B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
How has the enterprise buying journey changed in recent years?
The buying journey in B2B enterprise sales has changed considerably following the rise of digital technologies. It used to be that human contact with a salesperson was typically one of the first steps in a buyer’s journey, but this has now moved towards the latter stages of most journeys. In its place, buyers undertake independent, digital research at the start of their journeys to learn as much as possible about potential solutions without the influence of a salesperson. If they feel that the solution could help them overcome their challenges, then they will reach out to the company to continue the buying journey or perhaps even complete the purchase independently and entirely self-serve if it is not a complex one. The more complex or bespoke a solution is likely to be, then the greater need for salesperson involvement and direct human interaction there will be. It’s important for B2B marketers to remember that even though a prospective customer may not be directly interacting with your human sales colleagues in the early stages of their buying journey, your digital content still needs to speak to them as a human being to successfully move them along their journey.
The more complex or bespoke a solution is likely to be, then the greater need for salesperson involvement and direct human interaction there will be.
What can enterprise businesses do to create exceptional buyer experiences?
The very best enterprise B2B sales processes make the buyer feel like a hero. If your sales process results in the buyer feeling an immense sense of pride that the solution they are bringing into their company is going to provide XYZ benefit to the business, then you are on a winning path. A great way to start the buyer’s experience on a highly positive note is to offer an interactive or immersive experience that brings your solution to life for them. Something that makes them instantly think “holy crap, I need this!”. Our favorite way of doing this is to stick a VR headset on people who visit our stand at trade shows, and demonstrate a fall protection training programme we’ve created. The user is taken through an interactive experience where they are on 400 foot drop high scaffolding and have to choose which safety harness to wear. What they don’t know is that the scaffolding is going to fall out from beneath them. If they choose the right harness then they will dangle safely, and if they don’t… well let’s just say it’s an eye opening experience for them! We find that anybody who goes through this immersive experience then talks to colleagues and friends about it too, creating hugely positive word of mouth marketing referrals for us.
The very best enterprise B2B sales processes make the buyer feel like a hero.
What is a marketing tactic that more enterprise businesses should use in 2023?
Thought leadership is a hugely valuable tool for enterprise B2B businesses who want to level up their marketing this year. It can be used to support both your sales team and your existing customers. But you have to do your homework first. Take the time to really research your industry and how your solutions fit into it. From there, you need to start predicting future problems and challenges that the industry could face. This is the base for your thought leadership content. Once you’ve researched and created your thought leadership pieces, you can then promote them online to your target audience. What’s great about this is that not only can you get engagement and potential lead generation from the promotion, but it also gives your salespeople a great reason to reach out to specific prospects they’re targeting and invite them to read the thought leadership content. Well researched thought leadership content will add value to the professional lives of readers and ultimately strengthen the relationships with your prospects.
Well researched thought leadership content will add value to the professional lives of readers and ultimately strengthen the relationships with your prospects.
Director of Sales & Marketing
PIXO offers a complete, end-to-end, extended reality (XR) solution for enterprise businesses. Their patent-pending content distribution, management, and analytics platform makes XR — including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) applications — easier to manage than ever before. With one cloud-based system, organizations can deploy, use, and scale XR content across potentially numerous global endpoints and thousands of users and devices.