B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
Digital buying journeys have brought traditional marketing and sales teams work closer together than ever before, so alignment is key.
What does it take for Account Based Marketing to be successful?
For Account Based Marketing to be successful, it has to be personal to the prospect and a continual learning process. What works for one person may not work for another. Also, buyers' priorities are constantly changing based on internal and external factors, so you need to work closely with your sales team to understand what is happening ‘behind the scenes’. Regular meetings not only allow sales and marketing teams to share insights with each other, they’re also crucial in ensuring that the messaging a buyer receives, regardless of where it is coming from, is consistent and personalised to them. Digital buying journeys have brought traditional marketing and sales teams work closer together than ever before, so alignment is key.
In Account Based Marketing, KPIs and OKRs need to go deeper than just ‘number of leads generated’ or ‘number of deals closed’ if a business wants to find out what is really working for them - or indeed isn’t working! One of my personal favourites is understanding how many senior executives from a customer are currently engaged with us, this shows how valuable the customer perceives your offering to be and as they are usually the decision makers, can help to add credibility to your offering elsewhere within the customer.
The role of sales and marketing now is to provide those valuable, digital experiences which allow the buyer to progress along their journey, but without feeling like they’re being pushed by anybody until they are absolutely ready to engage.
How can sales and marketing teams meet changing buyer expectations?
More and more buyers want to ‘self serve’ at the start of their buying journey instead of speaking with a sales representative straight away. Both professionally and personally, we’ve become accustomed to conducting a large amount of online research ourselves before committing to a purchase. So the role of sales and marketing now is to provide those valuable, digital experiences which allow the buyer to progress along their journey, but without feeling like they’re being pushed by anybody until they are absolutely ready to engage.
When a prospect is ready to engage, it helps if they already have an awareness of your sales team from your digital content. By positioning your sales teams as thought leaders and using them within your content, they will already have established a level of trust with buyers even before their first conversation. As before, this requires successful collaboration between marketing and sales. Marketing can help to position the sales teams in a valuable way online and undertake market research to define the content topics. Sales teams can take this insight and couple it with their findings from conversations with real customers to create content that is highly relevant and valuable.
When creating self-serve content for buyers to discover online, marketers firstly need to consider more than ever how the content if viewed as a first touch point will position the company.
ABM Field Marketing Director
What can marketing teams do to create a positive experience for buyers at the start of their purchasing journey?
Because buyers now expect the information they need to be readily available to them, the power is now firmly in the hands of the buyer. When creating self-serve content for buyers to discover online, marketers firstly need to consider more than ever how the content if viewed as a first touch point will position the company. Does it differentiate them successfully from their competitors? Does it show an understanding of who the prospect is and the challenges that they are facing? Following that, it’s about keeping in touch at appropriate times. Technology that measures buyer intent and engagement with your content is crucial here as it can guide you on whether to send an email once a week if towards the end of their journey or to space your communications out if the buyer is still in an early, exploratory stage.
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