B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
It’s our job to make buyers successful throughout their purchase journey so they can be confident in their purchasing decision and be rewarded for bringing our solution to their organization.
How have B2B buyer expectations changed in recent years?
Change is the one constant in life. Sales and marketing teams that embrace this will maintain a competitive advantage. To clearly understand and resonate with what your customers are seeking from you, it’s important to adopt a growth mindset. With the rise of eCommerce and advances in digital technology over the last fifteen years, the way that all of us consume information and expect to buy has changed drastically–in our personal and work lives. And in B2B buying, the stakes are even higher, because making the wrong decision on behalf of your employer with an expensive software purchase can have far-reaching impact for the business. For enterprise solutions, B2B software buyers expect to test and trial the potential software and confirm a solid business case and ROI before committing to a purchase. It’s a modern commercial team’s job to ensure they can do this efficiently and expertly.
At the end of the day, whether it’s B2C or B2B, we are selling to people. It’s our job to make buyers successful throughout their purchase journey so they can be confident in their purchasing decision and be rewarded for bringing our solution to their organization.
Sales people will always prefer face-to-face meetings where possible, but in order to succeed over the coming years they will have to manage their own expectations somewhat.
Has the global pandemic forced sales people to rethink their approaches?
The global pandemic changed life for all of us, and we’re comfortable engaging over Zoom and other video conferencing tools. People appreciate the convenience and efficiency of video meetings, but there’s still a place for face-to-face engagements as things have re-opened around the world. As human beings, we are hardwired for connection with others. The data tells us that hybrid work is here to stay, and in-person events are seeing record attendance, because there’s nothing that replaces the quality of connection and assessment that can happen when we come together with others to learn, solve problems, and forge new paths.
Salespeople appreciate face-to-face meetings where possible, and to succeed in the future they will have to continue to adapt to what their buyers need. They’ll need to balance engaging with buyers in the way they prefer, while creating a space for in-person connection that advances deal cycles and builds trust through the investment of time and presence. When done well, salespeople can use this time to deepen connections and help their buyers answer the 5 essential questions necessary for a successful close: Do I like you, do you listen to me, do you make me feel important, do you understand me and my problems, and do I trust and believe you. If we can effectively do this–both remotely and in person, we will earn the right to move forward with our buyers and help them become life-long advocates for our solutions.