules of marketing don’t always apply. Your business is only as successful as the long-term relationships you form with your partners. To target the right businesses with the right products and services at the right time, you need to make strategic use of all available technology.
Here are four ways to kick your sales into overdrive.
1. Improve your response time.
To form B2B partnerships, you must first establish contact with leads. An analysis of lead data reveals the strong correlation between response time and the likelihood of landing a buyer. When potential buyers fill out a contact form on your website, the chances of connecting with them drop significantly five minutes after they hit “submit.”
Thomas Dickey, an account manager for Capterra, emphasizes the importance of rapid response time: “When you get a lead, you should call within ten seconds of receiving it.” Not only will you demonstrate the efficiency of your sales team, but you’ll also ensure you’re the first vendor to reach out, beating your competitors to the punch.
Many leads languish due to incomplete contact information. Not all interested parties feel comfortable handing over details of their identities upfront, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth contacting. You’re likely to find the necessary information to contact them via a quick Google search.
2. Automate, automate, automate.
Responding to leads effectively requires effective time management. Your sales team can’t be everywhere at once, but automating as much communication as possible can prevent lost sales.
If you’ve ever left items in your Amazon cart, you’ve probably gotten an email reminding you to check out while supplies last. Avaus points out these automated notifications have additional B2B applications. For example, you might use them to remind buyers to update payment information and renew annual contracts to prevent service interruptions. If clients cancel their subscriptions, make sure the action triggers a request for feedback and an offer that might win back their business.
Automated messaging is crucial in troubleshooting situations. If a customer’s online session times out, he or she may be frustrated with a broken link or an unwieldy online form, so send an email offering assistance rather than waiting for a complaint. When a customer makes an online service request, send an email to indicate your IT department received the message and help is forthcoming.
Send a thank you note whenever a client places an order, fills out a survey, or upgrades a membership plan. Most automation programs allow you to personalize the email with names and account-specific details, which makes clients feel more appreciated. You might also acknowledge long-term customer loyalty through special anniversary offers.
3. Use more video marketing.
Just as automated response triggers allow you to contact partners at crucial moments in the business cycle, video marketing allows you to connect with buyers in the format they find the most engaging.
According to Marketing and Growth Hacking, 43 percent of customers would like to see more video marketing content, four out of five customers find product videos helpful, and when asked whether they prefer watching a product demonstration video or reading product information, four times as many customers cited a preference for video. Video marketing can take many forms, from short clips that demonstrate one particular product feature to longer explainer videos that provide an overview of your company and the values it represents.
Bluleadz recommends creating video testimonials featuring interviews with current clients as well as videos tailored to specific buyer personas. Think about how to best target different decision makers. A CEO, for example, would be most interested in the return on the company’s investment. The head of the IT department, however, might need more information on how your product will function with the company’s existing software.
4. Improve your aim with AI.
Once you’ve created quality marketing materials, you need some additional tools to distribute it to your target audience. Marketo explains how content marketing AI can organize and categorize your entire content library and deliver targeted messages to your buyers through videos, web pages, emails, social media posts, and other types of offers.
Another way to make your targeting more precise is to identify what hardware and software a buyer is already using. If you’re marketing an electronic payment system, for instance, you might want to know which companies currently use Echecks to pay vendors. HGData describes how a data integration software company generated quick sales by identifying businesses who were using three or more data products and would, therefore, be looking for a product to tie everything together.
What’s your strategy for generating sales in the B2B sector? Let us know in the comments.