B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
The landscape is constantly evolving, and as a business, we have to be ahead of consumer expectations to support that.
With digital-first buying posture becoming the norm and millennials preferring no sales rep interaction in a B2B purchase setting, should enterprise sales organisations transform their sales and marketing process?
We are in an age where people are disenfranchised by the large institutions and mainstream media, they now seek advice from their digital community. You only have to look at the exponential growth of platforms such as TikTok and note how that is now pushing the narrative from the viewpoint of the relatively new term ‘influencer’. People are consuming video content faster than ever before, and we’ve seen that with Instagram’s overhaul to ‘reels’ vs static photography which has become synonymous with the platform. The landscape is constantly evolving, and as a business, we have to be ahead of consumer expectations to support that.
The era of community is very much upon us, and social change is top of that agenda. So, as a business, you need to actively seek out individuals to hire who are passionate. One should be able to give them free rein to find their tribe and build an authentic audience.
With that being said, I believe that we cannot overlook the importance of human-to-human interaction. For example, I'm comfortable with tech, buying online and not needing to see someone until something goes wrong. If something goes wrong, I don’t want a chatbot dealing with my messaging, I want to pick up my phone and talk to a person. Also, I firmly believe that for certain types of interactions, there is no alternative to meeting people physically and having that face-to-face interaction.
The key here is to have an omnichannel approach with different “front doors” for each customer.
When it comes to interactions in the sales process, should enterprise sales teams invest more in virtual selling?
I believe the key here is to have an omnichannel approach with different “front doors” for each customer. In a sense, you've got to think through the total experience but based on one individual customer with a complete myriad of different sequences that person might take to get to the same route. This level of hyper-personalisation has never been more important. We can no longer segment your database when every recipient has an ecosystem of what makes them who they are and what interests them. So, you should be investing in virtual selling as a proposition to support customers when they want it.
At the same time, you've also got to invest at the front end in content creation. This is because people do 90% of their research on their own before they even interact with a company. We also have to consider that some people don’t want to talk to sales reps because they may be introverts or empaths who prefer minimal social interaction on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, sales and marketing are having to be smarter than ever before.
Marketing should be guiding their sales teams and empowering them to feel confident in building their digital community and personal brand.
Emily PlummerMarketing Director
What can marketing do to assist or encourage sales with procuring more market and industry knowledge beyond providing access to online resources?
This comes back to a hybrid model, allowing a gathering space where people can meet and offering them the best tech to enable them to do their job collaboratively when remote.
Marketing should be guiding their sales teams and empowering them to feel confident in building their digital community and personal brand. For example, finding the commonalities that an individual salesperson is passionate about and supporting them to create content that is reflective of them as an individual.
Close and agile relationships between sales and marketing ensure a 360 view of the market. To have those connections we need to empower our sales teams to be vulnerable and ask the questions to the market and their community that no one else is. But, most importantly we need to build a psychologically safe culture where people are included in the conversation from the get-go, so that no one feels left out and an open culture that positively shares knowledge rather than hoards it.
Beyond Encryption is building the world’s most secure digital communications network, one message at a time. It's their mission to give businesses the freedom to engage with their customers. They develop superpowers that put security and simplicity at the heart of your communications and they’re passionate about helping companies secure data to digitise customer communications for a more secure future.