3 Tips for Effective B2B Marketing Outreach
B2B and B2C customers are very different, and selling to them must take those differences into consideration.
Many businesses in the B2B space make the mistake of approaching their marketing in the same way that they would approach B2C marketing, and then they wonder why they aren't getting results. The reason is simple: B2B and B2C customers are very different in the way they make choices on what products and services to buy. Hence, the approach of selling to them must take those differences into consideration in order to be effective. Here are some strategies that you can apply today to boost your B2B conversions.
1. Use personalized email marketing
Although it is true that B2B purchasers prioritize rational, fact-based information it's still the case that the people making buying decisions on behalf of your target businesses are just that: people. Many businesses go to the extreme end of writing B2B marketing emails that are drab and filled with business jargon, in a bid to appear "professional." But those emails usually fail to engage the recipient enough to make them dig deeper to see what you have to offer.
Personalization offers a better alternative. It helps to maintain the aura of professionalism while breaking the ice and making the email much more exciting. Most people just include a mail merge field with the recipient's first name, but that's not enough. It is crucial to ensure that the email is written to target that individual business. You can do this by including some information about the company in the introduction. For instance, merely adding a line with congratulations to a business that just got an award will immediately help you stand out. Although it might take some more research, the time and effort will be well worth creating a meaningful connection before you pitch your products or services, especially if you use email marketing automation to quicken the process.
2. Keep your cold-call lists updated
This applies to all types of marketing outreach efforts, from email marketing and social media to cold calls. With calls though, the effects can be very damaging since there is little reaction time available while on a call, during which a salesperson will be able to quickly search and find the correct information. Several studies have shown that approaching a prospect with faulty information drastically reduces the chance of conversion, which is understandable. After all, if you can't get your data right, why should the customer trust you to handle their business properly?
According to Dennis Reachard, CEO of Caller Search, the solution is to keep your cold-call lists updated by having all the information reviewed on a regular basis. Apart from avoiding the loss of credibility, keeping the lists updated also helps to ensure that time and resources are not being spent chasing down prospects with little or no potential, such as a business that has relocated. Again, although it might take some more investment than usual to do this, the savings and potential benefits far outweigh the costs.
3. Follow up properly
Timing is everything when it comes to converting B2B leads. You might send the best email, but the recipient might not open it simply because they were busy at the time and forgot afterward. That's why follow-ups are important. They help you increase the chances of the prospect engaging with your email, message or call. The Harvard Business Review found that 26.1 % of inbound leads are followed up on with within five minutes, and 35-50% of sales are usually won by the vendor that responds first after a lead makes inquiries. Clearly, it's important to have a system in place that allows you to respond to customers as quickly as possible, even if five minutes is not feasible every time.
After the initial contact, it's also important to follow-up with an email sequence to stay top of mind for when the lead makes a buying decision. Surprisingly, most firms just make one contact and end it there. Studies have shown that increasing the number of touches with a lead to six increases the likelihood of making actual contact and closing a sale. The good thing is that there are a variety of software options with which you can automate your follow-ups to maximize efficiency at a minimal cost.
Now go and make contact.
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