B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
Utilise automation and self-service content as much as possible so that your buyers can find the information that matters most to them, at a time that suits them best.
How has enterprise B2B buying changed in recent years?
The way that purchases are made on an enterprise, B2B level is changing. As technology becomes more complex, so too does the buying journey. In these complex sales, the decision maker is rarely one person. Instead it is typically a committee of individuals, or a line-of-business, who will jointly reach a decision. These active buying teams typically can be comprised of decision makers, administrators, ratifiers, champions, and therefore will have their own set of priorities when it comes to making a decision. Businesses need to be able to demonstrate the value of their offering in multiple ways, so that it is engaging and meaningful to each different stakeholder on the buying teams. This demonstration of value towards the various stakeholders needs to be consistent and present in every step of the funnel, from initial awareness to consideration, through decision making stages. Utilise automation and self-service content as much as possible so that your buyers can find the information that matters most to them, at a time that suits them best.
Offering a true self-service approach means letting your prospects & customers get hands on with your product. This could be in the form of a 30 day free trial or a freemium model. The most effective way to demonstrate value is by leveraging a product-led approach, and having the end user realize it for themselves while learning about the features & functionalities available to them. This approach also helps turn your product into another sales and marketing channel. Once buyers have seen the value as a result of their experience, then it becomes much easier for a sales team to engage with the customer with a value selling approach. This makes the customers feel more comfortable with the product, and ultimately helps to create trust in the relationships.
Human engagement still has a crucial role to play in enterprise B2B sales & marketing teams need to find the right time and way to include it in their strategy.
Should enterprise sales teams adopt a digital mindset?
We live in a digital-first age, and the most successful enterprise sales teams are those who adopt a digital mindset. In practice, this means closely aligning your sales and marketing teams. Having interlock across people, process, technology while leveraging either top-down, account based models or bottom-up motions. Alongside this, sales and marketing teams also need to understand that digital-first does not mean they should work exclusively digitally. Human engagement still has a crucial role to play in enterprise B2B sales & marketing teams need to find the right time and way to include it in their strategy. Curated experiences, such as interactive demos, are a great example of finding this balance. The buyer can see the product in real life and understand what their experience engaging with it will be. But at the same time there is a subject matter expert available to answer any specific questions they might have.
Great marketing teams are a blend of creativity & analytics.