B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
This is no longer the age of gatekeeping. Organisations need to engage and make information more readily available, so that customers who aren’t ready for a phone call can research and learn,
As millennials age into key decision making positions, how should the B2B enterprise sales and marketing process evolve?
This is no longer the age of gatekeeping. Organisations need to engage and make information more readily available, so that customers who aren’t ready for a phone call can research and learn, by reading articles, watching videos, or downloading infographics.
However, now, it needs to be a highly customized digital journey. What did they read, what links did they click, did they watch a particular video? Based on this data, we are able to predict the stage of the buyers journey our target is on and deliver relevant content based on that information.
We have been using Folloze which allows organisations to set up personalised pages for a specific account, showing the potential customer ungated resources and information that can be personalised, right down to their logo. It tracks the user so that we can clearly see what someone has been looking at, and when they’re ready for that actual conversation, we have a clear idea of their interests, challenges and schedule.
It’s about doing more than simply spamming someone with the features of your product, and more about providing a solution to their specific challenges and pain points.
In a digital-first world, what strategies can help salespeople build trusted relationships with potential customers most effectively?
Account based marketing builds trust because it is really about connections. When we speak with a customer and they feel comfortable sharing their challenges and pain points, that’s when we know there is a genuine connection. It’s about doing more than simply spamming someone with the features of your latest market, and more about understanding their specific issue and being able to demonstrate a solution.
When you go into a meeting with the CXO as a thought leadership team rather than a salesperson, that makes all the difference. You’re presenting on market changes and challenges and talking about real customers who faced specific challenges and how they solved them. This approach is about providing value for a business, versus ‘here’s a product I’m selling.’
Second, sometimes it’s important to acknowledge that we’re not for everyone. If you can say that you’re building trust. It is far more powerful to go through thought leadership, demonstrate understanding of pain points and then talk about how technology could address that.
How important is it for B2B sales and marketing teams to entertain potential customers?
I don’t think we can overstate the importance of entertainment, especially when we are talking to millennials and the digital generation, who are often unlikely to engage with content that is seen as advertising.
There is a common perception in marketing that a prospect needs to hear a message seven times before taking action. Those seven messages don’t all need to be focused product messaging. Perhaps someone saw a video of some thought leadership, or someone saw a story on social media, or there’s a great interview on LinkedIn. As marketers, we need to be flexible and adaptable to get our product in front of the right people.
Using multiple, and sometimes unexpected, marketing platforms can assist in expediting the multiple touches to reach your audience. Tailoring content for YouTube, Social Media, Web, & Customized company websites allows you to connect with your audience in an authentic and informative way. This is an especially effective long-haul strategy. Deep dive into the prospect and customer journey and provide them a memorable, interesting, and informative experience.