Covid-19 has wholly shifted the B2B world.
Customers throughout the crisis have not been hurrying to buy nonessential goods and services. Around 50% of B2B buyers are putting purchases on hold due to the pandemic, according to McKinsey & Co.
B2B companies, now coping with lower sales and consumer behaviour changes, wonder how to keep B2B buyers engaged amid COVID-19. After all, who knows when these selling conditions will end even after a vaccine distribution.
However, there’s a silver lining through the series of challenges. If we see McKinsey & Co.’s 50% statistic from a half-glass-full perspective: 50% of B2B customers have continued their purchases. It means deals are still moving forward.
All you have to do is rethink your engagement approach.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, the pandemic has pushed B2B buyers and sellers towards the digital world in a powerful way.
Many B2B teams are taking this challenge as an opportunity to survive or even thrive throughout the crisis. They quickly learned how to break traditional barriers and offer user-friendly digital experiences to speed up sales cycles.
In this guide, we will shine a light on the top three B2B strategies for engaging customers in your current business environment. You can either slip them into your marketing plans or start them from scratch.
Here we go:
1. Establish Thought Leadership with Podcasting
“45% of monthly podcast listeners earn over $75K (household income).”
As per the demographics, your target market is likely spending an ample amount of time listening to podcasts.
And if you are ready to start your B2B podcast, you probably know the ins and outs of your industry. So the podcast is your opportunity to showcase what you know and become a thought leader in your industry.
You can start with what your audience wants to learn and generate each episode around this question. Later, invite guest experts and offer anecdotes to cast a spell on your listeners.
When done well, a valuable thought leadership podcast makes the listeners perk up and think, “Who is this podcaster?” It makes them share with their fellows, “We should reach out to those experts and see what they’ve to offer.”
Pitching your services or products becomes easy when your prospects are already your podcast fans. It turns the entire process of landing B2B clients easier.
Slack’s Work in Progress podcast provides a great example of thought leadership B2B podcasting. The podcast revolves around the meaning and identity we find in work. It generated high levels of audience engagement, accumulating 40,000 listeners per episode and 1,000+ visits per episode to the Slack website, the company claims.
Podcasting is undoubtedly an excellent source for sharing insights and experiences. However, newbies often worry about stockpiling tons of media files. Experienced podcasters rely on platforms to store their audio and neatly organize audio files.
2. Automate the sales process
It takes around 8-15 quality contacts for your salespeople to close the deal with a potential customer. But then again, it takes endless hours to communicate back and forth with customers and keep the relationship healthy.
The communication includes phone calls, emails, follow-ups, meetings, and even text messages.
According to HubSpot research, salespeople spend only 34% of their total time selling to prospects:
That’s why it’s essential to automate your sales process and free your salespeople up for more sales.
This is where sales automation comes to the rescue.
Sales automation is the process of automating manual, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks in the sales process so your team can focus more on selling and less on admin tasks. The goal of sales automation is to manage daily, weekly, or monthly basis activities.
To implement sales automation, identify routine tasks you can automate at each stage of your sales processes.
Here are the most common activities of your sales process you can automate now.
✔ Put your outreaches and follow-up messages on autopilot mode. There are many tools in the market, allowing you to automate emails with the touch of personalization.
✔ A scheduling tool lets you, your team, and clients schedule meetings or calls directly through the calendar. It saves you hours of trying to get everyone on board.
✔ Automating your prospects’ list building process does the groundwork for you. It not only saves time but also gives your sales team a ready-to-email, high-quality list of people to reach out to.
✔Another task you can automate is sending proposals and collecting electronic signatures.
✔ Automate your search for valid emails, potential prospects on LinkedIn profiles, and correct phone numbers.
3. Hyper-Personalize Your LinkedIn Campaigns
Do you know hyper-personalization can lift your sales by 10% or more?
So, what is hyper-personalization?
Hyper personalization is an advanced step to personalized marketing. It uses artificial (AI) and real-time data to deliver more relevant content, product details, and service information — tailored to customers’ wants and needs.
For instance: Sending an email with the customer’s first name in the subject is the most common example of personalization. Hyper personalization goes a step further by including the client’s profile picture and job title, accompanied by brief video content holding the solution to their pain point.
Now you probably know all about automation and hyper-personalization and their benefits.
What if you can hyper-personalize your LinkedIn outreach on automation?
Since over 50% of all social traffic to B2B sites arrives from LinkedIn, it should be your first stop to automate and hyper-personalize your outreach campaigns.
And the way it works is an automation tool detects your prospect’s avatar on LinkedIn and adds it to your message template.
Let’s say you want to reach out to Elon Musk on LinkedIn and tell him about your top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies (assuming Elon has LinkedIn).
Considering Elon receives thousands of LinkedIn messages per day, you have to show what makes you one-of-a-kind.
What better tactic to stand out than using his LinkedIn profile picture in your outreach message?
So your automation tool will fetch the profile picture and deliver Elon this image straight to his LinkedIn inbox:
You can use this hyper-personalization feature for all your prospects, ensuring each one receives their image in their LinkedIn inbox.
Use a LinkedIn automation tool like Expandi to automate and hyper-personalize your LinkedIn messages.
Want to take hyper-personalization a bit further?
How about adding videos to your LinkedIn messages?
With a smartphone in your pocket, you can create videos on the go and insert them into your LinkedIn messages.
Video making apps like BIGVU App lets you record videos with the support of their built-in teleprompter. This feature allows you to read the text on the screen while recording the video and maintaining eye contact with the camera.
To sum it all up
B2B marketing is not anymore about advertising your product only. It includes understanding your customers’ needs and revamps your marketing strategy to meet their needs. It involves using technological resources and proficiency in the best possible manner with the touch of personalization. Hence, engage better, generate more sales, develop a loyal customer base and create healthy B2B relationships.
Don’t forget to leave comments on which strategy worked best for you.