B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
Once you understand the journey and the signals a buyer is giving you, it becomes easier to serve them the right mix of virtual sales experiences.
How much focus should enterprise businesses give to virtual sales experiences?
The practice of businesses flying account managers across the country for face-to-face meetings is now a relic of the past. The global pandemic has shown us business can be done virtually when needed. Although the occasional in-person meeting is starting to recur, many buyers now prefer virtual meetings, so it’s important for businesses to make sure they have the right virtual selling tools in place.
But it’s not just the sales teams that have a role to play in this transition—marketing teams must also step up to the plate. Mapping out the buyer’s journey from start to finish helps provide valuable insight into what actions need to be taken at each stage in order to move the buyer forward. This could be anything from a product demo that buyers watch online without speaking to anybody, to an interactive demo tailored to their individual needs. With time, this can help you understand your customers’ needs and wants, allowing you to create a tailored sales approach that meets their expectations.
At the end of the day, people buy from people, so establishing trust and a sense of partnership are essential in enterprise sales.
What can businesses do to build trust in early relationships?
At the end of the day, people buy from people, so establishing trust and a sense of partnership are essential in enterprise sales. But building trust with new prospects is a challenging task, particularly at the enterprise level. This is where the concept of thought leadership can prove extremely valuable.
Your business is likely to have highly knowledgeable and engaging subject matter experts (SMEs) who can talk directly to customers and prospects in a way that makes them feel understood. Take the time to identify these individuals and then collaborate with your marketing team to create content that establishes your business as a thought leader in the industry. Blogs and whitepapers are a good place to start, but video content is king. Existing and prospective customers appreciate the opportunity to hear from subject matter experts who can correctly identify their pain points and provide thoughtful solutions—it builds trust, especially with early-stage buyers.
What is an essential skill for modern sales professionals to learn?
Active listening is the cornerstone of successful sales. It's the only way to truly understand your customer's needs and wants. Listening is how a salesperson really participates in the conversation and learns what a customer wants from your business—not just what a customer wants in terms of a solution, but also how they want to be engaged with. Another benefit is that listening signals you are open to feedback and willing to listen to customers, making them feel heard and respected. It shows customers you care about their experience and allows you to create strategies and processes tailored to their needs.