We’re in the midst of a significant B2B sales and marketing revolution. The pandemic forced companies to move from traditional sales to a more hybrid experience. Gone are the days of pitch decks in a conference room and “inside” sales—the future of B2B includes more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience for customers. Enterprise companies need to invest in this shift if they want to see success in the future.
Companies that refuse to evolve with the changing landscape will see a decrease in revenue as they compete against competitors adopting new strategies. In McKinsey’s latest B2B Pulse survey, “more than 90 percent of enterprises plan to sustain the changes made to their sales force structure over the past year.”
Here are seven ways to update and adapt your sales strategy to be more effective and capture future sales.
- Solve your customers’ problems anytime, anywhere.
Your customers want a complete solution. Companies need to enable touchpoints in multiple channels to ensure you’re serving customers when and where they want to buy. An omnichannel presence is critical. And a true omnichannel experience, which looks very different from five years ago, is now at least a 10-channel strategy. McKinsey data shows that “customers want—and expect—to engage seamlessly across ten or more. And the businesses that have been quick to meet that demand have profited: 72 percent of B2B companies that sell via seven or more channels grew their market share.”
More and more B2B customers are happy learning and buying through online and digital channels, making the traditional, in-person sales pitch less necessary.
- Work higher in the funnel.
At any given time, about 95% of B2B buyers aren’t in the market for your product. This simple yet monumental fact changes the B2B advertising and marketing game quite a bit. It means you need to spend advertising dollars on people who aren’t going to buy right now, but need to be familiar with your brand or product when they are in the market.
The most effective way to do this is focusing messaging and advertising dollars on creating brand-positive memories for your customers so when the time comes to purchase, your company is top of mind. As LinkedIn’s B2B Business Institute accurately captures, “Advertising impressions, accumulated over time, affect our memories. So, your advertising has to be designed to create distinct impressions about your brand in people’s minds — to be activated later.”
- Constantly invest in your brand awareness.
Invest at least 50% of your advertising dollars in awareness. With research showing that only 16% of B2B marketers rank building brand awareness as a major marketing objective, it appears most companies, particularly large ones, are taking their awareness for granted.
Small companies see the immediate value in spending money to increase brand visibility, but bigger, more established brands sometimes skip it. What keeps the brands with the most awareness top of mind is their ongoing and deliberate dedication to weaving their brand into their customer’s thoughts and lifestyles. Never skip or skimp on your brand awareness budget.
- Base every conversation on value.
Regularly remind your customers—both current and future—about the value you bring to the relationship. Provide end-to-end insights about your business and industry. Suggesting ways to help your customers navigate regulatory change or demonstrating how potential customers measure up in their industry are just a couple of ways you can help increase your value to customers.