The impact of COVID-19 has huge implications for the way B2B businesses operate, from disruption in the market to how consumers behave and the problems they face. In this time, smart businesses will focus on providing solutions and staying engaged with their customers, from nurturing existing clients to finding ways to reach new leads.
The last 12 months have been a learning curve, but there are huge opportunities for organisations willing to adapt. According to a survey, 53% of B2B companies expected to increase or maintain their spend in the immediate response to the pandemic. In this article, we’ve highlighted 4 ways your business can get sales back on track post-COVID.
Capitalise on the shift to digital
COVID-19 has accelerated the digital revolution, with many businesses seeking to incorporate digital into their strategy at unprecedented speed. Traditional B2B sales relied on face-to-face interactions, such as exhibitions and on-site meetings. It is now vital to pivot your strategy to accommodate a shift toward online purchasing.
A strong digital presence gives you access to a larger market through inbound lead generation. Blend traditional activities such as direct mail and cold calling with digital channels like email marketing, social media and PPC to diversify your client base and build your sales funnel. Developing an omni-channel marketing strategy will put you on the front foot in the ‘new normal’.
Digital marketing tends to generate faster results, allowing you to increase and track customer engagement, easily maintain your customer databases, and provide an enhanced experience online.
Focus on providing value
There is an increasingly strong preference for self-service channels at every stage of the customer journey, particularly in the research and evaluation stages when customers are carefully considering their options. Capitalise on this crucial moment by emphasising the value you provide.
Incorporating thoughtful content into your marketing strategy can help you establish thought leadership and build trust and credibility. Content isn’t just blogs, building your social media presence – particularly on LinkedIn – and creating a newsletter are both valuable ways of providing value to customers.
Focusing on digital excellence will help you stay ahead of your competitors. Offer virtual experiences, for example, an event venue looking to bounce back could offer virtual venue tours. Similarly, you could run workshops or seminars demonstrating your expertise.
Build stronger relationships
Before the pandemic, B2B sales were all about travel. Now, almost 90% of B2B sales have moved to a videoconferencing model, with half of businesses reporting it is equally or more effective than their previous sales models.
It’s not all doom and gloom on Zoom, remote meetings offer the opportunity to be better connected. Pre-pandemic, making time with clients involved juggling multiple schedules. With video calling, coffee catchups are much easier to arrange, enabling your sales team to be more flexible in their approach and build stronger relationships.
Be pro-active and check-in with clients regularly. As you pivot your own strategy, seek to gain greater insight into how your customers are also adapting, to help you identify pinch points and present solutions.
Fuel your strategy with insights
Upgrading your digital capabilities and building your brand online feeds directly into your long-term strategy by providing insight that may not have been possible before. With this, you can create a buyer-centric strategy, empowering your sales teams to reach revenue targets in whole new ways.
There are many ways you could do this. For example, you could look at segmenting your customer based on their new needs. You can also tap into predictive analytics – what drop-off points do you notice when customers visit your website? What kind of content are they particularly responding to? How often do they open your emails?
Set clear measurable KPIs to measure progress such as churn rates, customer lifetime values, and customer satisfaction. Delve into long-term trends to create insight-driven strategies and provide tailored client solutions.
Your digital presence is, essentially, the ‘face’ of your business and, as such, should be professional, responsive and, above all else, relevant. Learn more about our services for further insight into how we can help you.