It is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that the B2B sales cycle is a slow-moving, archaic transaction. After all, almost all media attention is typically focused on B2C marketing strategies, which seem to evolve at a staggering pace. Very little time is devoted to understanding and exploring just how much the B2B cycle has developed.
The countless marketing and promotional opportunities available through the internet have led to the creation of a fierce B2B environment in which marketers must constantly compete to win the attention of B2B buyers. In order to thrive as a B2B marketer, it’s important to first confront the large number of myths surrounding the B2B sales cycle.
Myth #1 : B2B Buyers want you to deliver the value prop by phone.
B2B buyers aren’t going to sit around and wait for you to deliver a refined, polished sales pitch. They are constantly researching and identifying companies they may wish to do business with in the future. Because of this, it is essential to develop comprehensive online materials which include the traditional feature list as well as concrete facts and data about your performance and previous accolades. Be aware of how your competitors present their strengths and conceal their weaknesses. Develop counter-arguments that you can use when potential clients point out perceived “advantages” these rival companies offer.
Success story: Take a look at Act-On.com. Featuring an outstanding navigation framework and easily discernible prop offers, Act-On.com provides their clients with easy and near instant access to pertinent details that could make or break a business deal.
(Example 1.1 : Act-On’s concise and informative navigation framework)
Myth #2: A First Phone Call Is A First Impression
Unfortunately, your first impression has already been made for you. There are probably a dozen or more reviews of your product or service already posted on the internet by your previous clients. Some of these reviews may be great. Others may be terrible. No matter how hard you try to distinguish yourself, it’s inevitable that someone will post a complaint online. Because of this, you must be ready to answer questions about the criticisms / compliments that have been published about you in the past before you can hope to develop further in the future.
Myth #3: The B2B Sales Cycle Takes Time
Sure, the B2B sales cycle is still not as fast as the lightning-speed conversions found in B2C buying and selling. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore a client for three weeks before responding to their e-mail. Rapid communication has paved the way for rapid decision making. If you’ve neglected a potential client’s inquiries, they will likely find one of your competitors to replace you at the touch of a button.
Myth #4: Ads Are 100% Effective
Before you spend the time and effort hiring a graphics guru to build another flashy web banner for you, make sure you know who you are designing it for. Using ad personalization and retargeting campaigns, you can seamlessly integrate advertisements into the B2B sales cycle and improve conversion rates. For example, if you have recently spoken to a client regarding a potential sale, you may consider using a targeted, personalized advertisement thanking them for their time and encouraging them to get back in touch with any questions or concerns they may have. As a general rule of thumb: the more relevant and personalized an online advertisement, the more likely it is that it will lead to a successful conversion.
Myth #5: At 5 PM, Your Job is Done.
If you believe that your job as a B2B marketer is over at 5 PM, you’ll never be successful. The internet has created a 24/7 marketplace in which B2B buyers can research and evaluate prospective partnerships at any time. Even though you may leave the office at 5 PM, it is ESSENTIAL that your online presence is educating and impressing potential buyers whenever they sit in front of their computers. Make sure that your message to potential clients is both persuasive and pervasive.
Like a traditional website, online advertisements have become a ubiquitous element of the internet browsing experience. If you’re serious about constructing a professional online facade for your business, it is important that your brand and message resonate strongly with customers instead of appearing too salesy or generic.
If you’re ready to learn more powerful strategies and techniques for enhancing your B2B marketing platform, you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned for our next B2B insights blog!