3 Ways to Boost Traditional B2B Sales Through Digital Marketing
In today’s business climate, many B2B sales teams are struggling to adapt to the complexity of the modern sales cycle, as well as marketing and sales channels. The traditional sales process follows a familiar and deeply rooted pattern, where field representatives meet customers, educate them, build use cases and close deals. But technological innovations have changed the world around us. Reaching information, as well as designing solutions and support, is now a much more complex undertaking.
These days, most people explore the online world looking for information or to compare products, solutions, prices and availability. The Web can answer all your questions, even if it’s a only matter of simple curiosity. And increasingly often, it will reach you in a more interactive fashion.
Ultimately, online marketing is moving closer and closer to the real life “field sales coverage model.” Though it does this in its own way, it has the same exact purpose and generates the same results.
However, in many cases B2B sales organizations aren’t taking advantage of the digital go-to-market channel online technology. They perceive the Web as a simple promotion channel and document repository used only to augment field sales activities. As a result, there’s a gap between the traditional sales process and digital channel process. The good news is the two go together hand-in-hand, as “decided” by the end users. And if well set-up and understood, digital technology creates a more effective sales process. Here are three ways to use online marketing to boost B2B campaign design effectiveness and ultimately increase market share and revenue.
1. Staying connected to your customers
With a traditional sales force, you have to choose your priorities carefully. You can’t reach everyone, everywhere, at the same time. But your online content is a 24/7 marketing depot for your business. It will be there to educate and support your customers anytime, anywhere.
Today’s customers are more empowered than ever. They spend a lot of time self-educating through digital channels. Your B2B sales strategy can take advantage of this fact, influencing and leading customers to make selection and purchasing decisions.
2. Truly know your customers
Online channels give you access to an incredible amount of data. Savvy B2B sales strategies use this information to learn more about customers. The modern sales cycle is like a dartboard. To hit the bullseye, you have to really know your target audience. Digital marketing can do this better than just about anything else.
On digital channels, you can learn about the people who visit your website. Are they returning visitors? What did they view? Were they on a desktop or a smartphone? This can help you discover your customer’s expectations across all platforms, including Web, email, and social media. When you truly know your customers, it will be easier for you to deliver the most relevant content.
3. Interact with your customers online
Many people in B2B sales don’t realize that digital channels are more interactive than ever. Businesses can create a completely personalized experience with custom-tailored online content. It’s not as static as it was several years ago.
The perfect salesperson is charismatic, knowledgeable and readily available. Now businesses can build effective online tools that complement the sales process. A website can’t invite you to lunch, but it can deliver a great user experience. A comprehensive online resource contains massive amounts of knowledge. And a website is always there when customers need it, more convenient than any “in person” sales contact.
Leveraging digital marketing at your organization
Digital marketing is an essential part of any B2B sales strategy. It’s important to support the sales process with a variety of information. Personalized digital content can extend customer relationships beyond B2B field sales teams. Think of it as a modern-day field salesperson “buddy,” always ready to help and drive sales.