SALES & MARKETING, IT’S TIME TO ALIGN!
In the previous blog post, Trends in B2B Marketing: Part 1, you discovered that (1) B2B buyers have changed; (2) there has been a shift in the balance of power between buyers and sellers, and (3) that buyers though connected more often, are in fact less engaged.
These trends have caused B2B marketers and sellers to reposition themselves in the buying cycle. Today, B2B marketers and sales teams are realizing the importance of aligning their efforts around their strategic accounts. In this article you learn how to guide and educate your key prospects through the entire buying process.
What does your best customer look like?
Strategic accounts. Key prospects. The “we-want-to-work-with-you-so-much” client. Think of your best customer. Are you thinking of the ones who generate the most revenue? Of course, that’s a given.
Ever heard that “80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers?” It’s a no-brainer then that you need to focus your sales and marketing efforts on prospects that have the same attributes as your 20% best customers.
Knowing it or not, if you do this, you’ll have adopted an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy that allows your company to target and market to a defined group of key accounts who are most likely to provide revenue. #ChaChing
Work with customers who you get and who get you.
So you’ve got your best customer in mind, right? We bet they are the ones you consider “easier to win.” It’s easier to with these customers because your marketing and sales efforts are aligned, and have effectively demonstrated to your prospects that your company (the products/services you provide) can benefit them.
You’ve shown your prospects that you understand their pain points, and that you can provide them with a solution.
See the benefits of knowing what attributes your best customer has, and then only targeting those prospects that fit the mold? Do your research.
At Azalead, we look to work with companies that have a large sales force. We qualify our best customers if they have significant web presence (social media included), generate and share a lot of content, and have consistent traffic to their website. We want to work with B2B clients, mid-size businesses, who have a marketing budget. We only qualify prospects who can benefit from our Account Based Marketing software solution and who have the means to implement it.
What does your best customer look like?
Sales and marketing roles have evolved
Marketing has to be more sales aware. Not only must they provide relevant information to qualified prospects, they also need to lead them through the entire buying cycle towards the final objective. The Sale! Here’s how to engage your prospects through lead nurturing and sales qualification.
Pay attention to the emotional needs and cues of B2B buyers and have sales engage with only qualified leads that are ready to engage.
- Provide prospects with loads of relevant information to help guide and educate them during the buying process. Eg. White pages, blog posts, tweets
- Encourage sales to approach every meeting armed with as much knowledge about the prospects and their organization as possible. #DoYourResearch
- Build trust and ongoing relationships with prospects through face-to-face sales meetings
- Be where the prospect wants to be. Are you using social media?
Sales also needs to be more marketing aware. They need to know that marketing efforts are aligned with sales efforts. The goal of any marketer is to provide and share content. Sales teams must USE this content … it’s for you and prospects! Invite prospects to webinars and special VIP events. Urge them to download white papers or check out the blog and social media channels for more valuable information. Why not send your sales team an internal newsletter that outlines upcoming corporate events, links to content that would be of interest to their clients, etc.
With Azalead you can identify your accounts when they are on your website. And with real time alerts, your sales reps will be able to call their target accounts at the ideal moment in the sales cycle to accelerate sales performance.
The time for dispersed, broad and unfocused B2B marketing campaigns is finished. The brave new digital world we inhabit has irreversibly impacted the B2B buying cycle, and the buyer that operates within it. Don’t let old habits obstruct new sales opportunities. Embrace the change by locking-in ABM automation solutions to track, nurture and hook the new digital savvy B2B buyer.
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