Take this short quiz to see if you know the most important ingredient in a b2b marketing campaign.
Certain products practically sell themselves. While that may be overstating things, it’s definitely true that customers engage more readily with uncomplicated and visually appealing items such as shoes, furniture and soft drinks. A few sharp images with key features (as well as a realistic price point) is often all you need to convince your lead to buy. But how do you generate leads if your product comes with a manual or requires training to use?
Engaging Education Generates Sales
We can all remember being in class and switching off when the teacher was spouting forth about something that was clearly going over our heads. It wasn’t that we weren’t capable of understanding but the delivery methods were passive and unnecessarily overcomplicated. Yawn. The same will be true if that’s how you approach telling your customers about your products / services. If you manufacture high-grade security systems for office buildings, handing over a circuit diagram to your prospective customer will do little to convince them to buy (unless they have a degree in electrical engineering but probably not even then). You need to make your product come alive, through the use of engaging and interactive elearning content, that is both concise and tailored to the specific customer.
Relationships or Transactions?
Hitting sales targets are of primary importance, so you might be forgiven thinking transactions take priority. Wrong. It’s often the case that suppliers will go for the hard sell and quick buck. The trouble with this is that if you haven’t built a relationship with your customer and determined what goals they have, how do you know that your product / service is suitable? You might have a sales team that can generate leads and sell mobile phones to Apple but unless you bother to take the time to discuss your customer’s needs in-depth, there won’t be any repeat business and you run the risk of negative feedback, which in today’s review-driven marketplace can be a dangerous game indeed. Build that solid relationship and chances are, that customer will stick with you and recommend you to others. So do the research and then actively educate the buyer as to why your product or service is the perfect fit.
Know Your Onions
Your product could be the best thing on the market but if your sales execs can’t expertly explain all the features and processes, and anticipate questions, potential customers will look elsewhere. For companies that frequently add or upgrade products to their inventory, it’s not always easy to keep the sales and marketing teams up to speed. You can’t afford to continuously take them from their targets in order to learn about new items. The sensible answer is to use an elearning platform where bitesize content modules can be easily created and accessed out of hours, through mobile devices. Buyers will be impressed by the depth of knowledge and understanding about a given product, which lays the foundation for the b2b relationship and should, ultimately, lead to a transaction.
Network by Getting Involved
Creating a group on LinkedIn isn’t just for finding answers or interacting with peers – it’s to generate leads! Search Groups using relevant keywords and join any that are relevant to what you are marketing. If there isn’t one, then create it yourself; you should soon find potential customers asking to be members. If anyone is asking a question you can answer, then wade in (but don’t make it seem like an obvious plug). Alternatively you can post a question relevant to your product, eg, “What’s the best way of quickly creating and delivering elearning on new products?” Answering questions on Quora can also generate leads. Here again, no obvious plugging is allowed but if you’re subtle (but not obtuse) you can encourage the readers to find out more.