B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
If you’re in the right community, you’re more likely to be recommended, so your focus has to be getting a seat at the table.
How should marketing organisations change their approach in light of a generation of customers who don’t necessarily want face to face contact?
Traditional B2B sales and marketing relied on a gated lead funnel for inbound marketing, while a huge amount of resource was invested in outbound marketing to anyone who might be the target market.
Today we are in an environment where privacy regulations and a demand for more transparency have forced both sales and marketing to adapt. Today customers have done a lot of research before coming to ask detailed questions from a short list of vendors. These customers want less gated content and less nurturing.
The issue for sales is how do you become part of that community, so that the customer reaches out when they’re ready to buy? How do you get known as a person in that community, or have your thought leadership in front of your target market? In some respects, it’s like a high school clique. If you’re in the right community, you’re more likely to be recommended, so your focus has to be getting a seat at the table.
It’s about helping them to move beyond a script towards real understanding of the potential buyer’s frustrations and goals
What can marketing do to support B2B sales teams, specifically in helping them get the information they need to support more informed and prepared buyers?
The marketing department will typically have the insight into what the ideal customer persona might look like, and what companies a product is most likely to solve pain points for. So the question is does sales know and understand this insight?
Most sales enablement teams do a good job of hitting the base layer, but marketing can help them to go deeper - why is this person frustrated? Why would this person look for our tool? It’s about helping them to move beyond a script towards real understanding of the potential buyer’s frustrations and goals, and how the product or tool can help them.
How important is it for B2B sales to embrace the idea of ‘entertainment’ in capturing the attention of younger, millennial buyers?
A lot of brands are trying to entertain for the sake of entertainment and in doing so they lose their authenticity. It’s important to keep your brand identity and voice in mind. Is your brand educational? You can entertain people by sharing information. If your brand is more flashy, then being bluntly honest can be effective.
So do you want to have fun TikTok style videos or is it more authentic and in keeping with your brand to just put out really good content? Whatever you do has to be true to who the brand is, and what’s relevant.