We have been seeing a shift in business-to-business selling (B2B) as many companies are rethinking how they implement technology in their sales and marketing efforts. The reason is that traditional B2B sales rely heavily on individual relationship building. While this will never go away, it hinders the ability to grow and meet customer needs. A smart digital strategy can extend the reach and effectiveness of the sales and marketing team.
Building relationships will always be a large part of business. Technology, however, is changing how those relationships are formed. Smartphones are an all-in-one sales tool allowing people to email, check LinkedIn, visit websites, and research a client or vendor. As this behavior increases, an organization needs to get more out of its digital tools – namely the website.
Too often B2B organizations neglect their websites, relegating them to online billboards. They are static representations of the organization and do little to nurture leads. More effective websites utilize automated marketing techniques and link to a CRM system. Equipped with targeted content, these websites become a powerful marketing and sales tool. This approach to your website casts a wider net by making it more search-friendly and automating a lot of activities that were formerly done on a one-by-one basis. This frees your sales team to focus on clients who are at more pivotal points in the sales cycle.
Your website is the cornerstone of your digital strategy. Getting it right can give a huge boost to your sales and marketing teams, and this is admittedly no small task. Making this shift can seem daunting at first, but as you gain familiarity, it will become a more and more effective tool. Because it puts an emphasis on content, it requires your marketing and sales team be aligned with a point of view on your industry and what makes your organization unique. Here are a few questions to help get you started:
- What macro and micro trends are impacting your industry?
- Who is your target customer(s)?
- What gets your target customer out of bed in the morning?
- What keeps them up at night?
- How is your company uniquely positioned to respond to your customers’ opportunities?
Implementing a digital strategy is an activity we’ve seen move up on our client’s priority list. It is not without its challenges, but success can help supplement your sales team by increasing knowledge share, attracting and nurturing cold leads, and freeing up their time to focus on key client interactions.