Now that the new year is well underway, we can truly get back into the swing of things and find the opportunity to take stock of business. Looking forward, one thing is clear; the speed at which technology is changing around us is rapidly increasing, and therefore the ways that we can be using it to our benefit in B2B business are too. This also means that falling behind now will make it even more difficult to catch up further down the line, and the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Your competitors are modernising and so should you.
Making sure your business is up to speed in the ever-evolving digital B2B market involves more than simply having an online presence. The key is using technology to put yourself at the forefront of potential customers’ minds without being overbearing; it’s no longer enough to simply have a great product, you need to appeal to a wider range of people while offering them a seemingly personalised customer experience. You also need to make them feel like they’re choosing you: 59% of B2B buyers prefer researching products online over dealing with a ‘pushy’ sales rep.
With this in mind, we’ve put together four digital selling tactics that you can utilise to improve customer experience while improving efficiency and ultimately improving the quality and quantity of leads in your sales pipeline. The best part? They’re all so easy, any business can do them.
1 Be Better Connected
If you haven’t already implemented social selling – that’s using online networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with prospects – get on it as soon as possible. According to LinkedIn, 75% of B2B buyers use social media for making buying decisions. Using social networks as part of your selling process is an incredibly customer-centric method that can have much better results than cold calling. Having the use of social profiles with a wealth of information makes it much easier to make connections and build the relationships that are absolutely essential for increasing the chance of a sale.
A great way to go about social selling is to build a great online presence; share useful articles and information, reach out to a wide range of people in your industry; use groups to find new contacts and establish yourself as an expert. Salespeople should build a professional profile (separate to their personal social media accounts) that shows off their skills, expertise, connections and experience while also showing the human side that makes them likeable. The results speak for themselves: B2B sellers who make use of social selling are 72% more likely to exceed their quotas than those who don’t (Forrester).
2 Increase Your Appeal
These days, it will rarely be the case that you’re dealing with one sole decision maker who will make purchases without consulting their colleagues even for a second opinion. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to present prospects with an information source about your product that can be easily shared in a way that allows every person involved in the decision-making process to clearly agree on the ‘consensus sale’. Shortly into the sales process, you may wish to create a personalised presentation for how your product will benefit their company but at the initial stages, it’s crucial that you have an easily navigable website.
Your website should reflect your company as professional and on-the-ball, as well as allowing prospects to access content as and when they need it. It’s important to note that a poorly-maintained website can hurt sales – according to Econsultancy, 40% of people will exit a website if it takes more than just three seconds to load – and if even one person in the decision making group loses interest, that’s game over.
3 Go Mobile
Typical B2B buyers are no longer tethered to a desk with a landline phone and email as their sole points of communication. The new generation is technologically savvy, and smartphones are now the new norm. In partnership with Google, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have predicted that by some point this year, 70% of B2B search enquiries will be made from a smartphone. They also noted that purchases made using a mobile device were completed 20% faster, especially with more complex purchases.
In order to stay on top of this trend, you should probably consider switching to a mobile-first strategy, optimising channels to look great and perform effectively on smaller screens and on the go, with simpler graphics and features like linking contact information to take the user directly to their phone or email app. This should really only involve small tweaks to your desktop site. Making sure your email designs are mobile friendly is an absolute must too – Hubspot says that over 80% of email users access them on smartphone, and those that don’t display properly on mobile screens are often deleted within three seconds.
4 Get Intelligent
As the technological world becomes more advanced and complex, there’s more data available to us than ever before – of course, that’s only if you’re able to sort through it all and find what you need. When it comes to prospecting, there are inevitably going to be even more dead ends, and an increased amount of working time wasted on pursuing these manually. Now we’re not so much kids in a candy shop as searching for a golden ticket to the chocolate factory. Using AI to enhance your prospecting and sales is like giving yourself X-ray vision to look inside the wrappers instead of opening every bar on the shelf.
Here’s where we come in: EngageIQ prospecting software uses artificial intelligence to sift through a vast data set incorporating 30,000 UK organisations in order to hand you the metaphorical winning chocolate bar with a fast-track golden ticket inside. In reality, what you receive is a steady stream of prospects that have the highest propensity to buy your product, backed up with quality purchase intent data. We’re sure you’ll agree, most salespeople would take this over the chance to meet an Oompa Loompa any day.