2020 threw several challenges at the typical B2B sales cycles, and sales teams were forced to adapt in the wake of not being able to conduct face-to-face business. Sales numbers were also affected as a reported 47% of B2B buyers held off on purchases in 2020 because of budget freezes.
Now that the country is gradually opening back up, B2B sales teams are eager to make up for delayed sales and re-engage with leads that may have dropped off the radar. Here are three things to keep in mind as we enter the post-pandemic sales world and how it may affect your marketing.
The B2B buyer research process has evolved
90% of B2B customers start their journey with a search, and 2020 saw buyers going to the power of their devices for info gathering and decision making. Coupled with the fact that a new generation of buyers prefers self-guided searches over in-person interactions for initial research, it’s easy to see the importance of having quality content.
B2B buyers spend 90% of the decision journey educating themselves.—BizVibe
It’s also important to make your content accessible and not turn off a prospect with too much gatekeeping. More than 90% of B2B buyers considered easy to access content and an extensive menu of thought leadership content as being important in the early research process.
THE TAKEAWAY: B2B buyers are increasingly guiding themselves along the sales journey. What they discover online about your company’s solutions plays a huge part in their early research – they may be close to a decision before ever reaching out to a rep.
Harness the power of personalization
Personalization has been shown to be VERY effective in driving conversions, and a new generation of B2B buyers expects content and messaging catered to their unique challenges. Email platforms are one of the most widely used methods to automate personalized content, but personalization goes beyond the name field in a subject line. Tailor your message/content and segment lists to deliver the best message to prospects.
77% of email marketing ROI comes from segmented, targeted and triggered email campaigns.—Direct Marketing Association
Landing pages are another great way to personalize content and drive sales. Setting up multiple pages and tailoring the content on each page takes more effort, but it also significantly speeds up your buyer’s research (and hopefully their conversion). AND more landing pages indexed in search means more chances for prospects to come across your content.
THE TAKEAWAY: Segment your customers and personalize content whenever possible to guide your prospects more quickly along the buyer’s journey.
The pandemic exposed new pain points
Now is a great time to reconnect with prospects to learn how their business has changed, what their new pain points are and how your company may be positioned to help them.
Perhaps supply vulnerability has been an issue for a prospect recently and your company has resources to ensure a more consistent supply than your competitor. Maybe shifting consumer attitudes has taken your prospect’s product development in a new direction. CPG manufacturers have endured a LOT of changes in just a year, and 82% of buyers said purchase decisions now progress based on changing business needs and priorities.
THE TAKEAWAY: Use new learnings to adjust your buyer personas and buyers’ journeys. Discover the ways your company can take advantage of new customer challenges that may give you an edge over the competition.
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