B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
As a general rule of thumb, the more money that is involved in a deal then there is a greater requirement for both companies to spend time together ahead of the deal.
Will face-to-face interactions be phased out of enterprise sales?
In enterprise deals, every customer has their own unique set of pain points and challenges. To help a customer overcome these difficulties, you have to spend time with them face-to-face and develop a deep understanding of their challenges. As a general rule of thumb, the more money that is involved in a deal then there is a greater requirement for both companies to spend time together ahead of the deal. This time gives the vendor opportunity to understand the buyer’s challenges, and gives the buyer opportunity to assess whether the vendor can become a trusted partner for them over a long period of time. Transformational projects will also require a significant amount of face-to-face time investment as they are often make or break projects when it comes to an individual’s career, so the orchestrator of the deal will be keen to ensure no stone is left unturned. Because of this, face-to-face interactions will always remain a crucial part of enterprise sales.
A great way to establish authenticity and credibility online as a selling company is to create thought leadership campaigns.
How have the early stages of a buyer’s journey changed in recent years?
We are seeing a remarkable shift in the early stages of a buyer’s journey. Much of the early buying process is now conducted online with minimal human interaction. Buyers will research solutions for their problems online and often follow potentially relevant suppliers on social media before engaging in a conversation. If a supplier can pass this new form of due diligence, then that’s when conversations and meetings can start to take place. A great way to establish authenticity and credibility online as a selling company is to create thought leadership campaigns. They help to show that you not only understand the industry, but also allow you to demonstrate how your expertise can help companies within the industry. Working with your sales team who speak with customers everyday and attend industry events will help you to create content that is both relevant and valuable to your buyers.
Part of this shift to digital sales journeys is the common acceptance of video meetings as the first form of contact between a buyer and a vendor. This was of course accelerated by the global pandemic, but the convenience of speaking with somebody over a video call in the first instance has remained extremely popular even as we return to normal. The video call now acts as part of the vetting process for buyers, who often use it to decide whether it is worth their time to meet with a potential supplier face-to-face.
One of the most successful ways to encourage a buyer to share their problems is to make the sales process feel collaborative.
What is the role of a modern enterprise salesperson?
An enterprise sales person is now more of a facilitator and consultant than a traditional ‘listen to me talk’ salesperson. They are expected to have high amounts of industry knowledge, have a regular presence at industry events to establish familairity and to be able to ask the right questions that unearth a buyer’s real problems. One of the most successful ways to encourage a buyer to share their problems is to make the sales process feel collaborative, and not just another example of a salesperson asking uninvited questions. Workshops and interactive sessions where the salesperson and buyer can paint an ideal picture of the customer’s future are particularly effective for this, as they give the salesperson an end goal to work backwards from when proposing a relevant solution to the buyer.
Luxoft, a DXC Technology Company
Luxoft is the design, data and development arm of DXC Technology, providing bespoke, end-to-end technology solutions for mission critical systems, products and services.