B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
When a contact is able to tell their senior management that the vendor is somebody that they know personally and have worked successfully with before, then the vendor instantly gains trust with the senior decision makers.
How can businesses create trust with their buyers?
Personal relationships will always be a key part of building trust in sales processes, particularly in more complex sales that involve multiple conversations with multiple stakeholders. Knowing somebody within a company will give you a powerful sales advantage over a competitor who is sending cold emails, particularly if your contact needs senior management sign-off before finalising a deal. Picture it this way - they’re pitching your product or service to senior management and it’s been received well, the next question will always be can we trust this vendor to deliver what they are promising. When a contact is able to tell their senior management that the vendor is somebody that they know personally and have worked successfully with before, then the vendor instantly gains trust with the senior decision makers.
Another great way to build trust is by inviting the decision makers to be part of the solution. If you’ve been through a demo with a prospect, let them have a play around with your product in their own time. Then, invite them to provide feedback on their experience and feed this back into your product team. This will show your prospect that even before the sale has been closed, you value their input and that the relationship is more of a partnership than a traditional seller-buyer one.
I can recommend taking your prospects out to lunch - they are more relaxed, the conversation flows and, with some subtle guidance, will lead them to share a problem that they are currently facing.
Will digital selling replace face-to-face selling?
For early-stage businesses that are setting up their first sales operations, digital selling is a great way to get started as there is no great capital expenditure or investment in human resource required. But it’s important not to rely solely on digital selling as face-to-face sales are still incredibly powerful. From personal experience I can recommend taking your prospects out to lunch - they are more relaxed, the conversation flows and, with some subtle guidance, will lead them to share a problem that they are currently facing. This is then your opportunity to present your service or product as a solution to that problem. That’s a very positive outcome, especially when compared to the barrage of cold emails that a prospect will be receiving everyday. They all seem to start with a huge problem, like the world is going to flood, before going straight into a solution such as we’ll teach you how to swim. Where’s the connection in that? Understand the customer, understand the problem and then present the solution in a way that makes it real to them e.g. I can save you $500,000 over the next three months.
The wider team engage customers. The rise of social media apps that focus on short form video content, particularly TikTok, has forced companies to reconsider how to position and promote their products / services.
What unknown sales and marketing opportunities are companies missing out on?
If you treat your customers correctly, they can end up becoming unofficial sales representatives for you. In technology, a great way to do this is by ensuring that your customers are kept up to date on the latest developments with your company and help them to take advantage of these developments. Where it gets really smart is by offering them accreditations or certifications that they are experts in using your products. This gives the customer a sense of authority that they will be grateful to you for. So if they get asked for a recommendation by a friend or perhaps move to a new company, then they will put your company forward first and foremost.
Marketing is changing in a very rapid and very exciting way currently. The rise of social media apps that focus on short form video content, particularly TikTok, has forced companies to reconsider how to position and promote their products / services. Companies who have found success on TikTok have found an engaging blend of entertainment and education that often doesn’t feel like advertising to the viewer. Their content has an instant impact to hook attention but the whole video is never more than five minutes in total, forcing them to be succinct with delivering their content.
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