B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
There’s so much clutter in sales but the four key questions to ask are: who do we want to do business with; how can we help them; can we prove that, and what will we say in a meeting with them?
What can marketing do to support sales in becoming thought leaders and building industry knowledge to support prospects?
Alignment between sales and marketing is vital, and each function should support the other. Sales should help marketing to understand what’s really being talked about in discussions with prospects and customers, while marketing should own the sharing of the broader view of the market, audiences and competitive landscape to sales. Together, they need to solve why their brand would be valuable and stand out to potential customers.
That said, you can load someone up with facts and statistics, but if they aren’t talking to the right person and asking the right questions, it’s never going to succeed. It’s important to connect as a business, to a business, rather than a salesperson to a business.
There’s so much clutter in sales but the four key questions to ask are: who do we want to do business with; how can we help them; can we prove that, and what will we say in a meeting with them? If you can’t answer those questions, I don’t care what else you do.
The goal really is to make communication, marketing and sales more cause and purpose based.
If millennials and younger customers are ignoring advertising and want to be entertained, does this mean B2B technology providers should become more entertaining in marketing?
The goal really is to make communication, marketing and sales more cause and purpose based. It’s adding mutual value to a relationship, which could be about entertainment, but more broadly it needs to be innovative.
We recently started to partner with local universities and working with students in digital advertising and marketing classes. We will work up an RFP and send it to the students, who create real pitches. It gives the students real world experience, and we get to engage with the next generation. We’re seen as driving technology forward, and we gain exposure on their social channels. That’s important for a generation that is using other tools, such as Glassdoor for example, as much as more traditional websites to research companies.
Should organisations adopt new sales models that deliver experiences to customers in virtual environments?
The experience that matters most is the customer experience. It matters just as much during the sales process as it matters after the purchase. Sales teams need to back away from the email. Firing off emails is fast and easy, but nobody becomes a supplier of choice, or builds trust with a customer, by relying on email.
When making large buying decisions, people expect to meet the organisation before making a decision. This is an opportunity for sales teams to create one to one, face to face conversations with people about their needs, and what value the company can add. Experiential marketing is a tool, but underlying that there is a need for people to be able to build connections and talk to people and not be afraid to speak honestly.
For example, someone might not buy from you the first time because of price, but if you have made that connection, they will remember your brand and will often come back to you later in the journey.