B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
Without a high level of trust between the buyer and vendor, enterprise sales simply don’t happen.
Who is responsible for building trust in enterprise sales?
Without a high level of trust between the buyer and vendor, enterprise sales simply don’t happen. Whilst face-to-face time has traditionally been a seller’s preferred way of building trust in the relationship, modern buying habits are forcing businesses to rethink their approach. The latest research shows that there are, on average, fourteen touch points that occur before a buyer is prepared to speak with a vendor. Marketing has a huge responsibility for building trust in those early touch points in order for their sales colleagues to continue building the relationship thereafter. In order to establish trust, marketing teams have to show a deep level of understanding of their customer’s pain points and challenges. A simple way to start building this understanding is for marketing teams to collaborate with their sales colleagues, many of whom are likely to have worked in the industry previously and therefore have a good knowledge of pain points that they can share with marketing. By turning this process into a reciprocal loop, then sales and marketing teams will enter into a natural process of continual improvement that ultimately helps both teams build trust with their customers.
There has been an over-emphasis on shouting about the features of a product or service, without ever really bringing the offering to life and making it engaging.
What can B2B marketers learn from B2C marketers?
B2B marketing has been fundamentally wrong for a long time. There has been an over-emphasis on shouting about the features of a product or service, without ever really bringing the offering to life and making it engaging. This is because of a concept called product delusion, where B2B marketing teams assume that their buyers want to know exclusively about the detailed features of their offering. You would never see this style of marketing in the B2C world - could you imagine promoting Coca-Cola as a “brown, carbonated drink”? Instead there is a focus in B2C marketing on building a brand and drawing on human emotions to sell their offering. There’s a lot that B2B marketers can learn from this. Although it may be a B2B sale, there is still a human decision maker at the heart of it. By being bold and creative, B2B marketers have the opportunity to set themselves apart from the competition by offering a human-led approach. Start by asking yourself the question of “What do I want my prospect to feel” when looking at your marketing strategy and you will soon find yourself delivering more emotive, meaningful campaigns.
Successful marketing grabs and holds the attention of your prospective buyers. A great way to do this is by breaking the normal day-to-day routines of your buyers and offering them a fresh experience.
Marketing Director - EMEA & APAC
How can marketers capitalise on the post-pandemic need for human interaction?
Successful marketing grabs and holds the attention of your prospective buyers. A great way to do this is by breaking the normal day-to-day routines of your buyers and offering them a fresh experience. This doesn’t mean following the latest trends online or directly copying your competitors. Any experiential marketing should be planned around who it is you actually want to be talking with and what will engage them without coming across as gimmicky. This is why trade shows have traditionally been a ‘go to’ for marketers as half the work of attracting a relevant audience has already been done for them. As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, in-person tradeshows and events have had a fascinating resurgence. Previously they were often considered as a jolly day out for more junior members of staff, but decision-makers are attending once again after experiencing a lack of human contact during the pandemic years. When utilised correctly, they offer a great opportunity for your sales teams to get valuable face-to-face time with relevant decision makers whilst demonstrating industry knowledge to help build credibility.
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