B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
An organisation can’t produce the right content if they don’t know what prompted that customer to come to market. What business issues are they facing?
What advice would you offer marketing teams to understand potential customers and their journey?
Understanding the customer journey is primarily done through primary research whether that’s third party or your own. The second part of that equation is analytics. In both these activities, data is critical. An organisation can’t produce the right content if they don’t know what prompted that customer to come to market. What business issues are they facing?
Additionally, marketing teams must utilise the technology stack to deliver data insights from CRM and other platforms into the ABM or equivalent system. This will help you to build a picture of what the customer did right before the initial sale. Who did they speak to? How did they engage with our content? What did they consume? It’s about far more than just touch points.
With all of this activity, we need to keep segmentation at the front of mind. I’ve learned from experience that a large enterprise buyer behaves differently to a mid-market buyer. Any research we do must segment results so that we have the right analysis of customers before approaching them directly.
All too often marketing content is seen as “only” marketing content but if you put a salesperson presenting that same material, it’s helpful content.
How can B2B marketing teams and salespeople make the leap from salesperson to trusted advisor?
Ultimately, there needs to be an exchange of value if we are to go from being an annoyance to being part of a trusted partnership. That means we need to deliver timely, relevant content that is based on a comprehensive understanding of the buyer’s journey and pain points. That doesn’t happen instantly, so patience is essential. My advice is to invest time in creating content that is authentic and relevant.
Salespeople can transform into their customer’s trusted, expert resource by sharing the right content at the right time. This can be facilitated by the marketing team, that delivers authentic insights and appropriate content.
For example, we’re seeing a trend towards bite-sized, easily consumed content that can be delivered in multiple formats. Perhaps it’s a blog post with a “listen to this” button or a short, two minute blog post or short video. Organisations can make this content more effective by making the salesperson ‘the face’ of the content.
All too often marketing content is seen as “only” marketing content but if you put a salesperson presenting that same material, it’s helpful content. It’s a trend towards what we term ‘intelligent packaging’.
What tools and strategies can the marketing team use to support the customer outreach process?
Marketing is an enabler of sales, not just in the sense of publishing and sharing content. Marketing can also embrace technology to make it easier to show up regularly and share value through providing authentic insights.
Tools such as Bambu can be used to collate and schedule social media posts, adding personalised commentary on top that the salesperson can change if they want. This makes it easy for the sales team to put out authentic content at the push of a button, and in just five minutes they can look like a Rock Star on LinkedIn because their posts are well thought out, relevant and look good. Anything that makes you look good in front of a prospect is usually a good strategy.