Growth is an ongoing goal for most business-to-business (B2B) enterprises. However, it’s often difficult to choose the right path to stimulate growth. There are no universally successful options, but these six possibilities are among those B2B executives and decision-makers should strongly consider before entering the next quarter.
1. Improving Payment Options
B2B payments have not historically happened quickly, and many companies still use time-consuming methods, such as paper checks. However, that’s changing now, especially since numerous companies offer dedicated platforms and services for B2B clients.
For example, MasterCard’s Track Business Payment Service lets company owners choose the formats used to send and receive transactions, such as cards or automated clearing house (ACH) options. MasterCard also processes each transaction with remittance data.
There’s also Balance, a service that runs on top of Stripe’s payment platform. It allows B2B companies to offer numerous payment options and set the relevant terms. Balance also enables milestone-based payments, such as 20% upfront and 80% upon delivery.
Facilitating smoother payments and a wider assortment of payment methods could help you appeal to more customers. Now is an excellent time to research the existing B2B payment options and those set to hit the market soon. Are there shortcomings in your current payment structure that newer products could address?
2. Personalizing Lead Nurturing Efforts
B2B companies rightfully put substantial effort into acquiring new leads. However, the teams responsible for that task don’t always take lead nurturing as seriously. That approach could hinder growth, because it likely means the leads people work so hard to get don’t become profitable clients.
There’s also a trend towards automated lead nurturing. That may seem like a smart approach that saves time. However, people can often spot the automated aspects of even the most advanced tools. That’s why some experts recommend a move away from automated lead nurturing towards more personalization.
Treat each lead as an individual and have sales teams adjust their tactics accordingly. The goal is to get a response from each party — even if it’s “Sorry, I’m not ready to buy yet.” If most leads quickly stop responding, that likely means your company’s lead-nurturing strategy needs work. However, putting enough effort into it could grow your company by converting more leads.
3. Offering an Employee Stock Ownership Plan
B2B executives know the importance of offering attractive benefits packages. Doing that promotes employee retention while making it easier to recruit new members of the workforce. Life insurance, gym memberships, and paid vacation days are popular perks that company leaders offer to employees. However, there’s also a growing trend towards employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) within benefits packages.
An ESOP lets workers own shares in their company. That arrangement can stimulate employee productivity and morale by increasing motivation. People are more likely to work harder when they have direct connections to a company’s success.
ESOPs also give tax benefits to the enterprises that take this route. For example, ESOPs do not pay federal income tax in the United States. Some companies can also defer or avoid capital gains tax.
An ESOP could also be an excellent way to reward employees who have helped your company get to where it is today. It also makes them more likely to remain loyal. That’s because employee seniority directly relates to vesting, a mechanism whereby people get increasing rights to their shares over several years.
An ESOP is not the right choice for every company, but it’s worth exploring. Specialized companies can help you decide whether to make the transition.
4. Purchasing an Enterprise Resource Planning Tool
Regardless of your B2B company’s industry, you must have a reliable way to oversee operations and know when it’s time to make prompt changes. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool offers an excellent way to do that. Many offerings even provide real-time data.
If you don’t have an ERP tool, or your current one is significantly outdated, now could be the ideal time to think about investing in a modern option. When evaluating the choices, ensure you choose one that can scale with your company. Also, consider the overall costs associated with a platform. For example, there are likely expenses related to the implementation, and the provider may charge ongoing fees.
Take the time to find one that provides the best functionality for your company. In one survey, approximately 43% of company leaders cited this characteristic as the most important in an ERP system. Once you get used to the product, it’ll help with running reports, making data accessible, and more. That means you can expect it to enable business growth and cut overall costs.
5. Enhancing the Customer Experience
A better customer experience can also open growth opportunities for your B2B enterprise. When people have fantastic interactions with a company, they’re more likely to stick around and recommend it to others in their industries.
COVID-19 was a major driver of recent changes in B2B customer behaviors. Instead of interacting with your brand at a trade show or attending in-person sales presentations, people relied on the internet to provide a 24/7 sales cycle. This shift means learning how to appeal to people even without seeing them face-to-face. Creating a knowledge base is one smart and widely utilized solution that lets people help themselves tackle common issues.
You’ll also need new ways to build trust. One option is to launch a live chat feature. Offering it lets your sales team immediately answer any questions that arise in potential buyers’ minds, thereby reducing the friction that could cause lost sales. Think about promoting after-purchase support, too. When people know that’s available, they’ll feel more confident about completing those transactions that ultimately help your business grow.
6. Focusing on Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing happens when customers encounter a business through numerous platforms and channels and have consistently great, dependable experiences on each one. If your company has not devoted much time to omnichannel marketing yet, it’s time to look at it as a necessary ingredient for growth.
Some experts see 2021 as an opportune time for B2B marketers to explore new channels. Moreover, they can think about mixing some of the new options with tried-and-true channels that feel more comfortable to them. That kind of blended approach exposes your brand to different, larger audiences.
Connected TV (CTV) is a channel that B2B brands have started adopting more readily. It involves showing ads or specialized promotional content on smart TVs. That approach makes sense, especially with a growing number of people watching stuff on those devices and always looking for more material that interests them.
As you investigate new channels, stay on top of incoming data to have a clear idea of which attempts give the best outcomes.
Growth Is in Your Grasp
The desire to grow your company is an understandable but overly broad goal. That means some people never progress to the actions that make growth happen. They want it to occur but feel overwhelmed by the various ways it might happen.
Fortunately, this list of six suggestions can get you on the right track. Before trying any of these tips, keep your company and its customers in mind. Consider how each opportunity for growth can benefit both of those aspects and make your organization stronger.