B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
To build successful relationships with their prospects, salespeople need to undertake more homework than ever before.
How can enterprise B2B selling companies take advantage of the increasing number of millennial decision makers?
As millennials continue to mature into decision making positions, enterprise B2B selling companies need to continually evolve their sales processes on two fronts. The first is the consideration of people. To build successful relationships with their prospects, salespeople need to undertake more homework than ever before. They have to become immersed in the prospect’s business, what their goals are and the challenges they face. This is because the rise of digital buying journeys and technologies, opportunities for salespeople to get directly in front of their prospects have reduced. Therefore they need to make the most of every opportunity they do get by showing that they are an industry expert and adding value to the professional life of the prospect.
The second front is in the use of technology. It is important to remember that technology is only a tool in your toolbox, it should not drive your sales strategies. Technology is great for identifying companies that you can sell to and making sure that your content gets in front of the right people. But it’s up to you, as a human, to identify who those right people are and what matters most to them. Take the time to regularly speak with as many of your customers as possible through surveys and find out how they prefer to be interacted with. It’s also important to remember that in enterprise sales, there is normally a buying committee of several people rather than one sole decision maker. So make sure that you understand who is in that committee and their individual preferences to create more meaningful conversions that ultimately lead to sales.
An over-reliance on technology puts selling businesses on the path to commoditization and struggling to create differentiated value.
Should sales and marketing teams increase their use of new technologies?
Using too much technology can hold businesses back. An over-reliance on technology puts selling businesses on the path to commoditization and struggling to create differentiated value. This then leads to businesses feeling like strangers to their clients rather than trusted partners. When there is no human face to engage with, it becomes much easier for enterprise customers to switch vendors. To avoid this happening to your business, you might need to rethink how you select new technologies. Instead of looking for the latest technology trend in the business world, look instead at the technology you and your customers use in your personal lives. It is these technologies that really set customer expectations and therefore you need to pay attention to. If you can adapt these technologies to support your business goals and train your teams on how best to use them, you stand a far better chance at building long standing relationships with your customers.
Great marketing teams are the ones who work in partnership with their sales colleagues and give them the insight and knowledge they need to be seen as industry experts.
How has the role of marketing changed in recent years?
The role of marketing departments in recent years has changed from that of pure lead generation into that of sales enablement. Great marketing teams are the ones who work in partnership with their sales colleagues and give them the insight and knowledge they need to be seen as industry experts. This is particularly important as many businesses attempt to truncate their sales processes. Enterprise sales do not happen without trust, and trust can only be built over time. It’s like starting a relationship, you wouldn’t ask somebody to marry you on the first date! Building trust is a demonstrable process by showing your prospects that you understand their industry and the challenges they face. If salespeople and marketing teams work collaboratively and can add value to the professional lives of their prospects by showing them how their solution will help solve their problems, then there is a greater opportunity for successful conversion of prospects to customers.
BDO Digital helps companies across industries identify, prioritize, develop, and execute technology initiatives in support of their unique business objectives, both large and small, short, and long term. They help organizations identify which solutions will have the greatest business impact and ROI, and deliver manageable, measurable programs to achieve them.