by Contributing Author
Most sales and marketing teams agree that the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic shook up their carefully thought-out strategies and laid them to waste.
As if selling in the B2B digital marketing space wasn’t tough enough already, marketers now have to contend with even stricter purchase processes.
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More than ever, B2B buyers are scrutinizing purchases to ensure what they buy aligns with their goals and adds measurable value.
How do you convince these buyers to buy from you?
Here are five great ways to increase B2B leads and sales Post-Covid-19
1 – Rediscover Your Customer
Did you know that only 1/3 of B2B buyers believe their vendors are well-prepared and have already enabled digital channels?
According to the research, B2B buyers are frustrated by slow and inefficient responses and non-competitive pricing.
Oh, and it gets worse up to 70 percent of buyers feel compelled to change vendors since working with the existing ones is becoming challenging.
The question becomes, “Are you well prepared to serve your customers? Are customers running from you or to you?
Here are five ways to maintain clients and attract new ones:
- Understand the impact of Covid-19 on client business. Some businesses thrived while others struggled. Their needs are obviously different and should not be pitched to in the same way
- Review your solutions to ensure they still work in the post covid era. You may need to adjust some aspects to suit your client’s changing needs.
- Automate your processes. Machines are faster, efficient, and can be customized to handle various tasks around the sales cycle. They can also provide an accurate analysis of your operations to help you identify weak points and improve.
- Recognize financial constraints. Consider lowering prices, deferring payments, or coming up with new payment terms. Try to accommodate your customers as they adjust their operations.
- Check on your customers. Drop an email, call up existing customers, or surprise them with a bag of coffee or other incentives. Ask if you can be of any help.
2. Gate Your Content
Gating content incentives visitors to share their information for valuable material, thereby generating inbound leads.
These self-qualified leads are usually of higher value than those you acquire using cold outreach.
So should you gate everything?
No, have a mix of both gated and non-gated content to expand your reach, boost brand authority, and drive more traffic to your site.
If your non-gated pieces offer relevant and useful information, people will place an even higher value on the gated content.
What content should you gate?
- Ebooks and white papers. This content is perfect for explaining difficult industry topics to readers. Having put much work into it, an exchange is only fair.
- Webinars. Webinars usually focus on high-value topics, so it makes sense to restrict access to those willing to subscribe. Create a landing page for the webinar to capture lead information.
- Demos: showing off your solutions’ capability and allowing prospects to familiarize themselves with it, helps generate leads. Have a subscription form behind every demo.
- Email series, especially those that offer courses are fine choices for gated content. An email a day or once a week is great for breaking down complicated subjects.
3. Cold Calling
It delivers results much faster than SEO or content marketing since feedback is immediate or can be discerned easily.
It takes guesswork out of the game.
As you employ this strategy, your calls should convey genuine care and demonstrate an ability to help the prospect reach their goals.
Best practices include:
- Be relevant and informed. Research your clients and their challenges, and how your solution will help solve their problems.
- Make your calls count: If the contact person is not available, ask to speak to another decision-maker before rescheduling the call.
- Use a call guide. If your company allows it, work with a call guide rather than a script. Call guides provide outlines to guide the calls while leaving plenty of room for real conversations to take place.
- Respect gatekeepers. Don’t ignore or be afraid of developing a relationship with the gatekeepers. These may have some influence, including the boss’s ear.
- Get permission from the prospect to email additional helpful information. If they affirm it, you’ll stay in touch and nurture the lead.
- Follow up prospects in the manner they request. Ideally, make prompt follow-ups while the interest is still fresh in their minds, but try not to be annoying.
4. Leverage Social Media
Here is why social media works for B2BS. Over 75 percent of business executives rely on social media to inform purchase decisions.
They go online to find service providers, look up educational content, read reviews, ask questions, voice opinions, and share feedback.
That doesn’t mean you should post random thoughts whenever inspiration hits you, rather, create a social media strategy to meet specific goals.
Think about why you want to run social media accounts, what your objectives are, and how social media can help you achieve them. Then think about the platforms that best resonate with your target audiences.
Best social media practices include:
- Don’t speak to a general audience. Use the lingo and acronyms (no unnecessary jargon please) identified with your industry to communicate and connect with your audience.
- Create social media ads with personalized offers. Tailoring your message to suit people in specific occupations or locations elicits better responses.
- Identify business needs, including their customers’ needs and pain points to ensure you create valuable content.
- Use social media ads to re-target B2B prospects. Some social platforms allow you to send personalized messages or present value propositions to people who have previously engaged with your page.
5. Local Marketing
Local marketing presents an opportunity for B2B sellers to reach businesses in their locality and serve them.
With local marketing, you’re focusing your digital marketing strategies to showcase your solutions in front of audiences in your area.
This facilitates engagements with potential customers who can then be nurtured to conversion.
How do you do it?
- Create local business pages on online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook Pages, Bing Places for Business. Your business will show up when people search for local vendors in your area.
- Use local SEO keywords. Experiment with keyword combinations that include your city or region to uncover those that generate quality traffic.
- Identify authoritative and relevant local websites and obtain backlinks from them.
- Encourage local customers to leave positive reviews. The positive comments boost SEO and build your credibility.