B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
I think the biggest changes should be in adopting new technologies and creating a much more personalised approach.
In your opinion, should enterprise sales organisations make changes to the sales and marketing process to adapt to the digital-first market?
I think the biggest changes should be in adopting new technologies and creating a much more personalised approach. When it comes to personalisation and targeting at an enterprise level, there needs to be an understanding of the businesses, an understanding of the industry, and also an understanding of the product itself.
We use several technologies, such as Demandbase and Crystal Knows, to understand what people are actually looking at and how it relates to our product. We want to understand the people we're trying to target because ultimately, we're building campaigns that are engaging and benefit that individual as well. Understanding who these people are and how they interact with things enables us to build playbooks for our sales team. So, when we get all these insights, we sit down directly with the account managers who work with these accounts on a one-to-one basis and we help them basically immerse themselves in as much detail as possible. Sales and marketing are usually viewed as two separate functions but to go from understanding what the potential customers are looking for, to them actually signing on the dotted line, there needs to be a joint team effort.
When you get to an enterprise level, there's more manual work. It’s not just about using the right tools; you use tools only to enhance insights and learnings.
Considering the fact that an enterprise has a number of different stakeholders participating in the buying decision, how do you serve each of them the relevant type of content at the right time, in terms of ABM?
When you get to an enterprise level, there's more manual work. It’s not just about using the right tools; you use tools only to enhance insights and learnings. You can take quite a few approaches with ABM, but ultimately, the scale of insights and level of personalisation scales up as you go from one-to-many, to one-to-few, to one-to-one.
With one-to-many, you can create industry level personalisation and persona level personalisation by using different tools. You can also do that with one-to-few, but then you have to spend some extra time understanding how you can support that individual within that persona specifically, and how you can support them with their particular challenges. You need that manual work to understand the account and the company inside out. It's really important that this is done hand-in-hand with the sales team. Ultimately, what’s going to get that deal signed is the collaboration of the marketing and sales team.
When it comes to a one-to-one approach, it's really important to dig underneath. You want to understand who the people are within the business. You want to identify the key decision makers because those are the ones we need to win at all costs.
I also think that companies underestimate the value of influencers within the organisations. In terms of word-of-mouth, they're the ones who are going to be preaching about your brand from the inside. So, we target them as well with different kinds of personalised approaches.
Virtual selling is not a decision in today’s market; it is a must. If you want to be successful and grow as a company, you have to build yourself virtually.
In the digital-first market, should enterprise sales teams invest more in virtual selling interactions?
Virtual selling is not a decision in today’s market; it is a must. If you want to be successful and grow as a company, you have to build yourself virtually. Again, the key here is the joint effort of marketing and sales.
In terms of virtual interactions, there are a few steps that are required. First, salespeople need to work closely with marketing to understand the product and the content, so that they can become a thought leader within their area in the industry. Second, marketing teams need to utilise their tech stack and use the data to empower their sales teams. There are many different technology tools you can choose from to fit your needs, and upgrading your tech stack is critical. Utilising those tools, from a marketing point of view, allows us to empower our sales team to start building that relationship. This is huge because it lets them get way ahead of the curve, and target the right people at the right time.
Marketing teams should utilise tools like ICPs (ideal customer profiles) and personas, and work closely with salespeople while conducting all the upfront research about the company and the key decision-makers.
Head of Growth Marketing
When it comes to customer acquisition, what can marketing do to assist or encourage sales teams?
We live in a time-pressed world, which is why it’s important that salespeople have all the necessary information upfront. If you want to be successful at targeting enterprise businesses, having basic knowledge of the industry isn't good enough. Marketing teams should utilise tools like ICPs (ideal customer profiles) and personas, and work closely with salespeople while conducting all the upfront research about the company and the key decision-makers. This will empower the salespeople with the necessary knowledge, allowing them to make the most of their interactions with potential customers.
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